Every Western restaurant has a burger. Most taste great. A list of the city's best burgers is impossible. But there are some burgers in this town that matter a whole lot more than others. Here's why
Note: The restaurants are listed alphabetically
The burger: The Number One
Why it’s important: Not only is this glitzy California-hailing chain open 24 hours, it’s one of the few places that lets you create your own burger from an outrageously long list of cheeses, condiments and toppings.
What it tastes like: The burgers here are no small feat. The patties are thick and could easily be shared with friends. The Number One (B330) is the most classic and one of our top choices. Its topped with caramelized onions, gorgonzola, bacon, arugula and Thousand Island.
G/F, Pullman G Hotel, 188 Silom Rd., 02-352-4192. Open daily 24 hours
The burger: The Traditional Burger (200g/B220 or double/B390, served with a choice of mixed salad, French fries or curly fries)
Why it’s important: Love ‘em or hate ‘em, this local chain’s gone from zero to ubiquity in double quick time (11 Bangkok branches and counting, plus one each in Pattaya and Chiang Mai).
What it tastes like: Stuffed inside a fluffy house-made bun, the patty of the classic American-style burger comes juicy in rare or medium rare, topped with either sharp American or blue cheese. Some call it too greasy, some too watery, but for us the good times still outweigh the bad.
Try Narathiwas Soi 15, 02-087-5087. Open daily 11am-10pm. 10 other branches in Bangkok.
Artisan Craft Burgers
The burger: The Artisan (B280)
Why it’s important: So maybe the name of this joint isn’t our favorite, but they do make a mean burger. They also offer delivery.
What it tastes like: Featuring a house chuck blend of Charolais and Limousin beef, this patty is grilled to juicy perfection, then topped off with cheddar cheese, caramelized red onions, homemade pickles, lettuce, tomato and their homemade artisan sauce, all sandwiched between a buttered sesame scallion bun. Pair that with their russet potato fries and three-sauce combo (B140) and you’ve got a clear winner.
Eleven Bangkok, 26/1 Sukhumvit Soi 11, 02-001-3454. Open daily 11-1:30am
The burger: Billy’s Burger (B310)
Why it’s important: Billy Bautista, founder of La Monita, challenges the notion that "fatter is better" when it comes to burgers. Instead, he champions the crust—that delicious, golden brown layer of caramelized meat imparted by the griddle. Thinner patties equals more crust, simple, in this case doubled up in yet another homage to In-N-Out.
What it tastes like: One bite and we're converts to Billy's way of thinking. Two thin, well-crusted patties give new meaning to the word "umami," while the no-nonsense accompaniments—American cheese, a creamy "secret" sauce, crisp iceberg lettuce—prove simple is best. Add in the house-made potato bun and we're confident to call it one of the best in town.
Mahatun Plaza, 888 Phloen Chit Rd., 02-651-4398
The burger: Tassie Angus Burger
Why it’s important: Chef Bar perfects the burger more than anywhere else with quality Aussie beef that is ground in house, homemade ketchup and the freshest veggies.
What it tastes like: The patties are slightly thick, but you can taste the heart and soul that is put into each handcrafted burger. The Tassie Angus Burger (B480) is a must when visiting the 15-seater restaurant. Prepared on a crusty tomato butter bun, it comes with treacle, coffee stout lacquered bacon, roasted vine tomatoes, merguez sausage and Swiss cheese.
Sukhumvit Soi 23, across from Prasanmitr Plaza, 08-052-7336. Open Mon-Sat 5-9pm, Sat noon-3pm
Daniel Thaiger Reader's Choice!
The burger: Mr. Steve
Why it’s important: Daniel Thaiger kickstarted the food truck revolution, along with the infamous “who has the best burger” debates. Their gourmet burger is not only good value, but relies on top quality ingredients, strictly never freezing their beef.
What it tastes like: The original Steve burger (B280) is a true classic. These buttery, greasy, no-nonsense handfuls of meat, cheese and brioche have gone down in Bangkok folklore. A chargrilled beef patty that’s perfectly seasoned, slices of unmelted cheddar, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and their signature Thaiger sauce all served between a Conkey’s brioche bun. As a combo, it’s hard to beat.
30 Sukhumvit Soi 11, 02-255-5532. Open daily 11-2am. Open at The Commons
The burger: The Big Easy (B199)
Why it’s important: On Nut’s Easy Burger specializes in the smash technique, which produces a thin patty with crispy edges and a super juicy center. They use locally sourced 28-day dry-aged beef and all the buns are housemade for that perfect smash effect. Dare we say it reminds us a bit of Shake Shack.
What it tastes like: The Big Easy is a fully loaded giant featuring two juicy beef patties, double cheddar cheese, crispy shallots, special sauce, crispy bacon, jalapenos and BBQ sauce. Add some crinkle fries for only B65.
12/2 Sukhumvit Soi 50, 099-007-0020. Open daily 11am-midnight
The burger: The Fat Cow
Why it’s important: If you’re in Lad Phrao, this is the place to go for large, juicy burgers served with ice cold Thai craft beer, and just stumbling distance from MRT Lat Phrao.
What it tastes like: The Fat Cow (B290) is one big burger, made with 100-percent Australian beef that’s been char-grilled and served with crispy, house-smoked bacon, onion jam, pickles, aioli and tomato. Add B20, and you can enjoy this monster with some pretty delicious fries.
765, Lad Phrao Rd., Corner of Soi 15, 092-556-2876. Open Daily midday-11pm
The burger: The BBQ Burger (B250 with a choice of sides)
Why it’s important: A no-frills, American-style diner whose burgers are worth the trek out to the Rama 9 badlands.
