Food Scene

Best burgers in Tempe

Top 10+ burgers in Tempe you must try

We all know that hamburgers are a staple of the American diet, but did you know that people in the U.S. eat an average of 50 billion burgers each year?  

It’s a given that a college town like Tempe, Arizona would have its fair share of restaurants where you can find some of the best burgers around. The Tempe Tourism team has made it easy for you to find your favorite. We sampled burgers from several restaurants around town so you can decide which ones you’d like to try next. It’s a tough job, but someone had to do it.  

Without further ado, here is where you can find the best (and even unexpected) burgers in Tempe.  

Detroit Coney Grill
930 W. Broadway Rd., Tempe, AZ 85282 | (480) 219-7430

You may think of just hot dogs when you think of Detroit Coney Grill. But, no my friends, they are just as well-known for their hamburgers. As a matter of fact, in 2016, Detroit Coney Grill in Tempe was listed in the top 10 best burger places in the United States according to Yelp. That was important enough for them to get a mention on the Travel Channel and National Geographic.  

They have quite a few options on their menu from the Shroom and Swiss to the Lettuce Wrapped burger. I went with a custom cheeseburger. You can choose how many patties you’d like (I went with two because they’re not thick) and then added blue cheese. And, you can’t get a burger without ordering their French fries made from hand-cut Idaho potatoes. By the way, you can get as many as seven burger patties. I have no words for this.

Detroit Coney Grill Burger
Detroit Coney Grill

The Chuckbox
202 E. University Dr., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 968-4712 

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it – this phrase certainly applies to local favorite, The Chuckbox. A Tempe mainstay for decades, the Chuckbox team continues to serve up some of the best burgers in town. The Big One is my personal favorite, made with a 1/3 pound beef patty. But, if you’re really hungry, go for The Great Big One, a ½ pound of ground chuck or kick it up a notch with the Guacamole and Bacon Burger. Round your meal with Chuckbox Potatoes (fries) or beer battered onion rings but don’t pass by the fixins’ bar. Please note that The Chuckbox is a Cash Only establishment. 

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Rula Bula Irish Pub
401 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 929-9500 

The AZ Burger at Rula Bula is very deserving of inclusion is the list of the best burgers in Tempe. I know what you’re thinking: what is a burger named after Arizona doing in an Irish pub? Who knows, but it’s so tasty you won’t care. First, there’s the charbroiled Angus beef patty covered in a Sonoran spice rub. Then, there’s the Chipotle sauce that cascades over the jalapeño and avocado slices. Your mouth gets a break from the heat when the jalapeño cream cheese hits, only to be fooled because it is, in fact, jalapeño cream cheese. The AZ burger has everything you don’t need in an Irish bar but just might want.  

Ted’s Refreshments
404 S. Mill Ave. #101, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 590-7371 

By design, Ted’s Refreshments has a dive-bar feel and Chicago-inspired décor along with a menu full of draft beers, cocktails and all-American food. We tried the standard burger here. It’s an oversized patty on a fluffy bun with enough lettuce and tomato to make it seem healthy. Right? Wednesdays are college nights where burgers are just $5. The daily lunch special is a $10 draft beer, a burger and fries.  

Ted’s Refreshments is one of the newer restaurants along Mill Avenue in Downtown Tempe. It’s owned by the same restaurant group, Fork and Dagger, that brought us Pedal Haus Brewery.  

Teds Refreshments
Ted’s Refreshments

Sunbar Tempe
24 W. 5th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 687-8409 

If you love Tempe’s Shady Park and CASA you will not be disappointed with newest kid on the block, Sunbar Tempe. Not only are they quickly making a name for themselves as a venue for live music and DJs,  but they are also quickly becoming one of the most popular restaurants on Mill Avenue. And you guessed it…they have burgers! I went with the Blank Slate Burger, because well, I have control issues and you get to perfect this burger to your liking! To start with, all burgers come with not one, but two all-natural Arizona grass-fed ground beef, with vegan patties as an option. I opted to add lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon and provolone. As you can see pictured below, this was quite an obstacle to take down in one bite. But mama didn’t raise no quitter, I owned that burger. And I have to say, the side of waffle fries was just the perfect way to round out what was already a tasty meal. After you eat, stay for a show. You can check out their latest lineup by visiting their website. 

