Here's the Best Burger Joints in the Raleigh/Triangle Area - and What Makes Them Great

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Best Place to get a Burger in the Raleigh, NC Area


Have you just relocated to the area and are looking for a good place to take the family for dinner? Need a new hangout place to meet with friends? Do you like burgers and a fun, unique atmosphere? Tired of the same old fast food burgers?

Here are two of the absolute favorite hamburger joints in the Raleigh/Triangle area - try them once, and you'll have a hard time ever going through a McDonald's drive thru again. 

Fat Daddy's Burgers Raleigh Best Places to Eat

Fat Daddy's

Fat Daddy's, located on Glenwood Ave in Raleigh, is a one of a kind build-your-own burger joint. When you first walk in, there is a desert counter with fresh baked goodies and ice cream, a self-serve cooler with a wide selection of unique beers and then the counter - which always has plenty of friendly employees ready to handle a line quickly. 

After making choosing between, among other things, a burger, chicken, fish or ribeye sandwich and a side of fries or onion rings, head to a table to wait for to hear your name announced over the intercom - no order numbers here!


Fat Daddy's Raleigh Best Places to Eat Burgers

When the order is up, pick up the round tray with your sandwich.  It may seem like a big tray, with one sandwich and side on it, but you'll need all that room to start adding your personal combination of "fixin's". 

Make your way to the fresh condiment bar where the choice of toppings for your sandwich is the largest selection I've seen!

Huge slices of fresh, flavorful tomatoes, shredded and whole leaf lettuce, pickles, broccoli, sliced cucumbers, fresh Southern style coleslaw, chopped onions, butter, mayonnaise, ranch dressing and more.   

Seriously, it's possible to make a side salad to go along with the burger.  There's also have a choice of hot cheese sauce and barbeque sauce to dip in, along with nice little cups with lids in case you want it to go.  Cheese sauce and onion rings, yum!

When I bit into my huge hamburger, wow! The bun is not your typical hamburger bun, but a huge fresh baked melt in your mouth delight making the fresh cooked hamburger even better.

And the onion rings are the best I've ever had, not only are they freshly cooked to order, but they are large and crispy on the outside and moist on the inside.  Think about the best onion rings you've ever gotten at a state fair or Scottish festival - these are right up there, and have been known to put diets off "until tomorrow".

Fat Daddy's Beer Raleigh Best Places to Eat BurgersI asked one customer what he likes about Fat Daddy's and he said it's "distinct with real hamburgers in a world of fast food restaurants".

I got the impression that he is very much the repeat customer.  

This is a great place to take the whole family for a night out.  But if you want to hang out with some "of age" friends, join Fat Daddy's in the basement to play some pool or darts and have a couple of drinks, while listening to the jukebox and live music on the weekends.

Fat Daddy's is totally unique - and part of that means there is only one location, but it's worth the drive from wherever you live, work or play in the Raleigh area. 


Five Guys

My second favorite Raleigh burger joint is Five Guys. If a homemade hamburger fresh off the barbeque, with the toppings added by the cook, is more your style then Five Guys is for you.

5 Guys Raleigh Best Places to Eat BurgersWalk in the door and pass boxes of peanuts and bags of potatoes creating a unique décor while waiting to be consumed as you make your way to the counter.

Once you are ready to order you have the choice of Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Bacon Burger or Bacon Cheeseburger that will fill you to the brim as they all come with two patties.

If you are a little less on the hungry side, you can order the "little" version of each for just one patty.

Now, start adding the toppings. Mayo, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, fried onions, sautéed mushrooms, ketchup, and mustard are all standard and you have the choice of adding relish, onions, jalapeno peppers, A-1 sauce, green peppers, bar-b-q sauce and/or hot sauce.

Also, don't forget to order a side of fries, cooked in pure, no cholesterol peanut oil, these fries have a fresh unique flavor that you will only find at Five Guys. 

5 Guys Raleigh Best Places to Eat Burgers LunchBest fries I've ever had - and they come with a bonus.  Order the large cup, and you'll get the cup, in a brown paper bag, with an "extra scoop" dumped in. 

One order of fries is plenty for 2-3 hungry diners!   They also offer a choice of 100% kosher hot dogs, and grilled cheese if you have young diners with you.

After ordering, grab that metal bucket off your table, and head back to the big box of peanuts in the shell by the front door. 

Dig in, take it back to the table, and snack on fresh peanuts while you're waiting for your order. 



5 Guys Lobby Raleigh Best Places to Eat Burgers


Or, if you really want to, stand at the counter and watch your burger and sautéed onions and mushrooms cook to perfection - everything is in full view of the customers. 

