Published On: Sun, Nov 27th, 2016

Top13: great burger places in Israel

Humongous's 'Finnish' burger
Humongous’s ‘Finnish’ burge

In addition to fast food chains turning out mass-produced hamburgers, individual restaurants in Israel are increasingly taking pains to create quality hamburgers.

What follows is a list of establishments—from casual to fine dining—that have developed a reputation for excellent hamburgers.

No attempt has been made to rank them; instead, they are listed in alphabetical order. All have English menus, and/or wait staff that speak English. While virtually all of these restaurants serve only kosher meat, three of them meet all the requirements to be certified kosher. (Note: Price denotes burger only, with one side included unless indicated otherwise.)

 

America Burgers

Ambiance: A small place at a key downtown intersection with a young and lively vibe. Invariably crowded.

Burgers: 200 grams of fresh beef ground on premises from a combination of lean and fattier cuts (no added fat). It’s burgers only when it comes to main menu items: four beef burgers (plus an occasional special), a chicken burger and a veggie burger (not vegan); served on a toasted white bun with (at the very least) lettuce, tomato, and pickles. There is a vast choice of condiments: mayonnaise, spicy mayo, sriracha sauce, ketchup, mustard and barbecue sauce. Burgers are served wrapped, on a metal tray, ready to eat or take away (“to go” orders may also be phoned in and picked up).

 

American Burgers
American Burgers

Sides: French fries, green beans, coleslaw, onion flower, fried pickles or chicken wings. None are included with the burger, although fries or green beans come in the framework of two fixed price meals.

Beverages: Specialty cocktails, full bar, San Miguel or Selecta beer on tap, soft drinks

Price: NIS 45-50; meal deals NIS 59 and NIS 64. Meals include reduced prices on alcoholic drinks (which are reasonable to begin with).

Bottom Line: Open only 17 months, this is a real burger joint, offering fast service and good value. There is only one dessert: a soft-serve vanilla ice cream sundae.

America Burgers. Not kosher. Allenby St. 112, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 528-0281

 

Angelica

Ambiance: Fine dining in a modern setting. Very professional service.

Burger: 250 grams custom ground on-site from prime cuts of beef. The one hamburger on the menu is served on a toasted sesame bun, with lettuce, tomato and red onion on the side, along with a choice of ketchup or aioli. Additional condiment options include the dips served with the complimentary house bread. The burger has a crusty exterior sealing in the flavor.

Sides: Served with extra-thin French fries and crispy fried onion rings.

Beverages: Extensive wine list, full bar, specialty cocktails, soft drinks.

Price: NIS 87

Bottom Line: Angelica is consistently ranked among the best restaurants in Jerusalem, as well as among the top kosher restaurants in the country. The restaurant has a talented dedicated pastry chef.

Angelica. Kosher, George Washington St. 4, Jerusalem. Tel. (02) 623-0056.

 

Bread Story

Ambiance: A cozy cafe at a busy intersection smack in-between Dizengoff Square and Dizengoff Center. Indoor and al fresco sidewalk seating.

Burgers: 220-gram beef burger served on truly unique buns, with either cheese, ketchup, mustard or truffles baked into the dough. Or plain whole wheat. Comes with onion, arugula, tomato, and chipotle aioli, with ketchup and mayo on the side.

 

Bread Story

 Bread Story

 

Sides: Choice of red quinoa salad, green salad, baked potato wedges or green freekeh with yogurt.

Beverages: Cocktails, full bar, wine, beer, soft drinks and freshly squeezed juices.

Price: NIS 64, extra toppings +5-10. Vegan portobello mushroom burger, NIS 54.

Bottom Line: A quality bakery-cafe with something for everyone: menu items start at a mere NIS 29, and there is a kids’ menu. Hamburgers are buy one, get one free, from 9:30pm daily until closing.

Bread Story. Not kosher. Dizengoff St. 88, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 528-3888

 

Coffee Bar

Ambiance: The name notwithstanding, this restaurant—with its marble bars and white linen tablecloths—is no mere coffee joint. Very professional service.

Burger: The one hamburger on the menu is served like a steak, with grilled onions and a red wine sauce. The default serving is without a bun, although it can be ordered with one.

 

Coffee Bar (Photo Idit Ben Uliel)
Coffee Bar (Photo: Idit Ben Uliel)

Sides: Choice of mashed potatoes, cubed fried potatoes, green beans (or other seasonal vegetable), or a green salad.

Beverages: International wine list, full bar, specialty cocktails, soft drinks

Price: NIS 78

Bottom Line: Coffee Bar was the first restaurant of the R2M Group, which now includes Brasserie M&R, also known for its excellent burger.

