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“NOT MANY CAR-HOPS LEFT” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Smitty's Better Burger

Smitty's Better Burger
Ranked #18 of 296 Restaurants in Hampton
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$5 - US$30
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Child-friendly, Kids, Cheap Eats
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Takeout, Waitstaff
Hampton, Virginia, United States
Level Contributor
10 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“NOT MANY CAR-HOPS LEFT”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2014

Although I've lived in Hampton for 10 years and drive by this place frequently, it took a drive with a life-long resident to get me to stop for lunch. Pleasantly surprised by a pretty good burger, fries and drink for less than $7. Even more surprised by a friendly car-hop and fast service. I'll have to try some of their other sandwich offerings soon since I know I'll be back!

  • Visited August 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Tim L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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65 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    33
    18
    10
    1
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Huntsville, Alabama
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Only the Best Last 50+ Years”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 August 2014

I've been living in Hampton Roads now for almost a year, and have heard of Smitty's several times. It's that kind of place that locals whisper about in hushed, reverent tones of knowing. Any town worth its salt has a dive that has been around since before many can remember, and that boasts the "best" something in the area. Smitty's Better Burger apparently holds that distinction here in my new home. When I pitched a pilgrimage to Smitty's to my lifetime resident girlfriend, the light in her eyes was a great indication of what to expect. As we pulled up, there was no mistaking the classic drive-in look. I'll admit, the place has certainly seen better days, but if I look that appealing at 56 years old I'll be pleased. The parking is a bit awkward (at least for my mid-sized pickup), but you drive in much like the opening credits from Happy Days. Carhops bustle from patron to patron with what look like genuine smiles (unheard of, right?).

The menu is actually rather large for an establishment like this. Standard burger and dog fare reside alongside fishwiches, steak subs, crab balls, and fried chicken. Side items allow plenty of options including crinkle fries, waffle fries, and tater tots. I was a bit surprised not to see a selection of milkshakes at a place like this, but we can't have everything. The classic window trays continue to pile on the 50's era charm with bottles of ketchup and actual salt and pepper shakers for each car. Our carhop arrived quickly after we parked (smiling as I rolled my window down) and was happy to answer my questions about the menu. She made a point of letting us know that our chicken wings took about 15 minutes to cook and ensured us that everything would come out together and fresh.

Since it was my first time at Smitty's I took a bit from column A and a bit from column B. I ordered a Super Burger (all the way), some chili cheese fries, a few chicken wings, and a sweet tea. It was love at first sight when I opened the fries. Thick crinkle-cut fries, cheese sauce that wasn't the typical neon nacho glop, and classic hotdog chili sauce greeted me. I prefer my chili a bit spicer, but it was nothing that some hot sauce couldn't fix. The burger looked fantastic and tasted even better. Two sizeable yet thin patties with that flat-top carmelization that burger lovers long for, melted cheese, fresh toppings, and a bun softer than my pillow made this a "super" burger indeed. I ordered the wings at my girlfriend's suggestion (after being assured that she would not be sharing hers) and was not disappointed. I made the mistake of ordering 4 wings thinking that they would be wing sections a-la buffalo wings. I opened my box to discover 4 WHOLE wings from what must have been some intimidating looking chickens. The wings were enormous and fried to a perfect golden brown. The skin was crispy and the meat juicy without being greasy. Aside from being over full, my mistake was more blessing than curse.

All-in-all, Smitty's is exactly what it should be, old school and proud of it. The food is classic/fantastic and the service is downright pleasant. I will definitely be returning again and again.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank CW_Nuke_Tech
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Suffolk, Virginia
Level Contributor
72 reviews
55 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Lunch for the long road home”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2014 via mobile

Bring all my friends here when I'm in town! Then I stop and get a large BBQ pork sandwich with slaw and corn fritters! Best place ever!!! Especially when driving half way across the country!

Helpful?
Thank travelingirl1987
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“No need to go anywhere else for lunch...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 July 2014 via mobile

Ok, so this is my third visit, and just compelled to get back on Tripadvisor.

This place is the epitome of not judging a book by its cover. Smitty's is the girlfriend/wife who's unattractive on the outside, but you swear to your friends and yourself that she's beautiful on the inside.

Smitty's is a drive in style fast food locale, where the staff greet you at your car and if you elect to eat there, will bring you a tray that rest on the window. An old school charm for sure.

But what's most important is the food. Obviously with the title of the restaurant, it's all about the burgers, and they don't disappoint. They're thick, hearty and juicy. It's well cooked throughout and just flavorful. I wanted to walk around with my mouth dripping in grease as a badge of honor. I'm asked what condiments I want on the burger from the gate and they accomodate. I love the ladies that work there, because the genuinely seem to like the clientele and their duties. For all I know, they hate our guys, but they do a great job of prong their best face forward. I can respect that.

Now, the wife wanted to downgrade this review (don't touch my Tripadvisor account lady! ) because of a weird issue or last trip there. Basically, we ordered five burgers, but we got only four. I told the waitress that one was missing and she quickly ran to get us one. Inexplicably, she came back because the cook/manager was so sure that all five were there. She required the waitress to take our bag to the back to inspect. Then she came back with the extra burger. It was weird. She apologized for the inconvenience and the weirdness of taking the food back.

My wife just wanted to reiterate that she was not trying to steal the 2.99 burger.

Either way, I love this spot. It makes me miss home a lil less and less with every lunch time trip. Ok, time to hit the gym!

Helpful?
Thank Jesse H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Centreville, Virginia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Excellent burgers. Slow Service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 July 2014

Our family stopped by Smitty's Better Burger to humor my Dad who used to frequent Smitty's over 40 years ago when he was stationed at Langley. It is definitely a throw back to a different era - Smitty's is almost 60 years old - where you can stay in your car and the server takes your order and brings everything out on a tray that attaches to your car window. The food was quite good for a burger joint - better than McDonald's - for comparable funds. My only complaint is the service was quite slow and we were not there at a peak hour. I would consider stopping by again if we were in the area.

  • Visited July 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank 911jenn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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