You can get a burger pretty much anywhere, though getting a great burger is much more of a challenge. Whether you like your burger classic or creative, everyday or exceptional, Vancouver’s got you covered for burgers. These are ten of the city’s best, from wagyu beef with black truffles to classic smashburgers.
Boulevard Kitchen & Oyster Bar (Downtown)
One of Vancouver’s best restaurants also has one of the city’s best burgers. For the BLVD Burger’s extra-juicy patty, chef Alex Chen chops — rather than grinds — brisket, short rib, and chuck for what he calls “a flavour bomb combo of an artisanal burger.” It comes on a milk bun with aged cheddar, house-made tomato relish, caramelized onion, lettuce, and red onion and is served with hand-cut fries. Boulevard’s chefs Alex Chen and Roger Ma have both won multiple awards, including the Canadian Culinary Championship and Iron Chef.
Dining at the restaurant: Dine from morning until late at night, outside on the patio in front of the Sutton Place Hotel or inside with local art and upcycled chandeliers.
Takeout: Takeout is available, as are BLVD Provisions including meal kits with instructional videos.
Bin 4 Burger Lounge (South Granville/Fairview)
Bin 4 serves up gourmet burgers of all kinds — beef, chicken, tofu, bison, ahi tuna, pork, lamb, chickpea, or lentils — plus a new burger invention monthly. All emphasize local ingredients (both meats and veg) and come from an allergy-friendly kitchen that will cater to your needs. Also on offer are thick red onion rings, fries, house-spiced potato chips, and, yes, salads if you must. Save room for the flourless chocolate cake. The restaurant is co-owned by three burger lovers — Sarah and Dan Blackmore and Michael Ringland — with six locations across BC. The seventh opens spring 2022 in Burnaby.
Dining at the restaurant: Slide into booths or sit at the bar; the patio is open weather permitting. Come after 9pm for discounts with a drink purchase.
Takeout: Order online for takeout; there’s plenty on offer including deep-fried pickles, white chocolate and basil cheesecake, wines, beers, ciders, and coolers. Don’t forget to add free cutlery to your order if you plan to nosh on a park bench.
The Victor (Stadium District)
Menus at The Victor, Parq Vancouver’s top restaurant, emphasize surf and turf. While the steaks certainly tempt, the burger shows off the talent in executive chef Garett Blundell’s kitchen. It’s made with Brant Lake’s Wagyu beef — Alberta-raised and both grain- and hormone-free. Wagyu beef is highly-marbled with fat, which results in a burger with melt-in-your-mouth tenderness. To make the dish even more decadent, it comes with house-made black truffle dressing and triple-cooked fries. If you like, ask for it tuxedo-style with foie gras. Be sure to get a wine pairing recommendation from The Victor’s extensive wine list, including by the glass from one of the country’s largest Enomatic wine systems.
Dining at the restaurant: Enjoy dinner indoors, ideally at one of The Victor’s oak tables with green leather banquettes. During the pandemic, the restaurant expanded beyond its small covered outdoor lounge area to add tables near the pond of Parq Vancouver’s 30,000-square-foot sixth-floor roof garden. Stop by on Wednesday evenings for live music.
Takeout: Takeout is available too, and you can even eat your burger in bed if you’re staying at the attached JW Marriott Parq Vancouver or at the DOUGLAS, an Autograph Collection Hotel.
Mahony’s Tavern (Downtown and False Creek/Fairview/Olympic Village)
The Mahony burger is the burger version of a classic roast beef dip sandwich — it’s made with Angus beef, smoked cheddar, house-made red onion marmalade, and rosemary garlic aioli. Most importantly, if you order it with the optional whisky peppercorn jus — and you should — the burger is cut in half and plated with the cut sides right in the jus (perhaps making you wish all burgers came with dip). If you prefer vegetarian, order the Mahony with the Impossible Beef patty instead. You can choose a regular bun, lettuce wrap, or a gluten-free bun. All handhelds are served with fries, but you can upgrade to a Mahony salad which has arugula, green beans, watermelon, cucumber, feta, toasted pumpkin seeds and a minted yogurt dressing.
Dining at the restaurant: There are two Mahony Tavern locations where you can bite into the Mahony burger — on the seawall by the Convention Centre and at Stamps Landing on False Creek, both with waterfront patios. Make reservations for indoor dining, but seating on the covered and heated patios is walk-in only. Bonus: The Mahony burger is available at a discount during happy hour.
Takeout: Takeout and delivery are available to order on Mahony’s website and through third-party apps.
