Eating burgers doesn’t have to be your dirty little cheat-day secret anymore

Eating burgers doesn’t have to be your dirty little cheat-day secret anymore

Sure, burgers get a bad rap for being greasy mystery meat patties piled high with heart-attack-inducing sauce and a side of post-dining regret, but... not all burgers are created equal.

We asked some of the city’s best chefs to share their go-to burger spots in Vancouver, so you can raise your patty-and-a-bun game. In no particular order, here are our top 10.

Mamie Taylor’s
Credit: Nikki Bayley

Mamie Taylor’s

Recommended by Shelome Bouvette from Chica

"The burger I pick is the one at Mamie Taylor's – it's sooo good. It has Swiss cheese, smoked mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, and a fancy sauce (a fresh tarragon-heavy version of the classic mayo-and-ketchup-based burger sauce) which is sweet, tangy and herbaceous. The smoked mushrooms are cooked right down and blended with a little onion jam to bring them together and round out the flavour. The beef is chuck and brisket, one-week dry-aged and ground daily, but the bun is the key. It’s a homemade artisan version of a fast-food bun – soft on the inside, gently crusty on the outside and slightly brioche-y. Gotta try it!"

Mamie Taylor's, 251 East Georgia Street, Vancouver

Campagnolo Upstairs
Credit: Campagnolo

Campagnolo Upstairs

Recommended by Alex Tung from La Grotta Del Formaggio

"I love Campagnolo’s Dirty Burger D.P. (double patty)! The burger is made from dry-aged beef neck every day. It’s a delicious and classic burger. Don't forget the secret menu toppings available: foie gras, crispy chicken skin, fried egg.’"

Campagnolo Upstairs, 1020 Main Street, Vancouver

Au Comptoir
Credit: Lee Man

Au Comptoir

Recommended by Keev Mah from Sai Woo

"At Au Comptoir, you get an American classic burger done in a restrained French style. The house-ground beef is charred to medium-rare with caramelized onions. The moist soft bun soaks up the juices perfectly. When you combine good ingredients plus a talented and passionate chef, it equals a beautifully crafted burger."

Au Comptoir, 2278 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

Merchant’s Oyster Bar

Merchant’s Oyster Bar

Recommended by Josh Gale from Nicli’s Next Door

"I love a great burger. My favourite in the city is the Merchant’s Burger at Merchant’s Oyster Bar on Commercial. This is a burger that is just done right. Nothing fancy or gimmicky, just attention to detail: a toasted brioche bun, in-house ground organic patty, grilled over charcoal, then heaped with local double-smoked bacon, tarragon mayo and love. Love is always the secret ingredient and they do not skimp at Merchant’s."

Merchant’s Oyster Bar, 1590 Commercial Drive, Vancouver

Moderne Burger

Moderne Burger

Recommended by Robert Clark from The Fish Counter

"My favourite traditional burger is the Moderne Burger, which is honest and straightforward; the patty is the perfect size for the bun and it tastes like beef. It’s the only one that can satisfy my craving. After eating one I always say to myself, 'Now that was a burger!' and I am good for a while. I eat very little red meat, so when I do, I want the experience to be authentic. The fries are fresh as well, real potatoes, just like at The Fish Counter!"

Moderne Burger, 2507 West Broadway, Vancouver

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro

Recommended by Trevor Bird from Fable

"The Oakwood burger is juicy and the sauce is great, but it’s the sprouts that make the burger. The bacon they smoke in-house is really intense and brings it together. It's easily one of my faves in the city, if not number one. Best of all, you don’t feel like crap after you eat it, which is a huge plus as most burgers are gut bombs."

The Oakwood Canadian Bistro, 2741 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

White Spot
Credit: White Spot

White Spot

Recommended by Daniel McGee, from Au Comptoir

"My favourite burger in town is from White Spot. It's a simple, classic-style burger, no bells and whistles, which just tastes great every time. I go for the BC Burger (bacon and cheese) which comes with lettuce, tomato, bacon, cheese and their sauce (every place has a burger sauce, theirs is Triple O). I love the bun it comes on; it's soft but holds up while eating and the bacon is nice and crispy. There's something nostalgic about going to a White Spot, but it's not about the burgers for me since I was a vegetarian when I was a kid! It's the one burger in the city I literally crave and have to get."

White Spot, Various locations

Fable
Credit: Nikki Bayley

Fable

Recommended by Curtis Luk from Mission Kitsilano

"I don't go eat burgers much, but the one at Fable is really good. I like it because of the flavour of the miso sauce, the grind of the beef and the homemade bun, but primarily because it’s cooked competently. The flavour of the beef is prominent, not only because of the product, but because of the way it’s cooked and its ‘doneness’ is good! It has a good heft and the accompaniments don’t cover the burger too much."

Fable, 1944 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver

The Pourhouse
Credit: Pourhouse

The Pourhouse

Recommended by Jackie Kai Ellis from Beaucoup Bakery

"Finding a burger that is not cooked to a shade of 'well-done grey' is somewhat difficult to find in Vancouver! The Pourhouse Burger is perfectly medium, a mix of chuck and brisket, with a shy bit of pink in the middle, making it just the right texture and flavour. On top of the pretty patty is smoked cheddar cheese, crispy pork belly, caramelized onions, and a grilled, house-made brioche bun, with a seeded mustard and mayo. Its sidekick? Pommes frites, obviously."

Pourhouse, 162 Water Street, Gastown, Vancouver

The Alibi Room

The Alibi Room

Recommended by Shin Suzuki from Pidgin

"The Alibi Room’s Pemberton Farms all-natural beef burger is a summertime favourite of mine. The kitchen cooks the patty to a medium doneness and it’s dripping with flavour – it'll remind you of what beef is supposed to taste like. It’s dressed with lettuce, tomato and smoked-onion mayo. Add "the works" (cheddar, bacon and mushrooms) and suffice to say it's one of the best hangover meals in the hood."

Alibi Room, 157 Alexander St., Vancouver

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