When it comes to finding the “perfect” burger, the qualities we look for are simple and straightforward. At the end of the day, a basic hamburger consists of four key ingredients: patty, buns, minimal toppings, and condiments.
After asking our foodie friends about their favorite burgers, Team OAP went around BGC, Pasig, Makati and Alabang area on the hunt for the best must-try burgers. We hope this list satisfies your search for the best burger in Manila!
Best Burger Criteria
Our criterion is based on 5 characteristics: meat to bun ration, quality of meat and bun, the texture and flavor of the patty, and the overall structural integrity of the burger. Each characteristic can be rated on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the lowest.
Meat To Bun Ratio
Big buns are all very well, but they need to be counter-pointed by an adequate supply of meat. Each bit of burger should have plenty of both meat and bun.
Quality of Meat Patty
Flavorsome meat patties with subtle undertones grilled to crunchy-edged perfection are the order of the day. Packet-patties should stay in their packets and sausage meat isn’t really meat.
Fresh Carbs, Not Sugar
Bus should be fresh and lightly toasted. They should have some substance to them too. Lightweight sugary numbers you can get from the supermarket should be treated with great contempt.
Texture of Burger & Flavor
Burger texture can be difficult to define. A soggy bun with limp lettuce, wet tomato and chewy meat scores poorly. But a firm-bunned burger with crunchy lettuce, melted cheese, and fleshy tomato will score highly.
Over-packed burgers make messy eating. Too saucy? Grease dripping? A bit of spillage is fine, but explosive burgers are only going to end in tears.
In the bonus round, you can tick off additional characteristics of the burger to add to the total score.
The Bonus Round
The criterion for those little extras. Whether it’s beetroot, aioli, or choice-of-bun, if there’s something a little special about the burger, this is where we get to show some love. Criteria on the back.
We rated each contender according to our preferences—no comments or sharing was allowed until the final tallies!
All scores are on a scale of 1-5 (5 is the highest). The burger has to be really good to be included into this list and scores are the basis for the ranking.
Announcing… The Best Burgers of Manila! (2016)
1) B+ by Burgergeek (Molito, Alabang) | Score: 4.49
B+/ Bacon + (P255) | Umami Corn (P95) | Strawberry Milkshake (P165) American cheese, smashed patty, lettuce, tomato, shiitake mushroom, crispy bacon, and tomato | Corn on the Cob and Furikkake
The B+ is our top choice for its perfect meat to bun ratio, juicy smashed patty, charmingly crisp toppings, and sinful secret sauce!
We‘re crazy about the flavorful smashed patty of local and imported meat (ground fresh daily).
Note: the smashed patty technique helps char the outside of the meat, locking in the moisture and beefy flavor.
One of the best parts about the B+ was the fact that the unbitten toppings, like the bacon, stayed inside the burger after each bite. A+ on structural integrity.
Other Recommended items:
Class President (P310) American cheese, smashed patty, lettuce, tomato, crispy bacon, shiitake mushroom, onion rings, BBQ sauce
If you want to aim higher than a B+, you’re going to have to go for the Class President.
We like how the onion rings and barbecue sauce comes into play with the rest of the elements. This burger is recommended with a side of more Onion Rings & Cilantro Mayo (P65).
The restaurant’s clever concept is modeled after a typical western high school setting. Notice how the tables are actually desks.
We give a passing grade to George Koh (AKA the ultimate Burger Geek) for winning our hearts and stomachs!
Unit 16A, Molito Complex Alabang, Muntinlupa
Mon-Tues: 11:00am to 10:00pm
Wed-Sun: 11:00am to 11:00pm
Facebook: Burger Geek
2) Pub Original by Burgerpub (The Grove by Rockwell, Ugong) | Score: 4.46
Pub Original (P345) | Message in a Bottle IPA Beer (P245) Burgerpub’s Original sauce, caramelized onions, sharp cheddar | Bitter, India Pale Ale style beer.
There’s something beautiful about a simple burger—you get to get to appreciate the real stars of the show. In Burgerpub’s case, it’s their secret blend of Canadian beef and sauce.
