Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 2 June 2020

From Pickl to Bareburger: where to find the best burgers in Dubai

You're spoilt for choice in the burger stakes in the UAE's biggest city – but where can you find the best?

Pickl is well-known for its exceptional chicken burgers. Courtesy Pickl.
Pickl is well-known for its exceptional chicken burgers. Courtesy Pickl.

The boutique burger trend is one that has erupted across the world in recent years. No longer is a burger a simple patty between two buns scenario; now the choice of buns is seemingly endless (brioche, potato or black?), the fillings gourmet and the accompaniments growing ever wackier.

As such, burger joints across the UAE are no longer limited to your typical fast food varieties. Your standard Big Mac has given way to sandwiches from smaller, one-off outlets that have amassed fans and grown cult followings. Never have you been so spoilt for choice for a simple burger joint for a treat meal.

And so, we've done the hard yards in searching Dubai-wide for the best offerings between two buns. It was tough work, but someone had to do it.

Here's our pick of the best burgers in Dubai:

Pickl, JLT

Best for: Burgers and fried chicken

Pickl has garnered somewhat of a cult following, a throng of fans who will shout about it from the rooftops when it comes to ordering an indulgent weekend treat. The burgers are juicy, the fried chicken is served in crispy, chunky, boneless strips, and makes up the chicken burger. Pickl also offers vegan Beyond Burgers, so there is something on the menu for everyone.

Top tip: if you order the chicken save any extra Comeback Sauce you get, you'll want to eat it with everything you can get your hands on for the following days. Shakes and messy fries are also on the menu. You can order from Pickl exclusively on Deliveroo.

Order: The Chicken Sando – fresh fried chicken, comeback sauce, dill pickles, lettuce, potato bun for Dh35.

Details: Pickl, One Tower, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai; 04 584 6859; www.eatpickl.com

Salt

Salt is a burger institution in Dubai. 
Salt is a burger institution in Dubai. 

Best for: Slider burgers and Lotus biscuit shake

Salt started as a beach food truck on Kite Beach, and has grown exponentially in the years since. In Dubai you'll still find it at Kite Beach, but it's also located at The Dubai Mall, La Mer and Dubai Marina, and UAE-wide there are locations at Mushrif Central Park, Abu Dhabi; Al Zorah Golf Club, Ajman; Marjan Island Boulevard, Ras Al Khaimah and Hamdan Bin Mohammad St, Al Ain.

The menu keeps things pretty simple: there is the original 2oz Wagyu beef slider with cheese and extras, the spicy Hook variety or deep fried chicken with Cheetos, all served in butter buns, and you can opt to go for single or double with the patty portions. They also serve plain, cheese or spicy fries, iced tea, lemonade, soft scoop ice cream and shakes – the Lotus biscuit shake has a following of its own.

Order: Keep it simple and order the original slider – you can't go wrong with Wagyu beef, melted cheese, salt and pickle slices in a butter bun – Dh32 for two sliders.

Salt, various locations across the UAE; email hello@find-salt.com or visit www.find-salt.com

The Stuffed Burger Co, The Pointe

Best for: Value for money, good burgers

One burger joint that has, in our opinion, redefined the humble dish is The Stuffed Burger Co. While most establishments experiment with ingredients, toppings and sauces, this one went one step further by rehashing the most essential ingredient in the sandwich – the burger patty. The Stuffed Burger Co whips up handmade patties with delicious fillings – so you can expect to find ingredients such as cheese oozing out of the meat. Some of its signatures are Three Cheeses, Mushroom & Swiss, Greek Goodness (stuffed with feta!) and Pizza Burger (filled with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce). Another reason to love the brand? It’s home-grown!

Order: The Pizza Burger (Dh46)

Ground Floor, Zone B, The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai

Bite Me Burger / Get Plucked, DIFC

British brands Bite Me Burger and Get Plucked are launching fusion restaurants in DIFC on February 13
British brands Bite Me Burger and Get Plucked are launching fusion restaurants in DIFC on February 13

Best for: variety lovers, absolutely not for the indecisive

The popular British burger joint arrived in Dubai earlier this year, serving up gourmet mini burgers and chicken to the crowds of DIFC. With 15 varieties of mini burgers, Bite Me Burger is for lovers of variety, whereas its sister brand (operating out of the same restaurant) Get Plucked offers all things chicken: bites, burgers and wings. Featuring striking wall art, burger-inspired design accents, an Instagram wall and a "freeze shake bar", it's a unique destination.

