Words: Emily Mullen
After much racking of brains, trawling of the internet and broken down email threads we are proud to present, The Ultimate Dublin Food Guide, Burger edition! A guide that cuts through the mire of food reviews made by every Tom, Dick and Harry, with opposable thumbs and access to 3G.
Kicking off the series is one of the most important of food groups, the burger. Typically made up of a bun, containing a squished up piece of mince, topped with savoury ingredients. Burgers mean a great deal to Dubliners, to borrow former head chef of Chapter One Eric Matthews words, “burgers are one of those Dublin institutions that everybody loves”.
The food industry has fully catered for Dubliners seemingly insatiable demand for burgers, with the city potentially reaching peak burger saturation point lately. You can’t swing a seagull without hitting an establishment that emits a meaty smell and is washed with a hazy greasy glow. This makes the task of finding the best burgers in the city all the more important. Through our extremely complex and mysterious system (for more info click here) we have discovered the top burgers in the city.
We asked our crack team of experts to rank the best places in Dublin for burgers. While some of the answers were pretty niche, others weren’t altogether unsurprising.
There was the inclusion of a couple of chicken burgers, which was unusual considering the typical association with burgers and beef, alongside the inclusion of some newbs in the burger scene.
We paid particular attention to what the meat fiends had to say, we were delighted when the owner of Baste and creator of the Big Grill Festival Andy Noonan and co-owner of Featherblade and Mister S Paul McVeigh agreed to take part.
All the answers have been mashed together to form a compact little pattie, into your waiting paws let us place
The Ultimate Dublin Food Guide to burgers:
A spot that is associated with a variety of food items, Happy Endings was a little bit of a dark horse on the list. Mainly since the restaurant is so filled with flair that it specialises in quite a lot of things. Starting out as a month-long popup, Happy Endings has grown into a fully-fledged restaurant with an extensive menu inspired by street food around the world. Using their special fried buttermilk chicken, Happy Endings make up a wide variety of burgers with ingredients as varied as Easi-Singles (in the Missionary Burger), ramen gravy (in the Gravy Train Burger) and pineapple and habanero chutney (in the Jimmy Burger). Riggz Castillo named Happy Endings on his list, the chef and owner of one of the Summer’s most beloved food truck’s Bahay was extremely keen.
Most popular burger: Cheezus Burger made up of mission spice buttermilk fried chicken, gochujang cheeze sauce, cured streaky bacon and sesame lime slaw
Location: Dublin 2’s 14-18 Aston Quay, for more information visit their website.
From their humble origins as a test kitchen in Mak’s restaurant during lockdown, Hush has grown into a full-blown concept. Created by Peter Burke and Jules Mak, who knew that sandwiches and burgers will always be in demand in this town. The spot in Rathmines does just that, selling sandwiches in the morning while moonlighting as a burger spot in the evenings. Selling burgers of all varieties, beef (smashed), falafel but the team truly excel at chicken burgers. Creator of the food truck Naughty Neighbour and the organisation Food For Thought Daniel Hannigan listed Hush on his list.
Most popular burger: The Chicky Chicky Bang Bang Burger, which consists of spicy buttermilk chicken breast, Asian slaw and chipotle mayo.
Location: 137 Rathmines Road Lower, Rathmines, for more information visit their Instagram account.
While it may not be their exact category, given that burgers are almost always associated with beef patties. The skill level of Chimac was sure to get a mention in this list. Inspired by South Korean fried chicken, using free-range birds, Chimac has an expansive fried chicken burger menu. A man who was familiar with the locale from his time spent in the kitchens of Mister S down the road from Chimac, Daniel Hannigan gave them a mention on his list, alongside Asian food aficionado chef and Director of Conbini Condiments Holly Dalton. It’s also no secret that pastry maestro Aoife Noonan, wouldn’t stop DMing them for their ice cream sammies during lockdown.
Most popular burger: the Good Good burger made with twice-fried free-range chicken, ssamjang cheese sauce, habanero Mayo and honey and jalapeño relish.
Location: Dublin 2’s 76 Aungier Street, for more information visit their website.
