The classic gourmet hamburger is increasingly becoming all the rage in cities around the world, captivating tourists and locals alike with its exotic cheeses, richly-flavored sauces, caramelized veggies and substitutive options, making it a hit for any type of eater. And Barcelona, never the aloof one, is fully aware. As a result, you can find a large array of restaurants specializing in just about any type of hamburger, accompanied by ever-so-tempting french fries, around the city – and many have had considerable success, developing high levels of fame and visitors.
But there are some burger spots that are on the lesser-known side, a handful of divine joints that pass “under the radar,” but that are growing in popularity and followers. Perhaps they don’t appear as the “top” options on touristic reference sites like TripAdvisor or Yelp, but this doesn’t mean that the quality they offer suffers – quite the opposite, in fact. What’s more, some boast incredible ambiances that, if visited in the right moment, are often uninterrupted by outside crowds (which will undoubtedly flock upon realizing these secret treasures exist). These are just a few reasons why it’s totally worth it to pass by and snag a bite. Onwards and bon appetit!
Vespa Burger Bar
Where to Find It: Calle Torrent de l’Olla, 99
Located in the Gràcia neighborhood, Vespa Burger Bar already has a fairly faithful set of followers, but considering the steady flow of newcomers that greet its doors, it’s not stopping there. The vespa theme is consistently present in its simple, but cute and becoming decoration, and its ambiance is quite comfy – even stretching to intimate come nighttime. Its menu features at least 18 mouth-watering-worthy hamburgers, made of beef, pork, lamb or chicken (there are also vegetarian options), and the influence of the Italians who originally opened the place is notable, especially in featured recipes and in the Italian racing that perpetually graces the restaurant’s TV screen. The quality? Absolutely wonderful. And the prices, too – what’s more, every burger comes with artisan french fries.
“Take it or leave it,” but you should try: El Milano, a 200 g. burger covered in gorgonzola cheese, caramelized onions, tomato and arugula. La Afrodisiaca is also worth a try, if just for its spicy guacamole.
Enjoy your burger with: A cold caña (small beer) of Estrella Damm, or the Italian artisan beer Menabrea.
Pim Pam Burger
Where to Find It: Calle Sabateret, 4
This hamburger spot has successfully created what we all want: a balance between chaos and calm, formal and informal. Situated on a small, nearly hidden side street in el Born, Pim Pam Burger is a stop you shouldn’t miss – and not only due to its great environment, nor solely because its chefs make you feel right at home. Its burgers are of a good size, are topped with a little bit of everything (yes, everything), and are prepared directly in front of you..artfully and craftily, of course. And if you aren’t in the mood for one of the Pim Pam classics, there’s always the option to substitute beef or chicken for a vegetable-based patty, or to choose from an extensive menu of Frankfurts. Oh, and it’s probably worth mentioning that Pim Pam’s fries are recognized throughout Barcelona for their tastiness.
“Take it or leave it,” but you should try: El Pim Pam 3 Quesos (three cheese), a 200 g. beef burger, loaded with parmesan, feta and gouda, and finished with the essentials: tomato, onion, pickle and special sauce.
Enjoy your burger with: A cold San Migual or the timeless local classic: a Moritz.
El Club de la Hamburguesa
Where to Find It: Calle Valdoncella, 3
This “club” is located in a section of el Raval that, put frankly, rocks (do Nevermind, Plaça de Castella and the CCCB ring a bell?). Sharing a space with Mucci’s pizzeria, El Club de la Hamburguesa has a distinguished, ample menu loaded with a large variety of options (even beyond burgers!). Fries come separately, at least when ordering the menu of the day, which is a solid option thanks to its great price and due to the fact that it is accompanied by a beverage and dessert. Inside, you’ll find a happy, lively ambiance that simultaneously says “relax.” This balance contributes significantly to the restaurant and as a result, it’s the perfect place to bring close friends, enjoy some cañas and shoot the breeze, no matter the time.
“Take it or leave it,” but you should try: El Capresse, a 200 g. burger topped with an impressive portion of fresh mozzarrella, fresh basil pesto, tomato and arugula.
Enjoy your burger with: A Voll-Damm, an excellent double-malt selection, or a Judas, the smooth, yet strong Belgian beer.
BrewDog Bar Barcelona
Where to Find It: Calle Casanova, 69
There’s really no reason why you shouldn’t visit BrewDog Bar. Between the incredible variety of local and imported beers that it offers, the impressive selection of musical and social events it hosts and the spectacular quality of its food, BrewDog is not to be missed. Located in the center of L’Eixample, it occupies a gigantic space, adequately sized and equipped for whatever crowd busts through its doors. The bartenders are very kind and sociable, as well as notably well-informed on each of the seasonally-shifting beers on tap (even more-so when it comes to local Catalan beers). If you’re up for a little taste-testing, there’s the option to try a “flight,” complete with around 5-7 beers that you can pick yourself, or you can always ask for advice and try a (half?) pint of one of the many beers on tap. After all, what would a burger be without its perfect accompaniment: beer?
“Take it or leave it,” but you should try: La Hamburguesa Catalana (the Catalan burger), smothered in escalivada (a typical Catalan dish of varying grilled veggies) and melted goat cheese. The hummus and veggie plate is also a delicious option that serves as a great appetizer.
Enjoy your burger with: A pint of Punk IPA, which boasts a little bit of a stronger flavor, or the Dead Pony Club, a smoother option.
Where to Find It: Carrer de la Bòria, 17
Neighboring the metro stop Jaume I, Cat Bar is more than just a restaurant: it’s an experience. During the day it may receive less visitors, but come nighttime, the joint is never without live music, a good-natured audience and a surrounding environment that emits an addictive energy. The twist is that each and every one of its hamburgers is vegan, comprised of delicious mixings of veggies and varying proteins. The combinations are abound, and the toppings that clothe these savory burgers serve as perfect examples of their makers’ creativity, as well as of the quality of ingredients used. Finally, it’s worth mentioning that Cat Bar features a wide selection of local beers, available both bottled and on tap.
“Take it or leave it,” but you should try: El Mexican Red, a burger made of spicy veggies and covered with brava sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onion and jalapeños.
Enjoy your burger with: An Almogàver Clásica or the Hop & Roll version – both are nothing short of tasty and are even locally brewed.
I hope you take advantage of these suggested options and stuff yourself with the best hamburgers of Barcelona – and, as always, please share whatever comment, suggestion or new discovery you may have with Alt Experience!