May 01 2013

First Take: Bad Daddy’s Burgers at Seaboard Station, Raleigh

Outdoor sign at Bad Daddy's Burger Bar in Raleigh, Foodalicious Follies

Way back in November I spied some construction over at Seaboard and saw the sign for “Bad Daddy’s Burgers”.  All I could think was that they were crazy for putting a place like that right across the street from Tyler’s which rocks out all sorts of bar food, including burgers.  Roll forward four months later and I’m hearing a buzz about Bad Daddy’s from friends and online peeps.  So I just couldn’t resist and had to go check em out!


Exterior of Bad Daddy's Burger Bar, Raleigh- Foodalicious Follies


Bad Daddy’s has a pretty nice patio but inside it’s actually sorta small.  A U-shaped bar up front, small dining room with maybe 15 – 20 tables.  Decor is a mix of Western, male and a bit macho.  Pictures of 60’s and 70’s icons ranging from Steve McQueen and John Wayne dot the walls.  But it’s comfortable and cozy space, good smells emanating from the open kitchen on the side.  I grab a seat at the bar, order up a beer (not a big selection) and peruse the menu.  Some apps, salads (hahaha) burgers, sandwiches and that’s about it.  I go for the Bad Ass burger, a double beef-bacon patty with buttermilk bacon along with god knows what.  At $13 it’s certainly not cheap but comes with a side, I go with the sweet potato fries.  While I’m waiting for my meal, I check out the crowd.  Mostly older and male, 30 – 50 which I guess makes sense.


Bad Ass burger at Bad Daddy's Burger Bar in Raleigh, Foodalicious Follies


When my burger comes out, my mouth sorta drops.  It’s big and tall, reminds me a bit of what you might get at the recently closed Draft.  I start working on the sweet potato fries trying to find a weak spot to attack the burger but it’s an intimidating beastie!  I finally decide to squash it down, slice it in half and go to work.  I certainly don’t need to eat the WHOLE thing.  I take a bite and the patty tastes sausage like.  Firm with the saltiness of pork or maybe it was the bacon on top.  Bad Daddy uses some nice fresh leaf lettuce and tomatoes which made things a challenge.  The bun broke apart pretty quick (potato bread) given all the moisture coming from the sauce and veggies.  Eventually I had to pick up pieces of my burger with a fork to finish it off.  And it wasn’t a bad burger but somewhere in the slightly above average range to me.  Bad Daddy’s grinds a blend of hanger, chuck and brisket in their burger meat but I couldn’t tell in this Bad Ass burger.  The sweet potato fries were very good even though they were a bit limp.  Served with a chipotle dipping sauce, they were the stars of the meal.


Service at the bar was very good, the bartender was a professional. I have to admit that given Bad Daddy’s is a small chain, they had an uphill climb for me.  I really prefer a one-off spot like Chuck’s for my burgers or maybe Flip down in Atlanta.  Not to say that Bad Daddy’s is bad, because it’s fine.  But at this price point I expect amazingly good and pretty good is not good enough.  So for all you meat-loving carnivores you should give Bad Daddy’s a try.  And I’ll definitely give Bad Daddy’s another shot since I live down the street.  Still, I’m pretty certain I’ll take care of most of my beef craving needs across the street at Tyler’s or down at Chuck’s on Wilmington.


Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar
111 Seaboard Avenue
Raleigh, NC 27604

Menu at Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar
Location on Google maps
Bad Daddy's Burger Bar on Urbanspoon


  1. dianaleahwilson

    As a female who has eaten at Bad Daddies twice, I have to say that I love it. I prefer the burgers that I’ve had there to the ones at Chucks and I love the sunny patio option. I prefer Chucks for its mayo dips and proximity to my home. Bad Daddies has salads which you can pretend are healthy, but you can add all sorts of “extras” to them, including a couple of hamburger patties. And I should also say the too thick to drink chocolate and peanut butter milk shake is to die for.

  2. Ron Wen

    Hey Diana, I think I need to go back because the Bad Ass burger is not their standard item. Need to do a straight beef version. Right now I do prefer Chuck’s except for the lack of custom burgers which is sort of restrictive. I’ll try to get back to Bad Daddie’s but it’s hard given how much I love Tyler’s and their Carolina nachos. Thanks for the comment and yes, the milk shakes! Need to put them on the list even though they’re probably another 800 calories…

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