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Four Peaks Brewing Company 
1340 E. 8th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 303-9967 

Four Peaks is known for their great beer, especially best-selling beer the Kilt Lifter. Let’s talk about the burgers… there’s a fair amount of choices but get a taste of the Mediterranean with the Lamb Burger. Full of flavor with this thick patty, topped with spinach, red onion, feta, house-made cucumber tzatziki on a focaccia bun. I am that person that cuts a burger in half to consume it easier and it was tall and delicious, just what I needed to feed my hunger. 

Pedal Haus Brewery
730 S. Mill Ave. #102, Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 314-2337 

Built to be a haven for lovers of bikes, good times, and great beer, Pedal Haus is also a must for burgers. All burgers come on a bakery-fresh sesame seed bun with a choice of either coleslaw or seasoned fries. Try the truffle fries as an extra bonus. I chose to go with the Sautéed Mushroom Burger which has mushrooms sautéed in red wine with caramelized onions, shredded cheddar and garlic aioli. I paired my burger with one of their craft beers and enjoyed my meal on their enormous outdoor patio! 

New to the Pedal Haus menu are awesome Gluten Free and Vegan/Vegetarian options sorted for better viewing. It made it easy for Rachel in our office to order the Bacon Burger served hot with grilled onions, delicious bacon on their new Gluten Free bun with a side of perfectly seasoned fries! The bun was fluffy, not dry which as a recent gluten free convert, she was super pleased with the choice.  

Bacon Burger with gluten free bun at Pedal Haus Brewery
Pedal Haus Brewery

Charlie Trumbull’s Tempe National
526 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 550-7272 

Newer to Downtown Tempe, their namesake, Charlie Trumbull, was the founder of Tempe and a driving force behind the creation of Arizona State University. Trumbull was also responsible for the Hayden Flour Mill and Hayden Ferry. Find yourself a seat inside or out of one of Tempe’s most historic buildings at the corner of 6th Street and Mill Avenue. Established January 4, 1901, Tempe National Bank was key to the early development of the town and continued to serve as a bank for the remainder of the century.  

Nuff about the history, let’s talk food! They’re also home to Trumbull’s Steak Burgers with 100% Natural Wagyu Beef! We loved the Sonoran Burger featuring fresh C.A.S.A. guacamole, thick cut of bacon, jalapeno pico, lettuce, tomato and cheddar. We could’ve kicked up the flavor train even further by choosing the Ghost Pepper Jack but that chili pepper icon on the side of the name made us worry about any damage to our taste buds. You won’t catch them during lunch time as they open at 3 p.m. but an afternoon happy hour or early dinner could be your fix. When the sun goes down, the scene changes to a fun, nightclub atmosphere with great drink specials, friendly bartenders and good food!

SNAKES & LATTES
20 W. 6th St., Tempe, AZ 85281 | (480) 361-6644 

This Canadian based restaurant came to our awesome college with a bang. Bringing a Canadian favorite like Poutine to the Southwest. You’ll also find a variety of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options. So there’s no settling for something you don’t actually want. Have a burger when you’re craving a burger! We checked out the Smash Burger and Impossible Burger. Keeping both burgers simple with toppings and focusing on the flavor of the patties. Check out these tasty burgers while you play a round of Hungry, Hungry Hippo or Connect 4.

Tres Kitchen + Bar 
7192 S. Price Rd., Tempe, AZ 85283 | (480) 897-5300 

Tres Kitchen + Bar is a hidden gem in south Tempe, located near the Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Tempe University Research Park and Home2 Suites by Hilton Phoenix-Tempe University Research Park near the 101 and Elliot Rd. Their menu is a mix of Mediterranean and Spanish influences and if you prefer your burger just a bit fancy, this might be the place for you. 

The TRES Burger has a generous sized beef patty, paired with green chili aioli, beer braised onions, tomato, aged cheddar and bacon on a delicious English muffin. You can get it paired with either coleslaw or papas bravas, a delicious dish of roasted potatoes seasoned with salt and topped with cheese. The onions were really sweet and paired so well with the rest of the ingredients. I was sad that I couldn’t finish the entire thing. It’s that good.  

I don’t eat meat, then what?

Some honorable mentions we wanted to include were Green New American Vegetarian and 24 Carrots, two of Tempe’s locally owned vegan/vegetarian restaurants serving their best handhelds. Check out their fun menus and more importantly their tasty dishes!

Have another favorite burger spot? Tell us in the comments below! Use #OurTempe so we can feature your photos! Happy eating!

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Alicia Kentz
Written Alicia Kentz

Alicia is an ASU Alumna and Tucson native who is unapologetically herself. When she is not sharing her passion for Tempe, she is a devoted dog mom and reality TV enthusiast who has a weakness for charcuterie boards and wine!