Best Bites in DeKalb County: Burger Edition

Best Bites in DeKalb County: Burger Edition
By Kerry Scott

When visiting DeKalb County, out-of-towners often ask us for the best places to eat. With a plethora of amazing establishments throughout the region, we couldn’t resist sharing some of the absolute “best bites in DeKalb.” In this installment, we explore the burger scene, showcasing a mix of traditional favorites and delightful surprises. While this list is not exhaustive, it offers a glimpse into some of our top finds. 

Little River Burgers and Brews pimento cheese bacon burger

Little River Burgers & Brews – Pimento Cheese Burger
Location: 203 Gault Ave S, Fort Payne, AL 35967

In the heart of downtown Fort Payne, Little River Burgers & Brews stands out with its lively atmosphere and live music on Friday and Saturday evenings. Their menu boasts a range of burger options, including the classic and the brunch burger. However, my personal favorite is the Pimento Cheese Burger. This generously sized burger features a thick layer of pimento cheese, perfectly crispy bacon, and a juicy patty. For those who prefer a thinner patty, their smash burgers are a must-try, with the option to add pimento cheese as well. Each burger is accompanied by a side of fries, which come in various flavors. I highly recommend the garlic Parmesan seasoning and ranch sauce as a winning combination.

Topher’s Wings – Habanero Bacon Jam Burger
Location: 72 Roy Sanderson Ave, Rainsville, AL 35986

Don’t let the name fool you—Topher’s Wings knows their way around a burger. With a family history spanning four decades in the restaurant industry, they’ve honed their craft to perfection. The Habanero Bacon Jam Burger showcases their expertise. Based on the Bessie Burger, named after owner Chris Keef’s grandmother and inspired by the renowned Pine Ridge Cafe and Bessie’s Barbecue, this burger takes it up a notch with a tantalizing habanero bacon jam. Complete with lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onions, the burger strikes the perfect balance of sweet and heat. Served with a side and a drink, don’t miss the chance to pair it with their homemade seasoned chips.

Habanero Bacon Jam Burger from Topher's Wings.
Bonanza Burger from Vintage 1889 is a family tradition.

Vintage 1889 – Bonanza Burger
Location: 151 8th St NE, Fort Payne, AL 35967

For those seeking a nostalgic experience, Vintage 1889 inside the Big Mill on 8th Street pays homage to the legendary Bonanza Burger from the old Jack’s in the triangle building on Gault Avenue. Though the original restaurant is long gone, Vintage 1889 has acquired the recipe and continues to serve this flame-kissed delight. Chopped lettuce, diced onions and tomatoes, and a secret sauce that remains closely guarded create a burger that is both sweet and tangy, delivering a truly unforgettable experience. Available in two sizes, it’s a culinary journey worth embarking on.

Big Time Cafe – Bacon Cheeseburger
Location: 15726 AL-176, Fort Payne, AL 35967

If you crave a no-frills, classic American burger, Big Time Cafe atop Lookout Mountain in the Dogtown community is the place to go. Sometimes perfection lies in simplicity, and their Bacon Cheeseburger perfectly exemplifies this philosophy. Juicy, flavorful, and featuring crispy bacon, this burger needs no fancy condiments to impress. Prepare to indulge in the essence of a timeless favorite.

Big Time Cafe Burgers
Tinkled Pink Spicy Peanut Butter Burger.

Tickled Pink – Spicy Peanut Butter Burger
Location: 41608 AL-75, Geraldine, AL 35974

Who doesn’t love a secret menu item to make you feel like part of an exclusive club? In my quest to find the best burgers in the county, I heard rumors of a burger that I had to check out for myself in Geraldine. The spicy peanut butter burger isn’t listed on the menu, but if you ask, they’ll whip one up for you. And if you crave the unusual, this is one you have to try. While I wouldn’t have thought to pair peanut butter with a beef patty, Tickled Pink did! The burger has two large patties each topped with Swiss cheese. The sauce is savory, peanutty, and spicy. The burger is topped with jalapenos, so it really packs a punch. This is one you have to try for yourself. But if you’re not daring enough, there are other more conventional choices that are sure to please.

DeKalb County offers a delectable array of burger options that cater to diverse palates. Whether you’re in the mood for bold flavors, nostalgic bites, or classic simplicity, the county has you covered. These four burger joints represent just a taste of the exceptional offerings available. So, go embark on your own burger adventure. Happy eating!