Top Spots: 5 of the best locally owned burger joints in the Columbus area


When it comes to a good meal, there’s nothing better than a nice, juicy burger. Whether you like to dress it up or prefer a simple classic, Columbus restaurants deliver when it comes to great burgers. We asked NBC4 viewers what their favorite locally owned burger joints in Columbus were, and here’s what they said:

The Thurman Café

Where: 183 Thurman Ave., Columbus

For the second year in a row, The Thurman Café takes the top spot to get a burger for NBC4 viewers. Thurman’s has been a German Village staple since the 1940s. The (in)famous Thurmanator was even nationally recognized when the host of the Travel Channel’s Man v. Food took on the hefty sandwich back in 2008. For those who aren’t familiar with the Thurmanator, is two 12-ounce burgers, with mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickle, banana peppers, bacon, cheddar, sautéed mushrooms and onions, ham, mozzarella and American cheese, served with fries and a pickle spear, and it will set you back $21.99. If you’re not up for the challenge, the Johnny Burger is always a good choice, too.

Gahanna Grill

Where: 82 Granville St., Gahanna

Gahanna Grill definitely gives Thurman’s a run for their money when it comes to burgers. This gem has been serving up amazing food and stellar service since 1939. They’ve even been recognized as one of the top 100 burger joints in the country by documentary filmmaker and hamburger expert George Motz (check out his book Hamburger America). Make sure you try the famous “Beanie” Burger — bacon cheeseburger with sautéed onions, lettuce and tomatoes and topped with homemade slaw.

Pat and Gracie’s

Where: 138 Graceland Blvd., Columbus

              340 E. Gay St., Columbus

Step back into the Roaring ‘20s and grab a burger at Pat and Gracie’s. The establishment serves the standard pub-style fare, and viewers rave about the Chimichurri burger (two smash-cooked patties topped with Monterey Jack cheese, avocado, caramelized onions and house-made chimichurri sauce on a butter-toasted bun). 

Blystone Restaurant & Tap Room

Where: 8677 Oregon Road, Canal Winchester

Blystone is a scratch-kitchen and each of their burgers are ground and hand-pressed daily in the businesses butcher shop. If you’re looking for farm-to-table dining, you can’t get any better than this. Customers say their burgers are always perfectly cooked and they pair amazingly with the great, local beer on tap. If you’re feeling particularly peckish, try the Bad Jane ( a 6-ounce burger with mac and cheese, house made chips, lettuce, tomato and onion and your choice of side).

Johnnie’s Tavern

Where: 3503 Trabue Road, Columbus

If you’ve never been to Johnnie’s Tavern, you’re missing out on possibly the best-kept secret of northwest Columbus. This hole-in-the-wall joint serves typical pub fare without any frills, but the food is so good, any extras are unnecessary. Their signature Super Burger features a whole pound of ground beef and is loaded up with fresh toppings. Pro tip: Go ahead and order the fries with it. Trust me.

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