The chunkiness of the patty gives the burger a notable bite and body.
The tangy sauce and subtle sweetness of the caramelized onions elevate the taste of the cheese and juicy beef.
The Pub Original is commendable for its no frills, flavor-packed simplicity.
Other Recommended items:
Bastard Burger (P350) Onion rings, Belgian mustard & ketchup, sharp cheddar
If you want a more “classic” take on a regular burger without the Original Sauce, you can try out the Bastard Burger with the Burgerpub’s Belgian Mustard and Ketchup.
Bleu (P345) Canadian beef patty with blue cheese sauce
For those who love strong flavors, the Bleu might interest you. However, the cheese is so piquant that this burger is best reserved for only hardcore blue cheese fans.
We like the UK-pub inspired bar scene overflowing with a good selection of beers to pair with the burgers.
Note: Ask for the Weihenstephaner Vitus 330ml (P150) house beer with your Pub Original.
Congratulations to Burgerpub for making it 2nd on OAP’s Top 8 Burgers of 2016!
Unit 101, The Grove By Rockwell, E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue, Ugong, Pasig City
Mon-Fri: 12:00pm to 10:00pm
Sat-Sun: 12:00pm to 12:00am
3) Cheeseburger w/ Fries by The Beef (Hole in the Wall, Century City Mall) | Score: 4.08
Cheeseburger with Fries (P375) USDA Select beef, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese, fries, and pickles
Adhering to their philosophy of an “uncluttered” burger, The Beef reins supreme by offering us the essentials: beef, toppings, cheese, and fries!
The ratio of toppings to meat, cheese, and bread scored very highly. Notice how almost all elements in the burger are adequately sized in relation to the bun.
The patty is perfectly cooked, flavorsome, juicy and 100% USDA Choice beef.
A side of crispy, hand-cut fries goes well with ketchup and their special mayo dip.
We admire The Beef’s commitment to minimalism—right down to their food and outlet design.
Hole in the Wall, Fourth Floor, Century City Mall, Kalayaan Avenue, Poblacion, Makati City
Sun-Thu: 11:00am to 10:00pm
Fri-Sat: 11:00am to 12:00am
4. The Double by Sweet Ecstasy (Jupiter St., Makati) | Score: 3.84
The Double (P265) & Onion Rings (P100) 100% pure beef, local lettuce, tomato, white onions (can be fresh, grilled, or caramelized to your liking), Ecstasy Sauce | Thick cut onions, battered lightly
If you like them big, then The Double’s the right burger to satisfy your cravings. Aligning with an “honest” burger philosophy, Sweet Ecstasy scored highly on the flavor and texture of their beef.
Note: we recommend you go with the fresh onions since the sauce already provides sweetness to the mix.
Patties made of prime cuts of short rib, sirloin, and briskets are ground daily, creating a good blend of fat and texture.
This burger’s most notable aspect aside from the patty is their smokey-sweet sauce.
Other Recommended items:
Soy Honey Wings (P220) Double battered wings
These crispy wings come with 3 other flavors: Sriracha Lime, Buffalo, and Honey BBQ.
Note: use your hands to eat them for the best experience (gloves available).
Steamburger (P205), Fries (P80) and Sex Berry (P160) Beef, onions, brioche bun | handcut fries | alcoholic milkshake with Tequila Rose.
If you want an “off the menu” item, opt for the Steamburger.
The smashed patty is steamed with the buns, cheese, and onions—this makes everything else taste like the meat. We would recommend this as a “healthier” alternative!
Did you know that Sweet Ecstasy used to be an adult milk & cookie café? As their food evolved, they decided to keep the branding.
We love their cheeky, colorful décor that contrasts the simplicity of their menu.
Congratulations to co-founder, Aljarreau Galang, for delivering some of the best honest to goodness burgers around the metro!
