Canberra’s Best Burger – Taste Off

Canfan 23 July 2014 10

Calling for Canberra’s Best Burger drew the expected range in opinion, including an unexpected debate on the difference between a hamburger and a burger (apparently one is the posh type, the other a more grungy experience – who knew?).

The two most popular burgers according to you guys are Brodburger (Kingston) and London Burger (Belconnen, City & Tuggeranong) with a range of votes for local takeaway burgers across town.

To show my true dedication to the site, I gathered two mates (including my burger aficionado friend) for a burger taste off. We sampled one from Brodburger, one from London Burger and a local takeaway burger.

To ensure we compared ‘apples with apples’ as much as possible, we went for the equivalent of a burger with the lot from each (no beetroot or pineapple – a vote from my mates – don’t shoot the messenger).

I must confess up front that a fairly large part of me wanted Brodburger to be rubbish. There was so much hype about them in their trendy little position that I kind of wanted to go against the crowd. But, we started with this apparent high bar of burgers and it was hard to go anywhere but down after that.

Our Brodburger (with bacon and egg) was served on a soft, not too fat, slightly sweet bun with the most delicious combination of patty (not too fat, not too thin and not overcooked). Along with the bacon (plenty of) and egg went lettuce, tomato, Spanish onion, homemade aioli and tomato relish. It was freaking amazing. I’m not entirely sure how they managed to cook the egg to such perfection – soft and slightly runny but not messy – and the aioli and relish offered a lovely balance of slightly sweet and spicy flavours. The only complaint with the burger itself was a few large chunks of Spanish onion, which isn’t to everyone’s taste.


The Brodburger with bacon and egg is $15.00 without sides.

Next we sampled the London Burger. We went for the ‘London Burger with the lot’, which came with bacon, cheese, caramelized onion, egg, BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion. The first thing to stand out was the size of the patty. It was huge (as was the burger in general). There was a bit too much BBQ sauce and although the patty was tall it failed to cover the width of the burger bun. Call me unreasonable but I like to get a full mouthful of flavours with each bite of burger. The biggest issue with the London Burger though was the inability to get a whole bit in your gob at once, meaning the burger broke up into bits unceremoniously.


The London Burger with the lot is $15.50 with a side of beer battered chips (which were pretty good).

Our last tasting was a local takeaway burger. We went with our local as from experience most local takeaways are similar and they make a pretty good burger. The burger was as expected. The patty flat and pretty tasty, plenty of bacon, cheese, egg, tomato and lettuce with tomato sauce. It’s nothing fancy, no posh sauces and I suspect lacking in organic eggs. But, it was enjoyable.


The ‘local’ burger with the lot is $8.50.

It turns out that with burgers it is in fact hard to compare ‘apples with apples’, as there are burgers for different occasions. If you’re after the king of burgers, all quality and taste and perfection go with Brodburger, but be prepared to faff about to park and wait (we pre-ordered but the wait for others was 1 ½ hours). For everyday, although the burger was fantastic, the hassle factor does (for me) outweigh the goodness of the burger.

London Burger was OK. To be fair to them, it was probably a bit unfair to put them right next to a Brodburger. If I was out and about and that was an option for dinner I would certainly take it over a lot of other fast food options. But, for a high end burger I would expect something a bit more refined and the size put me off a lot.

For convenience and flavour as a combination I would still head to our local takeaway. It ticks the boxes for me.

All this being said, there is part of me still hankering for the other 2/3 of the Brodburger I was forced to share with my mates and wondering why I shared this challenge in the first place…

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10 Responses to Canberra’s Best Burger – Taste Off
zllauh zllauh 6:13 pm 13 Apr 15

now i am bored of having pizzas every other evening and shifting to a burger diet 😛
and i am going to dig into all of the above places 😀
Thanks rioters :p

Pistachios Pistachios 3:27 pm 24 Jul 14

Had a Heston Burger last night from Coles and it was by far the best burger I have had in quite some time. $8 for two huge big thick patties that fill you up is a great bet.

