Burger boom hits Visalia, Tulare
In America, the hamburger is king.
In Tulare County, that has never been more true.
New burger joints have been popping up across Visalia and Tulare — and these aren’t just your run-of-the-mill burgers either.
Restaurants have been turning the burger on its side and residents are up for the change.
Here are some new places to grab a quick burger around town.
New spot Burgerim, located in the Kohl’s shopping center, has 11 different patty options and dozens of ways to customize your burger.
The menu includes several types of beef, turkey, salmon, chicken and lamb patties. For those who don’t eat meat, the restaurant also offers veggie and falafel burgers.
Rose Oganesyan, who owns the Visalia location, said she fell in love with the restaurant when she first tried it in Los Angeles.
Her favorite? The garlic aioli fries.
The made-to-order, 3-ounce burgers are bigger than a slider but smaller than what American tastebuds are used to.
Perfect for those concerned with portion control, Oganesyan said.
The store also offers family and party boxes for larger families or events and beer and wine.
Don’t want to wait in line? Soon, the Visalia restaurant will also offer Uber Eats delivery services.
Other than burgers, customer favorites include the milkshakes and chicken wings, Oganesyan said.
“Customers say they like the atmosphere,” she said. “Everyone says they like it because it’s something different in Visalia.”
The store is one of only 40 open in the United States. The chain restaurant was started in Israel about seven years ago and made its way to America in 2015, Oganesyan said.
More than 270 locations are in the works across the country, including just a few miles down the road in Tulare.
Oganesyan is currently working to open a Burgerim next to Bravo Farms at the Tulare Outlets.
For those who are overwhelmed with the menu, Oganesyan said to just ask for help.
“The first time may be a challenge, but we will try to help you and offer suggestions,” she added. “We’re new to town, just give us a chance.”
Wimpy’s to land in Visalia
Wimpy’s Hamburger, one of Tulare’s most beloved eateries, has set its eyes on downtown Visalia.
The burger joint will take over the former Gumbo Express on Court Street.
The restaurant’s owners plan to refurbish the location and expect to serve Visalians their tasty fries and burgers by next year, co-owner Willy Espinoza said.
Opening the location in Visalia will bring an additional choice for those who frequent the vibrant downtown scene and will fill the void Checkers left when it closed, Espinoza said.
“We have always liked downtown Visalia,” he said. “It’s a place where there are a lot of people walking around. There’s nothing like this in the area.”
With the downtown Visalia location, Wimpy’s Hamburger will have three locations. A location in Dinuba opened in December.
More meat in downtown
Well-known developer JR Shannon is leasing a former antique store at 531 E. Main to a local burger maker. Kingsburg’s Stacked Bar and Grill will be offering their “humungous” burgers here this summer after the 5,500 square-foot building is remodeled.
The restaurant will be open for lunch, dinner and late night snacks.
More: Rumor has it Visalia is booming with new restaurants
Todd Asajian and Noah Murguia, the owners of Stacked just celebrated their 1 year anniversary at their downtown Kingsburg location. Asajian also owns and operates multiple Deli Delicious stores in Visalia and Kingsburg.
Like its neighbor, BarrelHouse Brewing, Stacked will feature a backyard patio.
“This is the third new venture I am doing along East Main since the new brewery district was formed” said Shannon.
Burger of options in Tulare
Tulare burger connoisseurs will have plenty of options to grub on in the next few months.
Two new burger joints will be opening their doors to Tulare residents: The Habit Burger and Wayback Burger
Construction is well underway for The Habit Burger located on Prosperity Avenue.
The burger restaurant, which also has a location in Visalia, took over the spot that long-housed fast food restaurant Long John Silvers.
Not too far from The Habit Burger, construction crews are also hard at work to open Wayback Burger along Tulare Avenue near Tulare Union High School.
City officials foresee the burger joint being a hot spot for students.
“I think it’s a lot better to have a hamburger restaurant so close to the high school,” said Jeff Killion, Tulare planning commission chairman. “I am glad to see that change.”
Tulare Associate Planner Steven Sopp said Wayback Burger will only take about half of the current 5,300 square-foot empty building.
Also, Wayback Burger can be a place millennials consider their third spot, what’s described in marketing as the place to go after home and work.
“Kids have money to spend. If they want to patronize the downtown businesses, it’s good for business,” he said. “This is going to be an upscale meeting place. It is going to be a different type of atmosphere.”
According to its website, Wayback Burger was founded in 1991 in Newark, DE. Currently, the hamburger chain has 142 locations in 28 states, including restaurants in Firebaugh and Tracy in the Central Valley.
Wayback Burger also has locations in Argentina, Malaysia, Morocco and Saudi Arabia.
While trying new things is great, sometimes a good old-fashioned burger from your favorite hometown hangout is all you need.
Here are some of Tulare County’s best burger places, according to readers.
- Woodlake Drive Inn, Woodlake
- In-N-Out, Visalia
- Mama K’s Diner, Visalia
- Buns and Torts, Visalia
- Rainbow Drive-In, Farmersville
- Docs Drive-In, Visalia
- Buzz’s Drive Inn, Goshen
- Juicy Burger, Porterville
- Sno-White Drive-In, Tulare
- Pita Kabob, Visalia
- Good Times Cafe, Visalia
- Martha’s Mexican Food, Orosi.