Truth be told, I was never overly impressed with many of the burgers in the Little Rock area. That all changed in 2017 after I broadened my horizons a bit and partook in some new burger offerings. Well, new to me. It ended up being a great year for burgers. Here are a few of the wonderful options I came across in the past 12 months. Please note … I’m not saying these are the best burgers, so please don’t go labeling this a “Best of” post.

Hurley House

OK, sorry to start things off with a place that’s not even in Little Rock, but Hurley House is only about 45 minutes away in Hazen, and if you’re in the area, this cheeseburger (pictured above) is a traditional take on a classic. Go for the double patty if you have a big appetite. It’s a mountain of beef.

Leo’s Greek Castle

This double patty, juicy burger comes with melted American cheese and all of the usual fixings. It’s a wonderfully greasy gut bomb that should be celebrated on a monthly basis.

Leo’s Burger

Gadwall’s Grill

Much like the burger at Hurley House, Gadwall’s Grill is just a burger’s burger. The rustic patties barely even hold their shape, and while the overall seasoning is just a tad shy of where it needs to be, the burger is certainly one of the better versions in the area.

Ciao Baci

Given its fairly upscale setting, Ciao Baci’s $9 Creekstone Beef Burger seems like a steal. The thick-pattied, pub-style cheeseburger is cooked to a nice medium, and, although it’s tempting to order some of the other more adventurous dishes, you’ll never go wrong with this burger.

Ciao Baci Burger

Midtown Billiards

This classic, cut-down-the-middle cheeseburger is highlighted by a medium thick, well-seasoned patty that gets a little crisp from being left on the grill. The white bread bun, along with lettuce, tomato, raw onion, pickles, and mayo are a picture of simplicity at its finest. I’d say this is currently my favorite burger in Little Rock.

Midtown Burger

K Hall and Sons

Don’t quote me on this, but I think this burger is under $4. It’s not huge and it certainly doesn’t win any style points, but if you’re looking for a smaller, no-frills burger with big taste, the one at K Hall and Sons is an excellent option.

K Hall and Sons

Petit & Keet

Sorry for not having a pic, but one of the burgers that really surprised me in a good way this year was the bison burger at Petit & Keet. It’s a little leaner than your typical beef burger, but just give it a try. I think you’ll be impressed.

Flyway Brewing

Flyway Brewing’s Double Beef Cheddar Bomb technically falls under the dreaded “slider” category, but isn’t that typical tiny, boring slider we’ve all seen a thousand times before. For $9, Flyway serves up two double-patty burgers on sourdough buns with chili mayo and a side of house-made sliced pickles. The best part is the sheet of cheddar that melts over the patty and extends from the sides of the burger, forming a delicious crisp.

Flyway’s Cheddar Bomb

City Grocery in Oxford

Nope, this burger isn’t even in Arkansas, much less Little Rock, but if you’re in Oxford, Mississippi, try out the cheeseburger at the famous City Grocery. It’s actually someone similar in taste to the Midtown Billiards’ burger. In particular, I loved the grilled bun and tasty pickles.

City Grocery’s Burger

Shorty’s Bar-B-Que in Conway

Hey, this isn’t all about me. Sara, from Sara’s Eats, had some wonderful things to say about the burger at Shorty’s in Conway.