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January 23rd, 2012
Behold: The Best Burgers in San Marcos


The Guacamole Queso Burger at The Taproom

The Taproom Pub & Grub

129 E Hopkins St., No 120 | Map

Travis Kelsey bought The Taproom in 1999 and made changes that turned the the smoky downtown hangout into a bonafide San Marcos institution. The restaurant is famous for its 42 domestic and import beers on tap, but its top-shelf hamburgers can’t be far behind in popularity. Kelsey said the burgers are actually a loss leader — he sells them more or less at cost as a way to get people in the door.

“Nobody spends more on ingredients for each burger than we do,” Kelsey said.

San Marcos Mercury readers voted the Taproom’s Guacamole Queso Burger their favorite in our first Best Burgers competition. Readers first nominated a total of 16 restaurants and bars as contenders for the big prize. Then readers — more than 300 of you — cast electronic ballots for their top three choices.

Scroll down for second and third places.

Hamburger at the Centerpoint Station

Centerpoint Station

3946 Interstate 35 South | Map

Centerpoint’s basic hamburger — mouthwatering Angus beef, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and onions on white wheat or jalapeno cheese buns — was voted the second best burger in San Marcos by Mercury readers. The folksy filling station gift shop and burger joint also serves the Avocado Jack the Big Chief burger — two Angus patties and all the fixins’. All their bread is homemade.

The Zapata Burger with bacon at Tres Hermanas

Tres Hermanas Restaurant & Cantina

2550 Hunter Road | Map

A well-kept secret of burgers is that some of the best can be found at Mexican food joints. Tres Hermanas enthusiasts cast enough ballots to put its Zapata Burger in third place. The burger features Angus ground in-store on a toasted bun with grilled onions, tomatoes and lettuce.

Honorable Mention

Railyard Bar & Grill | Map
Red-N-Bleu Burger

Vodka Street Bistro | Map
Buffalo Burger

Cool Mint Cafe | Map
Caramelized Onions & Blue Cheeseburger

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6 thoughts on “Behold: The Best Burgers in San Marcos

  1. Vodka street by far the best burger in town. They just don’t get the food traffic that the Tap Room or the others as you don’t know they sell food.

  2. If you like Centerpoint burgers, try the Ancho grill at the Sac & Pac on the corner of Wonder World and I-35. It’s a very similar burger (if not better) and a couple bucks cheaper to boot (I think burger/fries/drink runs about $7.50 there as opposed to $10-12 at Centerpoint. In fact, I think the place even used to be called “Centerpoint Express.”

    It’s where I go to fill my occasional burger craving.

  3. It’s true about burgers at Mexican restaurants. They usually have a flame broiler to cook the fajitas and thus are able to satisfy my primary criterion – that the burger be flame broiled.

  4. I gave my vote to Railyard, but Sean Patrick’s serves a good burger as well. And though I like Tap Room burgers, it’s a bit too smokey in there for my tastes.

    Gotta try Ancho Grill. I’d never have thought to stop in there for a burger.

    Finally, that Zapata Burger at Tres Hermanas looks so good I want to make out with it.

  5. I’v got to go along with Jim Baggett. Had a burger at Vodka Street last night. It was the best burger I have had not just in San Marcos, but anywhere. Vodka Steet is an unfortunate name, becasue it makes people think it is just another bar, but they have a very interesting menu.

    And for a cheep burger, Ancho grill, the one near the corner of Old RR12 and Holland ios great, and you get out for under $5.

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