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6 of Cape Town’s Best Burgers for Hamburger Day

”Man who invented the hamburger was smart; Man who invented the cheeseburger was a genius.” ~Matthew McConaughey

A succulent and saucy patty, the crunch of fresh lettuce and tomato, the tang of pickle, and promise of melted cheese, all wedged between two soft buns. There are few pleasures in life so great as that of the perfect burger.

Apparently the most noble of sandwiches was invented in Hamburg, Germany (or at the very least, this is certainly where it derives its namesake). Either way, 28 May has been earmarked as a day to celebrate the burger and we’re not complaining.

But where to find the ultimate stacks of joy in the Mother City? We’ve got a few ideas.

1 Cape Grace Bascule Bar
While our sophisticated whisky bar might not be the first spot that springs to mind when the meaty craving hits, our Bascule Speciality is so named for a very good reason. Behold the Bascule Burger. Made from deliciously marbled Wagyu beef, the patty is the real star of this show. Best ordered medium, it’s wedged between the softest of brioche buns, and served with a delectable truffled mushroom sauce, chunky, thick-cut fries and roasted garlic aioli. The best part? It pairs really well with the whisky you’ll no doubt enjoy while there.

Join us on Father’s Day (Sunday, 17 June)  for our Father’s Day promotion: you can enjoy a Wagyu beef burger and a CBC Draught 300ml for R180 at Bascule Bar. Telephone: +27 (21) 410 7082 or to make a booking.

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2 Royale Eatery
You can’t mention burgers in Cape Town without acknowledging Royale. What makes them so special? Well aside from the fact that this Long Street institution has been around since 2003, they also offer the biggest selection of burgers you could hope to find including pure beef, free-range chicken, ostrich and fish. While the meaty options are heavenly, they’re a hit with vegans and veggies alike with the most expansive selection in the country. The favourites? Miss Piggy with bacon and guac, or the veggie Winks-Newman with beetroot, feta and watercress. Do order the sweet potato fries, and the shakes, oh the shakes! Double thick and in 20 flavour variants (with mixing allowed), they’re not to be missed.

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3 Burger & Lobster
From over 50 choices to just a single one. As their names suggests, Burger & Lobster do 2 main things: amazing burgers and lobster creations. The B&L gourmet burger means serious business: a 250g pure steak patty stacked on a freshly-baked brioche bun topped with two types of homemade cheeses (a mild white cheddar and an American-style cheddar), maple bacon, red onion, lettuce, tomato and home-pickled gherkins, which is then all drizzled with a homemade mayonnaise and served with a portion of golden fries and a delicious side salad. Whew. It’s a mouthful, but not one you’re going to forget about soon. Our pro tip? Don’t skip out on the Nutella Cheesecake! It’s famously good, so split it if you must, but don’t leave without a bite.

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4 Clarke’s
This American-style diner first rose to fame for its no frills burgers – and they still sell out fast. The 210g Oak Valley grass-fed beef burger is served medium rare and topped with Underberger cheese & fries, nested in a simple, checkered basket. The kicker is the freshly-baked brioche – a slightly sweet roll that compliments the tang of the pickles and salt of the meat. There’s also a zucchini-and-beet burger for the veggies, with extras that include avo, crispy bacon and Clarke’s hot sauce. Order a rocking chair cocktail or local beer to wash it all down with.

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5 Scheckter’s RAW Gourmet
The terms ‘health food’ and ‘burger’ are rarely used in the same sentence, but that’s why we love this wild card. The BVB – or Best Vegan Burger, means you can tuck into without the guilt! The patty is made from vegetable protein, lentils, brown rice, oats, flax seed, so it’s pure goodness. Topped with smashed avocado, caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, BBQ mayo sauce, and served with sweet potato fries and vegan aioli, it’s indulgent and so tasty that even die-hard meat fans might think of converting. But the real shock factor? The black bun – infused with activated charcoal for a detoxing effect, they taste amazing (and definitely aren’t burnt as you might fleetingly wonder).

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6 The Dog’s Bollocks
Burgers as big as your face with an equally as large side order of sass is the name of the game at this garage-style hidden gem, found down a side street in Gardens. Choose your patty (beef, chicken or veg) and then decide how you want it with one of 9 topping variations including bacon, cheese and BBQ, caramelised onions and cheddar, jalapeño and nacho cheese sauce, arrabiata and cheese, Prego sauce, blue cheese with pepperdews, or Mexican chilli con carne (and cheese of course). There are also bunless options available for banters, but don’t expect to get cutlery – that’s your job to fetch, along with your order. All part of the fun we say.

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Beef up on your burger facts with 6 interesting morsels to chew on:

  1. Americans alone consume approximately 50-billion burgers a year.
  2. Nearly 60-percent of all sandwiches sold worldwide are actually hamburgers.
  3. The “Hamburger Hall of Fame” is located in Seymour, Wisconsin.
  4. One of the most expensive burgers available in the US is served at the Fleur de Lys in Las Vegas. The FleurBurger is made with Kobe beef and topped with foie gras and black truffles. It also comes with a 1990 bottle of Chateau Petrus, all for $5,000.
  5. McDonalds sells 75 hamburgers every second.
  6. Hamburgers were referred to as “Liberty Sandwiches” during World War I.

We hope that wherever you enjoy Hamburger Day, it’s a time of good food, family, friends, fun, and extra fries!

Images supplied

Blog post by: Tarah Darge

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