There’s a veritable burger craze in the Catalan capital these days, and, just as always, Barcelona likes to give things a local twist: Pyrenean-raised beef, locally cured cheese, romesco sauce mayo…you name it, and these local burger joints have done it. Whether you like your burger plain and simple or love to try new flavour combinations, here are the best places in Barcelona to grab a burger.
It’s widely accepted that Kiosco was one of the first places to introduce proper burgers to the city. Founded by an Australian couple who found their inspiration in the big, friendly barbecues they knew from back home, Kiosco rapidly became the go-to place for a decent burger in the city. Expect organic beef from the Pyrenees, home-made sauces, crispy potato wedges and a menu of some 14 different burger kinds, including a wild boar burger and a veggie burger plus a selection of local drinks and craft beer.
Located at the far end of the Barceloneta, just a stone’s throw away from the beach, Makamaka Beach Burger Café is a casual burger joint with a retro surf theme. The choice of burgers is pretty impressive, but the monthly special – and matching cocktail – are usually tempting enough to coax you out of your comfort zone and dare to try something a little different. Despite its location and American-style theme, Makamaka has a strong local fanbase, and you only need to come for one of their popular themed nights to see why.
Open since 2006 in a corner of Barcelona’s hip El Born neighbourhood, Pim Pam Burger is an unpretentious burger joint that prides itself on offering classic, home-made burgers. Most burgers come with lettuce, tomato and onion with room for variation on the type of cheese (cheddar, roquefort, three cheeses…). Not the kind of place where each ingredient comes with its own background story, the key to Pim Pam Burger’s popularity is its simplicity: a fluffy bun, a flavoursome meat patty and fresh ingredients.
If these days Poble-Sec is famous for its trendy tapas bars and gourmet restaurants, which have made this neighbourhood a top foodie destination, De Paula is an altogether more down-to-earth eatery. Step through the door, and you’re immediately greeted by the sight of the flame grill and the compact open kitchen where all the burgers are prepared to order. The burgers, all named after local streets or landmarks, are original without being too extravagant, but the extras are where De Paula really stands out: grilled corn on the cob smothered in butter or patatas bravas with house-made aioli.
Another made-in-Barcelona burger joint, Timesburg has grown in recent years to include some eight restaurants across the city, all of which are found outside the city centre and the main tourist hotspots. What makes Timesburg burgers stand out – apart from the ‘Timesburg’ stamp-mark on their burger buns – is their gourmet selection of ingredients and willingness to make their burgers more than just a fast-food snack. The Kobe burger is made with wagyu beef, while the French fries are all cooked in olive oil for a real Spanish touch.
Something of a neighbourhood institution, Bar Betty Ford’s is on the corner of one of El Raval‘s busiest streets – the Carrer Joaquin Costa – and is very much a second home to many of the local skater crowd, expat community and anyone with a taste for a fun-loving late-night bar. By no means a restaurant, the food at Betty’s is a cut above your average pub-grub, and the burgers are known to be one of the best in town despite the no-frills approach. It’s safe to say that this probably has a fair amount to do with the creamy dipping sauce that comes with the extra-crispy French fries.
Located in uptown Barcelona, far from the tourist sights and the high-streets, La Burg is a cozy burger joint with more of a wine-bar feel than that of a fast-food joint. Determined to give burgers a ‘gourmet’ twist, La Burg works only with grass-fed beef (Spanish buey as opposed to the younger ternera) to make its generous burger patties. The menu abounds with the kind of ingredients you’d expect in a fancy restaurant: wagyu beef, truffle oil, poached eggs, shiitake mushrooms and French cheeses. Even the wine list includes some interesting bottles that start from €14 a bottle and range upwards to €40.