No matter how you like to eat your burger, Covington has several unique options that you must try. We’ve narrowed our list down to ten for the purposes of this blog, but look for more mouth-watering recommendations coming in the future!
Located in Mainstrasse Village, Cedar opened in the fall of 2020. Perfect timing, right?! Despite the unrelenting coronavirus pandemic, the secret is out–Cedar is incredible. They have tons of brunch options and delicious cocktails, so the burger may be easy to overlook on the menu… but don’t.
The Cedar Burger is a house-made 80/20 blend of ground beef & local goetta. If that’s not enough to entice you, it comes served with house-made bacon jam, arugula, green olive garlic aioli, an heirloom tomato, and served atop a Sixteen Bricks bun. Whether enjoyed on their awesome patio or inside, my mouth is watering reminiscing about how tasty this burger is! Read our full review of Cedar here.
I know, Wunderbar is traditionally a place to get German sausages and saurkraut washed down by great beer… but hear me out! I’m not a huge fan of German food despite my ancestry (gasp, I know!), so when I saw the burger on the menu, I knew it would be a safe bet, but kept my expectations low since I figured it wasn’t really their specialty.
I ordered the kuchenspule (kitchen sink) burger, complete with a pretzel bun, portabella mushrooms, bacon, and four types of cheeses. It was wonderful. The side of fresh-cut fries was tasty too–and you can’t go there without having a pretzel appetizer! Good news is that they’ve recently winterized their patio… and there are always picnic tables available inside!
Can’t mention burgers in Covington without adding Blinker’s Tavern to the list! Blinkers features burger Mondays, when they offer a burger with saratoga chips at lunch and fries at dinner for only $7.95. It’s a great deal, and to be honest, their burgers are so tasty that they’re my go-to order even when it’s not a Monday!
My favorite option is the bacon cheddar burger (and I ask for a side of their barbecue sauce for dipping both my burger and saratoga chips–yum!), but the other options include a salmon burger chipotle black bean burger, mushroom swiss burger, and the all-American Blinker Burger. Definitely a staple when it comes to burgers in Covington!
Bard’s Burgers & Chili
Bard’s has been featured on Food Network’s series Ginormous Food–and for good reason! They’re home of the Bardzilla Challenge–an 11-patty Bardzilla buger with 22 slices of cheese and two pounds of fries ($40) that’s free if you eat it all within an hour. Now that’s a lot of food… six pounds to be exact! However, due to Bard’s limited capacity and Bardzilla being from a high risk group, he is in a quarantined hibernation and won’t be available until the restaurant is able to open back up at 100 percent capacity.
But they have a regular menu, too, and it has tons of options–a full page of burgers and add-ons, a page of starters, chili, and sweets, and a page of drinks, including hard drinks, soft drinks, wine, beer, cider, and seltzer. The burgers are made from 1/3 pound fresh ground 80/20 beef seared to perfection, served on a toasted bun with premium condiments and add-ons available such as an assortment of cheeses, chili, fried egg, goetta, gravy, mushrooms, onions, and peppers.
No matter how you like your burger, the possibilities are endless at Bard’s! And don’t forget to try the flash-fried cheese curds that were also featured on the Food Network. We’d tend to agree with their tagline, “The dive that’s worth the drive.”
Coppin’s at Hotel Covington
Truth be told, I’ve never tasted anything from the Coppin’s menu that I didn’t like. But that burger though… it’s amazing. They start with Sakura Farms wagyu beef then add pepper jack, applewood bacon, chipotle aioli, fried string onions, and serve it on a house-made potato bun with garlic parsley fries on the side. Yum!
Enjoy it on the beautiful patio, in their classy dining room, or from The Walk Up window (check social media for updates, specials, and availability). You won’t be disappointed!
Bouquet Restaurant & Bar
Bouquet also features Sakura Farms waygu beef on their burger, which must be why we like it so much! It’s served topped with pimento cheese, sauerkraut, and melted onions atop a Sixteen Bricks brioche bun. It quite literally melts in your mouth.
Bouquet is small and has limited seating capacity right now, but they have carryout available, complete with online ordering.
Smoke Justis specializes in meats, so it’s no surprise that their burgers are delicious. The menu has a few variations to choose from, including the black bean burger and my personal favorite, the federal burger. It comes topped with the usual fixings and served with house barbecue sauce, which also doubles as a great dip for their hand-cut fries.
If you’re there on a weekend, you might get lucky enough to be entertained by live music. Check their event schedule here.
Herb & Thelma’s Tavern
Y’all this place is a true dive–you’d miss it if you weren’t looking for it–but aren’t those always the best kept secrets!? Herb & Thelma’s has been serving burgers in Covington fore more than 78 years, so you know they’re doing something right. Be sure to check their social media before you go because they’re family owned and operated, so they may be closed for things like a high school graduation.
Their menu is mainly burgers, but there are a few other options, such as hot dogs, a fish sandwich, and grilled cheese, sprinkled in. It’s nothing fancy, but true, good, home cooking. All menu prices include sales tax and it’s cash-only, so if you’re like me you’ll have to visit the ATM before you go. Or if you forget, they also have an ATM on site and food is definitely worth paying the ATM fees.
While they feature pizzas and deli-inspired sandwiches, The Gruff also has a delicious burger on the menu. It’s called The Gruff Boy and it’s prime angus beef, house made tartar, cheddar, arugula, and house made pickles on a brioche bun. Don’t forget the tater tots!
I also love their kid’s corner, which is a great, friendly way to keep the kids busy so the adults can enjoy a nice meal.
Last, but certainly not least, you’ve got to try the double prime burger from Otto’s. House blended beef, cheese, tomato jam, lettuce, onion, pickle, and remoulade… what’s not to love?!
And other than the amazing food that can be eaten at Otto’s, make sure you check out one of my favorite things about the restaurant: their salt and pepper shakers. Each table has a unique set and they’re all adorable!
Author: Rebecca Banks, Brand Identity Manager
Rebecca lives in Campbell County with her two sons and daughter. When she’s not managing meetNKY’s website or digital advertising needs, you can find her attending her kids’ sporting events and school functions or trying out the latest restaurants in NKY.