The Best Hamburger Buns For Your Next Cookout

The best hamburger buns are pillowy, squishy, and flavorful. They shouldn’t fall apart or have too big a crumb. A good hamburger bun should also be fairly firm—it shouldn’t be too fluffy. I prefer an almost dense consistency that’ll smoosh with the burger patty, fusing the two together. Ideally, the bun should contain a hint of sweetness, too. Most of all, a good hamburger bun doesn’t distract from the star of the show, aka the meat.


Recently, the Sporked staff sat down to update our hamburger bun rankings. Our first ranking felt somewhat incomplete, so with a little more research, we curated a more comprehensive list that I think will serve as an excellent guide to you, the home shopper. Hamburger buns are one of those things that you just have to buy at the grocery store, so I really wanted this list to feel definitive. I personally reached out to food writers, chefs, colleagues, and you, the Sporked fan base, for burger bun recommendations. What made the list? And which buns cracked our top seven? Let’s find out.

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Best of the Best

Martin’s Potato Rolls

No surprise, Martin’s is the king of burger buns. Martin’s Potato Rolls are sweet, soft, squishy little pillows of carby goodness that can elevate a burger into elite territory. The texture is so ethereal that they feel like proof angels exist. I just had one and I believe in Heaven now (not Hell, though—Hell is for losers). The only knock on Martin’s is that they’re not widely available. Out here in Los Angeles, they’re nearly impossible to get unless you’re willing to overpay for them. Martin’s is trendy and exclusive, and it’s earned that right. It’s the bun of choice for Shake Shack. It’s what the best Smashburger joints in Los Angeles use. Martin’s is synonymous with a top tier burger, and they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Buy these if you really want to impress people during a cookout, or if you’re a huge foodie and money is no object. It truly is the best hamburger bun.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best Overall Value

Francisco Deli Hamburger Buns

A list of adjectives to describe these burger buns: Sweet, squishy, dense, tangy, and buttery. A friend recommended these a while ago, and once we got a hold of them, we absolutely fell in love. Instacart says these are $3.47 for 16 (sixteen!) hamburger buns, and that’s a huge reason they rank so high. That’s incredible value for a really good product. No, they’re not Martin’s Potato Buns, and no, they don’t have the unparalleled flavor of the King’s Hawaiian Pretzel Buns, but they make a lot of sense. If you’re looking for a utilitarian hamburger bun for a cookout, Francisco is your guy. This is the most affordable, practical recommendation for your cookout needs. 

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best hamburger buns king's hawaiian pretzel buns

Best Unconventional

King’s Hawaiian Pretzel Hamburger Buns

An unconventional pick for number three, but the flavor here is undeniable. As a hamburger bun, this checks every box: The squish factor is great, the texture is solid, and the flavor is sweet. Combine that with the toasty, salty flavor of a pretzel, and this is a damn winner. The sweet and salty flavors play off of each other really, really well, and the soft texture is a damn delight. King’s Hawaiian rolls are iconically squishy and sweet, and this burger bun version only confirms their stellar reputation. This was the bun we couldn’t stop eating. It was previously number one, but given that it’s a rather specialized product, we moved it down to make room for more conventional burger buns at the top.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Best Martin’s Alternative

Arnold Country Potato Sandwich Buns

If you aren’t buying Martin’s Potato Buns for, oh I don’t know, “reasons,” I would go with Arnold as a good second choice. They have that wonderful potato bun squishiness and flavor, plus this really shiny and buttery exterior that’s quite alluring. The chew of this bun is incredible, and it’s dense enough to soak up all that delicious burger juice. I can’t rank these higher than Martin’s (Martin’s are just too perfect), but I still think they’re very good.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Sweet

 King’s Hawaiian Sweet Hamburger Buns

There’s gotta be a dump truck of sugar in these. I mean, King’s Hawaiian Sweet Hamburger Buns contain at least double the amount of sugar as the other burger buns on this list. So, that sweetness we’re looking for got a big check here, but it could be too much for your average burger eater. The sweetness would do really well with spicy—so if you like chili peppers, sriracha mayo, pickled jalapeños, and the like on your burgers, this bun could provide a good balance. Overall, these are incredibly squishy, soft, and delicious. It’s a King’s Hawaiian Sweet Roll in burger bun form. What’s not to like? 

