Rob's Picks for Washington's Top Burgers

Here's the Beef!

In a continuous effort to provide valuable content and maybe due to my love for a great hamburger, I decided to provide information on what I consider, Washington's top hamburgers. When I rate the burgers I don't get caught up on size. I like a big burger, but taste and fresh product is key. Not to mention I avoid chains and use of silly products like French rolls or Sour Dough instead of Hamburger buns. I find that the messier the hamburger the better. Did I mention I'm not big on burger chains? The second thing I look at is the atmosphere of the establishment.  Some times it's fun to plan a ride with a great burger joint as a stop. If that's what your looking for, you've come to the right place. Just remember, you can always start that diet Monday!

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Rob's Burger Line-up

Before I go on with the "Burger Line-up". I have to give The Bunkhouse in McKenna #1 Burger stop. The reason I gave Bunkhouse #1 "Burger Stop" is that I have been there countless times and have tried a variety of burgers off their menu and they have the tastiest overall burger menu of any burger establishment I have eaten at. They also have the best Chocolate Malt!'s pick for "Best Burger in Washington State"
The Best Burgers in Washington @ Bunkhouse in McKenna!

#1 WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Bunkhouse BBQ Washington. WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Bunkhouse BBQ Washington. WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Bunkhouse BBQ Washington.
The Bunkhouse
1506 W Yelm Ave
Yelm, WA 98597
Web Site
View the Menu

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"The Trail Boss" or "Ranch Hand" from The Bunkhouse in Yelm Washington.

#1 for best burger stop in Washington state! The menu has the tastiest lineup of burgers I have had the pleasure of consuming not to mention the Chocolate Malts.

This eatery made the ride a great one. We had a blast stopping in and attempting to eat this mammoth burger. Usually the larger burgers are not always the tastier of the bunch. That definitely is not the case here. Here what's on the thing. Five 1/4 lbs seasoned patties, Ham, six slices of Bacon, Mayo, Lettuce, Pickles and Onions. The produce was fresh and the meat was juicy and tender. Best of all, things were falling out of it each time I took a bite. Bonus points for that! I came back a week later to try the Ranch Hand. Same burger smaller size. The Ranch Hand is a large burger and is very filling but its tiny next to the Trail Boss. So we know the burger itself is a winner but how about the establishment and employees. I have to say that almost all the establishments I have dined at have been clean and the employee's were friendly. Here is where I feel The Bunkhouse stood out from the rest. The establishment was very Rustic right down to the pellet stove putting out heat in the corner.  This was great for two riders who have been in the wind for some time. The restrooms were outside the building but I can live with that. The employees were exceptional. Extremely friendly and I could tell they took pride in the place and their work. They were just having fun. This all adds up to great atmosphere. Something that other establishments fall short of.  Now lets meet the employees. Two great waitresses Alicia and Tabitha. The cook (Richard) was also a hoot and cooks a mean burger. I have yet to meet the owner but his Name is Todd Skinner of Rainier WA. I hear Todd is also a fellow rider. I was told Todd will be expanding the place next year some time. Now lets get to the motivational aspect of the visit. The burger is the size of a dinner plate. Not kidding! They have a wall of fame waiting your success as they will put your photo on the wall and give you a hat that says on it "I kicked the Trail Bosses Ass". This really had me pumped up to eat this thing. As it would turn out I made it 3/4 the way through and threw in the towel.  I was so stuffed I couldn't even swallow my pride! I really wanted that hat! But I never heard the fat lady sing so it isn't over yet. I plan to return with a vengeance. I will wear that hat with great pride one day. Until then my hat is off to Todd Skinner, Alicia, Tabitha and Richard who made our visit a blast!

Update: The Bunkhouse has moved! Same owner and great food. They have moved just up the road into Yelm. See the map to the left for the new directions.


#2 WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers xxx root beer Washington. WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Hamburger burger Washington. WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers XXX Root beer Washington. WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Hamburger burger Washington.
XXX Root Beer
98 NE Gilman Blvd.
Issaquah, WA
XXX Rootbeer Web Site

The XXX Burger - XXX Root Beer in Issaquah.

I have heard great things about this burger joint and was excited to review their best. I also heard it used to be an A&W a long time ago. As I pulled into the parking lot I couldn't believe the crowd of people. There were allot of bikers as well as locals. There was a line about 15 yards long leading up to the front door. That was a good sign! The drive-in has that real "Old School" look to it inside and out. Awesome because atmosphere is a key component. The staff was very friendly and seemed to enjoy what they were doing. the establishment was very clean. I also noticed about 6 to 8 staff members cooking, serving and cleaning. This kept the line moving at a nice pace.

