Burger Kings: Glasgow’s Best Buns
Whether you’ve long embraced it with an open gob or loathed it for years, wishing to take a hammer to each and every one before you can say ‘brioche buns’, none of us can deny that a burger revolution that has taken a hold of Glasgow. From the three million burger restaurants on St Vincent ‘Burger’ Street, to the oodles of chains setting up shop in our fair city, we’re doing our bit to support the movement in the only way we know how – eating our way around Glasgow’s burger joints like hungry little Pac-Men to bring you some beefy recommendations. The city truly is stuffed with some fine burger establishments, and with more appearing every month, the trend shows no signs of stopping just yet. Thank goodness. Here’re our top 9 favourite haunts:
Mini Grill, 244A Bath Street
Image: Mini Grill
How about some award-nominated burger bites? Bath Street’s so-hidden-it’s-almost-invisible Mini Grill has drummed up quite the reputation when it comes to its meat. The locally produced beef along with Scottish twists on steakhouse classics keep the loyal customer base streaming through the doors, and we’d happily live off ‘The Glasgow Burger’ for the rest of our lives. As ‘Scotland’s Best Burger Award’ runner-up in 2016, this delicacy sums up Scotland, if it were a burger. Layer up a Barr’s Irn Bru brioche bun, Buckfast bacon jam, haggis, St Mungos braised beef cheek, lockerbie cheddar and radish slaw. We’ll just leave you with that saucy image for your lunchtime daydreams.
BRGR, 526 Great Western Road
Start off your quest to find burger enlightenment and make you first pit stop BRGR. Aside from the collection of classic beef burgers, chicken breasts and wonderful wings, you’ll receive your meal not served on a silver platter – oh no – you’ll be introduced to Scotland’s very first burger holder, aptly names the ‘hawder’. Y’know, because it ‘hawds’ your burger. It certainly ensures fewer spills, less mess, and a better burger eating experience. With another two joints on Fenwick Road in Giffnock and The Toll in Clarkston, you could easily turn your day into a BRGR hat trick; ticking them all off for breakfast, lunch and dinner. What? We don’t see any problem here.
Bread Meats Bread, 104 St Vincent Street
Image: Bread Meats Bread
It’s time to meet the bread that holds the whole thing together. Bread Meats Bread is bustling and ever-busy, so sandwich yourself in to its bench-style dining and order up one of the awesome burgers or sandwiches. We’re a sucker for a Black and Blue Burger, Pastrami Melt or a Luther (grilled inside a glazed ring DONUT FOR GOODNESS SAKE). And if you’re yet to visit chip heaven, make sure to order poutine; a divine Canadian-inspired dish comprised of fries doused in gravy and topped with cheese. With another unit now open in the West End too, this is just the tip of the iceberg for Bread Meats Bread exploration.
Stereo, 22-28 Renfield Lane
Image: People Make Glasgow
Stereo has long been renowned for serving phenomenal food and drink free from any animal produce. Both a dream vegan haunt and burger buffs’ paradise, we recommend heading straight for ‘The Stereo Burger’: a broccoli patty, homemade pineapple brioche bun (or sesame OR pita bread), lettuce, tomato, aioli, and topped with a pickle. Slather on as many extras as you (or your burger) can handle including: cashew cheese sauce (all the yeses), tempeh rashers, jalepeno, pineapple, bloody Mary ketchup, and so on and so forth. The melty, gooey cheese is simply sure to convince even the most resolute vegan cheese cynic.
Chez Mal, 278 West George Street
Image: Chez Mal
Opened in May 2017, Chez Mal has managed to stir up quite the burger storm in just a few short months. Its offering of contemporary styled dishes, chilled craft beers, crisp wines and glittering domed ceiling is a true step-up from the usual surroundings gazed upon while you chow down on a burger. What’s refreshing however is the satisfying absence of gimmicky bells and whistles. This is simple, quality food. Enjoy ‘The Mal’ burger with Ayrshire bacon, drippy Gruyère cheese, handfuls of crispy fries & a good dollop of burger relish. No muss, no fuss. The burger gods would approve, Chez Mal.
Dennistoun BBQ, 585 Duke Street
Image: Dennistoun BBQ
With its exterior sign boasting an impressive “8 days a week” opening schedule, Dennistoun BBQ has been dominating the East End when it comes to burger buffdom. Walking in to the laid-back setting will greet you with formica-topped tabes and chipboard counters; you can choose to find a dark corner and sit in, or take your grub home so you can shamelessly throw it in your face. Choose to sit in and you’ll witness the never-ending conveyor belt of Glaswegians pouring in and out of the buzzing place, stacked high on exit with toppling boxes of burgers, ribs and sides. Go for a Columbia burger with double bacon, cheese, pit pork and slaw. Don’t forget the Nutella ribs on the side. Yep, you heard right. The meats are all locally sourced and smoked in-house using imported Texan oak, the artisan bread is made in small batches, and everything else on the menu made fresh every day. A wealth of sodas and alcohol are imported from the USA and Mexico, and you may even find a rare craft beer or two amongst the mix.
The Butchershop Bar & Grill, 1055 Sauchiehall Street
Image: The Butchershop Bar & Grill
Combining the hustle and bustle of Manhattan with superb Scottish beef has proved to be a winning combination for this West End eatery over the years. Making Tuesdays worth leaving the house for, The Butchershop offers ‘Burger vs. Steak Tuesdays’, serving up a banging burger deal of two burgers (or steaks), two portions of fries and a bottle of wine or an unreal £30. Keep a keen eye out for some seriously dirty specials too. The glorious burger above lovingly combined two patties made from 35 day dry-aged Black Angus rump steak, homemade ‘American Cheese’ made with manzanilla sherry & 15 month aged Comte, gem lettuce, confit onions, candied pancetta, pan-seared foie gras, shaved black truffle and served on a glazed, sesame seeded brioche bun with a side of hand cut Maris Piper chips. Catchy, right?
Lewbowski’s, 1008 Argyle Street
Is it acceptable to have a three course lunch…where each course is in fact a burger? We’re sure Lewbowski’s wouldn’t judge if you were to do just that, as we highly doubt you’ll be able to narrow your decision down to fewer than three choices. We don’t think you can beat our own favourite trio though: The Big Lewbowski (double-stacked), Filet O’Crab (crab, haddock, guac, bacon) and Bacon Mac ‘n’ Cheese (marry us, mac ‘n’ cheese fritter). An extremely close fourth place goes to ‘One for the Veggies’, full of all good things green; the spiced falafel burger is topped with Asian slaw, garlic mayo, chilli sauce, fresh coriander, mint, and is oh-so special. Oh, and did we mention there’s an entire menu dedicated to White Russians?
Bloc, 117 Bath Street
Serious conundrum: what do you do when both The Butchershop Bar & Grill AND Bloc offer a belter of a Tuesday deal? Answer: Bloc for lunch, Butchershop for dinner. You’re welcome. If you can part with three bucks (we know you can), there’s no excuse not to reach Tuesday lunch goals and make this your regular haunt. Yes, seriously, that’s a beef or veggie burger with fries and slaw for just three shiny gold coins. But if you visit any other day of the week, we truly admire you if you can get past the words ‘Durty Burger’ without immediately ordering it. This beast’s patty is loaded with bacon fries, melted trailer trash cheese, onion gravy, pickles, slaw and relish. What’s more, the menu helpfully suggests two beer pairings to accompany your fine choice. We’ll have both, thank you.