Best burger in Holland

Best burger in Holland

TJ Denhof and Sean Hoey

The waiter carried the burger out and set it on our table. The aroma of the meat wafted up to our noses. The waiter asked if we needed anything else, then quickly scurried off to another table. We picked up our halves of the burger, examined the fresh vegetables, the juicy meat, and the toasty bun. At that point we dug into the delicious burger. We had set out on a mission: to find the best local burger.


Stipulations of the mission:

  • All the burgers must have the same toppings
  • Lettuce
  • Tomato
  • Onion
  • Cheese (Cheddar)


Ottawa Beach Inn (OBI)

  Walking into OBI, we were seated immediately. Our waiter greeted us and we told him about our quest to find the best local burger. He immediately thanked us for the nomination and went back to ring our order in. The burger came out quickly and was nicely sliced in half for us to split. The bun was well proportioned compared to the insides of the burger making it very easy to pick up and eat. When we finally picked up the burger to eat it, our first reaction was “wow that’s good.” The meat itself was good, well seasoned, and superbly put together. The vegetables were fresh, tasteful, and plentiful yet not overpowering the taste of the meat. The onions especially worked well with the chopped lettuce and diced tomatoes.  Although the meat was good, it was not thick enough to fulfill our needs. We were both hungry after eating it and wanted some more food. All in all, OBI has a very good burger; it’s easy to eat, well put together, and all around a good burger. But is it the best in town?

Itty Bitty Bar

  The restaurant was filled with Christmas decorations and buzzed with the spirit of the season. We sat down immediately and were greeted by our waitress.  Since we knew exactly what we wanted, we ordered right away, and the burger came out in no time at all. The burger came out wrapped in wax paper in order to ensure that it stayed warm. We unwrapped the burger and got our first look at it. The lettuce was much too big for the size of the burger, but the tomato and onions seemed well portioned. The cheese looked perfectly melted, and the patty was oozing with juices.  The bun looked a bit squished from being in the wax paper, and too small for the size of the meat and toppings. Finally we were able to dig into the burger. The flavors were terrific. The meat was extremely well seasoned and cooked exquisitely. The onions really married well with the meat and the other vegetables. The lettuce was quite large, so there ended up being bites with too much lettuce in it. The bun was toasted, which worked well. As we suspected the bun was too small. By the time we got to the end of the burger we were holding on to just a tiny bit of bun but mostly patty. Overall we enjoyed our burger from Itty Bitty, and would definitely go back for another.

Salt and Pepper

  The wind was whipping around us and we quickly hustled into the warmth of Salt and Pepper. With it being between the dinner and lunch rush it was not very busy, and we were seated immediately. The restaurant had a dim glow and a rustic feel to it. Our waitress came over and we ordered the burger. In a few short minutes later the burger came out with a heaping portion of seasoned kettle chips. Our first impression of the burger was “this looks great.” It came out on wax paper with vintage newspaper clippings printed on it. Then we examined the burger further. There was two tomatoes on  the burger, which made them both hang off the burger and look non-appealing. The lettuce was also oversized and hanging well off the bun, but the onions were portioned perfectly. The meat was thick but not too thick, making it perfectly eatable. The cheese was melted well onto the meat as well. The bun scored high marks on its taste, ability to keep the burger covered throughout the meal, and proportion to the other toppings and meat. The flavors were good. The vegetables tasted wonderfully fresh, especially the onions; they had a great snap and tang to them. The meat although was a bit lacking. The middle was tasty, but that was it. The outer parts of the meat was partially burned and charred. This lead to an unpleasant taste, and us trying to satisfy our taste buds in other places in on the burger. Overall, Salt and Pepper left a lot to be desired, bun the bun and vegetables were able to make it an enjoyable burger.


  Walking into Googs we were very optimistic because of the sign hanging from the window letting patrons know that they have been “voted best burger in West Michigan 10 years in a row.” We were about to put that up for the test. The place was not busy at all when we walked in and we were seated quickly. Pictures of football players and baseball players lined the walls. Within a quick couple of minutes the burger arrived. When looking at it, the bun looked a little small compared to the vegetables and the meat. However, when we took our first bite the burger burst with flavor. The onions, lettuce and tomatoes were unbelievable. They tasted fresh and wonderful. The way the vegetables meshed definitely helped the burgers taste; without them, it wouldn’t have been the same. The meat was thick but not thick enough. With that being said, the patty was beautifully cooked and very well seasoned. The meat could have definitely been thicker in order to maximize the juices and the awesome taste.  All in all the burger was excellent, and we would definitely advise people to go and try it.


   At the conclusion of our mission, all the burgers were tasty, but we were able to declare that Googs Pub and Grub as the winner of the best local burger in Holland. The vegetables, visual representation, and the bun is what put Googs above the rest of the competition. The thickness of the meat itself was average compared to all the other burgers, but the seasoning and taste stood above the rest. It was a close race between all the restaurants; however, a winner must be declared: Googs won fair and square.

Our Scoring rubric goes as follows:


  • Scale of 1-10 on how good and fresh the vegetables taste


  • 1-5 On proportion of Bun to meat
  • 1-5 on taste of the bun
  • 1-5 on Bun to Vegetables ratio

Visual Representation

  • 1-10 On Visual Representation

Taste of meat

  • 1-10 on taste
  • 1-10 on eatability (Thickness of meat and how easy it is to eat)


These were the final tallies:


Out of





Visual Representation




Total out of /55
OBI 9 12 8 14 43
Googs 9 13 7 17 47
Itty Bitty 8 9 5 19 41
Salt and pepper 7 12 6 12 37