11 Types Of Burger Buns For Your Hamburgers

When the weather gets warm, there's only one thing on everyone's mind: getting outside and grilling. There's maybe nothing as quintessential to the summer spirit as grilling up some burgers. Of course, you could throw your burgers on any old store-bought bread, but what else is out there? We've seen people put burgers in between all kinds of layers, and you have to wonder if there are rules about what goes and what doesn't. Some people have very strong opinions about buns, but it's worth investigating whether the kind of bun used for a hamburger actually affects the final dish.

We've rounded up eleven of the best options to contain your meat patty — don't worry they aren't too wild or hard to find. From English muffins to fried macaroni and cheese, there are fun and creative ideas on this list for every kind of diner. Whether you want to totally reinvent the wheel or are simply ready for a small change, there's a bun on this list that will fit the bill. 


One of the richest, softest, and (in our opinion) tastiest options for a burger is a brioche bun. Brioche is a type of bread from France that differs from other white bread because it contains sugar, butter, milk, and eggs (via Paris Unlocked). This results in a light, fluffy, almost cake-like consistency. It gets a glossy finish from a quick brush with either egg or egg white wash before baking. Loaves are commonly sliced to make French toast because the airy consistency soaks up any liquid it comes in contact with. 

You can usually find brioche buns in your local grocery store in the bakery or specialty bread department. As with most buns, it benefits from a quick toast. Because of the added sugar in the dough, brioche can burn more quickly than other bread, so keep a close eye on that bun. Start with one or two minutes and check often from there on.


For a heartier option, consider using ciabatta, which MasterClass describes as an Italian bread made with only five ingredients: wheat flour, yeast, water, salt, and olive oil. It is known for its crisp crust and airy interior which is a result of its production. The dough gets mixed longer than more tender types of bread such as brioche, which leads to more protein development and greater strength. This makes it an ideal candidate for a sandwich that won't fall apart. 

Because there is only a small amount of fat in this bread recipe, it can definitely take a good smear of sauce, whether you opt for aioli or barbecue. Either will pair well with a juicy grilled burger. Ciabatta definitely benefits from a light toast, but since it is made from a low-moisture dough, it can be prone to drying out. Start with a quick toast over high heat for ten to twenty seconds, then go from there. 


Of course, there's nothing wrong with a classic white bread burger bun. Opting for the standard bun means there are no other flavors getting in the way of tasting your juicy burger. Classic white buns can easily be made at home in case you want to make your burger from scratch. Comparatively, the dough isn't as lean as ciabatta and it doesn't have the high sugar or fat content of brioche. It gets its structure from high-protein bread flour, milk, and a touch of sweetness from evaporated milk and sugar. 

Most classic burgers simply call for a plain white bun. Even Anthony Bourdain dismissed other types of buns like brioche in favor of a heartier and sturdier white bun. There's still a wide range of quality when it comes to white buns and not all bread is created equal. When shopping at the store, look for fresher options that are low (or void) of preservatives for a tastier dining experience. 


So you've tried the plain white bread burger bun options and you're looking for something a little more fun and interesting. Enter the pretzel roll. Like regular twisted pretzels, a pretzel bun starts as a simple bread dough. It gets its signature dark brown crust by boiling in baking soda and water before being topped with coarse salt and baked (via German Food Guide). Pretzels originate from Germany, the same place as the early origins of the hamburger itself (per Eater), so it is a pretty natural pairing.

Over at Wendy's, the pretzel bacon pub cheeseburger is a popular limited menu item. It has Muenster cheese, a gooey beer cheese sauce, crispy onion strings, pickles, bacon, and honey mustard, all piled high in between a tasty pretzel bun. Only a pretzel bun has the structure to stand up to all the components in this loaded burger. Plus, the signature pretzel flavor pairs perfectly with the hot mustard and funky cheese. 


Sesame seeds are so common on burgers that we forget they aren't technically on a standard white bun. The seeds have their own unique, nutty flavor that adds plenty of taste to the final dish. Subtly crunchy toasted white sesame seed buns are one of the most common burger bun options available, and many hugely popular burger chains, like McDonald's and Five Guys, regularly serve them on ordinary hamburgers as well as more complex layered options.

This beloved bread choice proves how well a simple sesame bun works paired with a juicy burger, by really allowing the flavor of the meat to shine through. If you toast the buns, the nutty sesame seed flavor is especially highlighted. Sesame seeds were first added to yeast-risen buns in Oklahoma in 1891 by a man named Oscar Weber Billy (via The Cold Wire). The idea quickly took off and sesame seed buns became a common addition to a classic American burger. 

