The ultimate gourmet burger guide

After a tough day at the office, it’s quite a battle fighting the urge to dive face-first into whatever’s available in your kitchen. It’s a whole other ballgame trying to resist just going out for a burger. This quintessential Friday night meal is available, just there, waiting for you, every day of the week… Usually we hold out until the end so we can savour every bite – washed down by some craft beer, of course – when the weekend finally comes.

Why do we associate the idea of a perfectly grilled burger with the end of a working week? Is it because 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, never to return to salads again? It would be worth it, we say. You really don’t want to miss out on the gourmet burgers on our list, with toppings ranging from halloumi to bone marrow, mature cheddar and onion jam. This is a delicious way to fall from grace.


2B Cuisine
Best burger: The beef burger with honey-glazed bacon, rocket, gorgonzola and tomato and onion salsa.
Runner up: The lamb and mint burger with wild rocket, red onion marmalade and mint mayonnaise.

Best burger: The Beach Boy burger with spicy salsa, fresh guacamole, a slice of cheddar and sour cream.
Runner-up: The feta, avo and bacon burger, or the gourmet burger with camembert, cranberry jelly and rocket.

Corner Café and Bistro

Best burger: The streaky bacon burger with garlic aioli.
Runner-up: The original burger with lettuce, hummus, cheery tomato, onion and balsamic relish.

Best burger: The flagship Dukes burger, a pure beef patty topped with grilled pineapple, mushrooms, fried tomato, fried egg, crispy bacon, cheddar cheese, gherkins, cucumber ribbons and onion rings.
Runner-up: The Mev. Vark (Mrs Pig), a beef patty with tomato relish, crispy bacon and chorizo sausage served with a dollop of guacamole and cucumber ribbons.



Fire and Ice
Best burger: The Jaws burger, a spicy 300g beef patty topped with lettuce, tomato and cheddar cheese.
Runner-up: The Magic Shroom with portobello mushrooms, rosemary, camembert and roasted vegetables.

Gourmet Garage
Best burger: Build a burger of your own choice, using ingredients such as bacon, egg and five types of cheese. Choose from 18 sauces, including peanut butter sauce.
Runner-up: The bacon and cheese burger.

The Griffin
Best burger: The Griffin gourmet burger with fontina cheese, homemade pickles and smoked tomato and basil jam.
Runner-up: The spiced lamb burger with harissa and coriander, served with hummus, brinjal, and mint and coriander yoghurt.

JB’s Corner
Best burger: The old-fashioned beef burger with lettuce, tomato, fresh onion, pickles and mustard mayo.
Runner-up: The gorgonzola, bacon and avo burger.



The Local Grill (Parktown North)
Best burger: The bacon and avo beef burger, topped with sweet chilli sauce.
Runner-up: The blue cheese and rocket burger.

Rabbit in the Moon
Best burger: Rabbit’s cheese burger with cheese, rosa tomato and caramelised onion. 

Best burger: Build your own #smashburger, with 20 toppings (including extra meat in your patty).
Runner-up: The Rockstar, a 150g smashed beef patty topped with emmenthal cheese, caramelised red onions and mayo.

Best burger: The Salvation Burger, a grass-fed beef mince patty topped with bacon, caramelised onion, gouda cheese and guacamole.
Runner-up: The avo burger.

Thunder Gun Steakhouse
Best burger: The Gun burger with bacon and cheese sauce.
Runner-up: The Gun burger with mushroom sauce topping.

The Wolfpack
Best burger: The ostrich burger.
Runner-up: The Moroccan-inspired burger.


Burger Bistro
Best burger: Try the Marilyn Monroe with melted brie, strawberry-balsamic and black pepper jam.

Ed’s Diner
Best burger: Ed’s five-in-one burger, which consists of a beef patty, bacon, mushroom sauce, cheese and egg.
Runner-up: The Matador, with garlic aioli and fried onion rings.

DK Gourmet Burger and Craft Beer Bar
Best burger: The Wagyu beef burger with rocket, mature cheddar and caramelised onions.
Runner-up: The Norwegian salmon patty with ginger, garlic and chilli on a toasted sesame bun with wasabi mayo.

