In the epic fight to be crowned Cape Town’s best gourmet burger, there are many worthy contenders delivering mouth-watering taste experiences! 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. It also has what is probably the most extensive choice of vegetarian and vegan 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.
One of the newest and best burger joints in the city, IYO Burgers only uses the freshest – and greenest – produce for all its meals. The burgers are insanely good and you have a choice of ditching the bun in favour of salad (one of the best salads around, do it!) and the curly fries are among the best in the Mother City.
JERRY’S BURGER BAR
Located in the student heartland of Observatory, Jerry’s Burger Bar has a laid-back, edgy vibe with burgers that mean business with a wide choice of craft beers to wash them down. Intimate and cosy, the restaurant pays homage to Norman Collins (aka Sailor Jerry) the founder of modern-day tattooing, with his classic swallow and monkey designs splashed across the interior. Open till late every night, Jerry’s is a firm favourite in Obs.
Renowned for their decadent burgers, both vegetarian and beef, Clarke’s is a favourite spot for locals. Wash the burgers down with local craft beers such as Jack Black Lager and Darling Brew Native Ale. It is also a perfect spot for people watching.