Kaiser roll

Similar to the plain bun but not quite exactly the same is the kaiser roll, a special type of white-flour bread roll with a crisp crust and a distinctive swirl pattern on the top (via Cooks Info). The rolls are yeast-risen with a pattern exposing a lot more nooks and crannies that become crispy once baked. Originally from Austria, these rolls can sometimes be found topped with various kinds of seeds or chopped onion (via Delighted Cooking). In parts of the eastern United States, these rolls are sometimes called hard rolls to differentiate them from softer white buns.

For those looking for a crunchier taste experience than a potato or brioche bun, the kaiser roll fits the bill perfectly. The size and shape are relatively similar and the texture makes most of the difference. The unique consistency is a result of a longer bake time and a decently long rise that gives the yeast a chance to properly proof. 


Potato buns are another great option for a simple hamburger. These spud-based buns are similar but not quite the same as a classic white bun. Potato breads have existed since the 18th century, becoming popular in Germany in World War II when wheat flour was hard to come by (via Revolutionary Pie). The starch in a cooked potato is similar to the content of wheat flour, turning a recipe that was initially developed out of desperation into one with a fan base all of its own. It turns out that the fluffy texture of cooked potato produces a lighter and whiter bread than some types of wheat flour. 

Potato buns aren't gluten-free because you still need a small amount of wheat flour to make the dough. Other than that, this type of burger bun comes together easily with some cooked potatoes, milk, yeast, butter, sugar, and salt. Try making your own at home if you have leftover baked potatoes. 

Sliced bread

Using sliced bread as your next burger bun could be the greatest thing since, well, sliced bread. While it isn't always the first idea that comes to mind, the combination of toasted sliced bread, caramelized onions, melted cheese, and a rich griddled burger is exactly how you make the perfect patty melt. Patty melts are delicious sandwiches that often use thick slices of toasted sourdough or rye bread.

When using sliced bread, there are a couple of key tricks that can help make the most of this bun choice. For starters, toasting your bread with mayonnaise instead of butter gives you a much crispier golden brown result, thanks to the egg content. As for the cheese, there are a lot of strong opinions about which type is best, so let your own judgment guide you. No matter what you choose, a light piece of sliced bread has just the right amount of airiness to absorb all that melted cheese. 

English muffin

While you may think of it as a breakfast bread, English muffins make surprisingly great burger buns. Celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian swears by this option, which he prefers toasted and buttered with salt and pepper. Not only do they make delicious burger buns, but they are super easy to find at your local grocery store. Any kind of English muffin should work, and you can even make your own if you're feeling ambitious.

So what makes an English muffin so well suited for a burger bun? Well for starters, the craggy, holey texture is a great conduit for sauces, such as ketchup or aioli. English muffins are cooked on a griddle instead of being baked, so the exterior already has a nice, crusty exterior even before toasting. This helps them stand up to the juicy burger without falling apart. Also, the size is perfect for anyone seeking portion-control. 

Fried mac and cheese bites

For a really different and undoubtedly decadent burger bun option, how about macaroni and cheese? Datz restaurant in Tampa, Florida, serves The Cheesy Todd burger sandwiched between two breaded and fried bacon jalapeño macaroni and cheese patties. The result is a gooey, delicious taste extravaganza that is like nothing you have ever had. 

Now, this isn't a healthy food choice by any means, but sometimes you just want to splurge. If you can't make it to Florida, you could try recreating it yourself at home. The trick is to freeze squares of already-cooked macaroni and cheese, then dredge them in flour and breading and drop them into a hot fryer before the pasta has a chance to thaw. This might be a lot of work for an everyday meal but it might be a project worth trying for a fun occasion. 


Since we're branching out from bread-based options, we can't forget the lettuce bun. Sometimes called lettuce wraps, this leafy green is a popular lighter idea. Over at In-N-Out, one of the famous secret menu items is a creation referred to as "protein style," which entails swapping the bun with a crisp leaf of lettuce. The beef patty is otherwise prepared just like all the other burgers so the flavor is not lacking. 

A few pieces of crisp lettuce can be a great way to reduce carbohydrates in your diet. Whether you want to cut back for health reasons or because you are gluten-free, lettuce makes a great swap. The best type of lettuce to use for a burger is stiff iceberg, but a few leaves of hearty romaine would do the trick as well. Steer clear of softer lettuce like butter, which will likely just cause a huge mess.