Where to find the best buns (minds out of the gutter!) and patties in the Mother City and surrounds
According to an article by The Huffington Post, Americans consume nearly 50 billion hamburgers a year. Yes, billion! So, while there aren’t any official stats on just how many burgers South Africans eat annually, there’s no denying that the bun-and-patty combo is a firm favourite amongst the people of Mzansi.
And when it comes to Cape Town, the foodie capital of the Rainbow Nation, it seems as though burger-love is deep and real. In fact, when we asked our readers to weigh in on their favourite burger joints in the Mother City, Ian Michael firmly asserted, “[If] anyone says McDonalds, they need to be pushed off the mountain- lol.”
Thankfully, we don’t have to be worried about being tossed off our beloved Table Mountain as we, with the help of some of our burger-obsessed readers’ Twitter replies and Facebook comments, have put together the ultimate crowdsourced non-lolworthy overview of the best burger places in and around Cape Town.
BEST BURGER PLACES IN CAPE TOWN’S CBD AND GARDENS
The Dog’s Bollocks
Neatly tucked away in a garage on Roodehek Street, The Dog’s Bollocks is not only known as a no-frills hipster hotspot, but it is also responsible for doling out some of the most Instagram-worthy, hashtag-inspiring burgers in the Mother City. The massive sandwiches are made up of either a beef or vegan patty, and with options like the New Yorker, which is whipped up with olives, capers and cheese sauce, and the Pepperberry Blue -it comprises blue cheese and sliced pepperdews – it comes as no surprise that one of our readers, Gillian Farrel, was adamant that The Dog’s Bollock’s “has amazing burgers”. Do note: The Dog’s Bollocks is a cash-only operation and offers only 50 burgers on a first-come first-served basis every night.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday:5pm-10:30pm
6 Roodehek Street | Gardens | +27 (0) 83 440 7843
“Divine!” This is the simple but apt response we got from Lynda Wentzel on Facebook. A popular addition to the trendy Kloof Street strip, Emily’s whips up burgers with beef, venison or boerewors patties. Most of the burgers feature on the eatery’s day menu- it runs from 10am to 5pm-, and an ever-changing option called “Die Burger” is on the evening menu. Our recommendation? The venison burger, which is made with caraway, sweet potato and honey spread and served with a sweet and sour beetroot salad and chips sprinkled with oreganum salt.During summer months, Emily’s lays out cushions and blankets on the lawn for guests to enjoy a sun-filled dining experience.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday: 10am to 10pm.
55 Kloof Street | Gardens | +27 (0) 21 424 0882
Hudsons – The Burger Joint
“HUDSONS IS MORE THAN JUST A BURGER JOINT. IT’S AN INTEGRAL PART OF TREND-SETTING CAPE TOWN CULTURE.” That’s the all-caps statement that you will find on Hudsons’s website- need we say more? Well, if you insist, the original American-style Kloof Street spot and the franchises that have popped up in surrounding Cape Town are known for a number of mouth-watering options, including The Poppa Trunks, which includes a chilli popper, sweet chilli sauce as well and feta and cheddar cheese; The Works, which is layered with mustard mayo, tomato relish, red onion and dill pickles; and The La Di Dah burger, an ostrich patty topped with onion marmalade, blue cheese, avo and biltong dust. And, to cite Hudsons, er, site again, “IF YOU DON’T EAT BEEF, YOU CAN STILL EAT A BURGER”. There are delicious chickpea and lentil burger alternatives for vegetarians.
Reader review: “YUM! And their beer is good too.” Fran Hepburn.
Opening times: Every day from 12pm to 11pm
69 A Kloof Street | Gardens | +27 (0) 21 426 5974
As a clothing shop, art gallery, coffee house AND restaurant, multi-purpose Bree Street space Latitude 33 does a lot things well – but its juicy homemade burgers may just be its greatest attribute. Downstairs in the surf-inspired bistro, the two-storey property serves up homemade beef and chicken breast patties that come topped with your selection of emmental and streaky bacon, brie and Pinotage jam, blue cheese and chorizo and more. Not to mention, there’s a funky ostrich burger with blueberry compote and buffalo mozzarella that we’ve heard is to die for. Veggies – you can tuck into a mushroom option with any of the aforementioned trimmings. And after you’re done, you can beef up your wardrobe or your bedroom walls with some purchases upstairs in the clothing shop and art gallery.
