Burgers are the ultimate comfort food pretty much anywhere in the world. Sure, a big, juicy burger might be messy, and it will obviously cancel out all the hard work you did at the gym, but sometimes what’s bad for the body is precisely what the soul needs.
A great burger is so much more than grab-and-go fast food. The right combination of fresh ingredients, delicious condiments and buttery buns can be sheer ambrosia. If your mouth is watering already, we’ve tracked down the best burgers in town – from Sze Sun’s low-cost, Hong Kong-style bites to the perfect patties at cult-favourite chain Shake Shack to the Michelin-calibre beef burgers at The Butchers Club. Loosen those belts, people. By Chloe Li
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The best burgers in Hong Kong
Located right in the centre of our city's ever-bustling nightlife hub, Lan Kwai Fong, Beef & Liberty makes burgers that leap off the menu at you. There are nine in total, ranging from the classic cheeseburger to the chilli-laced El Cabrón – Spanish slang for badass – to the Notorious PIG, which is, appropriately enough, made with pulled pork. Don’t pass on the bacon cheeseburger, though. Topped with Dingley Dell bacon, creamy raclette cheese and caramelised onions and finished with two home-baked buns. It sounds simple, but it’s oh-so rich.
The Lot on Possession has over a dozen burgers to try, including an Indian-inspired minty lamb burger and a pulled prime beef burger with crispy eggplant. Aussie wagyu is the beef of choice, however, and every patty comes in at a hefty 250g. The char the grill gives the burgers adds a smoky touch too.
Feeling particularly peckish? Test your limits with the signature Grand Burger ($328). It has no less than twelve layers of ingredients and is 25cm thick. In other words, good luck. But when you do find a way to fit your mouth around this monster, you’ll be treated to double-grilled wagyu, grilled tiger prawns, onion rings, French beans, guacamole, pineapple, mushroom, herbed mayo and more. It’s actually meant to feed two or three people, but if you can finish this bad boy solo, you’ll get it for free.
Think strawberry milkshakes, candy stripes and bow ties, and you've got Burger Circus in a nutshell. Taking the biscuit as Hong Kong's most charming American diner, this tasty late night spot, located oh-so-conveniently between Soho, Lan Kwai Fong, and Wyndham Street, serves up irresistible burgers until 3am between Thursday and Saturday – perfect for curing that midnight hunger pang. Whether you stick to safety with a classic American Cheeseburger made with a juicy 5oz beef patty with real Wisconsin cheddar cheese, crank up the heat with the Spicy Chicken burger, or make your very own cheesy masterpiece with selected ingredients such as fried eggs, jalapeños or blue cheese sauce, your tummy definitely won't be rumbling after a trip to this 1950s-inspired, vintage gem.
Top Blade may be best known for its flat-iron, but the restaurant’s reputation for meaty mastery means its burgers are as scrumptious as its steaks. Try the signature TB burger ($78). The patty is made of a few premium cuts – flat-iron, prime chuck eye roll and more. The burger is perfectly browned on the outside and succulent inside. Served with gooey cheese and red wine onions, and dressed with a secret sauce made from mayo, mustard and apple vinegar, the flavour is out of this world.
Just around the corner from buzzy Star Street, Honbo fits right in to the neighbourhood. The blue and white walls give off a Santorini vibe during the day while the neon accent lights scream ‘Hong Kong’ at night. So it should come as no surprise that burger lovers pack the place on the weekends, grabbing whatever spots are available at the shared tables.
It’s all about quality over quantity at Honbo. From the cheeseburger to the chicken burger and soft shell crab burger, every element – patty, bun, sauce – is made in-house. Not to mention the veggies come from Yuen Long and the potato milk bun comes from a bakery just 15 minutes away from the restaurant. The beef burgers, featuring a combination of local brisket and US chuck, are meaty with a bit of umami and are flat-out delicious.
What started out as a place for passionate chefs and butchers in Aberdeen has evolved into one of Hong Kong’s premier burger joints in Wan Chai (there are branches in Central, TST and Quarry Bay, too). The beef is ridiculously high quality here: 100 percent all-natural, grain-fed Australian beef, dry-aged for 21 days, mixed with rump, chuck and brisket.
There are nine burgers on the menu, but make sure to try the Double Happiness ($180) – twice the patties, twice the cheese and toppings that include tomatoes, pickles and maple bacon. Pair it with crispy duck fat fries and you’ve got pleasure in its purest form.
When it comes to top quality burgers with fresh ingredients, Burger Joys has got it down to a tee. Serving up American smash-style burgers, this gourmet burger joint combines juicy, flavourful burgers with an ingenious Brioche Bun recipe, made by two-Michelin star pastry chef Michael Gillet, to create mouth-watering burgers for those looking for a solution to their “cheat day” meal. If you really want to turn this into a feast, Burger Joys also offers chicken wings, fries, a range of breakfast foods, along with handpicked craft beers.
This popular burger joint in Sai Wan offers a gourmet twist. Think: truffle, foie gras, garlic thyme shrimp, aged gruyere, stilton and more. Not to mention grass-fed Aussie angus and British beef patties fried in beef bone marrow.
For a change-up, try the Black Daddy ($160), a beef burger topped with house-made pickles and English black pudding. But while beef might be the obvious choice, don’t count out the chicken carbonara burger ($150). A tender chicken breast comes loaded with Japanese egg, taleggio, smoked paprika and smoked pancetta cream sauce. It’s a messy but delicious affair.
Last year, Shake Shack finally landed in Hong Kong. This much-loved US chain with over 50 locations around the world is a total knock-out, rising high above any fast food chain stereotypes. If you have (somehow) never experienced Shake Shack’s angus beef burgers in all their greasy glory, you can make your pilgrimage to the shops in IFC or Pacific Place and start with the original. But if you’re a regular, you might prefer to order one of the ‘secret’ off-menu items, such as the peanut butter burger.
With a legacy spanning over half a century, this Hong Kong-style burger joint is keeping patrons in Hung Hom happy with its nostalgia-inducing bites. Sze Sun Hamburger is a sort of spin-off launched by a scion of the family that gave us the now defunct Si Sun Fast Food. Its burgers are made the same as the original: prepared with fresh beef and a special white sauce whipped up from a family recipe that has been passed down the generational ladder. Still hungry? Order the fried chicken thigh and crinkly French fries.