While Durban is pretty chilled about most things (except the weather in winter – highs are in the mid-20s this week), it’s great to see that the city’s burger bars haven’t been resting in their laurels. Things are looking pretty innovative and exciting in these quarters. We count down delicious burgers to be found in Durban, topped with everything from aromatic harissa paste and tzatziki to classic cheese and caramelised onion.
Frank’s Speakeasy has a succinct menu with a single burger (R95), but it will make you go weak at the knees. A 250g patty is topped with mature white cheddar, barbecue mayo and the necessary accoutrements and served with textbook onion rings and fries.
Freedom Café presents all burgers (R70) on a brioche bun accompanied by hand-cut fries. The beef burger has a barbeque basting and comes topped with caramelised onions, while the falafel version sees a chickpea patty seasoned with lemon, parsley, coriander and a hint
of chilli, topped with tzatziki. We love the local tribute: a Durban burger which sees a spicy marinated chicken breast topped with a pineapple and chilli salsa.
Market has the best vegetarian burger in town – a sesame-lentil version topped with beetroot and homemade mayo (R74) – that has earned an enviable reputation, even with carnivorous diners. Meaty alternatives include a beef version with rocket, gorgonzola, streaky bacon, avocado and caramelized onions (R88) and a lamb burger with a mint and feta crust and a tomato, red onion and coriander salsa (R86). Completing the line-up is a grilled chicken burger with a feta crust, avo and sweet chilli sauce (R80).
The Press Club has a single burger on the regular menu, which comes topped with bacon, avo and melted cheese, but they step things up a gear on build-a-burger Mondays. Get the basics of tomato, lettuce, onion and mayo then choose the type of bun, patty (beef, chicken, veg or fishcake) and two toppings. A free beer, cold drink or glass of wine is also included for only R60.
Republik has an impressive repertoire. Start with a basic burger, add your choice of toppings and, if you like, you can even upgrade to lamb, ostrich or venison patty. The No Roll Doll (R60) is served sans bun and the Hipster burger (R70) is also roll-less; instead it’s presented on a large mushroom. Signature dishes include lamb burger (R120) – the patty is done in harissa paste and served with hummus, olive tapenade, baba ganoush and tzatziki – and the Republik burger (R95), which is topped with potato rösti, balsamic reduction and rocket.
Here the menu makes you master of your own destiny. Grab your menu/order form and choose a Smash burger (150g patty, tomato, red onion and mayo) and as many toppings as you’d like. You pay per item and the combinations seem endless. Otherwise go with the tried-and-trusted alternatives like Classic Cheese (R48), the Rock Star with emmenthal and caramelised onion (R51), Mushroom Whizz (R51) or the self-explanatory Baconcheeseguac (R52).
The glorious beach setting is complemented by an amazing array of burgers made using free-range, hormone-free and grass-fed beef. It starts with a basic version (R50) and moves on to bacon and cheese (R60); the habanero (R69), topped with guacamole, pineapple salsa and a spicy sauce; and camembert crunch (R65) that combines the cheese with deep-fried onions and a berry coulis. The vegetarian Shroom burger (R55) has a large brown mushroom as a patty substitute and the Chicken Deluxe (R55) is done with a lemon and garlic sauce and served with rocket and homemade mayo. Fries (ordered and charged separately) are finger-licking good and those smothered in a cheese sauce are understandably labelled on the menu as addictive.
Unity has an impressive burger selection, best washed down with one of their own craft beers. A standard beef burger (R69) comes with tomato, pickles, lettuce and mayo, or take it to the next level with bacon, avo and feta (R80) or blue cheese, onion marmalade and rocket (R85). The Mexican burger sports cheddar, guacamole, sour cream, jalapeños and tomato salsa (R85). A basic chicken burger (R65) can be adorned with avo, jalapeños and cheddar (R70) or bacon and brie (R75). Non meat-eaters can find solace in the veg option with a chickpea and feta patty teamed with avo, tomato relish and rocket (R60).
We know how seriously you take this burger business (and rightly so), but please note that while we take care to ensure that all our information is accurate, some details and prices might change without our knowledge.