12 of the best burgers in Calgary
To celebrate YYC Burger Week, CBC Calgary food columnist Julie Van Rosendaal gives us her picks for the city's best
If you’re on the lookout for a juicy, meaty burger there’s no shortage of great ones here in Calgary.
We’ve seen a wave of burger joints open up in recent years, and restaurants are paying closer attention to the burgers on their menus.
Whether you’re craving take-out or something more refined, here are a dozen of the best, meatiest (and veggie-est) handmade burgers in the city.
One of the newest burger joints on the block, Clive Burger is known not only for its juicy burgers in brioche buns, but for its Alberta beef and 100 per cent compostable packaging.
They are burger purists, serving up hamburgers and cheeseburgers in single, double or triple, with your choice of fixins (try the Clive sauce), with hand-cut fries and custard shakes to wash it all down.
736 17th Ave. S.W., 403-229-9224, cliveburger.com, @Cliveburger17
Everything is made from scratch at this teeny diner tucked away in a strip mall kitty-corner to the Crossroads Market.
Their burgers are epic, particularly their stuffed burgers, which can be customized with anything from cheese to caramelized onions to jalapenos to pulled pork — or all of the above. Go hungry, and you too will leave stuffed.
2808 Ogden Rd SE, 403-263-6355, nainaskitchen.com, @nainaskitchen
Rocky’s Burger Bus
Rocky’s is a Calgary institution, located in the big red bus wedged into the dirt beside DJ’s Market, just off Blackfoot Trail.
Their paper bag burgers (you can only get them to go, although there are a few red picnic tables up the hill) are thick and juicy — there’s a reason Gourmet magazine called them "home of the meat orgy."
1120 46 Ave SE, 403- 243-0405, rockysburgers.com
There are no fewer than eight burger options on the Fine Diner menu, from the Too Tall Burger with homemade onion rings and Edam cheese to the Sumo Burger, with pickled ginger, wasabi oil and sesame seeds (both $15).
All are made in house with Angus beef, served on a brioche bun with your choice of caesar, fries, soup or honey roasted potatoes.
#4-1420 9th Ave. S.E., 403-234-8885, finedinercalgary.com, @FineDinerYYC
Anyone who knows The Ship and Anchor knows the Ship burger — a juicy burger with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles and mayo on a Kaiser ($7.50) or loaded with cheddar, bacon and mushrooms ($9.95) perfect with a pint for patio season.
On Fridays there are burger specials — try the Nut Burger with PB and bacon or Bison with Dijon mayo ($10.95)
534 17th Ave. S.W., 403-245-3333, shipandanchor.com, @Ship_and_Anchor
Dairy Lane Café
They have an amazing lineup of burgers at Dairy Lane. Besides the classic — made with Crystal Creek 28-day aged Angus beef ($11.75) — there’s the Caribbean pork ($15.75), Alberta honey and Dijon chicken ($15.75), two homemade veggie burgers and a vegan burger (all $15) — with the option of a gluten-free bun on any of the above.
319 19th St. N.W., 403-283-2497, dairylanecafe.ca, @DairyLane
They’re more than just smoked meat, latkes and knishes — Gruman’s serves up a pretty fab burger.
Ground chuck with feta or bacon and applewood smoked cheddar on an onion bun, with fries or some of the best potato salad you’ll ever eat ($14).
230-11th Ave. S.E., 403-261-9003, grumans.ca, @GrumansDeli
Another Calgary institution, Boogie's Burgers has been creating big, sloppy burgers in Calgary since 1969.
Their menu is vast, from a single pattie with Boogie’s signature sauce ($4.75), to Doug’s "Don’t Fear the Reaper" Burger: four patties, four slices of bacon, a butterflied hot dog, two slices of cheddar, a fried egg, Boogie’s signature sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion — topped off with a mini corn dog ($16).
908 Edmonton Trail N.E., 403-230-7070, boogiesburgers.com, @boogieburger
Since it opened, CharCut has been known for its epic Share Burger that is made as big as you like, with a roasted garlic sausage patty, cheese curds and a fried egg ($2.50 per oz, minimum nine oz).
They’ll bring an enormous one to your table on a carving board to eat family-style in wedges; you can get the same burger in a single-serving size from the Alley Burger truck if you’re lucky enough to catch them out on the street.
101 - 899 Centre St. S.W., 403-984-2180, charcut.com, @charcut and @alleyburger
Five Guys Burgers and Fries is a U.S. chain that has become very popular in Calgary, with five locations opening in quick succession to keep up with demand.
They’re known for their ultra-juicy custom topped burgers and crispy peanut oil fries.
Locations around the city, fiveguys.com
Calgary was the first Canadian city to have a Smashburger location, where they believe in smashing their burgers as they cook, creating a deliciously crispy outer edge.
Their burgers are smashed, seared and seasoned to order, using Angus beef and your choice of buns, toppings and sides.
Two locations in Calgary, smashburger.com
Chuckwagon Café Cowboy Trail
Although not in the city, the roughly 60-kilometre drive down Highway 22 is gorgeous. The winding road will bring you to the Millarville Farmers’ Market, then to Turner Valley — home of some of the best beef in Alberta at the Chuckwagon Cafe, where owner Terry Myhre’s own herd of cattle are on the menu.
Their legendary burgers are made with aged beef that’s hand-ground, seasoned and shaped, served with perfect toppings (including their own homemade relish) and hand-cut fries.
105 Sunset Blvd., Turner Valley, 403-933-0003, chuckwagoncafe.ca