Dan’s Hamburgers has been a staple of Austin since 1973.
Now you may think, “Big deal it’s a burger joint that’s been around a while?” There’s an interesting story behind Dan’s that makes it kind of legendary in Austin. This KUT article explains it much better than I can. The jist of the story is Dan and Fran met and wanted to open a hamburger restaurant in Austin. Their last name was Junk and they were going to call it Junk’s, but found the sign would have been too expensive with the extra letters, so they called it Dan’s instead. Dan and Fran opened a few more locations and Dan’s grew to be an iconic Austin burger chain that the locals loved. One day, Dan and Fran divorced. The divorce itself went great. Dan and Fran drew up a plan to split the restaurants. They still remained friends and used the same recipes, vendors, etc. The only difference was that the restaurants Fran took over were now called Fran’s. Fast forward to now, Dan and Fran’s children still run the restaurants. The Fran’s locations all closed when their leases expired, but there’s a couple Dan’s locations open, including the one I visited on North Lamar.
The inside has an old school feel to it. Kind of like Top Notch in a way, but its own style.
While it has an old school feel to it, they do have wifi and also eco-friendly cups.
I got a burger. Victoria got chicken. There was also some gravy that went well for dipping my fries in.
I can see why Dan’s Hamburgers has become an iconic place in Austin. Their food is really good and the restaurant still has an authentic down to their roots sort of feel to it. It is a good family business that has stood the test of time and even trying times, such as a divorce.