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Columbus couple spends nine months creating ‘Burger Bracket’ to find city’s best

Columbus couple spends nine months creating ‘Burger Bracket’ to find city’s best

Jack McLaughlin

While some of us were throwing our time away on uninformed March Madness brackets that disintegrated after a round or two of gameplay, one local husband and wife duo was putting in the work that really matters: creating a March Madness-style bracket to determine what they believe to be the best burger in the city of Columbus.

In January of this year, Sara Austin and Zach Snider first created their Columbus Burger Bracket. Austin and Snider’s bracket featured burger from 32 different Columbus restaurants, eateries that, according to Austin, were sourced from several best burger lists, from input on Reddit and from friends. While each restaurant wasn’t seeded in order of best to worst, the duo used a random number generator to pair each spot.

After that, there was really only one thing left to do: eat their way through.


“We’ve tried every single burger, and in the Top 8, we tried twice,” Austin said, noting that the pair finally finished the bracket this past weekend. “If we could have done two every week, financially, we would have finished a lot faster.”

For each burger, the couple would also order a side salad and an appetizer, which led to some under-the-radar finds, Austin said, including the house-made tater tots from The Pearl. 

The entire process took them approximately nine months in total, and was filled with surprises along the way. One of the most unexpected finds was the burger that ultimately emerged as the winner, which came from Club 185. The winning burger beat out the often-lauded burgers from Ringside Cafe for the top spot.

“I did not find any source commending [Club 185’s] burger until my boss recommended it to us, so I figured I could throw it in there after we realized,” Austin said.

You can see the full bracket below, and if you still can’t get enough of Columbus burgers, you can also check out Burger & Beer Week 2023, which runs Oct. 2-7.

Bracket courtesy of Sara Austin and Zach Snider

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