Like most cities, Seattle has its favorite burger joints, from famous Dick’s Drive-In to various chains. In 2016, a new chain came to the area—Habit Burger. This chain is still relatively unknown in Washington State, but has been flourishing in California since 1969 and has won at least one award for having the best tasting burger in America. Now we Northwesterners can find out why and judge for ourselves if it’s really true. As of mid-2016, two Habit Burgers in Kent and Tukwila opened, but the chain will bring as many as 24 locations in the coming years. So far, the chain is in a total of seven other states and still expanding. But why come to Washington?
“Quite simply, Franchisee AJ Jafrey wanted to bring fresh, quality burgers to Washington,” said a representative of the company. “Habit burgers are never frozen, 100% ground beef and always made-to-order. The brand is unlike any other burger restaurant in this category, and in Washington, as The Habit always delivers on the promise of... fresh ingredients, in a fun, bright and lively restaurant space.”
What was formerly a California-based chain will soon be a common sight throughout Washington, and there are many reasons to welcome the chain in with open arms. Chief among them—it’s delicious.
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Is it Fast Food?
No, not really. You do order at a counter, but then you’re handed a buzzer and take a seat and wait for your food. You then return to the counter when said food is ready for you. So you don’t get fries from a fry warmer or a burger made an hour ago—a definite perk! The restaurant atmosphere is tidy, bright and modern, and the staff are friendly and courteous. If you have special requests, don’t be afraid to ask them. You can get extra cheese (and it’s GOOD cheese that doesn’t involve any plastic peeling), extra sauces for dipping, or inquire about diet restrictions (see below). They might not be able to make all your dreams come true, but they come pretty close, at least for the duration of your meal (and if your dreams happen to include extra cheese).
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Habit Burger is known for its fresh, never frozen Charburger made with 100% beef and topped with lettuce, tomato, carmelized onions, mayo and pickles. Beyond the Charburger, burger aficionados can also get the Double Char, Teriyaki Char, BBQ Bacon Char, Mushroom Char or the Santa Barbara Style Char (like everything Californian, it comes with avocado as well as cheese).
Unlike many burger restaurants—the menu is far from a burgers-only menu, a boon for those who might love the fresh, fast-casual atmosphere, but aren’t burger fans. Other sandwiches include chicken, tri-tip steak, grilled albacore tuna filet, a veggie burger, pastrami and a chicken club. Or you can go the healthy route and get a salad, which may not sound as enticing, but the salads are incredibly fresh and flavorful.
Complementing the salads and sandwiches alike is a fixings bar with pepperoncinis, jalapenos, banana peppers and other toppings.
Sides include the usual french fries and onion rings, but also sweet potato... fries, tempura green beans and side salads. Desserts include shakes, malts, cones and sundaes—and the ice cream is really good!
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Got Diet Restrictions?
For the diet restricted, there are still options. For vegetarians, there’s a veggie burger, salads (request no chicken), as well as fries, sweet potato fries and onion rings. Vegans will have a little more trouble, but can modify a salad and order most of the side dishes. Gluten-free diners can eat the BBQ Chicken Salad, but the side dishes are fried in shared oil with onion rings and the kitchen does not have separate prep areas. For other allergens and ingredients you may wish to avoid, Habit Burger is transparent with what has what in it on their Nutrition Menu. If you’re unsure, ask at the counter.
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The first two Washington Habit Burger locations are located in Kent at 12900 SE Kent Kangley Road, and in Tukwila at 17025 Southcenter Parkway. As Habit expands into other Washington cities, check The Habit Burger Grill website to see if a new location has opened near you.