Opening times: Monday – Friday: 7am – 3pm; Saturday: 8am – 1pm
165 Bree Street | City Centre | Cape Town | +27 (0) 21 424 9857
Protea Hotel Fire and Ice! Cape Town Restaurant
If you are wondering which one of this swanky hotel’s other-side-of-ordinary creations you should try, well according to Bianka Frambs, “any burger you can think of… and then to top it off you must try their legendary milkshakes. Priceless.” Well, it’s not entirely ‘priceless’ as burgers start from R85 and go up to R125, but you will definitely get your money’s worth. Popular options include the Spicy Killer Point, a delicious Moroccan-spiced lamb burger with cucumber raita and Delhi eggplant, and the Magic ‘Shroom, a rosemary Portobello mushroom “patty” topped with yummy Camembert and a sweet roast vegetable compote. Not to mention, there is a Build-A-Burger option for all you control freaks out there, so you can pair a 150-g to 350-g cut of beef, lamb, chicken or hake with one of the lip-smacking sauces on offer.
Opening times: Every day: 6am- 10:30am (breakfast), 12:30pm – 6pm (lunch) and 6:30pm- 10:30pm (dinner).
New Church Street | Gardens | +27 (0)21 488 2555
Rick’s Café Américain
Situated just off the trendy Kloof Street strip, Rick’s offers grass-fed, hormone-free, ‘natural’ beef burgers as classic as the 1942 film that it draws inspiration from. Mouth-watering options like the Roman Burger – it comes with grilled bacon, Caesar dressing, anchovies and Parmesan – and the delectable blue cheese tower with rocket, beetroot, pineapple and blue cheese sauce are just two of the knock-out stars. Although, the owner, Per Menko, recommends the BMB Burger, which is stacked with grilled bacon, mushrooms, Brie cheese, cranberry jelly and rocket. And so, to quote Casablanca, the famous film that inspired much of Rick’s Café’s aesthetic: “Round up the usual suspects” and head out for a hearty burger!
Opening times: Monday to Saturday: 11am to 11pm.
2 Park Road | Gardens | +27 (0)21 424 1100
Largely considered one of Cape Town’s foremost bun-and-patty institutions, Royale has been serving up some of the tastiest milkshakes and burgers in town for over a decade. Popular options include the Big Bird, which comprises an ostrich patty with homemade beetroot relish, and the Classic Royale, a dish that’s anchored by a tasty, 160-g pure beef patty. Additionally, according to one of our readers, the self-proclaimed ‘burger nut’ Kim Matthee, “they [the burgers] are simply the best!”. Meanwhile, Jade Potgieter maintains that Royale has the “best range of veggie burgers ever!” and @CarlaSchoeman1 recommends the #misspiggy (burger).
Opening times: Monday to Saturday: 12pm – 11:30pm.
273 Long Street | City Centre | + 27 (0)21 422 4536
Other notable mentions: Inn of the Square Hotel’s Dish Restaurant on Greenmarket Square, Arnold’s on Kloof Street and Clarke’s on Bree Street.
BEST BURGER PLACES IN DE WATERKANT, GREEN POINT AND SEA POINT
Situated on Cape Town’s famous pink strip in Green Point, Beefcakes is equally as famous for its selection of beefcakes as it is for its, well, beefcakes. More specifically, the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence-winning hotspot is known for quirky and delicious burger options like Buffy the Hamburger Slayer and Chilli on the Willi as well as the hunky waiters that serve you. All patty and carb combos are paired with spicy wedges, fries or salad. Not to mention, you can also enjoy regular gender-bending musical acts (nightly from Monday to Saturday) such as Mary Scary, Odidiva and Princess Pop while tucking into your generously proportioned beefcake.
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 12pm – 10pm; Saturday: 6pm to 11pm
34 Somerset Road | Green Point | +27 (0) 21 425 9019
Perched on Sea Point’s Main Road, Engruna Eatery specialises in generously stacked burgers that are served with either plain or sweet potato fries (for an extra R20, there’s an option of truffle and parmesan chips too) and that come in a range of mouth-watering forms, think everything from a lamb burger with tzatziki, baba ghanoush, feta and grilled onion to a lentil and kidney bean vegan patty topped with avocado and homemade relish. The laidback neighbourhood haunt and passionate craft beer purveyor also proved to be popular with our readers: Audrey McGregor highlighted the lamb burger and thinks the “sweet potato fries are absolutely delicious!”, and whereas Laurene Van Coller just “agreed” with Audrey, Jolene Lombard “totally agreed!”.