Closed on Mondays
It’s difficult to negotiate the city without coming across a Wowburger at this stage. Obscured in “haberdasheries” and ye old pubs, the burger joint is omnipresent on the city streets. The politics of Wowburger aside, it’s difficult to argue about the taste of the burgers. Riggz Castillano, gave them a mention alongside former head chef of Chapter One Eric Matthews who acknowledged that “Wowburger is everywhere” but he cited the original spot in The Workman’s Club as having a special place in his heart, “it’s the original Wowburger that I loved” he added.
Most popular burger: We are still waiting for Wowburger to respond to us
Locations: Ranelagh’s 3 The Triangle, Tallaght’s The Square Shopping Centre, Dublin 2’s 16 Wexford Street, Mary’s Bar & Hardware 8 Wicklow Street, Temple Bar’s 2-5 Wellington Quay, Rotunda’s 198 Parnell Street, Sandyford’s the Beacon South Quarter, Glasnevin’s 125 Ballymun Road, Walkinstown’s The Cherry Tree Pub, Beaumount’s Circle K, Blanchardstown Centre’s Captain America’s, The Red Cow Inn on the Naas Road, Monkstown’s 18a Monkstown Crescent, The Pound Bar in Swords, The Foxhunter in Lucan, John’s Bar & Haberdashery off Thomas Street and City West Business Campus, plus more around the country.
Opening Times: For full information on the opening times of each location visit the Wowburger website.
Fresh to the scene, Puck Burger turned the key and started its engines in April 2021. The food truck is well-placed at number six, especially for a place that only has the square footage of a truck at its disposal. There’s a distinctive look to Puck burgers, a round completeness to them that’s reminiscent of the burgers from Grease, American Graffiti and other Americana films. TV presenter and owner of Lil Portie Nico Reynolds, listed Puck in his top two writing that his preference is for the burgers “that you can’t fit in your mouth and it always kind of falls to the plate”.
Most popular burger: Smokey Puck made up of a double beef puck, melted applewood smoked cheddar cheese, smoked streaky bacon, caramelised onions, lettuce, puck sauce, smokey ketchup, in a brioche bun.
Location: The View Carpark, Malahide Marina for more information visit their Instagram account.
Burgers on sale from Wednesday-Sunday 12.00-21.00
Coffees from 7.30-12.00 Monday-Tuesday, 7.30-16.00 Wednesday-Friday and 9.00-18.00 Saturday-Sunday.
One of Bodytonic’s own food brands, Nice Burger started off in The Shaw before journeying across to The Lighthouse. They’ve got a short but sweet menu which covers a lot of bases, with beef [made from regular sized patties], chicken, fish and vegan burgers, on offer. Each month there is also a monthly burger special. James Kavanagh gave Nice Burger at The Shaw a special mention.
Most popular: the Classic Cheese
Drumcondra’s The Bernard Shaw
Dún Laoghaire’s The Lighthouse
Phibsborough; Monday-Sunday 16.00-22.00
Dún Laoghaire; Monday-Friday 16.00-23.30 and Saturday-Sunday 12.00-23.30
Unsurprisingly Featherblade is featured in the top five, the restaurant is synonymous with burgers in the city since it started in 2014. Awarded the best burger in Dublin 2020, their signature burger which features a thick beef pattie, melted cheese, slabs of smokey bacon and pickled pink onions, took over a year to come up with. Featherblade co-owner Paul McVeigh told us that the “sugar pit cured & smoked bacon transcend our burger to an unimaginable level”. The Featherblade fan club was pretty big, with Dan Hannigan singing the praises alongside Eric Matthews who raved about the “unbelievable bacon” calling it a “fantastic burger”.