10 Jupiter St. cor. Asteroid St., Barangay Bel-Air, 1408 Makati, Philippines
Sun-Sat: 11:00am – 12:00am
5) Amsterdam Burger from Pound by Todd English (Bonifacio High Street, BGC) | Score: 3.76
Amsterdam Burger (P280) Truffle Fries (P160) House ground beef patty, fried onion, pastrami, Gruyere, Sauerkraut, mustard relish, T.E. sauce, homemade brioche | String beans, battered and coated with truffle oil
With Pound’s blend of Sous Vide US Beef, New Zealand fat, quality in-house ingredients, and sophisticated ambiance, you get a taste of luxury at a comfortable price range.
Try the Amsterdam with a serving of highly addictive Truffle Fries and dip.
The Amsterdam has German Sausage undertones coming from the Pastrami, Sauerkraut, and Gruyere. A taste of this burger feels like a culinary tour through Europe!
Overall, the generous toppings and creativity of this burger impressed us.
Other Recommended items:
Pound Burger (P999) House ground beef, tomato, iceberg lettuce, crispy onion, mustard relish, T.E. sauce, caramelized onions, 50g seared foie gras, foie gras mousse.
On the other side of the price spectrum, you can get the Pound Burger with Foie Gras and Foie Gras mousse. The duck/goose liver does not overpower the flavor of the meat.
T.E. Crispy Chicken Burger (P225) T.E. Sweet Spice, crispy pickled slaw, cilantro aioli, brioche bun
This unconventional burger is coated with ultra-fine panko, making it crispy, and is topped with a mild Korean Gochujang sauce.
Pound’s ambiance is sophisticated and sleek, in spite of how small the space is. The dominantly black and white interiors speak class.
(Oliver English, father, stands beside his celebrity chef son, Todd)
OAP gives Pound by Todd English three huzzahs for their delicious renditions of the modern burger.
POUND BY TODD ENGLISH
B3, Bonifacio High Street, 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Mon-Sun: 11:00am to 11:00pm
Facebook: Todd English Foodhall
6) Le Croquevor by Atelier Vivanda (Forbestown, BGC) | Score: 3.72
“Le Croquavor “ Burger (P1,200 ala carte) & Pomme Dauphine (fixed price of P1,900 w/ 3-course menu) USDA beef, 18-monte Comté cheese, sourdough Pain de Campange, Akrame Ketchup & Mayo | Potato balls, comté cheese
This unconventional entry is interpretation of the classic burger by 2 Michelin Star Chef, Akrame Benallal of Paris. It scored well on creativity and complexity of flavor!
Note: We encourage you to avail of the fixed 3-course menu instead of ala carte to make the most of your 100% dining experience.
Made of USDA Prime Hanging Meat, the patty had a chunky texture and subtle gaminess that went nicely with the creamy Akrame Mayonnaise and sharp Comté cheese.
Note: ask for the Pomme Dauphine (deep fried potato balls with comté filling) on the side.
You can opt to eat it with your hands like a regular burger, but the sourdough bread may not hold everything together!
Other recommended items:
Pain De Campange (table bread) with Pepper Olive Oil Sourdough bread, best when lightly toasted
We love the in-house bread with Chef Akrame’s Pepper Olive Oil, which had a robust, herb-like flavor.
Pomme Darphin (shredded potatoes) with Pepper Oil Unlimited, can be availed with fixed menu.
These shredded potatoes are perfect fix to your carb cravings.
Note: Ask for the organic Akrame Ketchup, made of tomatoes, herbs, and strawberries!
Potato Gratin Thinly sliced potato, milk, cheese, baked until gooey, availed with fixed menu.
The Potato Gratin makes for the perfect comfort food on any day—we loved the creamy sauce and the bite of the sliced potatoes.
Co-owned by Khristine Gabriel and Grace Lee, the French casual dining bistro is a great place for an intimate dinner.
We commend Atelier Vivanda for their exceptionally creative take on the classic burger!
