Carnivores & Beef Lovers Have a Variety of Burger Joints to Choose From In the North Area
Jeff Walker, Restaurant Review
While smash burgers continue to be all the rage, don't think for a skinny minute good old fashioned burgers with or without cheese have been pushed to the wayside. From Portland Maine to Portland Oregon roadside diners, steakhouses, and sports bars have been serving up signature burgers to carnivores who love the taste of 100 percent all beef burgers, often adorned with a variety of garden veggies and zesty condiments.
In this rendition of 'Doin' the Charles-Ten' we focus on ten of the best places in North Chuck (pun intended) to sink your teeth and gums into a signature burger. The north area has an overdose of chain restaurants and fast food eateries not locally owned. However, at Charleston.com we do our best to pay tribute to businesses born out of the low country, and this is our salute to signature burgers in the city of North Charleston.
Perhaps no one in the north area offers more signature burgers on the menu than Big Billy's Burger Joint. Located at 5070 International Blvd Big Billy's is situated nicely between Tanger Outlets and the North Charleston Coliseum complex. With over a dozen burgers listed on their everyday bill of fare and another half dozen 'Burgers Gone Wild' crafted from bison, elk, gator and wild boar, Big Billy's is the epitome of a 'burger joint'.
Bacon lovers will know doubt gravitate to the Bacon X3 Burger which is a half pound patty surrounded by bacon from top to bottom, slathered in Big Billy's homemade bacon mayo. Beef meets pork in this 'gotta have meat lovers delight'. The Mac & Cheese Burger might require a fork but no matter how you dive into it, it is a cheesy all beef masterpiece, oozing with fried mac & cheese bites, American cheese, and queso (creamy white Mexican cheese).
Oh no, you got a late start to your day and missed your morning fare, that's okay how about pop in for an early lunch, and enjoy the Breakfast Burger. Hash browns, fried egg, apple smoked bacon, grilled black forest ham, and good old American cheese covering your juicy patty. The winner for best named burger is the, 'I Wanna Lei Ya Burger'. A Hawaiian themed all beef patty covered in black forest ham, provolone, and a juicy pineapple slice. Goes great with Raspberry or Peach Tea, or any of your favorite rum laced cocktails. Aloha!
Milkshakes are all the rage at Big Billy's. Thick creamy delights that complement any handheld edible. There are eight signature shakes for all ages, some paying tribute to Oreo's, Key Lime Pie, Peanut Butter Brownies, and the classic Almond Joy. Another eight are suggested for Adult Surfers Only (21 & over). It's amazing how well dark rum, creme de menthe, Crown Royal, and Kahlua go with vanilla ice cream. I recommend any of their alcohol infused classics. Go hog or beef wild at https://www.bigbillysburgerjoint.com/menu/
Not far from the coliseum on the backside of Tanger Outlets you'll come across SportsBook of Charleston. As their name suggests they are one of a few ultimate sports bars in North Charleston. With a bazillion big screen TVs, enough to satisfy a wide range of sports fans, SportsBook's calling card might just be their upscale sports bar menu including 'the starting line-up', handhelds, and burgers.
Although SportsBook would gladly allow you to craft your own burger out of their many toppings, fresh veggies, and condiments, they do present an all beef Kobe burger alongside four everyday SportsBook burgers that are meant to tantalize the taste buds. Enjoy a BBQ Bacon or Hot Black & Blue (sauteed jalapenos & bleu cheese crumbles) served with a side of fries for just $16.
Bringing a ravenous appetite to Sportsbook than I suggest the Big Money Burger. A full half pound thick Kobe beef patty smothered in smoked gouda and blanketed under lettuce, tomato and a medley of caramelized onions and bacon jam. Sitting aside the all day brunch time Breakfast Burger (applewood bacon w/ sunny side up egg), the double play are a steal at $18 & $16 respectively.
Damn straight they come with a side, but if you want to make your burger a home run meal order their hand-cut & battered Onion Rings with creole aioli or their savory Roasted Brussel Sprouts with bacon jam. Easily the best bet for a $2 upgrade. A variety of craft beers on tap including locally owned Rusty Bull and Edmunds Oast. Ideally located at 4950 Centre Pointe Drive. Score 'burger-licious' burgers at https://sportsbookofcharleston.com/north-charleston-sportsbook-of-charleston-food-menu
Easily three of the best burger eateries in all of North Charleston are situated between Park Circle and Virginia Avenue.
Much like Big Billy's, Sesame Burgers & Beer are an authentic burger joint creating their signature burgers from from 100% grass-fed Niman Ranch Beef. Their location at 4726 Spruill Avenue @ East Montague is the front doorstep to the Olde Village of North Charleston. With a sister location at 675 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. in Mount Pleasant Sesame serve up over a dozen hand crafted burgers, with all but their sliders offering elk, turkey, chicken, and black bean options.
However, keeping it all beef Sesame have a few on the menu celebrating the low country. The Down South is a juicy eight ounce morsel cloaked under caramelized onions, American cheese, and hickory smoked bacon. Ooh la-la! The Charleston Burger is another half pound delight slathered in pimento cheese, tomato and house made dill pickles. Goodness Gracious, the Charleston is outrageous!
