I am a big lover of endurance sports whether it be running, cycling or cross-country walking. This of course also means I know all about carbo-loading. In fact, it might possibly be one of the big reasons I subject myself to these kinds of activities. An excuse for carbs? Who cares, I’m in! In this experience of countless weekends spent sweating away for a couple of hours, any similar person can tell you that the only thing better than the carbs the night before, is the well-deserved burger and beer afterwards. So through this tradition I’ve accumulated a vast knowledge of the best burgers in Cape Town.
So, what makes a good burger?
In my expert opinion, a good burger is actually a bit of an art in its own right. There is just so much that can go wrong, the cheese isn’t tasty or melty, the tomato is gooey, the sauce is soggy and my biggest peeve of all: the mouthful of lettuce. Then, there’s the patty. A good burger is definitely not just scrunched and fried beef mince, oh no. Many people also think that gourmet toppings are the way to deliciousness. Let me just say, you only need to eat a bacon jam burger once in your life to know that ain’t true (no offence sickly sweet and gooey bacon lovers).
The key to a good burger lies in the love that goes into it. The right bun (fresh, but not bready), the right mix of veg (not hiding your meagre portions with lettuce), a topping (preferably cheese), a sauce to bind it all together and a patty that has been researched, tested and sourced with impeccable ingredients.
And where can you find the best burgers in Cape Town?
Mondiall is quite an unexpected burger gem as it is a famed fine-dining restaurant in the heart of the V&A Waterfront. Whether you choose to visit the burger bar takeaway window for a slightly cheaper version of their delicious burgers, or sit in the beautiful restaurant for their famed Wagyu cheese burger, you’ll very quickly forget about the price tag and drift away to tasty burger dreams.
Cost: A creation for the Burger Bar will cost you about R70, Mondiall’s famous 100% Wagyu burger from the main restaurant (my favourite) will cost you R140.
A long-time favourite among Capetonians, Woodlands Eatery is the kind of hidden gem that you’ll return to for years afterwards. If you manage to steer clear of their famed pizzas (how does a slow roasted lamb and crème fraiche sound), the Woodlands cheese burger is truly something of a marvel. It’s big, bulky, delicious AND topped with cheese and crème fraiche! Add the bacon and avon if you dare but be aware this bad boy doesn’t take prisoners.
Cost: The Woodlands cheese burger costs R105.
IYO Burger is definitely the ‘coolest’ joint on the list, and interestingly the only burger-focused eatery featured. Their main claim to fame is the cheese hidden inside the patty (and they don’t just stick any old cheese in there, it’s the good stuff!) Here you’ll also find an array of fancy toppings ranging from sun dried tomatoes to truffle sauce, but somehow I can forgive them for that as they keep the authenticity of the burger alive. Fancy without being fake, which is quite an art in itself.
Cost: A burger will cost you about R90.