January 28, 2013
Where to find the best burgers in Cape Town
In the epic fight to be crowned Cape Town's best gourmet burger, there can be only one winner ... but it may take some time as eateries battle it out to deliver mouth-watering taste experiences.
These days there are a good many restaurants in and around the Mother City that are worthy contenders. Below, we lift the bun-lid on some of the most delectable burgers. Let your taste buds be the arbiter.
A favourite of Salma Hayek's and other Hollywood celebs, Royale Eatery in Long Street has long been considered the rightful heir to the "best burger" throne. Its reputation rests on its attention to detail, from the quirky decor, to the impeccable service from friendly waitresses, to the impressive choice of burgers on the menu. Royale burgers push the very boundaries of burger size – large in portion yet still just about the right size to pick up. It also has what is probably the most extensive choice of vegetarian options of the many restaurants in town, never mind just burger joints. In the gourmet burger world a side is not necessarily included in the meal, but here it is. And you can choose between sweet potato fries, salad or regular chips (or, if you ask nicely, maybe a mix of those) to go with your 160g patty of perfection.
It is said that everything is bigger in America, and since Hudsons is named after the river that runs through New York, you best be prepared for some super-sized food. Hudsons allows you to choose from a formidable-in-its-own-right 180g patty and the more intimidating 250g option. Don't hold back: the bigger option may cause that top button to burst, but it means even more mouthfuls of what could very well be the best burger in town. We personally recommend the Poppa Trunks – if only to see a burger that has an entire chilli popper as a topping. With restaurants in Green Point, Gardens and Claremont, and a playlist of great music regularly playing, Hudsons is not to be missed on your quest for burger brilliance.
It was one of the city's best-kept secrets for a while, with only a select few (hipsters, trendsetters and some locals) privy to the brilliance at Dog's Bollocks in Roodehek Street, Gardens. Now, it's become a firm favourite ... if you can get your hands on a burger, that is. Chef Nigel Woods makes only 50 burgers each night, which he sells for between R50 and R55 each. They comprise a range of styles and sauces, including Mexican mole, pepper, the good old cheese burger and po boys. The establishment, which has achieved legendary status, does not offer cutlery, while seating is 1980s-style garden furniture. Woods does not take reservations – it's first come, first served. It is best to get there around 5pm. The burgers live up to expectation: juicy and saucy with no hint of pretentiousness.
Dahling, you have to try the burgers at Beefcakes in Somerset Road, Green Point. It is more than a gay hang-out spot – the huge patties are to die for. You can create your own burger or choose from a long list, which includes Buffy the Hamburger Slayer, a patty groaning with a thick slice of matured cheddar cheese, caramelised onion, avo and creamy mushroom sauce. You can choose between beef, chicken, ostrich or vegetarian. All the burgers are served with fries, potato wedges or a side salad.
Gibson's Gourmet Burgers & Ribs
Gibson's Gourmet Burgers & Ribs spent two years carefully researching what makes the best burger, and it reckons it has perfected the recipe. Its 200g pure-beef patty is flame grilled and basted with a secret sauce. The burgers come with a selection of sauces including hot Mexican, creamy pepper and red wine. They are served with an order of thick-cut fries that are sprinkled with Gibson's moreish special seasoning salt. Gibson's is at the V&A Waterfront.