16 best burger spots in Joburg

Top places to grab a burger in the City of Gold.

13 Mar 2015

The Gourmet burger:


It’s become renowned as one of the best burger joints in town and for good reason; they’ve taken their burgers to the next level in terms of inspired topping combinations and gourmet sauces; chimichurri, lemon mayo, mint pesto, garlic aioli, blueberry reduction…the list goes on! Try the Big Bad Wolf on for size: a cheddar stuffed gourmet beef patty, wasabi onion rings, jalapenos, pineapple, pancetta, fresh tomato and garlic aioli with crispy lettuce.


Their burger patties are some of the best out there –they offer a 180g and a 250g but I’d advise the 250g, it’s that good (and their tomato relish is just superb )The Works burger with mustard mayo, tomato relish, cheddar, red onion and dill pickle is outstanding. They also offer a ‘guido’-style option with no bun on a bed of lettuce and with a wheat-free roll if that’s your thang.

Dukes, Greenside

Big burgers and a big selection of them, seasonal ingredients, great beef… they even bake their own buns! Their known for their vegetarian burgers as much as they are for their meaty ones, try the Lady Marmalade: rosemary roast butternut, red onion marmalade, fried halloumi and basil pesto topped with mango chutney & cucumber ribbons or if you want a hunger buster burger go with The Dukes (it’s massive.)

Salvation Café 

They use top quality grass-fed beef in their patties, which are big, delicious and unapologetic. There are only 2 burgers to choose from, but both pack a punch: The Avo Burger and The Gourmet Burger both of which include their signature sweet tomato relish and home-made guacamole.

The Griffin

The Griffin Burger is thick and salacious. They use a mixture of sirloin, oxtail and brisket in their patties and serve them with pickled sweet cucumber, tomato relish, mature cheddar and the option of bacon (which isn’t really an option in my books – just get the bacon!)

Voodoo Lily 

They use free-range Braeside beef to make their patties so the quality is top notch. Add to that roasted peppers, caramelised onions, rocket, local cheddar and mozzarella cheese and you can’t go wrong. They also offer a Banting bun-less burger with avo, tomato salsa and fresh greens which is delish.

The seriously gourmet burger:

Flames, Four Seasons

They’ve created a Wagyu beef burger that’s out of this world: using Wagyu beef, which is fattier than normal beef, making the patty juicier and packed full of flavour. It’s grilled to perfection on the braai and served in a brioche bread bun with tomato, lettuce and their homemade barbeque sauce. Or you can add a gourmet topping of your choice including banana flambéed in local brandy, artisan bacon and seriously good cheddar cheese.

The Classic Burger:


They call them their legendary Grandma’s Burgers: pure beef patties smothered in their very special, secret basting sauce and grilled to your preference. They’re 220g a piece and served simply with your choice of sauce, but they’re pretty damn fine just as they are.

Bull Run, Sandton

They have their very own in-house butchery ensuring that their burgers are the freshest and the best. Also keeping it simple with a 200g patty made using rump, sirloin and a dash of their special herbs and spices, served on a sesame bun with the usual trimmings. Or you can opt for a Bull Run Burger with cheese, bacon, black mushroom and jalapeno. (There’s the added option of having your patty grilled with olive oil and black pepper for the purists or just stick with their delicious barbeque basting.)

The Local Grill, Parktown North

They’ve won awards for being the best steak restaurant, but their burgers are pretty damn good too: the patties are all 220g and are made using free-range, grass fed beef. Opt for the Classic or the Blue Cheese and Rocket Burger. 

The Grillhouse, Rosebank

Keeping it straightforward with a beef burger and a cheese burger option, the burgers are basted in barbecue sauce and served on a sesame bun with tomato, lettuce and gherkin. The X-factor arising from the fact that they have their very own butcher who prepares the burgers using 100% pure beef and just a touch of their very special Grillhouse spice, nothing more.

The American Diner-style Burger:

The Gourmet Garage, Montecasino (Sister to the Grillhouse)
30 different burgers to choose from with some crazy sauces to boot, for example they’ve got a Peanut Butter and a Piccalilli Burger, but are best known for their Garage Burger which is serious eating. All burgers can be ordered with either a single or a double patty, bear in mind the patties are 200g and when you order a double you get double the toppings too. (They are the sister restaurant to The Grillhouse which means the same love, care and attention is given to each 200g patty from their awesome butcher.) 

Rocomamas, Randburg

They’ve become legendary for their ‘smashburgers’: 150g of smashed beef that you can smash your choice of toppings onto, but each comes standard with tomato, red onion and rocomayo (and that Rocomayo is seriously special). They’re American diner-style burgers that are juicy, moreish and fit between two hands. 

Mr Bojangles

You can choose from a mini (100g), regular (150g), super (300g) and great (450g) patty which is grilled to your liking and served on sesame bun with sliced tomato and ‘pink sauce’ (mayo and tomato mixed) – they’re no frills or fuss with no lettuce or onion, but you can get it if you ask nicely. There are over 40 variants to choose including the indulgent halloumi, bacon, avo and sweet chilli burger.

The Market Burger:

The Counter

The emphasis here is on the patties which are thick and juicy (200g) so they offer toppings that are quite simple, allowing the flavour of the patty to shine through. All of their toppings and sauces we are handmade and I’d recommend The Favourite: it's a beef burger topped with a handmade chilli-pesto mayonnaise, creamy brie and crispy bacon. (Served at Market on Main and various other markets and festivals.)

The DIY Burger:
Jackson’s Real Food Market

Here you can get an array of the most amazing gourmet foodie products including Wagyu beef burger patties made from grass fed, free-range and pasture raised beef that’s also hormone and antibiotic free – now that’s what I call decadent conscious eating!

Follow Kate Liquorish on Twitter for all this foodie and Joburg!

- Kate Liquorish

Read more on: burgers  |  restaurants and bars

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