Opening times: Monday to Saturday: 12pm to 10:30pm
343 Main Road | Sea Point | + 27 (0) 21 433 0789
Gibson’s Gourmet Burgers and Ribs
With one of the most impressive burger menus in Cape Town, it comes as no surprise that Gibson’s at the V&A Waterfront is one of the most frequented burger joints in the Mother City. With ‘gourmet’ selections such as the Philly served with Swiss or cheddar cheese and the Gibson’s Classic 100% Pure Beef burger to ‘Roll’s Royce’ choices like a Governor’s De-luxe Burger, which comes with bacon, guacamole and sweet mustard, and the hefty Tex-Mex, which is served with nachos, salsa and cream cheese on the side, you are bound to find a deliciously stacked creation to sate your burger craving.
Opening times: Monday to Sunday: 11am – 9pm
Shop 153 Lower Level Road | V&A Waterfront | +27 (0) 21 418 3660
The Loading Bay
It’s not often that Thursday tops the list of favourite days of the week, but Cape Town burger lovers should rejoice when it comes around because that means that it is Burger Night at the trendy Loading Bay café in De Waterkant. In fact, our Facebook friend Lesley Ann van der Nest highly recommends the beef burger. How highly? Well, we counted eight exclamation marks. The food item is served with truffle salted fries or a side a salad, and all of the meat and produce are sourced locally from farmers and suppliers who abide by ethical rearing methods. Here’s to Thursdays (insert eight exclamation marks).
Opening times: ‘Burger Thursdays’: 1st seating, 6:30pm – 8:30pm; 2nd seating, 8:30pm – late
30 Hudson Street | De Waterkant | +27 (0)21 425 6321
Other notable mentions: Saul’s Grill on Main Road, Sea Point; Franky’s Diner on Main Road, Sea Point; San Marco Italian Restaurant at the V&A Waterfront; and Sotano by Caveau’s 2-for-1 Wednesday lamb burger special.
BEST BURGER PLACES IN WOODSTOCK, OBSERVATORY AND SALT RIVER
Hello Sailor Bistro
Observatory’s Lower Main Road is populated by a number of quirky haunts and the Hello Sailor Bistro is undoubtedly a stand-
Fun fact: The bistro’s tattooed mermaid logo was designed by renowned South African artist Conrad Botes.
Opening times: Monday to Friday: 08:30am – 11pm; Saturday and Sunday: 9am – 11pm
86 Lower Main Road | Observatory | + 27 (0) 21 447 0707
No Ordinary Burger (The NOB)
This rockabilly-inspired (think everything from Harley Davidson memorabilia to old-school Pacman arcade games) eatery may make a bold statement with its name, but if the response from our readers is anything to go by, the Woodstock-based burger joint truly lives up to it. “The NOB has the most delicious burgers! It also has an awesome vibe, great music and super friendly staff too!” is Kay Richards’s review of the spot. The NOB serves 100% pure beef patties in a number of classic variations: there’s the Peppery Shroom, a monster slathered in a, you guessed it, mushroom and pepper sauce; The Porker, which comes with a generous portion of bacon as the leading star; and The Porra, a sandwich served with a garlic-happy Portuguese prego sauce. If that doesn’t sound sufficiently tantalising, perhaps the fact that the burgers have a diameter of 16cm will leave you salivating. Clearly size matters for the folks at the NOB.
Opening times: Tuesday to Friday: 11am – 2:30pm and 5pm – 9pm (last burger order at 8:30pm); Saturday: 10am- 3pm.
68 Bromwell Street | Woodstock|+27 (0) 82 921 6447
Taproom Craft Beer Pub and Restaurant
Housed in the Devil’s Peak Brewing Company’s converted warehouse in Salt River, the Taproom is the go-to place for the perfect burger and beer pairing. Grub options include a nifty bite-sized cheeseburger and a scrumptious lamb burger served with red onion, feta and cumin mayonnaise. And as for the frothy beverage to accompany your tasty stack? There’s Woodhead Amber Ale, The King’s Blockhouse IPA, First Light Golden Ale and Silvertree Saison to choose from (as well as an ever-changing range of experimental brews). And it seems as though our readers are also enamored with the upmarket spot: when asked to endorse a Cape Town burger spot, Amber Rose Pretorius replied, “TAPROOM. TAPROOM. Oh, and Taproom”.
Opening times: Tuesday to Saturday: 12pm – 11pm. Kitchen closes at 10pm.
95 Durham Ave | Salt River| +27 (0)21 200 5818
Other notable mentions: Sticky Fingers in Observatory, Redemption Burgers at the Old Biscuit Mill and The Woodstock Lounge.
