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  • Katie McCarthy

Think Outside the Bun with 18 Burger Places Right in your Backyard

Spring is in the air and burgers are on the grill. Nothing quite says warm weather like a good burger, no matter if it's beef, black bean, Beyond meat or any number of options. Exciting things are happening on the grills in Gaston County, where the possibilities extend much further than the classic all-beef patty, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun. Burger joints with small-town charm are on the menu serving up juicy sliders and southern classics. Don't forget your daily serving of veggies with plant-based burger options that will leave you wondering how it isn't the real thing.

With so many restaurants in so many towns, you can find your perfect patty in Gaston no matter which way your burger preference bends. Grab your burger to go, set up in an old-school booth or hit a patio at these delicious diners.

Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar

Bad Daddy's thick burger topped with buttermilk fried bacon
Photo courtesy of Bad Daddy's Burger Bar

2211 E Franklin Blvd. Suite #120, Gastonia

Sunday-Saturday, 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Since 2007, Bad Daddy's Burger Bar has been spreading their passion for burgers. Originating in Charlotte, this local chain has exploded in the past few years with locations popping up in 7 states, including this one in Gastonia. Create-your-own or try one of their signature sliders, paired with a great draft beer selection.

What to get: Build your own burger. Top it with buttermilk fried bacon, rosemary ham, and creamy feta cheese. For a great vegetarian option try the Cantina Black Bean Burger, served crispy or grilled.

Black’s Grill

1915 Lincolnton Hwy., Cherryville

Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

See what the folks in Cherryville have been chewing on since 1946. The burgers at Black's Grill have become a town favorite. Give it a try yourself next time you're in Cherryville.

What to get: Double burger. Nothing fancy here. Just two juicy beef patties covered in cheese and topped with thick slices of fresh tomato and onions.

Blackwood's Drive-in

Photo Courtesy of Trip Advisor

201 York Rd., Kings Mountain

Monday-Saturday 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 12 noon-8 p.m.

One of Kings Mountain's cult classics, Blackwood's Drive-in is a fan favorite when it comes to burgers. This drive-in is worth the drive no matter the meal.

What to get: Lottaburger basket with chili, slaw, onions, pickles and tomato- $6.75. Don't forget the Cherry-Lemon Sundrop for dessert.

Brightstar Drive-In Grill

Chris Rodarte, Gatson Outside

205 Madora St., Mount Holly

Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

A Mount Holly standard. In fact, some residents may say it's the best burger in town. Brightstar Grill is a true family restaurant located in Mount Holly. With something for everyone in the family, you'll want to bring your whole family for great food and memories any day of the week!

What to get: It's double the pickle double the fun with their plant-based Awesome Veggie Sandwich at a price you'll love. Also, try The double cheeseburger all-the-way. That’s melted cheese, slaw, catsup, and pickle. Oh, and it’s not on the menu, but you can get it as a triple! The honorable mention here is the Brightstar take on the lotta burger— that’s a burger topped with cheese, slaw, catsup, tomato, and pickle.

Country Kitchen

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

116 E. Main St., Dallas

Monday-Friday, 6:30 a.m. - 3 p.m.; 6:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Located in Dallas, Country Kitchen is a friendly local spot for no-frills good food. With a variety of vegetable choices and appetizers, the Country Kitchen has something for everyone.

What to get: The Ultimate Burger. Onion rings, cheese, lettuce, and tomato.


Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

119 N. Main St., Stanley

Tuesday-Wednesday, 7 a.m.-3 p.m.; Thursday 7 a.m.-2 p.m.; Friday 7 a.m.-7:30 p.m.; Saturday 7 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Burgers in a real log cabin? Breakfast all-day (except Sundays)? What could be better than Friendly's in Stanley. With food homemade from scratch, this small business does not disappoint. A cozy atmosphere, friendly staff, and delicious food is the recipe Friendly's uses to grill their way right into your heart. Join them on the first Thursday of every month for their "Memory Cafe" in support of Alzheimer's research.

Glenway Premium Pub

Glenway's large burger and a plate of crispy fries
Camille Renner, Gaston Outside

55 Glenway St., Belmont

Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Located in Belmont's historic district, Glenway Premium Pub brings a southern twist to pub classics. Whether you're dropping in for a weekday special or grabbing one of their specialty drinks, you'll love this laid-back downtown restaurant with a great covered patio.

What to get: Buffalo blue burger. Custom beef blend burger dipped in wing sauce and served with blue cheese, lettuce, tomato, and onion. If beef isn't your thing, try the Crisp Black Bean Cake served over mixed greens.

grille works

Photo Courtesy of grille works

3826 S. New Hope Rd., Gastonia

Tuesday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-8:30p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.

Casual dining and a full menu. Grille Works offers something for any appetite any day of the week. Next time you're in Gastonia, stop-by for big portions and big flavor for lunch or dinner. Not ready to dine-in? Call in and order ahead of time to bring the flavor home with you.

What to get: Chase’in The Mac. It’s their signature half-pound patty covered in mac-and-cheese AND American cheese. Or, take the Beyond Burger Veggie Burger for a spin for a unique plant-based option. Try it "Cali" style with havariti, avocado, pickled onion, red pepper, fresh spinach, and tomato.

Groovy Beast

Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

109 E. Hudson Blvd., Gastonia

Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-2 p.m.

