Not your average burger

01 Aug 2023
There are burgers and then... there are burgers. We've written about great burgers in the city before, but this time we went further and dug deep to find the burgers that go above and beyond, sometimes bigger, definitely better, but never, ever average. From plant-based goodness to premium Wagyu beef, we've tracked down a list you will want to keep. 


Double take on double cheeseburgers with 'the works' from BGR. Photo: BGR.

It is hard to beat BGR's moreish American-diner-style burgers. The Rosebank eatery uses freshly ground whole cuts of beef for their patties, soft milk buns, imported American cheese for that oozy cheese melt, real mayo and the best smokey BBQ sauce. Their double cheeseburger with ‘the works’ (lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, pickles, peppadews, jalapeños, BGR sauce, mayo, mustard and hot sauce) is the only way to go!

Brown Bag SA

The fiery, crispy chicken burger from Brown Bag SA. Photo: Brown Bag SA.

Like many a great burger joint, Brown Bag SA started at the Fourways Farmer’s Market, but has expanded to Braamfontein's Playground Market – and now has a permanent store at the Post Office Centre in Illovo. Their Szechuan chicken burger is a fiery, succulent sensation: a large, tender chicken fillet is coated in their house blend of herbs and spices, deep fried to crispy perfection, then slathered in their secret Szechuan chilli paste, topped with cheese and lettuce and served on their signature potato bun roll. Find Brown Bag SA on Instagram. 

Harlem Kitchen

Saucy bashed burgers from Harlem Kitchen. Photo: Harlem Kitchen.

Harlem Kitchen is known for their dirty bashed burgers and flame-grilled ribs, but have you tried their BBQ rib and cheese burger? It’s a classic 120g bashed cheeseburger topped with pulled BBQ rib meat. It’s saucy and very naughty! And if you want to go seriously OTT, you can order their gargantuan Num Num burger in-store. It’s a towering monster that involves four patties, maple bacon, pulled ribs, coleslaw, cheese, egg, cheese sauce and two buns. It has to be seen to be believed! Find Harlem Kitchen on Instagram, and find their stores in Craighall Park and Fourways. 


Picture-perfect #burgerporn from Hudsons. Photo: Hudsons.

They call themselves ‘The Burger Joint’ – it’s what they do – 100% free-range beef burgers that are made to impress. Hudsons' Bacon Jam is our kind of jam: a free-range beef patty topped with cheddar, bacon jam, rocket, a fried egg and truffle cheese sauce. Find them in Parkhurst. 

Just Teddy

With stores at Nelson Mandela Square and Hyde Park Corner, you’ll know Just Teddy for their gorgeous interiors and pâtisseries, but did you know they also do a fantastic vegan burger? It’s a vegan brioche bun slathered in beetroot hummus with a falafel patty, tomato, oodles of smashed avo and big, crispy onion rings. Yes, please. Find them on Instagram here

The Kitchen of Oz

The saucy Jou'burger from The Kitchen of Oz. Photo: The Kitchen of Oz.

The Kitchen of Oz is a little-known establishment in Emmarentia, but it appeared on everyone's radar when it was awarded the 947 Best Burger in Joburg. Their extraordinary Jou'burger involves a single smash patty, masala steak, polony, three cheeses and their signature burger sauce. This is not first-date food; it’s a whole lot of burger, sauce and spice in every mouthful. Find The Kitchen of Oz on Instagram.

The Fussy Vegan

Umami overload with the mushroom vegan burger from The Fussy Vegan. Photo: The Fussy Vegan.

With locations in Greenside, Blairgowrie and Ferndale, The Fussy Vegan specialises in plant-based alternatives and vegan comfort food, and their Creamy Mushroom BGR is a rich vegan treat. The smokey TFV mushroom and lentil patty option is covered in a luscious, cashew-based mushroom sauce and sweet caramelised onions, nestled in a crispy bun. It’s messy and fantastic! Find The Fussy Vegan on Instagram and order from Uber Eats. 

Ribs & Burgers

The new selection of gourmet Wagyu burgers from Ribs & Burgers. Photo: Ribs & Burgers.

Ribs & Burgers have made a name for themselves doing things the old-fashioned way, sourcing ‘real ingredients’ and using grass-fed, hormone-free beef. Now they’ve launched a selection of Wagyu burgers that are all pretty terrific, and their truffle and Swiss cheese Wagyu burger puts the ‘l’ in ‘luxury’. It's a flame-grilled Wagyu patty with Swiss cheese, streaky bacon, mustard, lettuce, fig relish and truffle aioli, all sandwiched in a seeded brioche milk bun. Find stores at Linksfield's Neighbourhood Square, Nicolway, The Marc, and in Kempton Park's Harvest Place. 

Soul Souvlaki

Soul Souvlaki's Greekish burger is a mouthful. Photo: Soul Souvlaki.

Soul Souvlaki is our go-to for Greek street food. With stores scattered across the city, from Bedfordview to Broadacres, they've served up the best yiros in Joburg for a while. Now Soul Souvlaki has launched their very own signature cheeseburger: it’s a 200g pressed-beef patty topped with grilled halloumi, rocket, tomato, gherkins, mustard and tzatziki on a toasted brioche bun. Yum yum!

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