BEST BURGER PLACES IN CAMPS BAY
Arguably one of the most popular spots in Camps Bay, the beachside Café Caprice is open seven days a week, which makes getting your burger fix from the trendy place that much easier. The café uses fresh ingredients and homemade sauces for its buns, and its extensive menu includes a Royal option that is stacked with streaky bacon, cheddar, fresh chilli and beer-battered onion rings; the Dreamy burger, which doubles as a decadent tower of mozzarella, creamy mushroom and black pepper sauce; an Apostle beef burger with shredded beef short rib, mozzarella and a fried egg and many others. Top tip for the image-conscious residents of Camps Bay: you can swap out the side portion of evil carbs (chips) for a Greek side salad for just R10 extra. Also be sure to ask about the 2-for-1 burger special that the restaurant runs during the winter months.
Opening times: Mondays to Sunday: 9am – late.
37 Victoria Road | Camps Bay | +27 (0) 21 438 8315
It’s not often that one can use ‘affordable’ when writing about a venue on the seaside strip of Camps Bay, but Mynt Café is all about catering to rand–earning Capetonians. So for those who want to venture to the land of bronzed bodies and maxed out credit cards and get more bang for their buck, Mynt Café is the spot for you. Its selection of burgers includes a bacon, egg and cheese creation; a Camembert, Thai sweet chilli and rocket tower; and a Portobello mushroom and cheese sandwich. Not to mention the eatery boasts a broad patio that spills out onto the pavement, so you can take in the pretty seaside views while tucking into an affordable mound of deliciousness.
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday: 8am – late.
31 Victoria Road | Camps Bay | +27 (0) 21 437 1765
BEST BURGER PLACES IN HOUT BAY
With one of the most eclectic burger menus in the Cape Peninsula area, it comes as no surprise that this steampunk- inspired haunt is widely considered to be one of the brightest jewels in the Hout Bay crown. Its range of so-called “e-steamed burgers” is served with mashed potato or a side salad. Carnivores can look forward to 200g of pure beef goodness and vegetarians can expect a special patty made from a heavenly mixture of butternut, lentils, chickpeas, brinjal and nuts. Special mention must be made of the no bun (shock, horror!) option; drawing inspiration from the Banting diet, the Noaksy option is a chickpea and corn fritter served with bacon jam, roast butternut and Parmesan. Ragafellows is also known for its extensive cocktail menu, which includes a one-litre Victoria Punch Jug option.
Opening times: Tuesday to Thursday: 6pm -10pm; Friday and Saturday: 12pm – 10pm and Sunday: 12pm- 8pm.
Main Road | Hout Bay | +27 (0)21 790 8955
BEST BURGER PLACES IN THE SOUTHERN SUBURBS
Hudsons Burger Joint
With two other outlets in the Mother City (one on Somerset Road in Green Point and the other on Kloof Street in Gardens), Hudsons is clearly somewhat of an institution. Readers Andre Colling, who singled out the Poppa Trunks burger, and Byron Kenneth Arendse recommended the Claremont-based incarnation. Hudsons is also one of the few burger hangouts where patrons can swap the traditional beef patty for a veggie or ostrich option for no additional cost.
Opening times: Every day from 12pm to 11pm.
Shop 1A, 25 Protea Road | Claremont | +27 (0) 21 674 5152
Sitting pretty on Second Avenue in Harfield Village, Loco Lounge, which opened in December 2012, is known for serving New York-style bagels, top quality coffees and freshly squeezed juices. But, a glance at the eatery’s evening menu reveals two of its most popular food items: the Legendary Loco and Pulled Pork burgers. The former is a lean beef patty served on a soft roll with lettuce, onion, tomato and aioli and the latter comes with purple slaw and root veggie chips.
Reader review: “Fantastic!!” Jenni Bessesen.
Opening times: Tuesday to Sunday: 8am – 10pm
58 Surrey Street, 2nd Avenue | Harfield Village | +27 (0) 21 671 6054
Oh My Burger
This Tokai- based eatery has superhero tendencies: by day, it is an organic bakery/ deli, and by night, it transforms into a tricked-out burger joint. Its super power? Mouth-watering burgers, of course. OMB, as it is affectionately known, is open four nights a week (Wed-Sat) and on Sunday afternoons, and serves up one of the Southern Suburbs most talked about burgers – the Babe Burger. This delicious stack of heavenly goodness comprises crispy bacon, avo and Emmentaler cheese. Not to mention, if you take away the roll, you have the perfect Banting-approved meal. Prof Noakes would be so proud!
