Justin Favela crying from sheer joy. Photo: Krystal Ramirez

Burgers for the People

Three burger spots on the East (and best) side of town

Sometimes I want a good home-style burger, just like my mama used to make: fresh ingredients, a hand-formed patty, toasted bun and all the fixings—the ultimate comfort food! A Mexican home-style burger has grilled jalapeños, onions and mushrooms along with avocado and plenty of cheese. And lots of mayo! But when I can’t have that, here are my go-to burger spots on the east side of town.

Also known as Hamburgesas Cancun, Playas de Cancun is best known for its Mexican-style burgers. According to the lovely ladies who work the counter and the kitchen, I had to order the Bufalo Burger ($8), a fresh beef patty topped with a slice of ham, yellow and white American cheese, pineapple, avocado, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms and diced pickled jalapeños, all served between mayonnaise-slathered sesame seed buns. These hamburguesas are filling and fresh, and served with a side of fries and a roasted jalapeño. This place always hits the spot. 3513 E. Charleston Blvd.

Bacon cheeseburger at Fat Boy Krystal Ramirez | Vegas Seven

Bacon cheeseburger at Fat Boy

When I can’t decide between pupusas or a burger, I always head to La Parilla/The Lab, where I usually order the El Niño Burger ($8), a beef patty topped with pickled cabbage, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese in between two pupusas. But Salvadoran fusion is not the only thing they do here. On a recent visit I learned that my new fave is the Bulgogi Burger ($8), for which the patty is heaped with lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, American cheese and bulgogi beef (Korean marinated steak). Also, a shout-out to one of the best veggie options around, the
1 Up Burger: a grilled portobello mushroom served with grilled onions, Swiss cheese, roasted tomato and tarragon aioli. No frozen veggie patties here! 2585 E. Flamingo Rd.

Boy, oh, “Boyger”! Fat Boy Restaurant is hands down my favorite burger joint on the east side. Owned and operated by the Espinoza family since 2008, this place offers good, cheap eats that will keep you coming back. With just six tables, the restaurant is small, clean and welcoming, and offers an extensive menu of dishes ranging from pizza to chicken nuggets. Fat Boy’s famous “Boygers” are all served with mustard, relish, onions, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce and chipotle mayonnaise. I like to get the Cheese Boyger with bacon ($4.50) for its simplicity and perfect balance with an added crunch from the extra crispy pieces of bacon. I also recommend the Pastrami Boyger ($5) and while you are at it, you might as well get some Chencho Fries, which are steak fries topped with homemade green chili sauce. And for all you folks afraid to venture over to the east side, there is now a second Fat Boy location in Henderson! 4425 Stewart Ave. and 1570 W. Horizon Ridge Pkwy. 

Justin Favela is a Las Vegas native, artist, podcaster and taco enthusiast. When not in his studio, he is usually eating. Listen to his podcast at latinoswholunch.com.