Cape Town Burger Battle — Hudsons vs. Royale vs. Engruna

Let’s talk beef shall we? With the influx of craft beer in Cape Town, the city deserves a hamburger scene equal to the task. While I am just one man with one stomach, I manage to indulge in three of the cities popular burger joints.

My favorite of the lot is a small, upscale chain in South Africa called Hudsons. With four locations in Cape Town, one in Johannesburg and one in Pretoria, the eateries serves mighty-sized hamburgers with toppings for all tastes. I went with the bacon jam with cheddar cheese because it has the words “bacon,” “jam” and “cheese” in it. As you can tell with the photo above, it was a lovely presentation.

The other options are The Rockabilly  (pepper crusted beef patty topped with chorizo,  jalapeno & dusted onion rings), The Rockafella (beef patty topped with 8 hour roasted pulled pork,  cheddar cheese & a fried egg) and The Badass  (Two beef patties, each stuffed with Habanero chili,  topped with Jalapeno jam, white onion & cheddar), which will also make you a fat ass.

Beer wise, they have their own house pale ale along with local selections from Jack Black, Devil’s Peak and Woodstock. For dessert, I had no other choice then to go with the Espresso Chocolate Mousse.

The Kloof Street location is centrally located around the corner from my favorite bar in town, The Power & The Glory, the famous records store Mabu Vinyl and the curiously named Labia Theater.

royale-burger-cape-town

An eight minute walk from Hudsons is Royale Eatery on Long Street. It’s right in the middle of scores of trendy bars on that street and Long Street. It’s a more traditional eatery with a cozy, shabby-chic interior. Like Hudsons, their variety of burgers and sandwiches made my head spin.

There’s El Burro (Beef patty blended with chorizo, chillies and coriander. Topped with mozzarella cheese, smoked jalapenos, roast tomato salsa and guacomole) and the Burgerac  (basted beef patty topped with white cheddar, chipotle sauce and an  onion & gherkin salsa). I went basic with the Royale with Cheese, whomp whommmmp. I needed to save room for South Africa’s national dessert, Malva Pudding.

Beer wise, they don’t mess around either with locale brewery favorites Citizen, Brewers & Union, Alliance and Saboteur.

engrunda-cape-town-1

Last stop on the burger tour was Engruna located by the ocean in the Sea Point section. It’s a bit of a hike from the city center, but the area is the more upscale section of city where you’ll be close to the beach and find resorts, high-end shopping and nightclubs. You’re basically paying for the ocean views and cooling breezes.

In any event, Engruna kept on popping up on the “best of” lists in my research. Although I had eaten at Devil’s Peal Brewery, I went there to Engruna to sample more of the city’s craft beer. While I’m drinking, I see them bring out a burger and my mind went, “YAASSSSS, get it.” Thus I did. Of the three, this was the most no-nonsense burger — striving for simplicity over towering toppings. You gotta admit, that is a beautiful photo above.

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