Few things hit the spot like a quality burger. Beijing has seen its patty power increase dramatically during the past decade. Here are ten burgers from a diverse range of venues to check out.
XL Bar & Restaurant
Bar, Restaurant, Pub Grub, American, $$$
XL is a humble abode opened in a low-traffic area, by a friendly manager who pretty much measures drinks by pouring until the customer says “when.” Few expected it would become known for its burgers, but from the succulent blue cheese burger to the onion ring and egg-dressed All-Star, they are delicious. Visit on a Tuesday when burgers are only half price!
Great Leap #45
Craft Ale Bar, Pub Grub, American, $$$
One of the biggest draws of the burgeoning craft brew scene is the comfort food you can enjoy with your beer. A classic example is the double cheeseburger at Great Leap. It’s greasy, it’s good, and it comes with a pile of fries salty enough to get you to order another pint.
Bar, Restaurant, American, none
This place started as a combination restaurant, bar and nail salon. You could get a manicure while enjoying martinis and nibbling on delicious burgers. While the patties weren’t the biggest, they were grilled fresh and slipped into an English muffin, and ranked among some of the best burgers in China. While outdoor barbecuing has since been banned, and the venue has foregone manicures for more dining area, you can still grab a decent burger at Frost.
Feast by EAST
Restaurant, Contemporary, none
The EAST Burger is not cheap, coming in at nearly USD20, but at least the price includes fries! Feast, situated in the East Hotel, uses only the highest quality ingredients. For its signature burger, Feast married typical toppings like onion and lettuce, with a wagyu beef patty and a beetroot edge.
Tomacado: Kitchen & Flowers
Restaurant, Contemporary, $$$
Often labeled an “Instagram restaurant,” populated by diners focused on taking photos with pretty food which is accentuated by a flower theme, Tomacado nevertheless serves tasty fare. That includes the trio of mini burgers. Well-seasoned patties come, true to the venue’s name, paired with tomato and guacamole.
Craft Ale Bar, Pub Grub, American, $$$
Like most top brew pubs in Beijing, Slow Boat puts out a tasty burger. The star is the Fryburger, which includes a stack of fries and includes extra flavor from cheese and a punchy aioli sauce. Also try the classic cheeseburger, the “Anxiety Burger” with blue cheese, or the tofu burger, washed down with a Monkey’s Fist IPA or one of Slow Boat’s many other beers.
Bar, Restaurant, Pub Grub, American, none
Located in Wudaokou, home to hordes of hungry international students, Lush has been serving burgers for more than a dozen years. No frozen patties here, as the meat is ground in-house. Nor are there any default toppings, as you can choose to build your own. You certainly won’t go home hungry, given how large the portions are!
Q Mex Bar & Grill
Bar, Restaurant, Mexican, American, none
Tex-Mex food might be the focus at Q Mex, but this place also has a loyal following for both its pizzas and burgers. When it comes to the latter, try the cheese-skirt burger with pickled jalapenos and crispy onions, or go all out with the Double Burger.
Restaurant, American, $$$
This place offers big, messy burgers off the beaten path. Try the Atomic Burger or the Big Bleu with crispy onions. Or, if you’d rather mix things up, Katchup also makes one of the best Reubens in town.
Restaurant, Bar, Pub Grub, American, $$$
Putting half of an avocado on a burger might sound unusual, but the results are impressive. In the case of The Local, it’s called the Spicy Dry Rub Avocado Burger, which is topped with cheese and salsa, and is a favorite of many burger fans in Beijing. You can also chow down on the classic cheeseburger, or heat things up with a Buffalo chicken burger.