Not to be overshadowed, the Park Circle Burger brings it closer to home, adding that two meats are better than one. Anyone living in the low country knows barbecue is the predominant meal. The Park Circle Burger comes adorned in sharp cheddar cheese, coleslaw, chipotle BBQ and tomatoes before being layered under seasoned pulled pork. Simply a meat-eater double bonus!! All burgers come with crisp lettuce and your choice of sesame brioche, whole wheat, or ciabatta bun. Priced around $13.
Enjoy your burger with thick cut Idaho Steak Fries, a cold local brew, creamy milkshake or even an adult milkshake like the White Russian (vodka, Kahlua, milk, ice cream). Awesome burgers and refreshing drinks, who could ask for more. Savor the possibilities at https://www.sesameburgersandbeer.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/SesameMenu11x188.8.131.52vert.pdf
Dig in the Park has been a go to watering hole in the old village of North Charleston for several years. With a half dozen signature burgers on the menu board, DITP doubles as a community sports bar with a bevy of big screen TVs inside as well as a ton more on the exterior covered patio bar. Food, fun, drink, and sports may be their calling card but burgers served with your choice of seasoned fries or tater tots are all the rage at DITP.
Two signature burgers that have diners reeling are the DIG Scholar and the Cali. Both begin with an ample full half pound patty, before being covered with specialty toppings. The Cali presents as a southwestern California burger complete with apple-wood smoked bacon, fresh avocado and jalapenos to provide that extra punch!
As zesty as the Cali is, the DIG Scholar burger adds a bit more academic zeal with every bite, as a dollar from every burger served goes to the DIG's annual scholarship program. The Scholar just might be one of the tastiest burgers in North Charleston. A perfectly seasoned eight ounce patty slathered in sweet BBQ sauce before being blanketed under flavorful apple smoked bacon, American cheese, and a chunk of fried onion tanglers.
Just knowing a buck from the Scholar helps students further their education gives this signature handheld delight an A+ on the burger report card. Can you dig the DIG? I know that you can. Check them out at https://diginthepark.com/north-charleston-park-circle-dig-in-the-park-food-menu
The Tattooed Moose has been Charleston staple for more than a decade, initially opening at the corner of Morrison Drive and Meeting Street in 2010, throwing open the doors to a second location at 3328 Maybank Hwy. on Johns Island in 2015. With the old village continuing to blossom owners Mike and Jen Kulick opted to relocate the downtown burger joint to 4845 Chateau Ave, and Park Circle residents couldn't be any more elated, because their burgers are wonderfully addictive.
While Mike's Famous Duck Club whet the appetite of Guy Fieri of 'Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives' and is among the favorite sandwiches, it is their namesake Tattooed Moose Burger that is all the rage. A juicy all beef half pound twin patty delight topped with fresh garden veggies, your choice of cheese, and slathered with garlic aioli, special sauce (trade secret) for that extra kick. It comes to your table tucked in a slightly toasted Kaiser. Awesome sauce!!
Just as interesting as the specialty menu (including Breakfast Burgers & a Super Melty Grilled Cheese) is the overall decor at Tattooed Moose. Think of the interior as a cross between a hippy commune and a hunting lodge, with moose heads mounted high on the wall. Their mostly tree lined open air patio provides ample shade on a sunny day with a covered entryway ideal for those sitting at the adjacent bar area.
Simply stated Tattooed Moose is backwoods bohemian chic, and their burgers, as well as is most of their unique cuisine is satisfying to the palate. Experience the difference at https://tattooedmoose.com/menus/winter2022.pdf
Stones Throw Tavern has been welcoming food and drink lovers for years, throwing open the doors to their first tavern several years ago in West Ashley. The success of that lead owner Steve Stanec to search for a location in the heart of the north area, going all-in when he decided on Northwoods Mall, further enhancing his exposure by remodeling an existing eatery at the main entrance near Dillards facing Rivers Avenue.
With an open air covered patio and adjacent bar, Stones Throw Tavern is the ultimate sports grill serving up hellacious munchies, cold brews, and three signature burgers including their namesake Stones Throw Burger. Sink your teeth and gums into a full half pound all beef hand-patted chargrilled burger topped with your favorite cheese, with lettuce, tomato, and red onion. The STB is further enhanced sitting on a fresh and ample potato bun, served with a snappy kosher pickle. Order this burger medium or medium well and enjoy the beefy carnivorous juices.
Take your order up a notch and munch on their thinly coated onion rings while sipping on a hearty glass of 'Who's Your Paddy', a smooth tasting dry Irish stout with a hint of dark malt and chocolate. An ideal pairing for an ideal burger. Stones Throw Tavern's menu is only a stones throw away or in this case just a click away at https://stonesthrowtavern.com/north-charleston-northwoods-mall-stones-throw-tavern-food-menu
Just up the way on Rivers Ave at Greenridge Road you'll find Neighborhood Tap House (NTH), where they kindly invite you to 'tap in'. If you live closer to Dorchester Road and Ashley Phosphate they have a second North Charleston location in Festival Centre. NTH is what old schoolers refer to as a neighborhood pub, where locals drop in for good food, cold beer, and to unwind.
