Ostentatiously, they might be dealing in grilled chicken, but Rotisserie’s burgers are something special, too. The Big Double Dirty with Black Angus Beef is the first that comes to mind, but vegetarian and, of course, chicken varieties are also on the menu. And fashionistas, take note: thanks to their limited editions, the Rotisserie should definitely be your burger place of choice. There is a Fashion Burger and a Fake Mayonaise & Fried Chicken Karl Lagerfeld Caviar Burger. Dahling! But fashion or no, for many locals these are the best burgers in Amsterdam.
Rotisserie, De Clercqstraat 81 / Beukenplein 17
No fewer than twelve burgers are on the menu at Burgermeester’s three locations spread across town. Beef, lamb, chicken, lentils, salmon or goat’s cheese burgers… if you’re not the most decisive person in the world, prepare for some dithering. Thankfully, there is one thing to make one’s order easier: choose the variety option with three mini burgers. If, after that, you still think you can do it better, compose your own burger, fill in a form and hope that it gets selected as the customers’ special, which changes monthly.
Burgermeester, Albert Cuypstraat 48 / Elandsgracht 130 / Plantage Kerklaan 37
Don’t worry, they won’t actually try to turn you into a cannibal here, that would be illegal. But for all other carnivores, Cannibale Royale is the perfect place. Meat can be ordered by weight, from 200 to 1000 (!) grams, and the burgers follow suit in terms of specularity. The Cannibale Burger is the jewel in the crown, featuring pulled pork, sauerkraut and bourbon-flavoured barbecue sauce. Of course, a craft beer wouldn’t go amiss here, and so several varieties are on offer. Cocktails are on the menu too, which is especially handy as Cannibale Royale is one for the night owls, open until 2 at night on weekdays and until 3 on weekends.
Cannibale Royale, Handboogstraat 17A / Ruysdaelkade 149
The owners of Smokin’ Barrels have form, as they are also behind three other well-loved Amsterdam Oost haunts: Bar Bukowski, Henry’s Bar and Biertuin. Here, the concept is simple, yet convincing: you can either go for lobster and a fancy cocktail, or stay down-to-earth with burgers and beer. Oh, hang on: it’s not that simple, actually. Because you can also combine the two… and order a lobster burger! What a time to be alive.
Smokin’ Barrels, Beukenplein 22
The Burgerbar is the best place for DIY freaks and those that can never find their perfect burger. The build-your-own system lets you choose every element of your own customised burger. And the options are extensive, from the meat – Irish beef, chicken or Wagyu? – through the toppings – fried egg, blue cheese, avocado – to the sauces. It’s hard to not go overboard here, but create with care and you will be rewarded with your perfect burger.
Burgerbar, Kolksteeg 2 / Warmoestraat 21 / Reguliersbreestraat 9
All burgers here are prepared using Aberdeen Angus beef. So far, so deliciously traditional. But when it comes to toppings, there are some more exotic varieties: there is a version with truffles and grilled onion, a lamb burger, a veggie one and The Babaganoush, which has, well, baba ganoush on it. Don’t tell the purists, but there’s even a hotdog on the menu. One more thing: The Butcher has a secret. Behind the doors to the walk-in fridge is a proper speakeasy – The Secret Kitchen. You do need to know the password, but, dear reader, our lips are sealed.
The Butcher, Albert Cuypstraat 129
Beer and burgers – at Frits they don’t like to complicate things. Ok, there are a few options. You could go for a g&t instead of the beer, and the Smoky Burger has bacon and chutney on it. The fashionistas who haven’t made it to the Rotisserie (see above) will be delighted to hear about the bun-less Skinny Burger, and – for the more carnivorous – there's the option to choose a 100-gram-meat upgrade. Every Tuesday, there’s a pub quiz; in the interest of health and safety, the winner gets free drinks rather than unlimited free burgers.
Frits, Jan Evertsenstraat 135
The excellently-named Thrill Grill is the result of Michelin-bestarred chef Robert Kranenborg’s search for the ultimate hamburger. He has found it, and you can eat it here. The Classic Beef Thriller has tender Dutch beef, melted cheese, lettuce, bacon and – but of course! – a secret sauce. If this still doesn’t convince you, the menu also includes burgers with salmon, chicken, pulled pork, falafel and even a hotdog version, all prepared in the wood-fire oven.
Thrill Grill, Gerard Doustraat 98
Handily located around the corner of the Albert Cuyp Market, this is the place to be for salt-of-the-earth fare – classic burgers, ice-cold beer and a good cup of coffee. Burger options include one with blue cheese, one with chicken, one spicy one, one vegetarian one and the house burger topped with a fried egg.
Geflipt, Van Woustraat 15
There are several Georges all over Amsterdam, and this bistro in chic Oud-Zuid is the newest member of the family. A small but perfectly shaped menu includes lobster, burgers and classic French bistro fare. Among the burger options are a pastrami-and-sauerkraut creation, a halloumi burger and, in keeping with the ritzy location, various skinny options.
George Bistro, Valeriusplein 2
Still hungry? Perhaps we can interest you in our overview of restaurants and bars in Amsterdam for more culinary inspiration.