Coffee Bar. Not kosher. Yad Harutzim 13, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 688-9696

 

The Diner

Ambiance: The decor of The Diner by Goocha is reminiscent of an American diner, with cozy booths for two as well as tables indoors and on the sidewalk.

Burgers: There are no fewer than 11 hamburgers in a special section on the menu, including three different cheeseburgers. They are ground on the premises and range from the plain Classic to the sophisticated Benedict, with poached egg, smoked goose breast and hollandaise sauce.

Sides: No sides are included with the price of the burger, except for a small serving of coleslaw, although french fries can be added for NIS 10 instead of the regular price of NIS 21. The fried onion loaf can be either a topping or a side.

Beverages: Specialty cocktails, wine, beer, soft drinks and milkshakes

Price: NIS 57-79 (cheeseburgers, NIS 59-62).

Bottom Line: There are deals to be had here: During happy hours (4pm-7pm), all menu items, including burgers, are 25 percent off; there is also a weekday deal offering two burgers for NIS 62.

The Diner. Not kosher. Ibn Gvirol 14, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 691-1603.

 

Dixie Grill Bar

Ambiance: Large steakhouse atmosphere, with booths, tables and seats at the bar. All seating is indoors. Open 24/7, with four different menus—for morning, lunch, dinner and night.

Burgers: Ground on-site from entrecôte and sirloin, available in three sizes: 200, 250, or 400 grams. For most of the day, there are four beefburgers in their own burger section, some served with bun (plus lettuce, tomato, onion and pickle), others without bun. The breakfast and late night menus have their own special burgers.

 

Dixie Grill Bar (Photo Yaara Shalom)
Dixie Grill Bar (Photo: Yaara Shalom)

 

Sides: Choice of fried rice, home fries with cheese and sweet chili, baked potato with sour cream, French fries or onion rings.

Beverages: Cocktails, many wine and beer choices, soft drinks.

Price: Starting at NIS 59.

Bottom Line: Dixie, one the restaurants owned by celebrity chef Haim Cohen, hosts a hamburger festival every summer, featuring a dozen specialty burgers.

Dixie. Not kosher. Yigal Alon 120, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 642-6993.

 

Humongous

Ambiance: A hangar-like structure with an industrial decor. Family-friendly at mealtime, attracts a late-night crowd until the wee hours. No printed menus, Hebrew only on blackboards; some staff can explain menu items in English.

Burgers: There are seven burgers (and not much else)—plain, Mexican, Italian, Austrian, French, Finnish and Philadelphian—in three sizes: 220, 440 and 660 grams (the “humongous”), served on a sesame bun with lettuce, tomato, and pickles. Condiments: ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, chipotle sauce, barbecue sauce; chimichurri costs extra.

 

Humongous

 Humongous

Sides: 350 grams of French fries. Fresh vegetables may be substituted.

Beverages: Draft beers, soft drinks, milkshakes made with Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Price: Ranging from NIS 47 to NIS 165. Three categories of toppings: meat (+12-25), cheese (+8-14), miscellaneous (+7-13).

Bottom Line: A small specialty chain that is expanding rapidly in suburban locations. Creative recipes for burgers and appetizers, huge portions.

Humongous. Not kosher. Atir Yeda 2, Kfar Saba. Tel. (09) 894-3656

 

Java

Ambiance: A cafe-restaurant-bar at a major intersection, with indoor and al fresco sidewalk seating on busy Ben Yehuda Street.

Burgers: There is a special burger menu featuring six 220-gram burgers ground from choice cuts of beef. The basic burger is served on a sesame bun with lettuce, tomato, and pickles, plus a choice of up to six additional toppings. Themed burgers include the Texan, Israeli, French, Asian and Classic.

Sides: Seasoned fries, or substitute mashed potatoes, an Israeli salad or a green salad

Beverages: Specialty cocktails, full bar, wine, beer, soft drinks, juices and smoothies.

Price: Starting at NIS 59. Assorted toppings NIS 4-6 each.

Bottom Line: Open nearly 24 hours, the business lunch (weekdays, 12pm-5pm) comprises a burger, salad, fries and drink for the price of the burger alone.

Java. Not kosher. Ben Yehuda St. 196, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 744-0466

 

La Carne

Ambiance: A small restaurant on the main square of downtown Petah Tikva. With only five main courses on the menu, and a commitment to prime beef, this is quality fast food.

Burger: There is only one hamburger on the menu: 220 grams of beef (plus a secret source of fat) ground on-site and served—plain or with a choice of five toppings—on a sesame bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion and smears of chimichurri and spicy mayo. A whole spread of condiments is available: ketchup, mayonnaise, spicy mayo, chimichurri, barbecue sauce, sweet chili sauce, harif, and mustard.

