Family-owned burger joint and drive-thru buddies up to North Austin

A new family-owned burger shop is shaking the local transit scene. And Austin has some college kids to thank for that.

Buddy’s Burger, which offers a small but classic burger menu, recently opened on 9001 Cameron Rd. near East Rundberg Lane in North Austin. The concept came from two University of Texas students and a University of Houston graduate, all family members who opened the burger house in the middle of the pandemic after realizing it was just the beef injection that the neighborhood needed. Although Buddy’s has some indoor and outdoor seating, the concept aims to provide a high-end burger experience via the drive-through.

“We saw a shortage of local restaurants on Cameron Road and wanted to bring a new idea to market,” says co-owner Isha Fidai. “Buddy’s is different from other local eateries because of the new concept we introduced: quality food, but served quickly.”

The highlights of the Buddy menu include classic hamburgers and cheeseburgers, which are made from 100 percent Angus beef and sprinkled with Buddy’s normal or spicy smack sauce, a family recipe based on mayo with 12 ingredients from decades. And diners won’t have beef with these meaty masterpieces that are hand sculpted on a daily basis and are as messy as a juicy burger should be. Buddy’s also serves hand-tossed regular and flavored french fries, hand-spun milkshakes, hand-squeezed lemonade, and – oh yes – pints of draft beer, which gives the hamburger a frothy edge over other local burger places like P. Terry’s and Mighty Fine.

The Fidai family originally planned to open Buddy’s in March, but that date has been postponed due to the pandemic.

“We hesitated to open in June and initially decided to push our opening a further six months later. However, we opted for a leap in confidence because we didn’t know how long COVID would be there, ”says Fidai.

Buddy’s Burgers is open daily from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. for food and transit. The COVID-specific safety precautions of the restaurant include the requirement of masks for all customers and employees in the restaurant, the offer of socially distant seating and improved disinfection measures.

Austinites who were in a pickle and couldn’t find a quality drive-thru burger are excited about Buddy’s, and the concept has become popular so quickly that the Fidai family is already planning to expand to additional locations locally.

“We were so overwhelmed by the support we received at Buddy’s,” says Fidai. “Opening during a pandemic was difficult, but we are grateful to Buddy’s friendly staff and the customers who made it possible.”

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