There’s nothing quite like biting into a burger made with a perfectly cooked patty and all the trimmings.
While most can be eaten traditionally, some require a knife and fork. From classic, no-frills patties to creative gourmet versions, the best burgers in Cape Town are sure to both satisfy and wow your tastebuds.
In line with Cape Town’s “Come Back To Town” campaign, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) has recently outlined where to get the best burgers in its handy map of the top spots to work, play and eat in the CBD.
According to the CCID, the plant-based movement sweeping the globe has taken root in the Mother City, with the Beyond Burger arriving in 2019, and now, vegan burgers that tick the ethical box and boast serious flavour are a fixture in many upbeat eateries in the CBD.
Chief executive of the CCID, Tasso Evangelinos, says several 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,” says Evangelinos.
Some of the masterminds behind the city’s finest patties share their secrets:
What makes the perfect burger?
Experts reveal that it starts with the bun, and “few things beat a warm, toasty, buttery brioche”, especially when it contains the tantalising trifactor of lobster, steak and truffle.
Try Burger & Lobster Wolf of Bree Street.
How to get up close and personal with the patty?
Chef Judi Fourie at Pilcrow & Cleaver – an eating experience where you watch the chefs in action – says the ideal meat patty must have the perfect ratio of fat.
“It's so important! Then it should be seasoned with salt, pepper and mustard, and no nonsense (like breadcrumbs) should be added,” says Fourie.
What about when it comes to plant-based burgers?
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 Plant’s 2-for-1 burger special.
What makes a burger saucy?
Co-founder of Seed & Circus, Karla Hart, says the first secret of her 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,” says Hart.