Next time you find yourself filling up a gas tank in Gastonia, look around. You might just find this hidden gem with amazing daily specials that shares space in a gas station convenience store. This fan-favorite is serving up house-ground meats, freshly prepared sides, and daily chef specials topped with excellent customer service. Stop by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

What to get: The breakfast burger. That’s a hearty beef patty topped with hash browns, bacon, and cheese on a brioche bun.

Jack Beagle's Bar and Restaurant

Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

125 S. Main St., Mount Holly

Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m.

Fresh ingredients and home-made sauces are only the tip of the iceberg lettuce at Jack Beagle's in Mount Holly. With unique and flavorful takes on classic mac and cheese, a wide variety of drink specials, and a list of burgers that pack a punch, you will never run out of options. Enjoy your burger from their sunny patio or order online through their website for a Covid-friendly dining experience.

What to get: Jack Mac Burger with their house Jack Mac on top of a 1/2lb patty with Pimento Cheese and Smoked Bacon on Brioche or for a vegan option try their Vegans Paradise for 1/4 lb plant-based patty topped with leaf lettuce, sliced tomato, pickled onion on toasted Brioche

Jekyll & Hyde Taphouse and Grill

Photo Courtesy of Jekyll & Hyde

10 Catawba St., Belmont

Monday–Thursday, 11 a.m.–11 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–12 a.m.; Sunday 10 a.m.–10 p.m.

Jekyll & Hyde Taphouse and Grill in Belmont offers a truly unique atmosphere with a mix of traditional pub feel and a touch of steampunk. Their food mirrors this with both traditional and non-traditional pub options, including their burgers which are made from scratch with only the freshest ingredients. Try pairing their classic hamburger with one of their house-brewed beers or a creative cocktail.

What to get: For breakfast and dinner fun all in one try their Brekkie Burger, which includes candied bacon, English bacon, smoked cheddar, provolone cheese, and an egg over easy topped with green onions. For the vegetarian route, try the Beyond Meat Veggie Burger with a plant-based burger that looks, cooks, and satisfies like beef, topped with fresh lettuce, tomato, and onion.

Kyle Fletcher’s Barbeque and Catering

Chris Rodarte, Gaston Outside

4507 Wilkinson Blvd., Lowell

Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Kyle Fletcher's BBQ and Catering in Lowell is no stranger to the Best of Gaston Contest. With award-winning BBQ, burgers, and tea, you won't want to miss this famous BBQ restaurant with a fun vibe. Good food and good service that speaks for itself. Cash only.

What to get: The double cheeseburger. It’s a monstrous, two-handed beef burger that’s just as good as their legendary smoked pork.

Mayworth's Public House

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

115 Center St., Cramerton

Monday-Thursday, 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m.; Friday 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.

For an upscale pub experience with the traditional pub flavors you love, check-out Mayworth's Public House in Cramerton. Stop-by anytime of year on their covered patio and grab a for their rotating selection of craft, draft, and local beers.

What to get: Pair the black bean burger with one of their vegan sides for a veggie option

McDonald's Family Restaurant

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

617 Gastonia Hwy., Bessemer City

Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

McDonald's Family Restaurant has been serving Bessemer City 1965 and with hamburger meat ground-daily and other homemade eats, there is no question why. See for yourself by stopping by Bessemer City and while you are at it, try their homemade chili and coleslaw.

What to get: Don't miss out on anything with a cheeseburger topped with chili, slaw, and onions with a side of fries.

Shake Shop

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

505 W. Church St., Cherryville

Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 4 p.m.-8 p.m.

Tired of the hustle and bustle of everyday life? You'll love the slogan at Shake Shop in Cherryville: "Slow Service, Great Food." And, they stand by it. There are no shakes and they only accept cash. But you’re here for the burger.

What to get: The Lotta Burger with cheese. It’s 2 thick beef patties on a hoagie roll topped with slaw, pickles, and mayo. Our State Magazine has honored the greatness of this burger more than once.

String Bean

Anna Naphtali, Gaston Outside

106 N. Main St., Belmont

Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.

Enjoy a COVID-friendly date-night on The String Bean's outdoor patio (great view of Downtown Belmont included). This restaurant has been serving up locally grown fresh flavors since 2008. Try pairing one of their 900 wines or over 200 beers with your burger. Don’t forget the duck-fat fries.

What to get: The Angry Cowpig. They grind up smoked bacon, roasted jalapenos, and smoked onions, mix it in the beef patty, and then top it off with spicy smoked ghost pepper cheese. There’s also a standard Cowpig for a tamer dining experience. Don't worry—black bean burgers make an appearance on the menu, too.

The Pickle Bar and Bistro

Evey McFadden, Gaston Outside

103 N. Holland St. #1601, Dallas

Tuesday-Saturday, 5 p.m.-10 p.m.

The Pickle Bar and Bistro is a local bar located on the town square in Dallas. Don't let the name confuse you, they're serving up way more than just pickles (but it is a nice bonus). Enjoy a pickle with your side of burger as you play pool, darts, or cornhole on one of their two-story heated patios.

Tommy’s Drive-In

Chris Rodarte, Gaston Outside

2708 Gastonia Dallas Hwy., Dallas

Monday-Sunday, 10:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.

Tommy's Drive-in is a classic American diner, located in Dallas. Shop local with this family-owned and operated restaurant.

What to get: The ultimate cheeseburger. Their certified Angus beef burger but the bun is made of grilled cheese sandwiches.

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