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Six Cheap (But Good) Tucson Burgers


Posted on | July 21, 2009 | 1 Comment

My grateful thanks to Twitter buddy, @TucsonFoodDude, for fabulous help on this burger post. Whenever I have a Tucson foodie question, he’s one of my 2 or 3 top sources, so if you tweet, I’d strongly suggest following him.

So here’s our Six Cheap (But Good) Tucson Burger post.

We tried to avoid the usual burger chains. Some of those offer burgers at a low price, but the goal here was to suggest cheap (but good) Tucson burgers that are REALLY tasty–we want to give good value. We tried to stick to the Under $10 range (we failed once, but mostly succeeded).

These are not listed in any particular order:

Rusty’s Family Restaurant & Sports Grille, 2075 W Grant Rd Tucson, AZ 85745-1101 (520) 623-3363
Lots of good, solid burger choices, with most burgers in the $6.95 or $7.95 range. Burgers come with sides, so you’re getting very good value and mighty tasty burgers, too. Rusty’s uses certified Angus ground beef. Note that their 1/2 pound queso burger, usually $6.95, can be purchased Mon-Fri before 3:00 PM for $5.95. When I asked when this special would expire, I was told it had been going on for 5 years and would stretch on indefinitely. You can always call and check. Open 7 days/week, from 11:00 AM -10:00 PM.

Sam Hughes Place, 446 N. Campbell Ave. Tucson (520) 747-5223.
Owned by the people who own Schlomo & Vito’s, so you can count on an excellent burger. Sometimes on summer Mondays, you can get these 10-ounce juicy burgers for $5, but that burger deal expires in mid-August, 2009. Normally, the burgers run about $11. That’s a little high for my tastes, but it IS a good burger, even at the $11 price. Open daily from 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM.

Dirtbag’s, 1800 E. Speedway Blvd. Phone: 520-326-2600
@TucsonFoodDude’s report on Dirtbag’s: Really good burgers that come in at about $7.50-$8.00. Served with either waffle fries or spicy waffle fries (probably have a couple of other sides as well, but I’m a fry guy!). This place doesn’t get nearly enough attention for their food because of their reputation as a frat party place late at night. The 1/2 lb. burgers are always juicy and the toppings are fresh. My own favorite there is the teriyaki burger. They also do a 1/3 lb burger, but you have to ask for the smaller size. Mon.-Sat. 11 A.M. – 2 A.M. Note that the kitchen is open until 11:00P.M.

Trident Grill , 2033 E Speedway Blvd Tucson, AZ 85719-4743 (520) 795-5755
Burgers at Trident run in the $7-$9 range. One favorite, The Trident, is half a pound of certified Angus beef, and that one is $7. @TucsonFoodDude notes that they offer a couple of interesting renditions, one with sauteed onions, muenster, and Old Bay seasoning ( $8.50). When I called, the lady told me their most popular burger is the Wildcat Burger ($9), which is the basic Trident burger with cheddar, bacon, onion rings and BBQ sauce. All burgers come with choice of side. Trident also has two dozen beers on tap. Open daily from 11:00 AM -2:00 AM.

Johnny Rockets, 825 University Ave Tucson 85719 (520) 622-2245 and the Johnny Rockets in the Tucson Mall, 4500 Oracle Rd. (520) 408-7104.
Lots of interesting choices. Half pounds burgers, some consider the best in Tucson. Burgers cost between $7 and $10, and include a side order of fries. @TucsonFoodDude loves the BBQ Ranch burger and always asks for extra BBQ sauce for his fries. That burger costs $7.49. Another favorite is the Original Johnny Rocket Cheeseburger (also $7.49).

Sur Real, 3001 E Skyline Dr # 133 Tucson, AZ 85718-2145 (520) 529-2644
Fun, fun choice: Once more, I’m relying on @TucsonFoodDude’s awesome report:This may be a little off-base, but they have chorizo sliders as an appetizer. Their menu describes them as House beef chorizo, queso menonita, pico de gallo, guacamole, and crisp Yucatan fries. These things are to die for. Three of them are $10, but on Thursdays in the bar appetizers are half-price making them a smoking deal. They also have all their latin-american (very broadly defined) wines at $5.00 a glass. In fact, you should do a regular posting on their Thursday happy hour – it’s a ganga. Open daily. Lunch: 11:00 AM -4:00 PM; dinner 4:00 PM-10:00 PM. Late night hours on Monday-Thursday from 9:00 PM – Midnight; from Friday through Sunday from 10:00 PM – 2:00 AM.

Ok, so we’ll be adding to the list from time to time. What did I miss? There ARE others. Where’s your favorite cheap (but good) Tucson burger stop?
–Posted by Hortense P. Tightwad

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One Response to “Six Cheap (But Good) Tucson Burgers”

  1. Tucson Food Dude
    July 27th, 2009 @ 8:39 pm

    Hi Hortense –

    Happy to be able to help out, and glad you liked my humble opinions! 8)


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