Definitely recommend it, way better than Grill’d. The best part was that I cooked it myself!

Pistachios Pistachios 4:49 pm 23 Jul 14

astrojax said :

Pistachios said :

The burger I got was covered in green, unripe and barely cooked onion making it absolutely disgusting.

you do realise that it is entirely fine – and delicious – to eat raw onions? and these are common in salad, and so potentially on a burger..? (certainly on one i might make at mine)

but i appreciate you’d not necessarily expect them here… still, ‘disgusting’ seems a strong word.

I love raw onions. McDonalds 10:1 onion is the shiz. I even reconstitute dried onion flakes.

These were unripe brown onions that were completely dark green in colour with no white flesh on them whatsoever. It was a beyond disgusting after-taste that stayed on my palate for hours. I assumed it was so they couldn’t get anyone to finish the burger challenge.

astrojax astrojax 4:29 pm 23 Jul 14

Pistachios said :

The burger I got was covered in green, unripe and barely cooked onion making it absolutely disgusting.

you do realise that it is entirely fine – and delicious – to eat raw onions? and these are common in salad, and so potentially on a burger..? (certainly on one i might make at mine)

but i appreciate you’d not necessarily expect them here… still, ‘disgusting’ seems a strong word.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 4:19 pm 23 Jul 14

It is a shame that Brod takes so long. Actually, it’s not a shame, it’s bloody p*ss weak!

Pistachios Pistachios 4:18 pm 23 Jul 14

London Burger is honestly the worst burger I have ever eaten. I am surprised they are still open. The burger I got was covered in green, unripe and barely cooked onion making it absolutely disgusting.

It might have had something to do with the Burger challenge they have so that you can’t eat it but I’d never go back there. Having someone stand there with a bucket and watch you eat for 30 mins is strange too.

Canberra has very limited options for burgers unlike Melbourne so I can see why Brodburger flourishes with the hipster crowd. The best part about that place is the glassworks IMO.

The best bet for me is Evatt Takeaway for burgers or Grill’d.

watto23 watto23 3:54 pm 23 Jul 14

I think it really comes down to preference whether you like a traditional hamburger or the modern burger.
I think traditionalists will prefer brodburger, but their reputation for slowness (I’ve never ever been served in under 30 minutes) is real and needs to be considered. London burger is quick tasty and has variety and is more gourmet IMO.

Each to their own I guess, but i like the more gourmet burgers. My favourite is a satay one from a place in Cooma!

astrojax astrojax 3:27 pm 23 Jul 14

some advice canfan: get new mates. i mean, no beetroot?? shame…

and yup, hc, second the paucity of quality of takewaway burger depicted compared to watson.

so get new mates, and move. hey, it’s all in the name of getting a good burger, so surely worth it.

and an hour and a half wait for a burger? you can get to shops and get ingredients, mix up meat, let is sit and chill, cook and consume a far superior homemade burger [with beetroot] and still have time to drive across town and pick up your still hungry waiting-for-brodburger mates at that pace. it ought to be disqualified from the off really…

MERC600 MERC600 2:03 pm 23 Jul 14

People are waiting 1.5 hours for a hamburger ! unbelievable.

Have lived in this joint for 35 years, and some of its people still amaze me.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 12:55 pm 23 Jul 14

Brodburgers are very good. Ignore the haters.

Now that Kingston Foreshore has more cafes/bars etc you can order your Brod, then take your little flashy thing with you the foreshore and have a drink until it buzzes to let you know your food awaits.

Your local takeaway burger is a poor imitation of what passes as a burger with the lot from Watson Take Away. Shame, haha!

Oh in the interests of loosely partaking in this test I tried a burger from Poppa’s at the Kingston Hotel last week too. It was very filling, huge in fact, but the bun was rubbish (very chewy) and the contents were passable but nothing more. Quick and easy though, which is certainly a big tick in favour for it compared with Brodburger down the road, but that’s all.

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