Is it just me, or does it feel like Burger Week officially signals the start of spring in Halifax? The city’s ready to come out of hibernation—and what better to coax us out of our winter slumber than ~140 options of burger bliss.
Last year, I wrote a post about Halifax Burger Week which evolved from a lineup of top picks into my reviews and ratings as I tried various burgers. Very scientific stuff.
This year, I’ve teamed up with the lovely folks at Halifax Bloggers where I’ve contributed my lineup for Halifax Burger Week 2019. I invite you to check it out here:
With 140 options and limited days in a week (not to mention capacity in one’s stomach), there’s very little room for error—so my list consists of burgers that I predict will be among the best this year. My picks are based on quality, creativity, flavour, value, and donation to Feed Nova Scotia.
The small print: I’m not affiliated with Halifax Burger Week or any of the restaurants in this round up—I just happen to really like eatin’.
2019 Burger Ratings & Reviews
Below are all of the burgers I tried this week along with my ranking, ratings, and reviews. Even though I only had 5 burgers total, I was really blown away this year by the quality and flavour each option brought to the table. None of these picks got below an 8 rating, and I wasn’t even trying that hard to be generous!
1. Rinaldo’s → The Big Kahuna Burger
- I think this is the highest Halifax Burger Week rating I have ever given!
- Pineapple on pizza is controversial—but on a burger? Apparently pure magic. This burger—made up of Getaway Farms beef, grilled pineapple, house-made teriyaki, American cheese, crispy onions, bacon, lettuce, and mayo on a house made bun—did a masterful job of blending sweet, salty, and savoury without being too much of any one thing.
- It was stacked high and a little messy to eat, but every bite delivered a flavour explosion and the burger patty itself was among the highest quality I’ve tried.
- If you’re going to have one burger this Burger Week, make this the one!
2. Your Father’s Moustache → The Urban Sombrero
- This was a close 2nd to Rinaldo’s burger—a very competitive situation.
- The highlight of this burger was the fact that our server asked how we’d like the burger cooked, medium or well done. This is a solid indication that the meat is of high quality and that they take the burger component seriously!
- My choice of a “medium” burger delivered, with the thickest, juiciest burger patty I tried all burger week. The patty had to be nearly 2 inches thick and the perfect bit of pink at the centre!
- The toppings—cheddar cheese, crispy breaded avocado, spiced tortilla strips, pico de gallo, sour cream, and salsa—all worked deliciously together as you’d expect without feeling too much like it was phoning it in to be just like nachos or some other Mexican dish. It had a great kick without being overwhelming.
- Bonus points: this one had one of the largest Feed Nova Scotia donations at $2.
3. Taco Lina’s → The Nacho Burger
- This is one of the best burgers I’ve had in a long time, not just Burger Week. This one is a must-try!
- Fresh, flavourful, well-balanced combination of ingredients (Getaway Farms beef, queso cheese sauce, avocado, pico de gallo, pickled jalapeno, crushed house-made “Doritos”, and spicy mayo)
- Each ingredient managed to shine through while simultaneously being complementary to the others
- This burger also gets points for texture—the nachos add a great crunch to contrast with creamy avocado, juicy meat, and soft bun
4. Primal Kitchen → The Black Widow
- The Black Widow burger is a flavour-filled, photogenic package thanks to its black bun and stack of ingredients: wild boar, smoked bacon, crispy onion ring, red cabbage gochubang slaw, chimilantro, and stout beernaise
- The wild boar was seasoned perfectly and all of the ingredients worked really well together to deliver taste and texture
- The one thing I’d change about this burger was the bun: there was just a bit too much of it and it was really dense. I ended up using it as a vessel to hold the ingredients together, but only ate about half of it. If the bun was about half as thick, it would have been much better.
5. HopYard Beer Bar → The Hip Hop
- This was a solid burger overall
- What attracted me to it to begin with was the mix of booze-infused condiments and gourmet ingredients: two 3-oz beef patties with gouda, beer gravy, hop mayo, IPA pickle relish, tomato cider ketchup, Sugar Shack bacon, crispy ale-salt potato chips, and shredded lettuce
- In practice, some of the condiment flavours I was hoping would come through didn’t stand out and got a little lost in the mix
- The flavours combine savoury and sweet; depending your taste you could argue a little too sweet
- No burgrets having tried this one, but was glad to have shared one by cutting it in half (2 patties is a lot!)