Food

The Best Burgers in Manila That You Probably Haven't Tried Yet

The best burger isn't always the most famous one.
IMAGE Buns & Bros/HID Burgers
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We just can't shake off our love for a good burger. We've done iconic burger places, luxurious burgers, and meatless burgers. It's just such an easy and satisfying meal that can be as simple as a disc of ground meat between two slices of bread or as extravagant as an overflowing stack of beef, foie gras, bacon, and blue cheese. The great thing about burgers is that there's so much more to eat and check out. And that's what we've done here.

1| Burger Geek

Photo by Mawi Dagdag.
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Many a burger aficionado have already professed their love for this clever Alabang-based burger shop, but its lone outlet in the relatively peaceful side of the Metro keeps it largely under the radar. Owner George Kho's strategy is to create flavors that have a lasting effect: as in one bite would erase the distance and toll fees. There are many factors to the success of Burger Geek (the soft and sturdy bun, the pure beef patty), but we think it's the way the meat is cooked and put together that makes it special. The kitchen smashes the large patty in one swift motion on the griddle, creating an incredible sear that cooks the outside perfectly while locking the juices in till you take that life-changing bite.

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16A Molito Complex Madrigal Ave., Alabang, Muntinlupa

2| Buns & Bros

Photo by Buns & Bros.
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This burger joint was founded under the tenet that burgers have to be simple and straightforward. Of course, that didn't stop Iñigo Dulay from adding a little something extra to his iteration of an old classic. The former fitness buff, who needed to rechannel his energies after getting injured, decided that the best thing to do to a patty was to leave it alone and complement it with a fun sesame bun. 

Ayala North Exchange corner Ayala Avenue and Salcedo Street, Makati

3| H.I.D. Burgers

Photo by HID Burgers.
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These crisp and smoky burgers have a secret. Are you ready for it? Those juicy, flavorful buns are actually chicken. Gasp. But it's true. H.I.D. stands for Healthy and Irresistibly Delicious Burgers. All three promises are true. The people behind H.I.D. know how to amplify their flavors, as seen in the perfectly seasoned clandestine chicken or the superfluous toppings. Think raclette poured over the burger. Think three kinds of cheese exploding in your mouth. Think big slices of bacon. Well, at least the patties are healthy. 

facebook.com/hidburgers

4| Bay 6 Street Food

Photo by Bay 6 Street Food.
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Old-time fans would be glad to know that this college favorite, which used to be known as Big B or Beef X, is still serving value-for-money burgers under its new name. Bay 6 Street Food is where you can get perfectly good quality burgers slathered with aioli sauce for only P150.

138 Scout Chuatoco, Quezon City

5| Beach Bun

Photo by Beach Bun Burgers.
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This surf-themed burger shack serves beautifully cooked burgers with extra fixings for those who are extra hard to please. Apart from having a beachside favorite, the Choriburger, it also offers the Campfire Burger (hot and spicy with a layer of bean-heavy chili), the Hula Burger (with a sweet and tangy mango pineapple salsa and secret sauce), and the Surfin' Bird Sandwich (which has a fried chicken patty instead of beef). Beach Bun's flagship product is the Cali Burger, which is a good old-fashioned combination of iceberg lettuce and sweet-smoky grilled onions. Every burger comes in a soft brioche bun.

The Pop Up Katipunan, Xavierville Avenue corner Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City

6| Secret Burger

Photo by Secret Burger.
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This Katipunan haunt is ideal for burger lovers who want their burgers to man up. Yes, the signature product has a hefty 1,000 calories, while more light-hearted options range between 300 to 500. Customers can choose between beef or chicken patty and single or double patties. Fries are sweet potatoes because you might not be able to squeeze in actual potatoes after all that meat. If you want to test your gains, there's a pull-up bar at the restaurant. Beat the high score and you get a freebie.

318 Katipunan, Quezon City

7| The Burgery

Photo by The Burgery.
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If heft is your measure of a satisfying burger, every sandwich in The Burgery comes with a large one-third-pound patty, perfectly crisp on the outside and delectably moist with every bite. Just classic. 

231C Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes, Parañaque; L133 Circuit Lane, Circuit Makati

8| The Snack Shack

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The Snack Shack is one of those open-secret type of situations. Embracing its reputation as "ghetto," the funny guys behind this burger chain call their products "foodz" and social media as "soshal media." The patties are cooked fresh on the grill upon order, adding a layer of smokiness to the already succulent taste of medium-well beef. The basic cheeseburger (which you'll understand isn't very basic at all after you take a bite) is just P90. Good, nay, great things don't need to cost much.

UP Area 2, Quezon City; V. Luna Extension, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City

9| Hackensack.ph

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The overly particular owners of this New Jersey tribute don't experiment with their stuff. Hackensack is a vintage-style diner through and through and there's no room for crazy fillings or excessive toppings. What it does, however, is perfect the classic diner items that it has: hotdogs, shakes, and of course, burgers—classic things composed of an Angus beef patty and a soft white bun. It's just one of those beautifully reliable sandwiches that know how to hit the right spot.

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216 E. Rodriguez Sr. Avenue, New Manila, Quezon City

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About The Author
Sasha Lim Uy
Managing Editor, EsquireMag.ph
Sasha eats to live and lives to eat. For five years, she handled SPOT.ph's food section and edited the last two installments of its Top 10 Food books. She also recently participated at the Madrid Fusion Manila as curator.
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