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

best hamburger buns oroweat

Best Gourmet Burger

Oroweat Country Potato Sandwich Buns

These buns are thick and sizable, which make them the best choice if you’re doing a gourmet burger at home. The potato flavor is great, and they are quite soft, too. Oroweat’s Country Potato hamburger buns are dusted with flour for that bakery-fresh aesthetic, and the sweetness here is really great. Again, these buns are huge and can withstand a whole lot of toppings. If you love a fried egg on top of your burger, these would hold that slippery yolkiness well. Some commenters on Amazon mentioned that these buns don’t last too long at room temperature since they’re made free of preservatives, so that’s something to keep in mind. Not the best hamburger bun, but hey there’s worse.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Best Crossover

Wonder Classic Hamburger Buns

Wonder bread is a reliable, all-American product with great brand recognition. Their instantly identifiable squishy, sugary bread is a great addition to anything meaty. These buns are so soft, they practically become one with the burger. We had a feeling Wonder would do good work here, and they did. If you want a burger bun to just stay out of the way and let the meat do the talking, these buns deliver. Pro Tip: One of my personal favorite things to do is to take a homemade meatball and wrap it up in a piece of Wonder bread. Ground meat and Wonder bread just work.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

best hamburger buns best seeded

Best Seeded Bun

Oroweat Premium Golden Seeded Sliced Buns

This Oroweat bun might be thick, but it condenses nicely if you squish the burger in your hand. That means you’re getting great texture. This bun is soft, flavorful, and seeded nicely on both the top and the sides of the bun. The extra texture from the seeds is welcomed. This bun is great if you’ve got a proclivity towards Big Macs—and who among us doesn’t like a Big Mac?

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

6.5/10

Sporks

best hamburger buns best gourmet

Best Bakery Buns

Alfaro’s Artesano Bakery Buns

These buns feel like they’re bakery fresh. They’re fluffy, sweet, and just a little bit doughy. Quite honestly, these satisfied our indulgent, fancy food cravings more than any brioche buns we tried—none of which ended up making the list. An Alfaro’s Artesano Bakery Bun probably isn’t best for a standard burger, but if you’re adding some bacon, sharp cheddar, or flavored mayonnaise, these buns will compliment those ingredients well. They’re meaty and doughy in a way that begs for a lot of toppings. Buy Alfaro’s when you want to step up your burger game, while not venturing too far into gourmet territory.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

6/10

Sporks

best hamburger buns ballpark

Best for a Big BBQ

Ballpark Burger Buns

As far as burger buns go, this is pretty standard. But the price for an eight-count bag is hard to beat. Whether you go seeded Ballparks or plain, you’re still getting a fluffy, sweet, sizable bun. Say you’re having a party for more than ten people and you just want reliable consistency, this is where Ballpark comes in. If you’re churning out burgers and dogs on a grill and are looking for an inoffensive, decent quality bun, go with Ballpark. This burger bun makes me think of cheap beer and a standard burger, which is never a bad thing. Plus, it won’t cost you $30.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

5/10

Sporks

Other products we tried:  Sprouts Hamburger Buns, Kirkland Artisan Hamburger Rolls, Nature’s Own Brioche Buns, Marketside Brioche Hamburger Buns, Signature Select, Signature Select White Artisan Hamburger Buns, St. Pierre Brioche, Trader Joe’s Seeded Hamburger Buns.

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • I find it interesting that the Martin’s buns are so elusive in LA. All over upstate NY the buns can be had for about $1.00/bag more than the BallPark/Wonderbread buns in nearly every grocery store. They are my favorite, happy to be validated!

    Reply
  • Looks like you’re preparing to rank hot dog buns next?

    Reply
    • *loads some hot dogs into my hot dog cannon*

      Reply
  • Really can’t recommend Martin’s after the company went to bat so hard for Trump…

    Reply
    • This is also my personal opinion and why I’ve been buying Arnold’s.

      Reply
  • Did you mean to give King’s Hawaiian only 6 sporks?

    Reply
    • a mistake. fixed. thank you

      Reply