Jess Pryles

Top Notch – An Austin Landmark

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As featured in Dazed & Confused, this iconic local burger joint is a perfectly preserved time warp.

Let’s talk about Top Notch. Can we? We should.

Let’s start the dialogue by focusing on the retro appearance. Top Notch has been around since 1971 and is one of those gloriously preserved places that helped start my love affair with Austin. The signage, drive-up illuminated menus and restaurant interior are so wonderfully nostalgic. It’s a bona fide, albeit often overlooked, iconic landmark in North Austin. Isn’t it fabulous?

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top notch burgers in Austin

Continuing the discussion, it’s fair to say Top Notch is considered a burger joint above all else. They still cook all their patties over a flame grill, which IMHO is a high indicator of care-factor on their behalf.

top notch burgers in Austin

top notch burgers in Austin

Now let us begin a discourse about Top Notch’s fame. Most folks would say that Top Notch is most renowned for being a featured location in Dazed and Confused. Click here to check it out. Yes, it still looks exactly the same. No, the fries are not soggy.

It is time for a change! Time for Top Notch to become famous for their real masterpiece, their true magnum opus – their fried chicken.  So often I have heard people asking where the best fried chicken in Austin can be found, and so often the suggested answer is usually a modern restaurant or trailer.

People of (and visitors to) Austin, I am here to tell you that you that some of the most excellent and well priced fried chicken in town is to be found here. The batter is fantastically crispy yet light, the chicken within is moist and juicy and the whole thing is incredibly addictive. And for the pièce de résistance- you can sit in your car and have them bring it out to you at the drive up. Which naturally means you don’t even have to get out of your sweatpants to revel in the delights.

I’d also like to thank myself for getting through this entire post without using “top notch” as an adjective.

Top Notch

top notch burgers in Austin top notch burgers in Austin

By Jess Pryles

Jess Pryles is a full fledged Hardcore Carnivore. She’s a cook, writer, and TV personality specializing in red meat, with penchant for grilling and bourbon. She's also a respected authority on Texas & competition style barbecue. Born in Australia, she now resides in Austin, Texas.

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