There is no subject more controversial or sensitive than the conversation about the best burgers in Auckland. Whether you’re an old-school beef-cheddar-and-pickle purist or a new-wave sauteed-kimchi-with-gochujang-mayo type, everyone has an opinion on who serves up the best meat-between-bread in Auckland. So, after great debate, a few tears and a whole lot of cheese, we've narrowed down our list to the eight best burgers joints in Auckland.
Newmarket, Ponsonby & Takapuna
Kicking off our list of Auckland’s best burgers is… drumroll, please… none other than Burger Burger. Conveniently located in three spots Auckland-wide, the burger joint is famed for its simple, honest and always-delicious burgers. Opt for a classic beef and cheese, get spicy with cajun grilled chicken, or wrap your mouth around pulled pork shoulder slathered with homemade barbecue sauce and apple mint slaw. We’ll have one of each, thanks. Their sides are equally Auckland-famous with no visit complete without their buttery, garlicky charred broccoli. Our city would be lost without the legend that is Burger Burger.
No best burger round-up would be complete without mentioning Big J’s. Located in an unassuming block of shops in suburban Mt Wellington, Big J’s is more than meets the eye. The crispy chicken will delight your taste buds with smashed avo and flavourful relish, while the Portuguese steak will have you coming back time-and-time again with its peri peri goodness and smoky grilled bacon. Being a takeaway joint, Big J’s also know their way around a fish burger with battered dory or snapper perfectly complementing their homemade tartare sauce. Order any one of Big J’s classic numbers and you’ll soon discover why they have a cult following of burger-lovers.
Tiger Burger puts their thing down, flip it and reverse it. Translation: they put an Asian twist on the humble burger. You’re spoilt for choice and flavour with their Kimcheese burger starring sauteed kimchi, aged cheddar and gochujang mayo. Alternatively, the Cheeky Hoisin is brimming with slow-braised pulled pork, and the Yachae keeps vegans happy with its kumara carrot fritter and edamame guac. Not only do they serve epic burgers, but they do it with a conscience—using only ethical meat, sustainable package and high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. We like your style, Tiger Burger.
The Flaming Onion
Make sure you arrive hungry when you visit The Flaming Onion for one of their next-level burgers. They’re big, they’re juicy and they’re some of the best burgers in Auckland. The team prides itself on not taking any shortcuts when making their gourmet burgers—every patty is handmade, their sauces are made from scratch, and their buns are brushed with herb-infused olive oil before toasting them. Choose between the likes of The Smokey One with Wagyu beef, manuka-smoked bacon, Swiss cheese, smoked chipotle aioli and smoked bourbon BBQ sauce, or Blue Dream with sharp blue cheese and caramelised onion. Keep tabs on their drool-inducing Instagram feed for regular specials.
Auckland CBD (Vulcan Lane & Britomart), Mt Eden, Mt Wellington (Sylvia Park) & Auckland Airport
Better Burger appear to have the mantra: “you can’t go wrong with a classic cheeseburger”. And, in our humble opinion, they’ve got their mantra down-pat. Their not-here-to-eff-spiders menu allows you to choose from a hamburger, cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, mushroom, or chicken burger. As simplistic as it is, their burgers are also very (very) delicious. Our advice? Come for the burgers, stick around for the fries. Better Burger hand-cut potatoes right before your very eyes to create their unmissable crispy fries. You’re never far from your burger-slash-fries fix with five locations Auckland-wide (and counting).
As the name suggests, Burger Geek are total geeks when it comes to burgers—and we love them for it. The team make their patties from a blend of Wagyu and Angus cuts that are freshly ground on-site each and every day. All chicken is free-range, bread is sourced from local bakers, and their bacon is cured for seven days before being smoked in-house. The impressive attention to detail doesn’t go unnoticed—Burger Geek’s burgers are undoubtedly some of Auckland’s best. Visit their burger bar in Eden Terrace to experience the hype for yourself.
Mt Eden and Newmarket
Head to Corner Burger in Mt Eden and you’ll find the best things in life: juicy burgers, poutine fries, jalapeno poppers and freshly poured beer. What more could you possibly wish for? Their dedicated burger menu allows you to choose between beef, chicken, lamb or vege options. We can’t go past the Winner Winner burger stacked high with crispy fried chicken, aioli maple slaw, bacon and—the best part—deep-fried brie. Yep, they don’t do things by halves at Corner Burger. Case in point: you can polish your meal off with one of their equally insane dessert burgers.
Calling all vegans—this one is for you. Wise Boys proudly identifies as your “one-stop shop for a face full of indulgent plant-based burger goodness”. And, trust us when we say, their vegan burger goodness is totally next level—even the staunchest carnivore will be impressed. Originating as a food truck, Wise Boys now operates from a permanent location in Grey Lynn. Here you’ll find ‘classic boys’ such as the Spicy Mex with chunky salsa and corn chips, or ‘fancy boys’ including the Hungry Jack oozing with smoky barbecue jackfruit, grilled pineapple and tangy slaw—yum. Enjoy with a side of kumara fries dipped in their signature aioli and you’ll be away laughing.
Image credit: Flaming Onion