Order: The lambtastic slider (Dh42 for two sliders)

151 Gate Avenue North Entrance, Podium Level, 10am-10pm, 04 299 2110, www.instagram.com/bitemeburgerme

Bareburger

The entirely plant-based Beyond Burger is on the menu at Bareburger's four UAE restaurants. Courtesy Bareburger
The entirely plant-based Beyond Burger is on the menu at Bareburger's four UAE restaurants. Courtesy Bareburger

Best for: Vegans

This burger house, which is originally from the US, has its eyes firmly on sustainability, which is why more than one-third of its menu is vegetarian and plant-based. Meat-eaters won't go hungry, though, as it also has a range of burgers for the carnivorous that use organic ingredients from hand-picked suppliers. That includes camel, venison and lamb – not just all-natural prime beef. It's the perfect place for people with various dietary requirements to head to, as, whether you opt for vegan, vegetarian or meat, the burgers are all well cooked and flavours spot on. There's even a selection for gluten-free diners, too. In the UAE, there are a number of venues sporting quirky, fun decor, including at La Mer, The Pointe and City Walk. They also have the best whole grain mustard sauce, which they make in-house and is not available to buy.

Order: The Original Beyond (Dh46)

City Walk, Dubai, 04 385 4282; La Mer, Dubai, 04 343 7110; The Pointe, Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, 04 557 5514; Marina Mall, Abu Dhabi, 02 441 1723; www.bareburger.com

Nola Eatery & Social House, JLT

Best for: Ambience mixed with hearty grub

It's not a burger joint per se, but this JLT restaurant has, in our humble opinion, nailed the ultimate cheese burger. Why? Because it's made entirely out of cheese. The vegetarian-friendly Cheese Vurger is a giant slab of the stuff served in lieu of a meat patty, accompanied by lettuce, pepper jam, onions, cherry tomatoes and hand-cut fries. You might need a big sleep after consuming one, but it's like a big hug in a bun. The restaurant, which specialises in Southern American fare (hence the name, a moniker for New Orleans), is also worth visiting for its jambalayas, po'boys and shrimp beignets, on the days you're not in the mood for a burger.

Order: The aforementioned Cheese Vurger (Dh73)

Level B1, Armada BlueBay Hotel, Cluster P, JLT, Dubai; 04 399 8155

High Joint, Jumeirah

Best for: drive-by burgers

This tiny haunt in Al Manara has virtually no seating, but draws in queues of 4x4s on weekends: people roll by to pick up a burger to eat behind the wheel (while stationary, of course). The burgers are small but perfectly formed, with soft potato buns and smashed beef patties, which are crispy on the outside but soft in the middle. Ask if they have any "secret burgers" when ordering, they often have off-menu options for those in the know.

Order: Get the high burger (Dh36.75) if you’re a minimalist, but maximalists should try the millionaire high (Dh47.25), a beef burger served with provolone, portobello tempura, truffle mayo and pickled onion.

11b Street, Al Manara, 04 268 1586

Peppers, The Dubai Mall (Zabeel extension)

Best for: Nashville-style chicken

Unlike saucy buffalo chicken, Nashville hot chicken is flavoursome but crispy and dry. It’s rubbed in spices before frying, and is then coated in spice again and drenched in a light marinade. It has a distinct orange hue and is flavoursome but not sloppy. The burgers at Peppers are a fitting homage to the chicken tradition, and come in beautifully soft brioche buns. You can choose between five different spice levels: from merely peppery to absurdly hot. Fast fact: the idea for Peppers began in 2018 when founder Abdelrahman Alteneiji went to the States and became obsessed with Nashville Hot Chicken. The fan has now become the regional master.

Order: The Sando (Dh45) – they only do one burger, and they do it well

Zabeel Extension, The Dubai Mall

Smash and Sear, Al Quoz

Best for: Quality meat

Part of Maxzi’s The Good Food Shop in Al Quoz, these burgers are worthy of this list because of the quality of the meat (Wagyu), the deliciously briney pickles and the perfect meat-to-bun ratio (it’s a nice, thin patty, but one that doesn’t get lost in the bun). They pride themselves in using top quality cuts and never freezing their meat.

Order: The simple cheeseburger – there are fancier options, but at Dh28, the cheeseburger is great value for Wagyu

Al Shafar Investment Building, Al Quoz, 04 395 3988

Brd by Slab, Dar Al Wasl Mall

Best for: Korean-style chicken

This is a concept from Peruvian chef Omar Rodriguez, who lives in Dubai, and as you can guess from the name, the protein of choice here is chicken. There are plenty of flavours to choose from, offering different spice levels: honey butter is on the mild side, while the "insanity" sandwich, as the name suggests, is a very spicy burger indeed. Our favourite, however, is the Koreano sandwich, because who doesn’t love gochujang?

Order: As discussed, the Koreano (Dh45), features a gochujang and honey-soy glaze with daikon pickles, served in a potato bun.

Dar Al Wasl Mall, Al Wasl Road, Jumeirah 3, Order link: order.chatfood.io/brd/outlets/brd-outlet

Updated: May 12, 2020 12:13 PM

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