Now that the OBXTasteof the Beach has wound up and the Outer Banks restaurant scene returns to springtime-normal–whatever that is–we can take a moment and write about the one food that no one seems to serve at the Taste of the Beach. Evidently the lowly hamburger is not considered a part of the great cuisine tradition of the finest restaurants.

Too bad, because in our humble opinion, there is nothing quite as satisfying as that all-American favorite. So, in case some of our readers think the hamburger doesn’t exist on the Outer Banks, we’re going to make three recommendations, recognizing that any “best of list” is completely subjective.

1.  Red Sky Cafe, Duck

West Stepp, owner and executive chef of Red Sky, has built a well-deserved reputation for creative dishes and gourmet meals. But he also understands that sometimes simple is best. His burgers are big, juicy and cooked to perfection. Served on a kaiser bun, they are memorable.

2.  Baldie’s, Marketplace in Southern Shores and the Beach Road Kill Devil Hills any day now

This is as classic a burger as you can get. A little bit greasy, served with any condiment imaginable, always freshly prepared. They’re big, they’re filling and with an order of fries, it doesn’t get much better.

Baldie’s used to be in Duck–actually in Wee Winks Plaza, but when it was razed and redesigned, they had to move. It looks as though a second Baldie’s is about to open on the Beach Road in KDH where Carolina Seafood used to be. The sign has been up since the beginning of the year.

3.  John’s Drive-in, Beach Road, Kitty Hawk

There is a reason why there are always lines at John’s Drive-in. Open almost 30 years now, they are truly a throw back to a different time. A burger basket filled with hot, salty fries and a fresh burger is like a trip to the 1970s when no one was overly concerned about cholesterol or too much fat in our diets. This is food for the soul–so go ahead and complete your sin . . . get a milkshake. It’s the real deal and worth it.