From In-N-Out Burger’s devoted fan base on the West Coast to the stampedes that greet the unveiling of a new Shake Shack, well, anywhere, it is no secret that the hamburger is a beloved part of the American diet.
No matter the state or city, visitors are guaranteed to find a delicious, local iteration of this national culinary treasure. And though the United States has been making—and enjoying—burgers for decades, other nations are getting in on the act.
In Santiago, Chile, for example, head to La Burguesía and spring for any of the options listed on the menu’s gourmet section. (The avant-garde between-the-bun combinations include the Blue Pear, a crowd-pleaser featuring a topping of bacon, blue cheese and pear.) At the Holyrood 9A in Edinburgh, Scotland, adventurous diners can take a stab at its haggis version for a true Scottish experience. And Flippin’ Burgers in Stockholm, Sweden, takes its local approach seriously while weaving American-burger-joint paraphernalia into its decor.
A good burger—whether traditional, vegetarian or experimental—is a beautiful thing. Chow down on one at these far-flung burger joints that are making their marks on a classic.
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This story was originally published by Departures.
This popular national chain started as a stand in Tel Aviv nearly 15 years ago. Today there are nine freestanding restaurants all over Israel. Agadir serves only four kinds of burger--a testament to its quality-over-quantity approach. Choose from plain (available in four sizes, starting with a slider-sized portion), mushroom-based veggie, chichi entrecôte and the Diana, a beef-and-lamb combo dressed up with aioli, tomato, spring onion and pickled lemon.
Signature Burger: The Agadir, a plain burger weighing in at three-quarters of a pound. At that size, adding toppings would only make it harder to eat.
This New Zealand eatery opened way back in February 2001 in a tucked-away alley called Cow Lane, but its popularity among Kiwis propelled a move to a bigger space on Queenstown's busiest thoroughfare four years later.
It expanded again in 2011 with an adjacent bakery (Fergbaker), which turns out handmade buns. Fergburger adopts an evocative naming strategy. Little Lamby, for instance, is a prime New Zealand lamb burger with a tomato relish and mint jelly. The falafel-based vegetarian burger received a more controversial moniker: Bun Laden.
Signature Burger: Hungry visitors gravitate to the Big Al and its two beef patties, bacon, cheese, two fried eggs and aioli. Tomato, relish, lettuce and beetroot are there, too, but you might not notice.
Jon Widegren's burger hot spot celebrated its one-year anniversary in March, and the Swedes are still lining up to get a taste. The six burgers here (one is a veggie) are as plain as they come except for the Cricket, which is topped with cream cheese, pickled onion, caramelized onion and pickled jalapeño.
But Widegren's less-is-more style is firmly rooted in quality. The restaurant grinds its own meat (grass-fed if possible), which comes from small-scale local producers, a Stockholm bakery bakes the bread and the pickling is done in-house. His goal was to add some American burger tradition to the local food landscape, so don't be surprised to find In-N-Out and Five Guys paraphernalia decorating the interior.
Signature Burger: The Flippin' is Widegren's take on the double cheeseburger, which he prefers to eat with no condiments or add-ons. But you can have it however you want.
This weeks-old butcher-shop-themed eatery in Rotterdam's trendy Witte de Withstraat sources its 100-per cent Black Angus beef from Ana Paula Ranch in Uruguay. The rest of the ingredients are local (buns from a nearby bakery, produce from a Rotterdam supplier), and the small, seven-burger menu--from beef to shrimp to pumpkin--orbits around secret-recipe sauces and a range of toppings for easy customisation.
Signature Burger: De Hamburg (weighing in at more than half a pound) comes with, among other things, two kinds of cheese (cheddar, Gruyère), pancetta and a secret sauce.
The Príncipe Real original of this now mini franchise in Lisbon opened in October last year.
Now there are three--including outposts in São Bento (9 Rua dos Industriais) and Belém, which opened in February--and they all attract the same local fanaticism for their 15 burgers, four of which are vegetarian.
Unusual toppings (watercress, sweet cucumber, flamengo cheese) pack a flavorful punch, and the toasted buns are often sliced in three, a middle layer of bread separating the patty from the lettuce and tomato to prevent sogginess and allow the sandwiches to keep their lovely dome shape.
Signature Burger: The Caco is simple enough, garnished with a slice of Brie, lettuce, fried tomato and tasty garlic butter; its roll hails from the island of Madeira.
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