I don’t want to sound like a disgusting pig (Hey! I”m just big stomach-boned), but I’ve a confession to make. I’m kind of in love with Colombian burgers. I don’t know what’s happened – I’ve never eaten so many burgers anywhere else. It seems like not a week goes by that darling I don’t find myself somehow guiltily wiping my face of barbeque sauce and pineapple jam, after having caught myself in that shameful act once again. Don’t judge me; I was once like you. What’s happened?
Well, maybe these happened. Just 5 of the best spots to get your delicious cow sandwich on here. Granted, burgers are pretty much on every corner of every Colombian town, but these are our picks for gut-busting, greasy, post-burger guilt. And, although they might not feature beetroot, they’re still pretty damn good. Get amongst it, guys.
1. El Corral.
Well, it’s hard to go past El Corral. If only just because they’re pretty much anywhere, even Florida. Here, they’re more ubiquitous than the Golden Arches, and I – plus everybody else that likes to eat actual food – is eternally grateful about this fact. I’m not aware of another honest-to-blog burger chain that’s as good. They are a bit costly, but almost ridiculously HUGE. You get a proper, juicy, tasty slab of meat to keep you out of trouble, and the range is pretty satisfactory – try a Double With Cheese if you’ve no time to fool around. The Criolle one’s got egg on it, too. I haven’t convinced them about beetroot, yet – but that’s a work in process.
2. La Hamburgueseria
Having not yet conquered the rest of Colombia (first they take Bogota, then it’s Medellin), a wee bit cheaper than El Corral; and, for mine, pipping the Colombian Burger King (oops, I mean El Corral) at the post for flavour and atmosphere, La Hamburgueseria, which roughly translates as “The Hamburgerier” (more Hamburger), will see me back again. Sorry, guys, you’ll just have to put up with me. Usaquen’s is probably the pick of the locales – they even have weekend live music – but Park 93, La Candelaria, and La Macarena have really lovely restaurants, too. So lovely, that “restaurant,” actually isn’t a euphemism here. Get the Blue Cheese one. Do it. They’ve a selection of seriously tasty beers, too – just saying.
3. The Rock Band Burgers.
Before we leave Bogota (Burger Capital), I thought I’d mention this one. This bus (don’t adjust your sets; that’s what I said) lured me in because they were playing that timeless classic, “The Land Down Under” (where beer does flow, and men chunder). I know that’s not a very plausible explanation, but we’re here to talk about the burgers, right? The Lenny Kravitz is pretty seriously good, even though I was a bit confused as to why Lenny would put his name to food featuring bacon. Those rock stars will do anything you ask them. Continuing a Colombian theme, the burgers are rather massive, and the stuff here is fresh, succulent, and full of meaty goodness. Plus, you get to eat it in their bus, that leaves from Calle 72 (next stop, Flavour City) and is lovingly made over. The two brothers that run the show are friendly and seriously concerned about the quality of their burgers, and play the best cheesy rock the 80s and 90s have to offer. Oh, you do realise: it doesn’t actually go anywhere literally, right?
4. Chef Burger.
Don’t lament though, Medellin: you’ve got your fair share of top-notch burgers, too. By overwhelming popular demand, Chef Burger is the Paisa Pick. Conveniently located in Poblado Party Central (there’s one in Laureles, too), this joint’s friendly atmosphere alone will have you coming back. But, we’re not hear to talk about the damn ambience, when there’s the serious business of shaking hands with beef to attend to. Chef Burger does the word, “hamburger,” proud. In the best paisa tradition, the Pepper Jack comes with an arepa, but I’ll have the Royale (it comes with cheese, of course), thank you. Big enough to shut me up for a while, presented nicely on fake newspaper, and done to perfection. Oh yes, this place has got the best chips of the lot of them, too. Mc Cain, are you serious?
5. El Chaparral.
Pasto is a little bit different. Years ago, the city was one of the few last royalist strongholds, resisting the trend prevelant elsewhere in Colombia. These days, they resist the burger imperialism of El Corral, and the major reason for El Corral’s failure to conquer this southern city is El Chaparral. Let’s not mess around with “Italian” or “Arab” style burgers – really, though, who are you kidding here? – let’s focus on the meat: that’s the number one priority. As they also offer straight-up barbequed meat plates, too, El Chaparral do their humungous patties right. Get amongst a Super Special, because, you know, it’s super special. They deliver, too. In Pasto: I don’t think that stretches to other cities just yet…