The humble burger’s come a long way since the days when the only places you could get one were McDonalds and Burger King. And it’s gone mainstream. Burgers can even make you famous.
Manchester’s gone burger mad. We just can’t get enough of the burger and luckily there are now almost as many burger joints as there are pubs in the city centre. Why do we love them so much? Because they’re damn tasty. Enough to make a vegetarian give up their quorn.
What makes a good burger anyway? The beef. Pure 100% fresh beef. A brioche bun, cheese, lettuce, tomato, sauce (slut sauce?). Onion rings, pickle – a bonus or fuss? Gherkin? Not many people like them. Did you know the reason why McDonalds put gherkins in their burgers is because, without the gherkins, the burgers would be classed as a dessert due to the high levels of sugar. Yep, apparently.
Anyhow, we tasted some of the finest, none-dessert burgers on offer in Manchester and ate so many that we don’t want to see another one again. Not for a couple of days anyway.
Here’s our verdict…
This intimate little meat joint is well worth a find. SoLita, which stands for South of Little Italy, is located on Turner Street in the NQ. Their burger menu is just as quirky as Almost Famous and with more variety. It’s a bit dearer but you get what you pay for and they are BIG.
SoLita is the home of ‘The Big Manc’ (£15.90 ouch) 2 x 6 ounce minced chuck steak patties, trifecta brioche, iceberg, home pickles, Monterey Jack cheese and Big Manc Sauce.
Go for their ‘Tribute’ burger (£10.90) because it’s good value, it’s damn tasty plus 50p for every Tribute Burger sold will go to Wood Street Mission helping the most deprived children in Manchester.
2. Almost Famous
This place is like Disney Land on acid. Very random decor and service. In Manchester, they’re not almost famous, they’re actually famous. SO much so, they can make up their own ingredients. People can get a bit too hyped about it. It is just a burger joint – with a massive statue of a gorilla and a few other plastic animals. It’s a proper funky gig. But behind all that animation and arsey staff is some absolute revolutionary burger.
Pictured: River Pheonix (£8) Double cheese burger, bacon, BBQ fried onions, frazzles?, baconnaise?, chipotle ketchup, BBQ sass and fresh chilli.
3. Byron Hamburgers
Yes, they’re a chain with twenty-nine sites already in London etc which usually results in lack of taste that people trust, and we like to support our independents, but they just get it right. Good value, simple with no nonsence. Everytime. Scottish beef, perfectly cooked medium rare. You’re sat in a slick ‘distressed interior’ venue with the best service. They bring out a new burger every once in a while just to make sure you’re not fed up with the already quality selection. If you just want a classic, plain burger; order a ‘Classic’. If you want a cheese burger; order a ‘Cheese’ (and pick your cheese).
Pictured: B-Rex (ltd edition £10.25) – 6oz hamburger, onion ring, crispy smoked bacon, American cheese, jalapeños, pickles, onions, BBQ sauce and mayonnaise.
Try the Byron burger (£9.25) bacon, mature Cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion and ‘Byron sauce’.
4. Reds True Barbecue
New kids on the block. Went down a storm during their opening week – like a bolt from heaven. Food, atmosphere and service is top. Housemade burgers.
Pictured: The Pit Burger (£15.95 bit steep you might think) Housemade burger. All steak, all good. Sliced brisket, pulled pork, melted Jack cheese, dill pickle, salad, sauce, American mustard. All stacked on a glazed artisan burger bun. With fries.
5. Handmade Burger Co
New to the city this year opening in The Old Courthouse on Deansgate, their chefs make more than 40 varieties of burgers from scratch in each restaurant every day, including their range of Stuffed Burgers, Sliders & rare-breed Jimmy’s Farm burgers.
Pictured: Stuffed Burger – a winning burger with a melted cheese centre.
Gorilla, DogBowl and BrewDog just didn’t quite make it into the top five. It caused a massive row.
If you have a difference in opinion of our choice, please do let everyone hear it below…