Top Notch

Made it out to one of my favorite burger places for the first time in a long time, Top Notch on Burnet Road.  It’s a rare original in Austin, going on 40+ years now.  There’s a very family friendly feel to it with the mother-daugther combo usually running “the front of the house” (I learned that phrase on Top Chef).  The burger is flame-kissed over charcoal briquettes, thin patty.  Fries are frozen.  Onion rings are made in-house and are tasty.  The fried chicken is good.  The classic signage is great.  They offer curbside service in addition to a dining room.  They bus your tables for you (you pick up your food at the counter).  Coke, not Pepsi.  There is nothing not to like about Top Notch.

One thing that resonates with me about Top Notch is the configuration of the #2 with cheddar.  It’s the burger I always order, and it’s so perfectly conceived that I don’t have to alter anything about it–comes with grated cheddar, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle and diced onion on a toasted bun.  That’s the perfect cheeseburger setup in my book.  The fact that Top Notch has this precise burger configuration as a standard menu item indicates a harmonious concordance between my burger psyche and Top Notch that’s hard to deny.

The beef at Top Notch cannot boast a hormone-free grass-fed antibiotic-free etc. provenance, like so many of the new burger spots, and the fries are not fresh cut…but it has something special about it that more than compensates for any of those shortcomings.

Map of Top Notch.

Top Notch Burgers

Flame kissed

Top Notch Burger Austin

Standard American Burger Specimen

Top Notch Austin Burger


Top Notch Austin Burger

Cross section

Top Notch Austin Fries

Ho hum fries

Top Notch Austin Onion Rings

Onion rings--very tasty

Top Notch Austin

Dessert available

Top Notch Austin

Old school interior

Top Notch Austin Sign

Great sign (tshirts available inside)