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I know a few people who’d roll their eyes at the mention of a burger. “It’s not healthy!” they’d say. Perhaps they are right, but a good burger, made the right way, can be absolutely delicious, and in my opinion is a complete meal!
Leaving aside all the fast food chains that have ruined the image of a good burger, for most of us, Bengaluru has enough and more cafes that pay enough and more attention to what goes between those burger buns. And we don't have to make a trip to a five star hotel to find a good one. Here’s a list of my favourite joints:
Truffles on St Mark’s Road might be a hang-out for college-goers in general, but if you are there for a burger, you won’t be disappointed. A personal favourite is the barbecued chicken steak burger. Yes, the bread does tend to get a little soggy by the end of it, if you don’t eat it fast enough, but the sticky sweet barbecue sauce is such a good touch. Their plain lamb burger is good too, and you can add cheese, jalapeno and extra mayo if you want. This is also where you can choose the size of your burger (regular and large), and there is plenty for vegetarians even – the All American Cheeseburger or the Veggie Crunchy Burger are two of the better ones.
There is nothing small about Smally’s Restro Café on Church Street. Their burgers are generously stuffed with all sorts of delicious goodness. Try their Mary’s Little Lamb Burger, The Fishmonger (if you like basa) or the Chickaboo (gorgeous chicken strips topped with onions and their delicious secret sauce).
The burgers at Monkey Bar, Indiranagar need little introduction. Their gourmet burgers are often the reason why people land up at the gastro-pub. Their buns are unique too; slightly flatter, and a larger circumference makes it easier to eat. Some of the good ones here are Lamb and Blue (lamb patty, jalapeno dust, pickled onions, blue cheese, grilled apples, spinach and sriracha ketchup), Old School (beef patty, American cheese, pickles, smoked ketchup and mustard), The Veggie Burger is a neat one for sure – it comes in a black bun, and is stuffed with lentil and beans patty, amaranth leaves and walnuts, Portobello mushroom, chutney mayo and jalapeno cheese fondue. Don’t call this one unhealthy!
If you must taste decadence, check out the TBR Big Nasty at The Black Rabbit in Indiranagar. It has got a double beef patty, bacon, Cheddar cheese, arugula, mustard mayo relish and caramelised onions. And you can ask for extra stuff too. It is massive, delicious and there is no clean way of eating it. The vegetarians can try the Crispy Vegetable Burger (with zucchini, jalapenos, gherkins and cheese) or the Mushroom Burger.
One of the newer spaces in the city, The Moo Point, is tucked away at the basement of Devatha Plaza on Residency Road. While they are mostly known for their sandwiches, the classic beef burger is a must-try purely because the quality of the meat is excellent. Plus I do love the pickled gherkin it comes with. It also goes to prove that simplicity is the best policy to adopt, especially when it comes to food.
Talk of Café Thulp (Indiranagar, Kammanahalli, and Koramangala), and their burgers come to mind. In fact, I have only ever eaten their burgers. You can order a simple beef burger, one with cheese, another with bacon, and even with bacon and cheese. They are generously portioned; the meat is almost always perfectly done, and you won’t feel the need to eat for a few hours after that.
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Priyadarshini is an independent journalist from Bengaluru whose life pretty much revolves around food, good music, literature, and cinema. She’s worked with different publications over the past 10 years, and has written about travel, theatre, films, books, music, food and lots of food! She’s travelled wherever her feet and budget would allow, discovering cultures through local palates and social behaviour, and in an ideal world would probably resort to using food and music to resolve any dispute.