A Burger Tour of Cumberland County

May 31, 2018

As we close out May (National Hamburger Month) and head into the summer, I think it’s time to take our visitors on a tour of Cumberland County’s burger joints. Sure, you can find several popular burger chains here, but do you know where our mom-and-pop grills are? Better yet, do you know who our locals claim makes the best burger here? I recently took an informal poll of my coworkers and Go Fayetteville’s followers. A total of 50 people voted for their favorite burger joints, and I’m here to spill all their secrets on this meaty topic.

best burgersWho's the "People's Choice"?

Old-School Burger —> Robertson’s Sandwich Shop

best burgersWhen my girlfriend recently discovered I’d never had “the Robertson’s experience,” she insisted we go there for lunch. Located in the Eutaw Shopping Center, this charming spot has an old-school diner feel to it, and the lunchtime crowd proved to me how popular it is with the locals. Whenever I try a new burger joint, I usually start with the Classic Cheeseburger, and this time, I went big with a double. Made fresh to order, their burgers are old-school in the best way possible, with nothing fancy distracting from the juicy patties. As Michael confirmed, the Bacon Cheeseburger is what Robertson’s claims to be their best seller. Rumor has it that their Chicken Salad Sandwich is hard to beat, as well.

best burgersClassic Cheeseburger at Robertson's

Niche Burger —> Will’s Grill

best burgersMore than one of our locals voted for this hole-in-the-wall spot. Apparently, what sets Will’s Grill apart is its signature gourmet Pretzel Bun. According to Rick and others, the Farmer’s Daughter Burger—made with egg, bacon and chili—is a customer favorite. Being a spice lover myself, I’d be tempted to order either the Chuck Norris or the Bruce Lee, rated #4 and #5 on their Spicy Burger menu. Will’s Grill is going on my foodie bucket list, for sure.

Brewery Burger —> Lake Gaston Brewing Company & Restaurant

best burgersThree of our breweries also feature restaurants, and in response to my poll, the locals specifically named one. That’d be Lake Gaston, located in the heart of Downtown Fayetteville. Edna says you must try their Whiskey Burger or House Burger. I recently ordered their flavorful Mahi-Mahi Burger, which offers folks a great alternative to red meat. Vegetarians will be delighted to know their menu features a Black Bean Burger, as well. Regardless which one you order, I must suggest you try a side of the spicy, fried Cauliflower Bites—my new obsession at Lake Gaston.

best burgersHouse Burger at Lake Gaston (PC: @lkgbco)

High-End Burger —> Sherefé

best burgersMy coworker, Denise, cast her vote for one of our locals’ favorite dining destinations, Sherefé. This downtown restaurant is famous for their Mediterranean-inspired menu. One of the reasons Denise and I both love Sherefé is the fact it offers diners some fresh and healthy takes on American comfort food, like burgers. Denise suggests you order the super flavorful Steak Burger, ground fresh from Angus chuck and short ribs. I’d also like to throw out my recommendation for the Lamb Burger, highly seasoned with herbs and spices. Both dishes are mainstays you’ll find on Sherefé’s lunch menu.

New-to-the-Block Burger —> Deep Creek Grill

best burgersIn May, a brand-new eatery opened its doors at Fayetteville’s historic Campbellton Landing, a popular fishing destination on the Cape Fear River. Deep Creek Outfitters is outfitting fishermen with gear and bait and feeding their visitors well at the Deep Creek Grill. You’ll find southern-inspired daily specials, burgers and hot dogs on their menu. On my recent visit, I went with the Classic Cheeseburger, and it was so big, I could have gotten away with a single. Fans of the Carolina Burger just need to ask for their burger to be made “all the way,” and you’ll get a generous portion of chili and slaw on that bun. Afterward, make sure you pop next door for a hand-scooped ice cream cone.

best burgersClassic Cheeseburger at Deep Creek

People’s Choice Burger —> R Burger

best burgersAnd now we come to the best of the best. Exactly half of our voters named this specific food truck over and over. I’m one of their super-fans, but even I was surprised to realize how passionate people are when it comes to “ouR burger.” Even Alton Brown, of Food Network fame, made a point to grab several bags of their burgers for his crew when he came into town. The locals have spoken now, so without further ado, I hereby unofficially-officially name R Burger the “People’s Choice Burger” for Cumberland County.

best burgersCarolina Burger at R Burger

The people may agree R Burger is the best, but they certainly don’t agree on which of their burgers is the best. Some people, like Hanna, love their Carolina Burger (chili + slaw + onion + mustard) and “swear by” their Classic Cheeseburger. Others, such as myself, are passionate about their Southern Burger—a rich combo of house-made pimento cheese, grilled onion and mustard. One of the most recent additions to their menu is the Egg Burger, created specially for the Dirtbag Ales Farmers Market. Rumor has it that those in the know also order an off-menu special called the Bacon & Bleu.

best burgersSouthern Burger at R Burger

Whatever your burger leanings might be, you should know R Burger grinds their beef daily and cooks their ¼-pound patties on a griddle, trapping all that juicy flavor inside the meat. Every burger comes with two patties and a generous serving of what I claim to be the best fries I’ve ever eaten. On any given day of the week, you’ll find R Burger’s truck popping up at schools, small businesses, festivals and breweries. In fact, you'll regularly find R Burger parked on the back patio of Bright Light Brewing Company (see beer in top picture). Wherever they go, hungry folks are right behind them, lining up. If you visit no other burger joint in Cumberland County, make a point to join the locals at R Burger.

best burgersEgg Burger at R Burger

Small-Town Burger

I’d be remiss here if I neglected to mention a few of Cumberland County’s small towns and the burger joints our locals love to frequent there. After all, hometown eateries are the true gems!

Eastover —> The Corner Grillbest burgersIf you’re craving a “nasty good” burger, look no further than this treasure of a mom-and-pop grill on "the corner" (don’t forget those chili fries!).

Hope Mills —> Robin’s on Mainbest burgers

Whether you order the Little Mama Burger or the Big Papa Burger, the giant onion rings are a must at this charming Americana diner!

Stedman —> Stedman Soda Shop

best burgers

Step back in time at this old-fashioned soda shop, where the burgers are sloppy in the best way possible.

Spring Lake —> Cedar Point Restaurant

best burgers

In addition to their popular breakfast menu, this small-town mainstay “is known as an all time hamburger restaurant,” dishing up specialty burgers.

Wade —> Main Street Grill

best burgers

You’ll hardly find a trace of this grill on the web, but right off I-95, exit 61, you'll find them serving their customers classic cheeseburgers and much more.

On Saturday, June 2nd, you'll find R Burger out serving folks at one of Fayetteville's hottest festivals, Blues-N-Brews; learn more about this good time at “What’s HOT in Fayetteville!”. If you prefer wine to beer, I recently spilled on all the places the locals like to "wine down" around Fayetteville, and you'll find more details about those fantastic events and destinations on "Where to 'Wine Down' in Cumberland County." For all our festivals, wine/beer events, and more, be sure to check out the Fayetteville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Calendar of Events.

best burgersPeople's Choice = R Burger

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