Burger Bistro is well-known in Pretoria for offering some of the biggest, wackiest and most delicious burgers in town.
The burgers here are incredibly inventive and come with quirky names to match. Take the Miss Piggy, which comes piled high with salami, streaky bacon and fried halloumi, or the Naas Botha with its double whammy of biltong. Whether you go for a classic bacon-and-cheese or one of the more adventurous combinations, you’re in for a treat.
Every burger comes with a 200g home-made burger patty and a freshly baked bun, along with a pile of perfect chips. The rest is up to your tastebuds. Blue cheese, cherry-tomato jam and fresh basil? Yes please!
They also offer a few steak options for those patrons not in the mood for burgers.
The milkshake offering is equally delectable and ranges from standard vanilla, chocolate and strawberry to more gourmet options like apple pie, crème brûlée and candyfloss. There are also ice-cold beers, with a few craft options available, and a mediocre selection of wines.
This is not the kind of place you come for a classy experience. 80s rock, car memorabilia and old records as place settings set the tone, but let’s be honest, who wants to eat a burger in a stuffy environment? Roll up your sleeves and enjoy!
Staff members are fast, friendly and knowledgeable about the menu.
Proper burgers, ice-cold beer and 80s tunes – what more could you ask for?
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The burgers here are superb without trying to be ‘gourmet’ or fiddly; they are simply what they were designed to be – great burgers, in a sizeable, manageable portion, made with good-quality products and excellent, crispy potato chips on the side. The burgers are distinguished by funky flavours such as Monkey Gland, Roquefort, Wild Thing (with Halloumi, raspberry sauce and rocket) and the Elvis Presley (with bacon and peanut butter – try it, it is tasty beyond description).
The wines are super affordable and the premise here is that if one is going to make R50 profit when selling an inexpensive bottle of wine, you might as well only make R50 on a more expensive one as well. So expect bubblies such as Krone Borealis and Robertson Sparkling Pink, or still wines such as De Morgenzon Sauvignon Blanc or Boekenhoutskloof The Chocolate Block 2013 to pair with your burger.
Over time you get to know the faces of the waiters at a particular establishment, which is why one almost experiences a sense of homecoming when you bump into a familiar face at another branch. But there's an added bonus when you realise that your former waiter is now a floor manager. It is lovely to see people becoming empowered in this way, and that the same super-efficient, friendly and accommodating service can be found at new Burger Bistro franchises in places like Montana, Hazelwood, Centurion and (soon) Benoni.
By now, everyone that has eaten at the original Burger Bistro (or any of the new franchises) will be able to recognise their interior style – with a few selected body parts of VW Beetles mounted on the walls, enamelware light fittings, open kitchens and menus on the sleeves of old LPs, the style and look is unmistakeable.
It is always advisable to book a table, particularly over weekends, and there is always a queue of people picking up take-out orders. This is a bustling business that shows that people appreciate good quality and value for their money.
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The food here simply gets better and busier every day. From the start, they managed to pick the right recipe for the place and the food, and they’ve hardly had a chance to catch breath. Don’t even try to get in without bookings. (Instead, go for take-aways. It will save lots of hassle.) But if you are able to secure a table, the choices are fun-based and stacked with quality 200g patties, sesame buns specially prepared for their burgers and a list of toppings that is ever evolving and growing. You could keep it as simple as you want or swing to the extreme extravagance of a Mr Miyagi with wasabi mayo, fresh rocket and mushrooms, or go the ‘Elvis’ route with hints of peanut butter sauce and bacon. You can opt for a 100g patty or add extra sauces, and they serve other obvious burger accoutrements like milkshakes (the peanut butter or watermelon flavours are best) to close the deal.
One of the partners works in the wine industry, so they offer a quality selection.
They’re small and always pumping, so it can be slow at times, but always with a smile.
Because of the small space, they’ve kept it simple, and cleverly so. The colour scheme is dominated by pillar box red and the design is clean, with lots of rock ’n roll paraphernalia on the walls. It’s all about Elvis, fast cars and the fifties, but the emphasis is on the food. They pull in the neighbourhood crowd, which is always a good sign.
Also watch out for more Burger Bistros coming into the city.
Diane de Beer
Don’t mess around when you go to Burger Bistro. You know why you’re there: innovative burgers, excellent fries and creative milkshakes.
This place will convert you even if you think you don’t like burgers. They’re innovative with their range, from the Miss Piggy with halloumi, streaky bacon and salami to the Mr Miyagi with wasabi mayo, fresh rocket and mushrooms. They’ve also made sure that they get all the basics – like the juicy 200g meat patty and sesame seed bun – just right. (They offer a smaller size for more delicate appetites.) The fries are excellent and they have a few steaks and open sandwiches on offer, but you know why you’re here. Don’t mess around; get straight to the burgers.
One of the Burger Bistro partners is a wine specialist, so they offer an adventurous choice of vino, from the DeMorgenzon Sauvignon Blanc to the Glen Carlou Shiraz. Their milkshakes come in exciting flavours like rose, watermelon and peanut butter.
It’s a small space and it’s usually pumping, so service can be slow, but it always comes with a smile.
There’s a rollin’ rhythm to the place. They’ve kept it simple with a 50s rock ’n roll feel and cheerful red dominating the colour scheme. The menus and hamburger names give a nod to classic music and movies.
They also serve at tables out on the pavement in this sleepy part of town, which adds to the Burger Bistro charm.
Diane de BeerBurgers is what they do best. It's a funky burger joint in an unusual part of town with décor that pays homage to the fifties and a vibe that's as cool as it is laid back. The menu is easy: the choice is a hamburger to suit any mood. They've worked hard to perfect the patty, which is the star of the plate and made especially for them. Recommended for after-work drinks and bite to eat. Pick the more obvious bacon-and-cheese-topped burger, a pesto-inspired burger or something exotic like the Marilyn Monroe, topped with melted brie, a strawberry balsamic and black pepper jam. The chips are freshly made and crisp and you can add to the ambience of the evening by opting for a creamy milkshake with flavours that are hard to resist. (July 2013)
Fantastic burgers, at fantastic prices. Oh, and the chips were fantastic too!
Best burgers I have had in SA. Besides being creative, delicious and different, they offer good value for money! it is a gourmet burger without the pretense and pedantics!