What it tastes like: With its throat-searing sauce, crisp bacon and a well-done Thai-French beef patty on a crumbly toasted bun, this burger is artery-clogging, heartburn-inducing goodness made to go with an IPA or three.
598/66 Asoke Din Daeng Rd., 081-438 7221, 02-245-2965. Open Tue-Sun 11am-midnight (kitchen closes 10pm)
The burger: Jamie’s Burger (B159 for beef)
Why it’s important: This is the reliable, back-to-basics burger joint you want in your neighborhood (now with four branches: Ari, Siam Paragon, Chula and EmQuartier).
What it tastes like: This signature burger comes with a nicely crusted, slightly seasoned patty they say is a mixture of Thai and Japanese wagyu squished between a super-soft, charred bun. Throw in some bacon, cheddar cheese, jalapenos, a tangy, tomato-based house sauce and a generous portion of crisp, chunky cut fries (an extra B50), and you’re in business. It’s a simple formula, but why mess with it? A warning: burgers are on the small side, but you can afford to double up.
Frank & Release Futsal Field, Soi Sailom, Phahon Yothin Soi 8. 097-001-1108. Open Mon-Sat 5-11pm. 3 other branches in Bangkok.
The burger: Little Donkey Burger
Why it’s important: This new “modern izakaya” has an all-Asian fusion menu dreamt up by “Top Chef Thailand” competitor Steve Doucakis, and its burger is a decadent treat. Be happy knowing that they grind their own beef, which is sourced from Sloane’s.
What it tastes like: The Little Donkey burger is an almost unholy amalgamation of every culinary indulgence you can think of. They bring a hard sear on an extra-meaty patty made from chuck and dry-aged short rib, top that with melted cheddar and caramelized onions and finish it off with foie gras. Homemade pickles line the bottom bun, while the top bun is slathered in a green chili mayo for a refreshing kick. The brioche bun from Conkey’s brings it all together, but the real fun is the addition of BBQ potato chips.
72 Courtyard, 72 Sukhumvit Soi 55, 02-392-7790. Open daily 5pm-2am
The burger: The Steakburger (B240)
Why it’s important: After roaming around the city doing pop-ups, Little Market found a permanent home operating out of Tropic City—meaning you can order burgers directly at the bar. Chet Adkins and Jason Lang of Jua are behind the venture, so you know the food is legit.
What it tastes like: The Steakburger reigns supreme, with two 270-day grain-fed Aussie Angus patties sandwiched between a toasted bun with American cheese, pickles, onions and mustard. Not too shabby for late night after-drinks eats.
1056, 7 Charoenkrung Soi 28, 082-181-9946. Open Tue-Thu 7-11pm; Fri-Sat 7pm-midnight; Sun 7-10pm
The burger: Manhattan Monster (B550 with French fries)
Why it’s important: This beast is quite possibly the only burger we’re OK with needing to take a knife and fork to.
What it tastes like: We don’t often complain about portions being too large, but that’s almost the case here. There’s little chance of wrapping your jaw around this hulking mass of bacon, cheddar, pickles, fried egg and onion rings atop a perfectly rounded, 220g ground-beef patty without making a scene. The lightly seasoned patty, though, is grilled with juicy precision.
28 Sukhumvit Soi 22, 02-262-0920. Open daily 11am-11:30pm
The burger: Chiang Mai Spicy Burger (B190)
Why it’s important: This Ari shipping container slings a Thai fusion burger that doesn’t totally suck.
What it tastes like: The never-frozen Australian beef patty comes seasoned with local herbs for a flavor that’s similar to northern Thai-style larb kua. With a soft bun that’s made from scratch by a French baker and a generous topping of crispy pulled pork, this smoky-sweet packs a punch.
Phahon Yothin Soi 5, 084-448-7908. Open Mon-Fri 11am-2pm, 5-10pm; Sat 11am-10pm
The burger: Stax Cheeseburger (B109)
Why it’s important: The creative forces behind Saphan 55 and Daniel Thaiger have revived Stax, bringing you quality, American fast food-style burgers with flat patties, oozing cheese, zesty pickles and buns that won't give out on you half-way through.
What it tastes like: With thin, perfectly seared beef patties sandwiched between lightly toasted square buns, burgers here are more like sliders and are eerily reminiscent of the sliders you’ve no doubt shamelessly downed from American fast food chain White Castle. Go for the best-selling Stax cheeseburger (B109), which comes with beef or pork, topped with grilled onions, dill pickles, mustard, ketchup and cheese.
Saphan 55, 759 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 087-087-7060. Open Mon-Sat 11am-10:30pm
The burger: Beef Sliders
Why it’s important: Surface may be closing its doors, but for the time being, you can still order their awesome sliders on a delivery-only basis. Another Bangkok burger to reference the simple fast-food appeal of California's In-N-Out Burger, this one does so with local jasmine wagyu from Khon Kaen province.
What it tastes like: Atop a Conkey’s brioche bun, the smashed patty comes with a nicely seared crust on the outside, while still retaining its juiciness. Sliced tomato, raw and grilled onions and a pungent, house-made Thousand Island sauce are truly a match made in heaven.
107 Sukhumvit Soi 53, 02-258-2858. Open daily 6pm- midnight
Put on your stretchy pants, forget about the macros and tuck in to BK Best Eats 2018. This is the Bangkok dining that ignores fancy restaurants and 10-course tasting menus and goes straight for the comfort food—steaming bowls of fat-rich ramen, triple-decker burgers, all-you-can-eat dim sum buffets with an extra helping of pork buns. In other words, the stuff most of us eat out, most of the time.
Download your PDF copy of the guide here.