NTH offer up over a dozen appetizers including Beer Cheese & Pretzel Bites, Pit Smoked Wings, and Jalapeno Poppers. However it is their equally impressive sandwich and burger menu that have patrons dropping by for lunch and after work, with the Pub Burger and the Tri-Blend among the favorite kitchen orders.
Both are an ideal half pound blend of brisket, short rib, and chuck stacked with veggies, mayo, your choice of cheese on a soft brioche bun. Cooked medium well to ensure the right amount of juiciness, the Pub and Tri-Blend are a triple threat for meat lovers and are nicely complemented by seasoned fries or vinegar coleslaw, and a local craft brew, including beers from Holy City, Fam's, and Munkle. Get 'Tapped In' at https://www.neighborhoodtaphouse.com/greenridge-menu
Breck's Steakhouse has been a North Charleston institution since 1961. For decades families and business types have dropped in several times a week to enjoy some of the biggest and best steaks at unheard prices. However, aside from the oversized sirloins and rib-eyes, Brecks serves up some of the lowcountry's best burgers. While the Cowboy Burger and the Mushroom & Swiss are tempting, the preferred burger at Breck's is Ms. Betty's Cheeseburger.
Believe it or not, Ms. Betty has been grilling up her namesake cheeseburger for over 45 years. We're talking a tad juicy full half pound all beef burger topped with tomato, onion, and lettuce and served on an extra fresh gourmet Turano bun. At $12 it's freakin' awesome. Double it up for just an additional $4. Feast on their enormous menu at https://www.breckssteakhouse.com/menu
Although the Summerville location is technically a franchise, the six Chill n Grill area restaurants are all born out of greater Charleston, with three conveniently located in the north area, including 3032 West Montague, the Northwoods Mall food court, and the original at 2810 Ashley Phosphate Rd. Owned and operated by Mike Thomas, a former Dorchester County police officer, Chill n Grill offers up American cuisine with three signature burgers on the everyday menu.
While the Spicy Cajun (ooh-la-la) and The JJ (basic breakfast burger with egg) are alluring, the most preferred remains the Classic American Cheeseburger. A made to order seasoned 80/20 blend of 100% all beef, that is grilled just right to maintain a bit of juiciness before being decorated with American cheese, fresh tomato, crispy lettuce, onions, and pickles.
Chill n Grill serve single burgers the way they should be. A full half pound with a ton of flavor. At $11.25 the classic cheeseburger is one of the most affordable in Charleston and comes complete with seasoned fries and a zesty dill spear. For a tad more you can add peppers, bacon, jalapenos, or a variety of toppings. Check out their menu which includes a Philly Cheesesteak, tacos, wraps, salads, and a bazillion wing flavors, as well as desserts and a kids menu, https://www.thechillngrill.com/north-charleston-menu
The original Ye Olde Fashioned Ice Cream & Sandwich Shop in West Ashley opened the same year North Charleston officially became a city. With a half dozen YOFs now dotted throughout the low country, the location at 6554 Rivers Avenue has been a mainstay for families who enjoy vintage diner food including hotdogs, sandwiches, salads, and their signature BLT sandwich, and over 30 flavors of ice cream.
Ye Olde Fashioned is definitely old school. Unless you alter their signature all beef angus burgers they all come topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, ketchup, and mustard. A single patty is $12 with a double just a buck more. They are juicy and satisfying as are their all beef kosher hotdogs with chili, cheese and either sauerkraut or coleslaw.
Affordability and everyday comfort foods are their calling card. Take a step back in time at https://yofrivers.com/north-charleston-ye-ole-fashioned-ice-cream-and-sandwich-cafe-food-menu
Here's a Charles-Ten extra: If you want to take a signature burger fork in the road than maybe drop into The Grit Counter at 3438 W. Montague in front of the North Charleston Coliseum. While The Grit Counter could survive just on their unique grit menu alone, their Grit Smash Burger is an incredible pivot from the norm. We're talking two juicy 3-ounce patties under American cheese, pickles, and grilled onions.
Here's the kicker, the smash burger comes complete with a cheesy grit ball and a slather of home-made counter sauce (their blend of thousand island) all on a sesame seed bun. Easily one of the most distinctive signature burgers in the north area. Maybe enjoy with any of their half dozen grit flavors as your side. To have a 'close grit encounter' visit https://gritcounter.com/mount-pleasant-the-grit-counter-mount-pleasant-food-menu-north-charleston
Any of the restaurants mentioned above and their signature burgers could easily satisfy the beef lover in your party. Each eatery comes with their own atmosphere, with all serving up several beers from Charleston area breweries. If you live, work, or are just in the north area for any reason consider these burger joints for lunch or dinner. Most offer take-out or delivery thru the food & beverage services. Forgo the fast food and chain restaurants and consider spending your hard earned money at locally owned establishments. Eat and repeat often!