Once at the counter, I ordered the XXX Burger and a large root beer. The guy at the counter took my $18 bucks and told me they would call me when it was ready. The first call was to deliver the root beer. Man that was good root beer! Probably the best I have had. I sat in the shade for another 10 minutes and over the loud speaker I heard "Big Rob" several times. I thought that was funny. The guy behind the counter has a sense of humor. When I approached the counter I was shocked by the size of the thing. It was mammoth and the bun was grilled and greasy. Extra points for that! Grilled onions, special sauce, beef patties, lettuce, pickles and cheese were hanging out around the entire thing. Right On! This place knows how to make a burger.

As I picked it up I noticed the bun was very soft as stuff started oozing out all over. More extra points!  After the first bite I was in hog heaven! By time I was half way trough I was starting to get full and knew this now had knocked The Bunkhouse's Trail Boss and Ranch Hand into the #2 position. Every bite left my face, hands and forearms a mess. Yes, I said forearms! First burger I have eaten that dripped juice and sauces all the way down to my forearms. The flavor was unbeatable. I finished the thing slowly while enjoying the large tall and cold mug of root beer.

Once done I had a pile of dirty napkins in front of me and a basket of fries. I couldn't eat one fry! I was a mess. I had juice, sauce whatever all the way down to my forearms. This was hands down the tastiest and most sloppy burger I have ever sunk my teeth into. I was so messy I had to go to the truck of the Goldwing and get the bottle of Windex to spray my hands. Again, extra points! 

Special thanks to all the employees at XXX Root Beer. You folks rock! You are now's #2 Burger Pick!

#3 WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Chuck Wagon Washington. WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Chuck Wagon Washington.
The Chuck Wagon

800 N 4th St
Mt Vernon, WA 98273
(360) 336-2732
Get Directions
View the Menu



Big Sue has been moved down to #3

 - In 2006 the Burger tour voted The Chuck Wagon's "The Belt Buckle Chuckle"  #1 in the state.

I rode 168 miles to see how it stood up to what I have experienced to date. Prior to this hamburger Wally's Waltimate had my vote for #3. Some say the last hamburger always tastes the best. To provide the utmost accuracy I went to Wally's the following day and ate the Waltimate once again. I did this just to verify BIG SUE had in fact nailed it. BIG SUE stands as #3. And I probably won't eat for the next 24 hours! I found the establishment to be clean with a fun old time western atmosphere. There are many carved Indian and cowboy statues and when entering you walk through the back of a wagon. I was surprised about two key points. The burger was not their largest and was on a French roll. The fact that it was on a French roll immediately removed it from the Hamburger category all together. I believe in the "Old School" burger ways and that means it requires a Hamburger bun. All was not lost! On the menu, and completely overlooked by the burger tour 2006, was the "BIG SUE". Four seasoned beef patties, melted Swiss cheese, bacon, lots of Mayo, lettuce, tomato, special sauce and allot of pickles. All of which is hanging out of the sides of a 6" sesame seed bun! I have to say I was pretty impressed when it was delivered to our table. The massive burger had to have weighed over a pound. It was love at first bite! It was all I could do to finish the thing. When all was said and done I was sitting behind an empty wrapper and A pile of messy napkins. The BIG SUE is a juicy, meaty and flat out tasty force to be reckoned with in the burger arena! 

#4 WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Big Tom Olympia Washington. WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Big Toms Olympia Washington WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Big Toms Olympia Washington
Big Tom Drive Inn
2023 4th Ave E
Olympia, WA 98506
(360) 357-4852
Get directions
The "Big Tom" can be found at Big Tom's Drive-In in Olympia. If your not from the Olympia area it's definitely worth a road trip. At first glance the burger stand appears tiny. As you approach it I think it actually gets smaller. A friend tipped me off to this place and I finally got around to stopping by. We had to wait for cars to leave to walk up to the window to order. There were several young ladies cooking and serving. Everyone seemed pleasant and were polite. There is outdoor seating only. I ordered the Big Tom, fries and a medium chocolate malt. Few places can make a really good chocolate malt these days. They seem to go too light on the malt. As we ordered we were asked how we would like our onions. I always prefer mine grilled. We were also asked if we wanted it with Goop. What is Goop? Goop is their special sauce. It's tastes like Tarter sauce with mustard. I requested another side of Goop for my fries. Due to the hot day my first taste bud rush came compliments of the chocolate malt. Wow! Hands down one of the best malts I have had. Next I tried the fries and the Goop. The fries were good but that ball came no where from leaving the ball park. I finally focused my attention on the Big Tom. I tore the paper wrapper open to expose the burger. This burger is stacked with 2 1/4 lbs. patties, cheese, grilled onion, tomatoes, dill pickles and yes, Goop! The Big Tom was really messy bringing it extra Points! This thing was very juicy and very tasty. Personally this may have scored as high as #2 if it came with 3 slices of thick sliced smoked bacon. I was very impressed with this burger. It's worth the visit. You will use allot of napkins.

