Handily located behind the main square, this funky burger bar is the result of a global journey spanning New York, Hong Kong and Hvar. The vibe is lively, friendly and perfect for a casual meal and a few cocktails before you head out woozily into the night. Glazed soft-as-cotton brioche buns are stuffed with juicy, dripping patties. The menu uses local ingredients wherever possible, featuring Pag lamb, Istrian truffles and Dalmatian fig jam. There are nods to the owner’s New York/Hong Kong upbringing too with pan-Asian flourishes like bao buns packed with beef, kimchi and wasabi mayo and bowls of ramen broth with silky noodles. Service is unfailingly welcoming. The proprietor Adena parades the tables hawkishly to ensure everything is served properly and on time, occasionally stopping to carouse with the guests. Vegetarians are well-catered for, uplifting to see in a city where restaurants usually toss a few symbolic crumbs at vegetarians (or dry clods of falafel.) Here, you can substitute any burger combo with a veggie pattie and meals can also be prepared for vegans. The wine list is pleasantly varied, and there is craft beer on tap from Zagreb’s Garden Brewery. The cocktails are intoxicatingly good. Avoid the overly sweet ‘boozy’ slushies, delivered in plastic bags tied up with little bows of hessian, they’re a bit gimmicky and extortionately priced. And the bill? Compared with its competitors, 50 A Burger isn’t cheap but an extra 20-30kn (€3) is a perfectly reasonable
Can burger-flipping be a sustainable, ecologically responsible industry? Well Yellow Submarine is certainly giving it a go. The submariners pride themselves on making thick, succulent burgers from organic local beef, garnished with local škripavac cheese and veggies. Smokehouse (36kn), featuring bacon, mushrooms and smoked cheese, is just one of several imaginative combinations. Fast food this good should be enjoyed slowly – the mellow wooden-stool interior is a pleasant place to sit.
Something of a cult among Zagreb carnivores on account of its delicious gourmet burgers (try the 200g cheeseburger for 36kn), Rougemarin also serves top-notch bistro fare with a small menu of light but delectable meals strong on fish and healthy foods. Three-course set lunches with drink are well worth the 100kn outlay. Boutique Croatian wine, craft beers, and a small outdoor terrace provide further inducements to visit; located amid residential blocks just south of the Radnička cesta business district, it’s not exactly central.
A small but perfectly chosen menu has made Burgeraj one of the city centre’s cult eateries. The spicy Pepper Jam Burger or the shiitake-filled Tamari Burger are worth making a pilgrimage here to try out. The interior looks a bit American diner-ish and the excellent drinks list (Fentimans Ginger Beer, Californian Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, local Pale Ale from Zmajska Pivovara) makes this a great place to hang out – it’s just a shame there’s only enough room for about 16 people at a time.
A new crop of quality burger bars sprang up in recent years and this was one of the first, serving deftly grilled patties of pure beef to an appreciative crowd. The cheddar bacon supreme (35kn) is the ruling monarch of the menu, although the pulled-pork sandwich (33kn) also has its devotees. There’s a breakfast option (bacon, eggs and pancakes) available up until 2pm; bottled Belgian beers, Strongbow cider and locally brewed Nova Runda craft beer provide ample excuses to hang around. With a handful of tables on the pedestrianised strip of Tkalčićeva, the setting couldn’t be better.