Ginger and Fig
Best burger: Dry-aged and hand-cut rib eye patty with litchi and paprika BBQ sauce, pickled ñs, coleslaw and soy sauce mayo.
Runner-up: Dry-aged and hand-cut rib eye patty with house pickled cucumbers, blue cheese or cheddar, and bacon jam.

Karoo Café
Best burger: The gourmet Karoo lamb burger, served on a roosterkoek, topped with emmenthal cheese and caramelised onion.

Lucky Rodrigo
Best burger: Build your own burger with a beef, vegetarian (vegetables with a hash brown and halloumi), chicken or fried chicken patty and a variety of toppings.


Billy the Bums
Best burger: The Royale with streaky bacon, chilli, cheese and mushroom sauce.
Runner-up: The Johnny Chunk Dog with Cajun jalapeño sauce, topped with bacon, avo and cheddar.

The Corner Post
Best burger: the Corner Post Deluxe, a juicy homemade 180g beef patty with bacon, cheese, avo, crispy lettuce, tomato and caramelised onions.

Best burger: The beef burger with bacon, avo and feta.
Runner-up: The chicken burger with avo, jalapeños and cheddar.



Cape Town

Arugula Bistro
Best burger: The beef burger with camembert, chilli chutney, rocket and preserved figs.
Runner-up: The beef burger with gaucamole, bacon, feta and rocket.

Best burger: The Beach Boy burger with spicy salsa, fresh guacamole, a slice of cheddar and sour cream.
Runner-up: The feta, avo and bacon burger or the gourmet burger with camembert, cranberry jelly and rocket.

Bistro 1800
Best burger: The gourmet beef burger with shaved Gruyere and rosemary aioli.
Runner-up: The chicken and cheddar burger with fried bacon, avo and cheddar cheese.

Café Manhattan
Best burger: The Train Wrecker, a beef burger with bacon, sausage, tomato and mushroom sauce.
Runner-up: The Big Boy, a chargrilled beef burger topped with French brie and black onion jam.

Best burger: The cheeseburger with bacon.

Arugula Bistro

Arugula Bistro

Cocoa Cha Chi
Best burger: The Woody burger with a fried egg, bacon and HP sauce.
Runner-up: The classic beef burger with rocket, caramelised onions and a hint of mayo.

Da Vinci’s (Kloof Street)
Best burger: The Paris burger with brie, bacon and avo.
Runner-up: The Monte Carlo burger with brie cheese and cranberry sauce.

The Dog’s Bollocks
Best burger: The beef burger with cheese, bacon and BBQ sauce.
Runner-up: The Mexican chocolate mole burger.



Best burger: The mushroom burger with tomato relish and mushroom sauce.
Runner-up: The ‘boerewors’ burger with piquanté pepper butter, tomato and onion sauce, lettuce and fresh tomato.

Fire and Ice
Best burger: The ‘cheesy cheese cheeseburger’ with blue cheese and Swiss cheese, topped with melted camembert.

Gibson’s Gourmet Burger
Best burger: The Manhattan burger with guacamole and bacon.
Runner-up: The Long Island burger with hickory bacon, cheddar and smoky BBQ sauce.

Hudson’s Kloof StreetClaremont and Greenpoint
Best burger: The Original Royale, a beef patty topped with bacon, cheddar, chillies and battered onion rings.
Runner-up: The Player, a beef patty topped with streaky bacon, feta cheese and avo.

Da Vinci’s (Kloof Street)

Da Vinci’s (Kloof Street)

Best burger: The bacon, cheese and avo burger.
Runner-up: The jalapeño relish burger.

Latitude 33
Best burger: hand-made beef burger with blue cheese and sweet chilli jam (plus pickles, tomatoes and crunchy leaves), served with a side of skinny fries.

Loading Bay
Best burger: The classic beef burger made from 100% grass-fed pasture-reared meat.
Runner-up: The breakfast burger with crispy bacon, a fried egg and grilled banana.

Manna Epicure
Best burger: The classic Epicure beef burger, topped with mozzarella, bacon or free-range egg.

Best burger: The Wagyu beef cheeseburger with homemade ketchup and fries.