When I made my original trip to Big Tom's, there were no outdoor seating what so ever. I exchanged email with Mike Fritsch (the owner), and he stated the picnic tables were removed due to vandalism. He mentioned they are looking at bringing them back. He also tipped me off to his favorite malt. Get this... Chocolate Dr. Pepper Malt! Well, Mike listened and added several table for seating, new paint and an ATM machine. Bottom line, the owner wants to make your experience and enjoyable one. The food is exceptional, the prices are fair and the chocolate malt is amazing! Now that there is some out door seating it's time to start setting up some burger rides. Get your ride buddies together and ride on out to Big Tom's for a delicious burger, fries and malt. Don't forget the Goop!  And don't let fall and winter detour you from a great ride with one of Washington's  great burgers.

#5 WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Pick Quick Fife Washington
Pick Quick
4306 Pacific Highway E.
Tacoma, WA

Pick Quick in Fife knows how to grill them! Their double bacon cheese burger with grilled onions is a real treat. If your hungry, try the triple! The burger doesn't look very big but it's definitely filling. Extremely juicy & messy just the way a burger should be. The fries are extra but are in large  portion. They are thin cut with the skins on and salted just right. If I had to rate fries, Pick Quick's would definitely be number one and by a wide margin.  They do an awesome job of grilling the onions (if desired). The buns are placed on the grill to warm them on both sides. During the berry season try their strawberry shake made from locally grown fresh strawberry's. There is only outside seating on picnic benches so they close a couple months out of the year during winter. My wife and I always seem to find a reason to head to Fife. :-) Stop in and find out what an "Old School" burger joint does it. I consider this a very biker friendly stop.
#6 WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers White River Drive-In Buckley Washington
White River Drive-In
282 Hwy. 410 Buckley, WA
The "Waltimate" @ Wally's White River Drive-In in Buckley. This is an old school drive-In that will please. Skip a couple meals before taking on this bad boy! 3/4 lbs. of grilled Bovine (beef), thin grilled slice of ham, grilled onion, bacon, Swiss cheese, American cheese, lettuce and tomato. Huge, juicy, messy and just fun! I'm ready for another one! 
#7 WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Fat Smitty's Discovery Bay Washington
Fat Smitty's
82624 US 101 Discovery Bay, WA

The Smitty's Burger @ Fat Smitty's in Discovery Bay is one of the largest I have eaten. This thing is juicy and looks like a Big Mac on steroids. I wasn't too impressed with the fry's but the hamburger is definitely worth the trip. This is an old school eatery right down to the countless dollar bills and business cards all signed and pinned to the walls and ceilings. Great atmosphere as well. Bring your appetite!
#8 WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Miner's Drive-In Yakima Washington
Miner's Drive-In
2415 S. 1st ST.
Yakima WA
The famous Big Miner @ Miners Drive-In located in Yakima is definitely worth the ride. Miners has been around since 1948. Although they have grown and lost the old school atmosphere their burgers are well known to burger lovers in and out of Washington state. They build them to order and they are delicious! Juicy, messy and filling just the way a hamburger should be.

Web Site
#9 WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers Scaleburgers Elbe Washington

54109 Mountain Highway East
Elbe, WA 98330
(360) 569-2247
Anyone who has ridden through the tiny town of Elbe WA has seen the small Scaleburgers joint. Most of the time it's surrounded by hungry riders and tourists. Service is good but a bit slow. The burgers are well worth the wait. My menu choice every time is the over load weighing in at $6.25. A bit pricy but I have definitely seen worse. Oh well they say you can't take it with you right? What you get is an honest old school burger dripping with beef juice and condiments the way it should be. I personally like to add Jalapeņos to mine and Sacelburgers has some delicious peppers. Seating is all out doors on picnic tables and there are ample tables for seating. There is plenty of parking and its right of the road. Riders be careful the entire lot is gravel.
#10 WA motorcycle rides roads best hamburgers burgers The Hungry Bear cafe Washington
Hungry Bear Cafe
Mile Post 206 hwy 101 near hwy 113

The Hungry Bear Cafe, another old school diner on the Olympic Peninsula near mile marker 206, serves another giant but extremely tasty hamburger. Skip the fry's as you won't have room and they bring out about 2 potatoes worth. This burger is extremely juicy and you will need to cut the thing in half to eat it. The foundation of this monster of a burger is a 1 lbs. patty seasoned and grilled just right!

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