There’s nothing more simply satisfying than a good burger, so how do so many sub-par restaurants get it so very wrong?
We’ve weeded out the weak and tested the strong over a number of years in order to bring you the definitive guide to Edinburgh’s best burgers. They speak for themselves in terms of deliciousness, so let’s burg-in…
Burger Meats Bun
Born in Glasgow in 2013, the tasty Burger Meats Bun burger made its way through to Scotland’s capital last summer and found a home on Forth Street. Opened by two friends who met while working at a Michelin-starred establishment, Burger Meats Bun’s ethos is the perfect combination of refined and down-to-earth. Grab a table in their trendy yet cosy restaurant and feast on tender, juicy beef burgers that are regularly voted among the best in the UK. The menu is refreshingly simple and uncluttered, but BMB’s ever-changing array of specials mean that there’s always something new to try – plus their chips and chicken wings are just as top notch as the main event.
1 Forth Street, EH1 3JX – more info
Known for their gin selection, 56 North have also got an impressive assortment of award-winning gourmet burgers hidden up their sleeve. This modern cocktail bar dedicates a whole section of the menu to its highly recommended burgers, and they aren’t just your run of the mill flavour combinations either. Burger-fiends can look forward to everything from pulled ham hock with chilli-infused apple sauce to halloumi cheese and lemon-marinated olives on top of their burgers, with plenty of scrumptious sides too.
2 West Crosscauseway, EH8 9JP – more info
The Holyrood 9A
With a name like Holyrood 9A you won’t struggle to find the location of this bar and burger joint, but after tasting what they’ve got to offer you probably won’t need a reminder to visit regularly. Sit down to one of their many burgers (there are more than ten choices on the menu) in a gloriously rustic pub setting and tuck in. Their mustard mayo alone is worth a trip to Holyrood 9A, and – as well as beef, chicken and vegetarian patties – there are haggis and venison options on offer for anyone who may need a brief break from traditional burgers.
9a Holyrood Road, EH8 8AE – more info
A little something for Super Bowl Sunday… pic.twitter.com/Yz0Uin2H0S
— Wannaburger (@Wannaburger) February 1, 2015
For something affordable, fast and still satisfying Wannaburger is the perfect place in the perfect location. Tucked away at the West End of Princes Street, this restaurant has survived by adapting from a sit-down deal into a fast food model, but the high quality burgers give the game away. While you might not find yourself lingering for too long after your meal, we can guarantee that you’ll find your way back soon enough when a burger craving hits.
7-8 Queensferry Street Lane, EH2 4PA – more info
Anyone who lives in Edinburgh needs to get their arse down to the roseleaf, this burger was insane pic.twitter.com/tnJm2SpCy7
— Caitlin Rebecca (@Seasicksouls) February 18, 2014
This Leith establishment is a somewhat mysterious creature that falls under many different categories – cafe, bar, bistro, brunch spot and (most importantly) burger heaven. It’s a case of quality over quantity at Roseleaf because only a select few made the cut and – let’s face it Pulp Fiction fans – as a burger enthusiast if you see a ‘Royale with Cheese’ on the menu you’re unlikely to consider ordering anything else. You can even add bacon, black pudding and/or a fried egg to this wonderful creation – something we’re sure McDonald’s would never allow, even in France. Alternatively, order the unique Barry Beetroot Burger and look forward to the most confusingly delicious healthy burger you’ve ever set eyes on.
23/24 Sandport Place, EH6 6EW – more info
Despite being one of the most popular burger chains in the US, the average UK citizen would be forgiven for not knowing who or what the heck Five Guys is. Having finally landed in Edinburgh (at Fort Kinnaird retail park, of all places) earlier this year, this place is American through and through and definitely worth a visit. Although you’ll probably have to drive to get there and the menu is slightly pricey in comparison to other fast food chains, Five Guys is a world away from McDonald’s or Burger King. Their thin patties are quintessentially American and entirely tasty, their skin-on fries pack a punch and their ‘freestyle’ soft drinks machine is a wonder to behold.
6 Kinnaird Park, EH15 3RD – more info
The Cambridge Bar
It may be well hidden away from tourist-central between George and Queen Streets, but unfortunately the secret is out about The Cambridge Bar and its beautiful burgers. Nevertheless, book a table in advance and head down for a proper pub meal involving an exceptional burger. Here you can opt for a buffalo burger instead of the usual beef, as well as topping your burger off with camembert cheese or teriyaki sauce.
20 Young Street, EH2 4JB – more info
— BURGER. (@burgeredinburgh) April 9, 2015
Toeing the line between fast food joint and formal restaurant, the appropriately named Burger in Fountainbridge will cook up some perfectly prepared patties faster than you can say “burger sauce”. Often flirting with asian flavours and cooking styles on both their usual menu and their specials board, Burger aren’t afraid to experiment, but their simple cheese burger is juicy and delectable without any interference. Make sure to save room for unusual extras like Canadian poutine and alcoholic milkshakes. The hot dogs are spot on too, but that’s a different guide entirely…
94a Fountainbridge, EH3 9QA – more info
The City Cafe
Home of the Ultimate Burger Challenge, The City Cafe knows a thing or two about burger-making and have whittled down their menu to a select but all-encompassing nine options. Highlights include the Californian (which involves guacamole) and the Hawaiian with – you guessed it – pineapple. If you’re brave and hungry enough you can attempt to complete the Ultimate Burger Challenge and eat the country’s biggest burger plus sides in 45 minutes or less. But we’ll probably just stick to our Californian, if that’s okay with you.
19 Blair Street, EH1 1QR – more info
Just Burgers and Beers
How about one of these for lunch today…? pic.twitter.com/xNRvn9GCFm
— Just Burgers & Beers (@burgersnbeers) February 5, 2015
Centrally located on the Royal Mile and surprisingly roomy inside, Just Burgers and Beers is the new kid on the block when it comes to Edinburgh’s burger scene but has taken on the challenge with gusto. Their ‘build your own’ option gives diners the chance to completely personalise their burger experience, meaning you’ll never grow bored and could – with time and patience – build the definitive best burger. Try the beer battered gherkins as you wait for your creation to be cooked – you won’t regret it.
192a High Street, EH1 1QX – more info
Main image: Getty Images
Which Edinburgh burger gets your seal of approval?
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