U-A8 Forbes Town Center, Forbes Town Road, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City 1634
Mon-Sun: 6:00pm to 12:00am
Telephone: +632 VIVANDA (848 2632)
Mobile: +63 918 VIVANDA (848 2632)
Facebook: Atelier Vivanda Manila
7) Meat on Meat Classic Cheeseburger by Green Pastures (Net Park, BGC) | Score: 3.36
Meat on Meat Burger Classic Cheeseburger with Sweet Potato Fries(P650) 48-Hr Sous Vide Short Rib encased with local, grass-fed, Sirloin, Chuck, Ribye, homemade Cheddar, mayo, mustard seed, buttery brioche bun | Sweet potato fries with cumin-mayo
Green Pastures’ farm-to-table philosophy makes the Meat on Meat Classic Cheeseburger a sure winner. All vegetables are organic, while all condiments are house made.
We are fond of this burger’s unique 48hr Sous Vide twist, which made the burger juicier and more flavorful.
A delicious, buttery brioche bun is used to hold the generous contents of this burger.
Note: pair with an Indian Pale Ale beer!
The freshness of the ingredients combined with the local, grass-fed beef (griddle cooked) results in a memorable burger experience.
Other recommended items:
All Meat Quinoa Paella (unreleased) Red Quinoa, egg, chicken skin chicharon, lechon, grass-fed beef
Meat lovers, rejoice! This hefty, savory dish is good for 3-4 persons—this will be available sometime in March.
Large Umami Bowl w/ Amino Spray (P525) Wilted kale, adlay (job’s tears), roasted mushrooms, cauliflower, tofu, roasted carrots, sunflower seeds, mint, miso dressing, white quinoa
The Amino Spray, which enhances the flavors of each ingredient, is responsible for that inexplicable umami flare.
The restaurant ambiance is a inviting and revitalizing experience from the urban city life outside it.
Thank you, Chef Robby Goco, for your refreshing take on the classic cheeseburger!
Ground Floor, Net Park Building, Fifth Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Mon-Sun: 11:00am to 9:00pm
Telephone: +63-2-654-3219, +63-2-2775592
Facebook: Green Pastures
4/F East Wing, Shangri-la Plaza, Mandaluyong City
Telephone Number: +632 654-3219
Operating Hours: Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Facebook: Green Pastures Resto
8. The Walk of Shame by Burgers & Brewskies (Burgos Circle, BGC) | Score: 3.00
The Walk of Shame (P340) Egg in a whole-wheat bun, bacon, potato hay, B&B Lemonnaise
This burger felt a lot like breakfast in a bun! We enjoyed the tanginess of the lemon-mayo and the mild spice from the potato hay.
This burger is best eaten with a fork and knife, since it is overflowing with sauce.
Sometimes the Lemonnaise can overpower the flavor of the beef—would recommend this, however, for foodies that love creative burgers.
Overall, The Walk of Shame makes for a perfect Sunday brunch!
Note: order yourself a brewskie like Blue Moon (P150).
Other recommended items:
Bacon Chicharon (P275) 100% beef patty, roasted garlic aioli, cheese sauce, grilled onion rings, B&B Bacon Chicharon
The Bacon Chicharon is one of the newest items on their menu—we enjoyed how crispy the Chicharon was, giving more texture to the burger.
The ambiance of B&B is both casual and tongue-in-cheek—a great place to hang out with your buddies after work!
BURGERS & BREWSKIES
Bellagio 2, Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Sun-Thu: 11:00am to 12:00am
Fri-Sat: 11:00am to 2:00am
The Best Burgers in Manila (2016) Recap:
1. B+ by Burgergeek (4.49)
2. Pub Original by Burgerpub (4.46)
3. Cheeseburger w/ Fries by The Beef (4.08)
4. The Double by Sweet Ecstasy (3.84)
5. Amsterdam Burger by Pound (3.76)
6. Le Croquavor by Atelier Vivanda (3.72)
7. Green Pastures (3.36)
8. B&B (3.00)
Overall, all the burgers share one thing in common: they’re all awesome!
Live an Awesome Life,
Disclosure: We wrote this article with our biases, opinions, and insights.
P.S. Give us a few other burger joints you think should have been on the list!