Grabbing Juicy Burgers on Oahu
Imagine being transported back to the 50s, a time of drive in theaters, roller skates, skyscraping hair, and all-American cheeseburgers. Imagine all of that, and knowing you wouldn’t have to put in the manpower and labor of actually building a time machine. What is this madness? Simple. Teddy’s Bigger Burgers.
Teddy’s is a retro 50s style burger joint, situated in the heart of Kailua, on the windward side of Oahu. Somewhat of an iconic landmark to this quirky beach town, fresh, hand-made patties have been flipped here since the late 90s. The first restaurant opened at the foot of famous Diamond Head. Today, there are just about ten locations, including multiple stores here on Oahu, Maui, and even to our far off neighbors Tokyo and Woodinville, Washington. When finding a good burger, no one messes around. All of the ingredients used for these ono burgers are fresh, and delivered daily to the stores. (Ono is Hawaiian Pidgin for tasty).
Stepping inside the restaurant, you’re greeted by a massive painted mural of retro Hawaii. The king himself is there, along with some snazzy rides, a few sparkly mermaids, Marilyn Monroe, and even Spongebob, Marlin, and Dory. Chic lights hang overhead, neon blue walls are lined with yellow, and custom made surfboards are on display.
Walking up to the counter, a menu shows the plethora of burgers to choose from. My favorite thing to order is the Number One Combo: an original Teddy’s Big Burger, five ounces, add American cheese and bacon, fries, and a soda, all for just nine bucks. Even better, add a milkshake. In my opinion, these dreamy ice cream drinks are the only beverages to accompany burgers. Since I’m a vanilla guy, vanilla is my personal favorite. It’s the case until I find myself wandering Europe. That’s a game changer.
You could also upgrade to a Number Two with a seven ounce burger, and even larger so, the Number Three with a massive nine ounce burger, large fries, and large drink. This is America though, so there is always something to be supersized. If you’re absolutely starved, try the whopping Monster Double Combo: a ten, fourteen, or eighteen ounce double cheeseburger. To compensate, it comes with a small fries and drink.
Every burger comes with a fresh, on-island-farmed patty, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, and Teddy’s super special secret sauce, a definite plus when munching. Add ons include cheese, bacon, avocado, mushrooms, and even grilled pineapple!
An average cost per person will be around ten dollars. When I go and order the Number One, it’s nine dollars and some odd cents plus tax. Substituting a soda with a shake for the Number One, a high recommendation on my part, brings the price up just a smidge. You get your bang for your buck though, and as an added benefit, your taste buds will love you. Your stomach a few hour later, maybe not. Trust me when I say it’s worth it.
A little background on the famous burger itself: the Ted and his best friend Rich started flipping burgers at backyard cookouts. The two shared a passion for good burgers, and wondered why there wasn’t a single restaurant in the state that offered high quality burgers in a fast food environment. They contemplated, and plotted, did a little research, and lo and behold, Teddy’s was born. When they set out on the enterprise, they said their goal was to ‘reinvent the burger joint’. They’ve achieved. The only thing missing is the drive in theater.
Since there are many different locations in state, finding a Teddy’s near you won’t be hard. Hours range from 10-10, everyday. For a full list of locations and hours, head to teddysbiggerburgers.com/locations.html. Of course, enjoy these mouth-watering burgers. It’s mine, and just about all of Hawaii’s, go-to place for a great meal. Grab a seat outside under the neon colored umbrellas. On a sunny, Hawaiian day, the sea breezes feel brilliant on the face. Reward your taste buds with an island burger. Be transported.
Austin Weihmiller, or as he’s known online, AustinSuperTramp, is the AustinSuperTramp’s Global Food Guide Editor for Wandering Educators. Currently living on the windward side of Oahu, Austin pursues passions in writing, photography, and travel. As a homeschool student, he, his sister and their mom are trekking the globe in pursuit of a global education and an understanding of how life is lived abroad. (How do we intend to live life if we don’t know how life is lived, he says). Inspired by Chris McCandless, the original Supertramp, he’s on a quest to find himself. And to enjoy great food, of course.
All photos courtesy and copyright Austin Weihmiller