The NOB Burger Cafe
Best burger: The porker with bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce.
Runner-up: The peppery shroom with creamy mushroom, pepper, garlic and a secret ingredient.

Best burger: The vegan mushroom burger with homemade mayo.



Mondiall Wagyu beef cheeseburger

Mondiall Wagyu beef cheeseburger

Pulp Kitchen and Deli
Best burger: The burger with bacon and fresh avo.
Runner-up: The beef burger with cumin cheese, lettuce, rocket, cherry tomatoes, red onion salsa and beetroot chutney.

Best burger: The Mortimer, a beef patty with red wine-braised beef short-rib, blue cheese crumbs and onions.
Runner-up: The Phineas, a spicy prawn and fish patty with garlic aioli, avo and tomato salsa.

Rick’s Cafe Americain
Best burger: BMB burger of grilled bacon, mushrooms, melted brie, tomatoes, rocket and chips with a beef or ostrich patty.
Runner-up: Popper burger with jalapeños, cheddar, feta and cream cheese, peppadew salsa, rocket and chips.

Royale Eatery
Best burger: The Federale, a blended patty made from beef, chorizo, chilli and coriander, topped with guacamole.
Runner-up: The Norwood, a beef burger with a rich sauce of mushrooms, three types of cheese and green peppercorns.

Saints Burger Joint
Best burger: The Heartbreaker, a chargrilled beef burger served on ciabatta roll, topped with white cheddar, grilled mushrooms and creamy pepper sauce.
Runner-up: The Sweet Pretender, a beef burger with chargrilled brown mushrooms, topped with roasted red pepper, smoked mozzarella and basil pesto.

Gibson’s Gourmet Burger

Gibson’s Gourmet Burger

Thornton Whites Gastro Bar
Best burger: A beef and brisket burger with watercress, pickled red onion and peppered mushroom sauce.
Runner-up: The chicken burger (a crumbed and deep-fried chicken thigh), served with mature white cheddar sauce.

Van Hunks
Best burger: The Van Hunks burger with grilled mushrooms, caramelised onions, cheddar cheese and their secret sauce.
Runner-up: A beef or chicken burger with two of the following toppings: guacamole, bacon, jalapeños, cheddar, mozzarella, mushrooms and caramelised onions.

Woodlands Eatery
Best burger: Larry’s classic cheeseburger with a beef patty, dollop of crème fraîche, cheddar cheese, pickles and crispy onion rings.
Runner-up: The same as above, with added extra bacon or avo.


Dutch East
Best burger: The Dutch burger (either free-range chicken or free-range beef) with dill pickle, cheese, tomato, red onion, lettuce and aioli.
Runner-up: The East 92 beef burger with peppered ham, pineapple, jalapeños, cheese, lettuce, fresh tomato, red onion and aioli.

The Farmers Kitchen
Best burger: The lamb burger with tzatziki, feta and sundried tomato.

La Vigna
Best burger: The gourmet sirloin burger with mature brie, bacon, caramelised onion and slow-roasted tomatoes.

The Red Leaf Restaurant

The Red Leaf Restaurant

The Long Table Restaurant & Cafe
Best burger: The beef burger with a hand-chopped sirloin patty, bone marrow, wild mushrooms, prosciutto, onion confit and mustard béarnaise.

The Red Leaf Restaurant
Best burger: The signature pinotage burger, a 250g beef patty served with pinotage onion marmalade.

Twist Some More
Best burger: The wild boar, apple and sage burger served on a panini topped with onion marmalade, gorgonzola and coriander mayonnaise.


Bientang’s Cave
Best burger: The 200g pure beef patty topped with camembert cheese, bacon and onion marmalade.

Burgundy Restaurant
Best burger: The homemade beef patty or crumbed chicken breast.
Runner-up: Add cheese, bacon, basil presto, mushroom sauce or peri peri sauce.

Just Pure Bistro
Best burger: The famous bistro venison burger with red onion marmalade and spicy cherry tomato jam.
Runner-up: The crumbed chicken breast burger with tzatziki and avo.

Have we forgotten your favourite? Please let us know by writing an email to or leaving a comment below.

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