By Olivia Amter
Like everywhere else in the world, burger fever hit Buenos Aires hard. Beef is an obvious Argentinian staple, as is the ubiquitous patty that graces the handwritten menu at just about every mobile parilla. The new trend, however, strives for a more U.S. style burger with creative fixins’ and *the perfect bun*, not to mention a healthy dose of french fries. We’re totally on board (hence the whole week dedicated to the gorgeously grilled patty between two lovingly toasted buns) and got to work tasting some of Buenos Aires’ best new burger spots. After both good and not so good, great and amazing, we finally settled on our absolute favorite burgers.
Oh, and please forgive us if the photos induce any unseemly dribbling on your computer; it comes with the territory.
Burger Joint – NYC’s Favorite Cousin
Burger Joint in Palermo Soho consistently wins over every weary soul looking for one of the best burgers in town. With creative toppings like guacamole and jalapenos on The Mexican burger (this one was chosen as one of the world’s best burgers by the Huffington Post); pineapple, bacon and honey mustard on The Jamaican; blue cheese, sundried tomatoes and caramelized onions on Le Bleu; and bacon, cheddar and bbq sauce on the L’Americain, these guys know their stuff. Get the combo with fries because you will definitely be missing out if you don’t get these guys, which were concocted in the Les Halles kitchen – the restaurant headed by Anthony Bourdain – where owner Pierre Chacra used to work. We have to say, they are not just NYC’s favorite, but ours, too. The newly minted homemade buns add an extra level of dedication to this burger, which has us craving their dribbly goodness almost weekly.
180 burger bar – Build-A-Burger
This newcomer has quickly given Microcentro the burger spot all those busy workers deserve. The menu gives unsuspecting diners the ability to create a burger exactly as they like them with choices that include type of bun, patty (they serve a veggie burger!), toppings, and sauces that are both classic and rarely available. You’ll find favorites like bbq and ketchup next to bold ones like tzatziki and dijonesa (dijon mayo). Buns are huge and nicely toasted, acting as the perfect companion to soak up the lovely drippings. French fries are worth a taste, definitely getting top marks for their perfect, golden color and satisfying crunch. If choices are too overwhelming, go for the burger of the day. On a recent trip we were astonished at how full this place got at lunch time. We obviously are not the only ones who love their ‘burgs. Whether you work or live in Microcentro or are just doing your own BA burger tour, 180 burger needs to be a stop.
Perez H – Argentinian Classics with a Twist
For anyone craving an awesome, no frills burger in San Telmo, Perez H is it. The brains behind the beautiful burger is talented Chef Antonio Soriano (ever heard of his restaurant in Colegiales Astor Bistro?).The blackboard lists names that sound like pizza and empanadas, but don’t be fooled! Its a burger twist on the classics. Check out the burger of the month to switch it up a little (last time we were there it was Caprese). On the other hand, our favorite was the Doble Cheddar Doble Panceta, which really is as sinful as it sounds. For the fry offering Perez H takes it a step further than most places, adding batata fries to the list. We are FF traditionalists and batata just ain’t sweet potato, but we give them props for going out on a limb that should definitely be explored. What’s more, the small but modern place that lets diners look in on the burger flipping action as you wait for order. Maybe we can all learn a thing or two about a great burger from this winner.
Ninina Bakery – The Fancy-Pants Burger
If you’ve ever made it this relatively new Palermo Soho resto-deli that tends to attract an impeccably dressed and trendy set, then you might think we are crazy. We assure you that we are not. We were more than surprised to find one of BA’s best burgers hiding among delicious cakes and kale juice. Although not what you usually think of as the place to tuck into a juicy, fatty burger, Ninina hit the ball out of the park. This is by far the most expensive on our list, but the array of toppings beat out all the rest for creativity and quality. Start by choosing between a beef or veggie patty; next, see if you can choose just one of the 7 cheeses, including mozzarella fior di latte, marscapone and goat cheese; then move on to choose 4 toppings from 16 options, including but not limited to sprouts, portobello mushrooms, smoked bacon, avocado and an egg; finally, settle on one of 8 sauces, including pesto (best we’ve had in BA), bbq sauce, ginger and soy, and yogurt. When all of the elements were placed on a spectacular burger bun, we were beside ourselves. The skimpy addition of three thick cut fries didn’t even take away from the experience. Ninina is no longer just a place to go for fabulous cakes and great coffee, but for one of BA’s best burgers, too!