Opening times: Wednesday to Saturday: 6pm – 10pm; Sunday: 12pm – 3pm
12 Westlake Lifestyle Centre | Tokai | +27 (0) 82 904 9577
BEST BURGER PLACES IN THE NORTHERN SUBURBS
Dutch Haven Bistro
This family-friendly eatery in Durbanville is a great spot for the whole troupe to enjoy tasty bun and patty creations. Diners have the option to spice up a simple beef or chicken burger with bacon, avocado and cheese; a biltong and avo combo; or a slice of cheese. But if guests are in the mood for some authentic Dutch dishes, they can tuck into fare like uitsmijter (fried eggs, gypsy ham and melted Dutch cheese on bread), patat speciaal (hot chips served the Holland way with ketchup, mayonnaise and chopped onion) and Amsterdamse biefstuk (fillet served in a gravy on fresh bread).
Opening times: Monday – Thursday: 8am – 5pm; Friday: 8am – 8:30pm;
Saturday: 8:30am – 3pm
High Street Shopping Village | Bella Rosa Street | Durbanville | +27 (0) 21 914 6120
Slug and Lettuce (Durbanville)
This line of upscale British-style pubs and social cafés can be found all over the Mother City, but one of our readers, Lecile du Plessis, singled out the Durbanville-based one as the go-to Slug and Lettuce for delicious burgers. The menu includes a Bacon and Melting Cheese Burger, The Slug’s Very Best Mushroom Burger and the Green Peppercorn Sauce Burger. The meaty sandwiches are all garnished with sliced tomatoes, onions and greens (you can expect lettuce and no slugs), topped with fried onion rings and served with fries.
Opening times: Every day: 11am – 10pm
Heritage Square| Vrede Street | Durbanville | + 27 (0) 21 976 8705
BEST BURGER PLACES IN THE CAPE TOWN SURROUNDS
Saints Burger Joint at Eden on the Bay
The vibe: According to its website, the spot focuses on “Burgers, Beer, Rock ‘n’ Roll and Freedom!”
The burgers: Guests can custom-make their own tasty stack by choosing everything from the meat and bun to the toppings and sauces. You will have to “milk the cow” for cheese though.
Shop 57C Eden on the Bay | Bloubergstrand | + 27 (0) 21 554 9709
The vibe: This Parklands-based eatery is all about a laidback, family-friendly dining experience.
Must-try burger: The 100% Wagyu beef burger.
Cnr Hampstead Close & Parklands Main Road | Parklands | + 27 (0) 21 557 8401
The vibe: As the name suggests, Basic Bistro is an uncomplicated and unpretentious spot that is known for its cosy and intimate feel.
Our recommendation: The Camemburger- think a pure steak mince patty laced with thin layer of gourmet pesto and stacked with caramelised onion rings and Camembert slices. Need we say more?
31 Church Street | Stellenbosch | +27 (0) 21 883 3629
Red Leaf Restaurant at the Beyerskloof Wine Farm
The vibe: If you’re looking for a mini getaway, this Cape Winelands-based eatery facilitates a tranquil eating experience. Not to mention, the wine farm overlooks the stunning Simonsberg mountain, so you can enjoy some stellar views in addition to some tasty burgers.
Reader suggestion: Yvette Slowey highly recommends the Red Leaf’s signature Pinotage Burger (the name alone makes us hungry!).
R304 Klipheuwel Road | Stellenbosch | +27 (0)21 865 2135
Fred and Max
The vibe: Described on its website as “one sexy little shop”, Fred and Max boast a vintage-meets-contemporary aesthetic.
Wednesday: This is the day that the lord has made…for burger lovers! Every hump day, Fred and Max hosts “Good Burger Wednesday”, which sees the eatery serve up gourmet burgers for the night.
Shop 4 Fairview Centre | Somerset West | +27 (0) 21 850 0911
The vibe: Situated at the Noordhoek Farm Village, Café Rouxis largely about an outdoor dining experience. What’s more, the eatery borders on a children’s playground and grass area, making it a family-friendly spot.
Our recommendation: The Ratatouille Burger, which is stacked with buffalo mozzarella, grilled aubergine, courgettes, red onion, tomato and basil sauce.
Chapman’s Peak Drive | Noordhoek | + 27 (0) 21 789 2538
The vibe: Based in the scenic seaside town of Hermanus, Zebra Crossing claims a welcoming and almost carefree atmosphere.
Must-try burger: The eatery’s namesake burger- a spicy beef, cheese, mushroom and bacon tower- will be a sure-fire hit… with your taste buds!
Cnr Long and Main Roads | Hermanus | + 27 (0) 28 312 3906