Food & Wine

On the burger trail

If there’s anything we have to thank the Americans for it’s the humble hamburger, which, history tells us, first appeared around the 19th century as an American meaty sandwich. Well, the burger has come a long way, it’s crossed borders globally and has warped into one of the most loved gourmet food choices for young and old. We’ve searched and rounded up some of the best burgers Durbs has to offer.

Lock, Stock and Double Barrel

It’s easy to understand why we love this mighty mouthful of a tender and juicy double burger. There’s clearly a lot to love.

Meat: House-made from freshly ground beef with no MSG or artificial binding, both 200g patties are grilled to a sizzled char on the outside; on the inside, almost medium-rare, although you can order to your preference.

Bun: A big and bouncy seeded bun that holds it all together and defies meat juices.

Toppings: Greens, tomatoes, red onion, pickles, mustard, extra bacon and aged cheddar. Delish!

What’s so good about it? It’s oozy, cheesy, juicy – a handsome aristocratic two-hander with a beefy punch. It’s a lot of burger, but packed with a lot of flavour.

R99 from 1904 Bistro Americain, Kloof. Contact 031 035 0105.


The Lamb Burger

Lamb burgers are a great change from the norm and this one easily ranks at the top of the list of comfort foods, well in terms of a burger at least.

Meat: It is a juicy 150g ground lamb patty that’s more than enough thanks to its rich flavours accompanied by generous sides.

Bun: A classic bulk and fluffy burger bun, lightly toasted for a crispy finish.

Toppings: Lettuce, tomato, caramelised onion, gherkins, homemade burger relish and cheddar cheese, served with a side of salad and or French fries. You might be prepared to get messy but you won’t be prepared for how much the relish just completes this burger.

What’s so good about it? It’s something a little different, it’s juicy and tasty, and if you love lamb, then you’ll love everything about this hearty meal.

R80 from Café Vigour, Suncoast. Contact 031 328 3277.


The Durban burger

So how crunchy should a burger be? We’d like to think the key is in the contrast of a soft bun, perfectly balanced by some bacon with a decent crunch and finished off with the right kind of garnish.

Meat: A hunger busting 200g free range beef patty, topped with a decent stack of streaky bacon.

Bun: A sweet, pillowy seeded burger bun that perfectly accommodates its contents.

Toppings: Lettuce, tomato, red onion, spiced pineapple, cheddar cheese and an island style dressing. The spiced pineapple provokes a nostalgic feel as it mimics the kind of pineapple on a stick you can find on the beachfront. The Island style dressing adds a tropical feel to the burger. Served with seasoned potato wedges.

What’s so good about it? Getting the bacon right is a fine art in itself. Cooked in the inside, crunchy on the outside, but soft and juicy to eat. That, balanced by the sweetness of the pineapple and the dressing that adds a fresh island taste, makes this an oh-so-awesome Durban burger.

R85 from S43, Home of That Brewing Company 031 303 2747.


The Camemburger

If you have a palate for melted luxury cheese, then head to North Beach to try this decadent burger that’s so delicious you won’t want to stop eating it, even if you’re overloaded.

Meat: The patty is 100 per cent free range, hormone free, grass-fed beef, mixed with a selection of fresh ingredients and seasoning, basted with a burgerlicious BBQ sauce then grilled to order.

Bun: Served in between sesame buns   that are fresh and soft, but toasted on the inside.

Toppings: Melted camembert, balsamic jam and a berry relish, crispy onions and rocket greens.

What’s so good about it? Between that bun, the berry relish and the beautiful robe of oozing camembert, you simply won’t be able to look away. It’s just heavenly!

R85 Surfriders, South Beach. Contact 071 376 8684. Also available at their Ebb&Flo outlet in Gateway. Photo credit: Sassy Media & Publishing.



The ‘Big Easy’ Burger

We like to think of this one as a pretty gourmet experience involving a delicious burger and a great place to linger with friends while sipping on a craft beer or colourful cocktail.

Meat: A generous helping of a local organic prime beef patty.

Bun: The patty sits pretty between two soft and fragrant flour-dusted buns.

Toppings: Plum tomatoes, onion marmalade, mature cheddar, bacon and rocket leaves, served with onion rings, ‘Big Easy’ fries and a trio of relish and sauces.

What’s so good about it? It’s a mouth-watering, fresh, homemade burger topped with crispy greens, made more indulgent by the sweetness of crunchy onion rings and the sauces on the side. Definitely a winner for a late afternoon, early evening graze with a cold one.

R135 from The Big Easy Durban at the Hilton Hotel. Contact 031 336 8166. Photo credit Chris Wessling,


The Rocks Burger

Just like a landslide, this burger offers a tumultuous explosion of flavour and fun, because to eat it, you’ll need a big mouth – or at the very least the lethal looking knife it’s speared with.

Meat: A bountiful handmade 100 per cent beef patty that’s pretty thick so makes eating with your hands virtually impossible.

Bun: The patty is served between a toasted brioche bun.

Toppings: Mature cheddar cheese, jalapeno and bacon chilli jam, served with supersize gherkins and a side of fries. It’s best enjoyed with a craft beer.

What’s so good about it? Eating a burger is such a guilty pleasure, that it may rip you from your schedule, causing you to spiral down into the junk-food pit, but after a tough day at the office, the idea of a enjoying a perfectly grilled burger is a delicious way to fall from grace – something you definitely don’t want to miss out on.

R105 from Fourteen on Chartwell. Contact 031 561 1017.


French Connection or the New Yorker

Fast becoming a favourite in burger joints across SA, Union Square in Durban North leaves us spoilt for choice with two Limited Edition Burgers – the French Connection and the New Yorker.

Meat: These are some mouth-watering and thick pure beef patties.

Bun: Both patties are served on a soft seeded hamburger bun.

Toppings: French Connection is a single burger topped with blue cheese dressing, rocket and caramelised red onion. The New Yorker comprises two pure beef patties on a bun loaded with aged double cheddar and pickles.

What’s so good about it? Both burgers take on some kind of old school style – like a roadside diner – nothing too fancy, just done hearty and right. These are the kind of classics that serve as your map to burger heaven.

The French Connection R60 or the New Yorker R79, from Union Square in Durban North. Contact 031 563 0923.


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