While you're opening peanuts, look around the walls of the room for a little light reading. 

Plastered around the room are article after article touting numerous awards for "Best Burger", "Best Burger for Families", "Readers Choice #1 Hamburger" for 5 years running and "Best Place for a Hamburger" just to name a few. 




Reporters talk about how "5 Guys" represent the five sons of the founder - who started with one restaurant in Northern Virginia in 1986. Now in 19 states, this hamburger joint makes its name with large portions, freshly cut potatoes for French fries, and the best, juiciest burger you've ever had (except for maybe the burgers at Fat Daddy's!) 

With locations in Cary, Durham, Raleigh and Knightdale as well as all up and down the east coast, it is a little easier to find a Five Guys Restaurant, so grab a friend and head on out for a great lunch!

Fat Daddy's - 6201 Glenwood Avenue, Raleigh

5 Guys - 1856 Boulderstone Way,  Cary,  NC 

5 Guys - 712 SE Maynard Rd,  Cary,  NC  27511

5 Guys - The Streets at Southpoint Mall - 6910 Fayetteville Rd.,  Durham,  NC  27713

5 Guys - North Hills Raleigh Six Forks Rd and Lassiter Mill Rd,  Raleigh,  NC  27609


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Cindy Jones
Integrity Real Estate Group - Woodbridge, VA
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News

Nice post.  You can never go wrong with 5 guys!

Feb 09, 2008 10:46 AM #1
Adam Waldman
Westcott Group Real Estate Company - Hauppauge, NY
Realtor - Long Island
PENNY - It's just past 7am, and you've made me want to go out and grab a burger.  What a great post this was about two of your favorite hamburger joints.  If I'm ever in the Raleigh area, I'll be sure to check both of them out.  Great job!
Feb 09, 2008 10:13 PM #2
Brian Block
RE/MAX Allegiance, Managing Broker/Branch Vice President - McLean, VA
Northern Virginia & D.C. Real Estate
Penny, Five Guys is a definite favorite.  And I live in the hometown of the first Five Guys -- Alexandria.  The place that started it all.  A good friend of mine is friends with the family that started the business, and he's got a significant investment in the company.  Every year around the holidays, he gives us some "Burger Bucks" gift certificates for Five Guys.  In fact, my wife just had some Five Guys burgers and fries for lunch the other day.  I always warn people to order the "little hamburger" and the "small fries."
Feb 09, 2008 10:42 PM #3
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder, with thousands of floor plans and almost unlimited customization available! - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Five Guys is famous among the burger crowd up and down the East Coast, but I never heard of them before moving here from the West Coast. 

Fat Daddy's is a "must see" if you're looking for something locally owned and one-of-a-kind.  It's a great place to stop if you've just moved and are out furniture shopping, because it's on Hwy 70 in the middle of "Furniture Row" - there are about a dozen different furniture stores on Hwy 70 between Hwy 540 and the Crabtree Mall at Hwy 1.

Feb 10, 2008 10:24 PM #4
Jim Crawford
RE/MAX Paramount Properties - Atlanta, GA
Jim Crawford Atlanta Best Listing Agents & REALTOR
I would like to see Fat Daddy's!  Better yet have a few burgers there!
Feb 11, 2008 12:20 AM #5
Tracy Riba
Carolina Realty, Johnston County NC - Clayton, NC
e-Pro, Johnston County NC Relocation Expert
Thanks.  We needed a new burger joint since we left our In-N-Out in Southern Cali.  They made our fries homemade every day.
Feb 11, 2008 04:59 AM #6

Since you are building in Chatham County and out towards Silk Hope you have to know about where the natives have found the very best burgers. They eat at a place called Johnsons.  It's a local joint with a lunch counter and a few booths and has been in Siler City for as long as I can remember.  Located on Highway 64.   They buy fresh hamburger and when they run out, they close.  You had better get there early.  The burgers are cooked while you watch and covered with a slab of Velveeta Cheese (those of us in the south call it cheese - I think it is really some variant of cheese product:))   The buns are toasted and you order the burger with mustard, onions and chili.  It takes days for your grease light to go out!!!  We make the drive from Raleigh just because they are so delicious and you can't get the good stuff in Raleigh.  Give it a try, you won't be disappointed!

Jun 18, 2008 12:50 PM #7
Stanton Homes
Stanton Homes - New Home Builder, with thousands of floor plans and almost unlimited customization available! - Raleigh, NC
Design/Build Custom Home Builder in North Carolina

Jim - stop in any time, you won't regret it.

Tracy - it's tough to find those homemade fries!

Anonymous - thank you for the information on Johnson's, we'll have to check it out, sounds good.

Jul 10, 2008 11:12 PM #8
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