Sides: A choice of spicy French fries, onion rings or veggies, not included with the burger, although there are meal deals.

Beverages: Beer and soft drinks.

Price: NIS 38 (NIS 50 with fries, NIS 52 with fries and a drink)

Bottom line: Variations on the burger include a zesty Sloppy Joe stuffed into a ciabatta loaf, and a weekly special called HaKatzav (the Butcher)—a hamburger wrapped in strips of entrecôte and topped with fried onions (on track to becoming a regular menu item).

La Carne. Kosher. Haim Ozer St. 1, Petah Tikva. Tel. (03) 549-9174.

 

Pastel

Ambiance: Fine dining in a setting that won an international design award. Impeccable service.

Burger: Custom ground on-site from choice cuts of beef, with 30 percent fat. The one hamburger on the menu is topped with foie gras and served like a steak without a bun, on a red wine sauce. The thick burger is enhanced by decadently rich foie gras.

Sides: Served with mashed potatoes and roasted al dente vegetables. Elegant presentation

Beverages: Extensive wine list, full bar, specialty and virgin cocktails, soft drinks.

Price: NIS 116

Bottom Line: Pastel is a restaurant for a splurge, meant for enjoying the daily specials and Chef Hillel Tavakuli’s seasonal menu, in addition to the outstanding burger.

Pastel . Not kosher. Sderot Sha’ul Hamelech 27, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 644-7441

 

Patrick’s Irish Pub

Ambiance: A large, cavernous tavern with multiple screens broadcasting sports. A few tables on the iconic boulevard.

Burger: The menu immodestly calls it the “best burger in town, ” ground from sirloin and containing a secret ingredient. There is a choice of usual toppings, including two kinds of cheeseburger. Served on a toasted sesame bun with lettuce, tomato, red onion and pickle. Condiments offered are ketchup, mayo, mustard and sweet chill sauce.

Patrick’s Irish Pub
Patrick’s Irish Pub

 

Sides: Choice of french fries, salad, or sweet potato fries for NIS 5 extra.

Beverages: Large selection of beers, whiskeys, and soft drinks

Price: NIS 65-75

Bottom Line: Patrick’s Irish Pub and Fine Kitchen, a national chain, is especially recommended for beer lovers and sports fans. Several nights a week there is a great deal on late night burgers: NIS 39 after 11pm. The Patrick’s outlet in Jerusalem is kosher.

Patrick’s. Not kosher. Rothschild Blvd. 39, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 605-0509

Patrick’s. Kosher. Yitzhak Rabin Blvd. 10, Jerusalem. Tel. (050) 627-6522.

 

Santa Rosa

Ambiance: Suburban modern, with indoor seating and a pleasant, green al fresco area in the rear.

Burger: The one hamburger on the menu is 220 grams of entrecôte ground at the upscale butcher shop next door and prepared with a secret ingredient among the seasonings. Served topped with slice of pancetta, on a toasted sesame bun, with onion, tomato, and guacamole as a spread. Other condiments available are ketchup, mustard and chipotle sauce.

 

Santa Rosa (Photo Sarit Goffen)Santa Rosa (Photo Sarit Goffen)

Sides: The choice of sides are the same as for other main courses on the menu: French fries, peas and potato puree, poached vegetables (cauliflower and green beans) or a green salad

Beverages: Wine list, beer, specialty cocktails, soft drinks.

Price: NIS 69.

Bottom Line: The Santa Rosa burger gained notoriety when the food critic of Ha’aretz praised it.

Santa Rosa. Not kosher. Kehilat Saloniki 11, Ne’ot Afeka, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 940-1011

 

26 Hamburger Gourmet

Ambiance: Very spartan: metal folding tables and chairs.

Burgers: All the burgers on the menu are gourmet creations from the innovative French owner; in fact, there is no plain burger on the menu. There are three burgers that incorporate cheese. Burgers are served on a brioche-style bun. If your burger does not contain a fancy condiment like truffle sauce or spiced marmalade, additional options are ketchup, mayonnaise and roquefort sauce.

 

26 Hamburger Gourmet

 26 Hamburger Gourmet

Sides: Choice of baked potato, French fries or salad, slightly extra for sweet potato fries or onion rings.

Beverages: No cocktails, very limited selection of wine and beer, soft drinks.

Price: NIS 57-66.

26 Hamburger Gourmet

Bottom Line: Prices here are kept remarkably low by the basic decor. In addition, there are deals to be had during business lunches and Happy Hour.

26 Hamburger Gourmet. Not kosher. Mikve Yisrael 26, Tel Aviv. Tel. (03) 600-5109.

 

Still not enough choices? Check out these additional places

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