Scottsdale Features

Voted Top Three Best Burgers in Scottsdale:

Happy's Hamburgers

“The pursuit of happiness” means two things at Happy’s Hamburgers: practicing happiness and enjoying a fresh and flavorful burger (it’s also on the back of their t-shirts).

Happy’s Hamburgers is a secret restaurant reserved for Scottsdale locals. It’s tucked away in a shopping center on the corner of Shea Boulevard and North Scottsdale.

When you walk into this burger joint, prepare for a 50s theme and feel. The checkered floors lead you to high tops and booths, while the jukebox in the corner brings musical nostalgia.

The burgers here are juicy, fresh, grilled to order, and simple, like a good burger should be.

The Happy’s signature burger is a ground beef meatball smashed on top of caramelized onions, with a layer of cheese, and sandwiched between two soft, steamed buns. If you’re the type of person who gets creative with their sandwich toppings, Happy’s has a list of additions for your burger, like jalapenos, bacon, or chili.

However, if you like your burgers pre-customized, try one of the Classic “Half Pound” Burgers. The Pizza Burger is a fan favorite and doubles as the Monday special. It’s topped with pepperoni, mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and marinara sauce.

The Ultimate Burger isn’t called Ultimate for nothing. The half-pound burger is topped with a fried egg, bacon, mushrooms, grilled onions, and American cheese, which sits between a sesame bun.  

I believe that in order to enjoy a “good burger,” it must be accompanied by a complimentary side, and Happy’s has the best choices. Fried fresh per order and served hot, the fries and onion rings are a must-try. If you need a dipping sauce for extra flavor, check out the five house-made sauces.

If you aren’t in the mood for a burger, check out the other side of the menu to find more customer favorites. The chicken parm sliders are popular due to the house-made marinara sauce, which comes from a family recipe of owner Dave Vaughan and his New York roots.

Happy’s also offers hotdogs, chili and regular, loaded fries, salad, and specialty sandwiches.

If you have enough space after devouring one of these burgers, sliders, or sandwiches, order a frosty shake or slice of house-made cheesecake. They offer traditional shake flavors like vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate. Additional flavors include peanut butter, oreo, and more- just ask your server! If a frosty beverage isn’t your choice, the key lime and chocolate cheesecakes are made fresh daily, and you can smell the lime flavors before taking a bite.

Happy’s can still suit your hungry needs if you’re nearby during breakfast time. Their “all day” breakfast menu includes a breakfast burger, ultimate breakfast burrito, a typical two-egg breakfast, and a breakfast muffin meal joined by a fried egg and your choice of a hash brown patty or potatoes.

Happy’s Hamburgers is a great place for friends and family and encompasses a happy, laidback 50s theme, just like the name suggests.

The story behind Happy’s is also a happy tale. When the previous owner fell ill due to health issues, Dave was in the middle of a touring hiatus due to Covid-19. The musician ran into a friend working for Happy’s and told him the owner was looking for someone to replace him. Vaughan jumped into action and used his previous experience working in the food industry to make Happy’s the highly-rated restaurant it is today.

Dave has owned the restaurant for over four years, and his mission is to have a place that accommodates people working and living in the area. He wants customers to enjoy the old vibe and is determined to make Happy’s Hamburgers the best place for Scottsdale residents to bring their friends and family to enjoy a meal.

Review provided by The Scottsdale Living – RipLey Simone Kennebrew. 

RipLey Simone is currently a senior at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University

Photos via Happy’s Hamburgers

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