Bad Daddy's makes their own cheese.


To say Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar is a chain restaurant is to do it a disservice. It is most definitely a chain restaurant, albeit one with local roots — the first Bad Daddy’s was in the Charlotte airport — but this is no Fuddrucker’s. There’s a real commitment to the art of the burger here, with locally sourced ingredients and a high level of culinary sophistication. They make their own American cheese here. And even the veggie burger — a Tex-Mex approach with taco-style toppings — looks pretty good.

But I allow myself to be steered towards the Mama Ricotta, which doesn’t have any ricotta cheese but comes with a slab of Buffalo-milk mozzarella made in house, a pesto of similar origin and fresh tomato slices, with a drizzling of olive oil to complete the dish.

The flavor profile is unlike that of any other burger I’ve eaten in recent memory — the closest I can remember is the old-school diner pizza burger, which compares to this one as a Texas Instruments calculator does to my Mac laptop.

It’s a whole lot better, is what I’m saying.

The burger menu lists just a few constructed burgers like this — I’m in for the patty melt next time — and a create-your-own list of ingredients that is genuinely impressive. I’ve never eaten buttermilk-fried bacon. But I bet it tastes great on a burger.

504 Hanes Mall Blvd., W-S, 336.893.6456 •

— BC

[This article is part of the cover story “The Hamburger Renaissance” published on July 2, 2014.]


  1. Actually the first Bad Daddy’s was Big Daddy’s and is located on East Blvd. in Charlotte. Name change was to allow for chain growth when there was another Big Daddy’s out there. The CLT Airport location came later.

      • Well, once a wonk, always a wonk. And if y’all can’t spell my name right when you run it, I may as well help on something like this. All kidding aside, like how TCB is doing. And have y’all pulled out the Elvis TCB logo yet?

  2. And the Mama Ricotta is also a homage to the Mama Ricotta’s restaurant also located in Charlotte and owned by the same group.

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