Every year, Americans consume 50 billion burgers, according to PBS. That’s enough to circle the globe 32 times when lined up bun to bun. For some, burgers are for special occasions — celebrating your team’s big win, keeping you full on a late night road trip or spending time with family and friends. Whatever the occasion, if you’re looking for a burger to sink your teeth into in Athens, here’s a list of 11 places that will be happy to oblige.
1. Grindhouse Killer Burgers
Grindhouse is a Georgia-based chain of restaurants that opened in 2009. The restaurant offers traditional beef, turkey, veggie and vegan burgers that can be customized to suit any taste. Any burger can be paired with a side of fries, whether you like them plain or loaded up with toppings, and washed down with one of nine milkshake flavors.
Clocked! is an organic burger joint that uses natural and fresh ingredients in its made-to-order sandwiches. Clocked! is known for having some strangely-delicious flavor combinations, like a sweet and savory peanut butter burger, bayou burger topped with fried pickles and a roasted garlic cheeseburger.
3. White Tiger Gourmet
Perhaps one of the lesser-known restaurants on the list, White Tiger Gourmet is located in Athens’ Boulevard district and invites customers to “earn [their] stripes.” The restaurant features a wide array of options, including BBQ plates, tofu sandwiches, salads and daily specials on burgers, like one made with Krispy Kreme donuts for buns.
4. Groove Burgers
Located on the Oconee Connector squished between other shops and stops, this establishment opened in 2016 and features lamb burgers, taco burgers and the signature groove burger, all with optional groove sauce. All of Groove Burgers’ burgers run for $7.99, creating an even playing field in terms of price.
5. Team Biscuit and Burgers
Team Biscuit and Burgers offers a simple menu with options to dine in or drive thru. The restaurant serves up the classic beef, chicken and fish burgers, each complete with its own equivalent football position.
6. FIVE Athens
Located in downtown Athens, FIVE is known for “The Five,” or the five main dishes that make up its rotating menu. One of these is a cheeseburger served with two patties, American cheese, bacon relish and fries, with the option to swap the all-beef patty for a black bean or gluten-free option.
7. The Varsity
Likely the most recognizable on the list, The Varsity is one of the only joints in Athens where rolling in at 10 or 11 p.m will still warrant a “What’ll ya have?” Another Georgia chain, and located on West Broad Street in Athens, The Varsity is the perfect stop for a burger or hotdog any time of day. Whether it’s the pregame tailgate food or the post-win, long-ride-home snack, The Varsity’s got you covered.
8. Catch-22 Gastropub
Catch-22 Gastropub is a high-end restaurant that serves beer and classic bar food. Its burgers can be done animal style or topped with pulled pork and served with a side of bacon fries or greens.
9. Brett’s Casual American
Brett’s Casual American is a made-from-scratch restaurant that is even available for takeout if you call ahead. Brett’s menu features a variety of specialty burgers made with bison, beef, or beans and topped with mushrooms or bacon and maybe even a whole wheat bun, upon request.
10. Clarke’s Standard
Clarke’s Standard is a place that always seems to pop up when searching for good food in Athens. Located in the heart of downtown, Clarke’s offers a build your own burger option that allows for countless combinations, both for meat and veggie lovers.
11. The Office Sports Bar & Grill
Although they may share their name with a popular show, The Office is nothing like a day job. Located in downtown Athens, The Office offers C.E.O burgers along with Southwest and Mac N’ Cheese Burgers that can make anyone’s bad day at work melt away.