Most Popular: Bacon Cheeseburger
Location: Dublin 2’s 51B Dawson Street
Closed on Mondays
Tuesday-Wednesday 12.00-15.00 & 17.00-20.30
Thursday 12.00-15.00 & 17.00-21.00
Friday 12.00-15.00 & 16.30-21.30
One of the most authentic burgers on the scene, BuJo was bound to end up in the top three spot. They grill their burgers (as opposed to cooking them on flat hot plates), meaning that the fat drips onto the flames creating smoke and flavouring the burgers. They also have a 3 Star rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association, using renewable energy to power their joints and all packaging is compostable, reusable or recyclable. BuJo came up quite a bit from the likes of Holly Dalton and ex-Chapter One head chef Eric Matthews, ex-Mister S Dan Hannigan told us “everything about bujo is amazing. From Grainne O’Keefe [Culinary Director]’s excellence to the sourcing of ingredients to the deliciousness is all-around brilliant” while Riggz Castillano from Bahay complemented the consistency of Bujo, saying that “you can’t go wrong with their classic burger or if that isn’t your thing, they’ve always got a collaboration burger with rotating guests”.
Most Popular: Classic BuJo Burger
Locations: Dublin 4’s 6A Sandymount Green and Castleknock’s Junction 6
Sandymount; Monday-Sunday 12.00-21.30
Castleknock; Monday-Sunday 12.00-21.30
Harnessing the smash-burger craze that’s gripping the city, serial restauranteur Barry Wallace launched Dash Burger back in October 2020. Creating a George Motz-inspired burger that’s smashed with a meat pestle into a scorching hot chrome grill topped with slices of OG American cheese and whacked into a toasted potato roll (a Shake Shack staple). The grease of Dash was on the lips of the likes of Riggz Castillano, Mister S co-owner Paul McVeigh, BBQ royalty Andy Noonan with Holly Dalton writing, “I thought I had my mind made up about what the best burger in Dublin was and then Dash came into my life. This burger is the best burger I’ve ever had regardless of location. Getting a Dash burger every now and then was one of the only things that got me through the many lockdowns. These burgers are blessed.” While chef and co-owner of Brother Hubbards Garrett Fitzgerald was extremely excited about the proximity of the second Dash Burger, near his cafe’s Northside location.
Most popular: Chipotle Double Smash Burger
Locations: Portobello’s 6-11 Kevin Street Lower and North City’s 159 Capel Street
Monday-Thursday 12.30-15.30 & 17.00-21.00
Bunsen will be everyone’s answer and there’s a very good reason for thatColin Harmon, 3FE
Arguably the renegades of the burger scene, Bunsen were one of the first to create quality burgers with an edge, so it’s unsurprising that they have taken the number one spot. A tiny menu (that fits on a card) Bunsen has perfected burger simplicity, freshly minced Black Aberdeen Angus with a ratio of “three different forequarter cuts”, layered with their own cheese combo of Comte/Jack blend, toppings of lettuce, onion, tomatoes all padded into an in-house made Amish dinner roll. The burger is cooked to order, but Bunsen recommends customers it to have it medium with all the trimmings.
Bunsen was on the lips of nearly everyone we asked from James Kavanagh, Paul McVeigh to Dan Hannigan. Here’s what some of the experts said about Bunsen:
Garrett Fitzgerald from Brother Hubbard: “Bunsen is a great go-to with a gorgeously simple offering”
Colin Harmon from 3FE: “Bunsen will be everyone’s answer and there’s a very good reason for that”
Eric Matthews former head chef at Chapter One: “I like the simplicity, I like the business model is and also had a good few dates there but well before I met my future Mrs Matthews and it was always just a bit of fun place for me and I always thought the burgers were knockout and I love the fact that you can grind your meat to order so you can have a nice medium-rare burger or whatever you want it’s great.”
Nico Reynolds of Lil Portie: “I like a little filth in my burger, you can’t really go wrong with a Bunsen”
Andy Noonan from Baste: “I still love Bunsen”
Most popular: The single cheeseburger
Locations: Dublin 6’s 97 Ranelagh, Temple Bar’s 22 Essex Street East, Dublin 2’s 3 South Anne Street, Dublin 2’s 36 Wexford Street, Dublin 2’s 53 Dame Street, Dublin 4’s 24 Baggot Street Upper, plus more around the country.
Opening times: For full information on the opening times of each location visit the Bunsen website.
Honourable mentions: Box Burger, McDonald’s and Romayo’s
Elsewhere on District: Dash Burger, A George Motz-inspired smash-burger joint