The craving for a burger has got to be one of the most visceral food-related feelings. Even just thinking about eating one, you can almost taste the components — the patty, sauce, bun, pickles and salad.
Maybe it’s a spicy chicken burger you’re after, a decadent vegan burger or just a good ol’ hamburger. Whatever your craving, there’s no denying that the popularity of the delicious fast-food staple is only rising, further promoted by restaurants and pop-ups offering limited-time-only burgers that are here for a good time, not a long time. Here are the most insane burgers that have us drooling right now, including some you have to be quick to catch.
Smash patty burgers from Baby G Burger
This cult burger pop-up is a well-kept secret no more, as it usually sells out in record time wherever it appears. Baby G specialises in the ‘smash’-style patty, a technique whereby the patty is pressed firmly down on the grill to flatten it, creating even more deliciously craggy edges for caramelisation. Keep an eye on Baby G’s Instagram page, where the team announces each new pop-up.
Shorthorn Beef Burger from The Store
The Store is a Britomart icon and it can always be relied upon to deliver exactly what we need, when we need it the most — like this insanely good Shorthorn Beef Burger, stacked with cheddar, pickles, burnt onion aioli and a healthy side of agria chips. And for a perfectly indulgent brunch option that satisfies any mid-morning craving, add bacon and a fried egg for a fully-loaded take.
Pretzel burger from Parade
There are several among us who could commiserate over the disappointment of arriving just as Parade‘s pretzel burgers have sold out — they are heavily in demand, sometimes disappearing before 7:30pm. And with good reason, for the house-made pretzel buns are truly something special. Should you get there in time for supply to be readily available, we can safely recommend any one of the burgers, and you won’t regret ordering a side of secret sauce fries on the side. With their new permanent Ponsonby Road location offering beers, burgers and all the comforts of dine-in, it’s a place you’ll find us time and time again.
Glazed doughnut burger from Sneaky Snacky
When we’re in the mood to really push the boat out, there’s one place we make a beeline for: Sneaky Snacky. Located in the Lim Chhour food hall on K’ Road, this popular joint cooks up some of the best fried chicken in town, both in the form of wings and a hot chicken sando. However, it’s the doughnut burger that has become Sneaky Snacky’s decadent signature, a shiny shrine to gluttony that probably shouldn’t be repeated too often, but in the name of balance, we say it’s a must-try.
The Classic Chick’n burger from Wise Boys Commercial Bay
Luckily, unlike some of the other burgers on this list, there’s usually no shortage at vegan burger joint Wise Boys, which is not to say that they’re not just as in-demand. Saucy and decadent, our current favourite is the Classic Chick’n, which features Wise Boys original recipe Southern fried chick’n with cheese, tangy apple slaw, pickles and vegan buttermilk ranch dressing — all on a toasted bun, and all with no animal products in sight.
Wagyu beef burger from Jo Bro’s Burgers food truck
Known for their no-fuss yet full-of-flavour burgers made with premium ingredients, the duo behind the Jo Bro’s Burgers food truck can be found all over the city at various markets, and we suggest you prioritise a visit if you see them parked up. A member of the Food Truck Collective, find a variety of flavour combinations from grass-fed beef to Wagyu patties, a vegan Beyond Meat version and a free-range chicken and free-range bacon burger. Follow them on social media to keep updated with where they’ll be next.
Hand-pressed NZ Wagyu beef burger from Saint Alice
Step aside oyster McMuffin, there’s a delicious new kid on the block at Viaduct Harbour favourite Saint Alice. The Wagyu beef burger (an off-menu special that’s only available on a Thursday) features a housemade patty, American cheese, house pickles, and a smattering of crunchy lettuce for a touch of virtuous greenery. Tucked inside a Dusty Apron toasted brioche bun with a dollop of dirty burger sauce — it doesn’t get better than this.
Smashed Wagyu Beef Burger from The Brit
This Britomart pub is the perfect location for an easy afterwork knock-off, or a midday drink if the occasion calls for it. What many people often forget is that The Brit’s kitchen also offers a pretty delightful and positively elevated take on traditional pub grub, with their signature smashed Wagyu burger, served in a brioche bun with bacon, American cheese, pickles, mustard, relish and a side of kettle chips, being one of the best bites in Britomart.
Cheeseburger Hoagie from Good Dog Bad Dog
Hotdog experts Good Dog Bad Dog have proved they also know their way around the flavours of a burger with their cheeseburger hoagie. Served in a long bun, this indulgent burger features double smashed patties, double cheese, special sauce, pickles and onion.
Chicken ‘steamed bun’ from Happy Boy
Technically a steamed bun, but with all the components you’d find in a burger, we couldn’t leave this one out. Made with free-range chicken katsu, white cabbage, pickled ginger, curry mayo and bulldog sauce, you really ought to add Happy Boy’s Japanese-inspired burger to your list.
Classic fish burger from Fishsmith
Both Herne Bay locals and those from further afield know that this Jervois Road neighbourhood chippy is absolutely no joke. While most diners here opt for a healthy helping of the famed fish tacos, we can’t look past the Classic fish burger, which is so soft and incredibly fresh — just what we crave for those moments where you want something a little decadent, but not totally dirty. Of course, it’s best served with a side of the signature chips.
BLT Cheeseburger from Schapiro’s
Ever since Schapiro’s flung open it’s Eden Terrace doors earlier this year to excitement and great need, Aucklanders haven’t been able to get enough of the sports regalia and simple offerings. We praise this spot as being the glue that hold relationships together — offering every sport imaginable for one half, and divine food for the other. The one menu item we can’t look past is the BLT Cheeseburger, bringing the greatness of their humble burger, with the refreshing taste of the classic sandwich. Here, bacon, lettuce, tomato, American cheese, sauce, white onion, and pickles are all stuffed into a delicious, cloud-like bun.
Classic Double Cheeseburger from Ralph’s Bar & Eatery
This Dominion Road cornerstone perhaps hasn’t quite gotten the attention it deserves (yet), but we like it that way — it means we’re always guaranteed a mouthwatering burger. The team at Ralph’s specialise in smash burgers, and they’re some of the crispiest patties we’ve found in the city. While we can never look past the classic cheeseburger, exceptions are made when the double is on the menu. With double patties, double cheese, and all the usual trimmings, getting through one of these bad boys is survival of the fittest.
Cheeseburger from Cheddar
Avondale’s home of the potato bun, Cheddar’s burgers are every bit as sumptuous as their social media would lead you to believe. The cheeseburger is their most simple offering, but it’s where we can truly taste greatness. Cheddar uses 100% local New Zealand beef in their burgers, along with fresh local lettuce and tomato, and with a good old-fashioned slice of cheese, you can truly taste the difference.
Cheeky Hoisin Burger from Tiger Burger
For those seeking a refreshing take on burger night, the always-popular Tiger Burger provides an Asian-fusion approach to the American classic. Although the menu is extensive, we opt for the Cheeky Hoisin for something a little different. The soft buns are stuffed with slow braised free-range pork, hoisin sauce, rice vinegar pickles, bibimbap slaw and honey garlic mayo, which we think is best accompanied by a side of sesame mayo smothered fries. With two locations now in Grey Lynn and Dominion Road, it’s the perfect destination for anyone somewhat central — meaning there is never a reasonable excuse to be without a burger.