Cape Town surpasses most cities when it comes to cuisine and its burgers are no exception. Whether you’re craving meat or meatless between your buns, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) has outlined where to get the best burgers in its handy map of the top spots to work, play and eat in the CBD.
Here, a few of the masterminds behind the city’s finest patties share their secrets.
The plant-based movement that’s swept the globe has taken root in the Mother City, with the Beyond Burger arriving in 2019. Now, vegan burgers that tick the ethical box and boast serious flavour are a fixture in many upbeat eateries around the CBD. Tasso Evangelinos, CEO of the CCID, says a number of plant-based options are on the map: “We took great care to cater to all tastes, so several vegetarian and vegan-friendly eateries feature. We hope these maps will encourage visitors and locals to explore our much-loved hot spots, from icons like Clarke’s to sensational newcomers such as Seed & Circus.”
What makes the perfect burger? Let’s ask the experts:
It begins with the bun. And few things beat a warm, toasty, buttery brioche, especially when it contains the tantalising trifecta of lobster, steak and truffle. Try Burger & Lobster’s Wolf of Bree Street to see for yourself.
Then, it’s about getting up close and personal with the patty. Chef Judi Fourie at Pilcrow & Cleaver– a new eating experience where you watch the chefs in action – says the ideal meat patty must have the perfect ratio of fat. “It is so important! Then it should be seasoned with salt, pepper and mustard, and no nonsense (like breadcrumbs) should be added.”
Pierre Lambert, owner of Plant– one of the CBD’s best-loved ethical eateries – says the optimal meat-free patty needs to have a special combination of lentils, brown mushrooms, onions, red beans – and a secret ingredient to bind it all together. Try this combination for yourself with Plant’s 2-for-1 burger special.
Last but not least, it’s time to get saucy; the sauce is what ties all the toppings together. Karla Hart, co-founder of Seed & Circus– a new café balancing scrumptious sustainable flavours – says her secret to a sassy sauce is finding the perfect balance of something sweet, something salty, something acidic and something creamy. “These components can sub in and out, but they all need to show up to harmonise and bring out the flavour of the patty. Whatever the patty may be!
“The second secret? Something chunky. Yes, in the sauce. Think chopped gherkins, caramelised onions or even stewed apple. This is a silent hero. It may almost go unnoticed until you realise the extra layer of texture and complexity is something you’ve been missing your whole life!”
No burger is complete without its accompanying acts. Here’s a quick round up of where to find the best fries:
Clarke’s. Twice fried cheese fries. Enough said.
La Parada. The patatas bravas aren’t conventional fries per se, but they’re golden, crispy potato chips with aioli and tomato sauce… Spanish perfection.
Seed & Circus. The twice-fried sweet potato fries are just so crunchy.
Jerry’s Burger Bar. Jerry is a dependable guy… so are his skinny fries.
VIXI Social House. Try the hand-cut chips or the smoked fried potatoes.
Evangelinos concludes: “We can’t wait to welcome you back to our Cape Town city centre. We hope our maps encourage you to try new hot spots, including our incredible array of eateries, many of which specialise in burgers! Our maps will be distributed at leading intersections and form part of our ongoing #ComeBackToTown campaign. Download the map here and keep an eye out on our social channels for more.”