False Creek/Fairview/Olympic Village
Fable Diner (East Van/Mount Pleasant)
At neighbourhood favorite Fable Diner, go classic with the beef Main Street burger or veggie with burgers of sockeye salmon or mushroom miso. For the adventurous, try the Hot Mess with its seared onions, mushrooms, jalapeños, and double cheese — one of the cooks made it for his own lunch and it was such a hit, it made it onto the menu. If you like it zippy, try the Broadway Burger with kimchi, or the Spicy & Wet, which is tossed in Fable’s own Dang hot sauce (sauces retail at $6 per bottle). Keep your eye out for burger specials too, like the pizza burger with a smash beef patty, pepperoni, mozzarella and house-made pizza sauce on a pretzel bun. Whichever burger you choose, Fable sources its beef from local Beefway, uses Kennebec potatoes for the French fries, preserves its own jalapeños and pickles, and makes its own ballpark mustard and other sauces.
Dining at the restaurant: Inside the century-old Lee Building at Main and Broadway, sit in a booth, at a table, or at the bar. Since March 2020, Fable has been offering a 20 percent discount to all health care workers and first responders — so far totalling $25,000 — as a thank you for their work during the pandemic.
Takeout: Fable’s owner launched his own online ordering and delivery service due to the high fees associated with mainstream delivery apps (though you can still use them to order Fable if you like). The in-house service means free delivery if you’re within 1.5 kilometres or a $2 to $20 charge elsewhere within the Lower Mainland. In addition to food items, you can order to-go cocktails and even orange toques just like the delivery guys wear.
Gyoza Bar (Downtown)
Downtown’s Gyoza Bar serves Japanese comfort food, including the Marukatsu burger. This casual restaurant is part of the Aburi family of restaurants — founder/CEO Seigo Nakamura created the Mexican-Japanese fusion cuisine called Marukatsu, which Gyoza Bar first began serving as a pop-up concept in summer 2020. Marukatsu combines Japanese katsu (deep-fried cutlets dipped in panko) with Mexican influences like pico de gallo and sour cream and even burritos. You can order your Marukatsu burger with either chicken or pork, both from the Fraser Valley. It’s served on a brioche bun with tonkatsu (Japanese barbecue) sauce, sliced cabbage, and basil onion pesto. For a bit of green, it comes with ingen fry — tempura-battered and lightly fried crispy green beans.
Dining at the restaurant: Gyoza Bar’s long dining room has an exposed brick wall and was designed with sustainability in mind by Sara Gillespie of Live by Design; it uses reclaimed and low-carbon-footprint materials wherever possible.
Takeout: The Marukatsu Burger is available for takeout and delivery, though ingen fry is best eaten right out of the fryer at its peak of crispy perfection. The Aburi To-Go menu also offers frozen meals, meal kits, grab & go items, beverages, and a few grocery products.
Dockside Restaurant & Brewing Company (Granville Island)
Dockside is the place to be if you want water views on the quieter side of Granville Island. There are two burgers on offer at both lunchtime and happy hour. The Angus burger has optional cheddar, mozzarella, caramelized onion, mushroom, and/or bacon, and the Beyond Burger is veggie. Both are served with iceberg lettuce, tomato, onion, and special sauce on a sesame brioche bun. At happy hour, accompany your order with fresh-cut potato chips or truffle-Parmesan fries.
Dining at the restaurant: Sit indoors in the casual-but-elegant white dining room with floor-to-ceiling picture windows, inside the lounge, or on the large waterside patio looking out onto False Creek. The patio is closed from October to March; you can make in-season reservations for the patio, but note that inclement weather or low staffing levels might mean your reservation is moved indoors.
Takeout: The extensive Dockside To-Go menu, including wines by the bottle, is available through OpenTable.
El Guapo (Yaletown)
Though focussing on more classic Mexican fare, El Guapo also has several burger options. Choose the green chile beef burger with Monterey Jack or the Handsome burger which has two “slim” beef patties, American cheese, and pickles on a potato bun. Both have some Mexican flair with habanero mayo. For a vegetarian “burger,” there’s grilled zucchini on ciabatta with pan-fried halloumi, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and charred poblano pepper.
Dining at the restaurant: Choose from weekend brunch, lunch, happy hour, and dinner indoors or on the elevated sidewalk patio with glass awning. Friday and Saturday nights have a DJ.
Takeout: Call to order takeout, or order delivery through third-party services.
Feast — The Neighbourhood Table (West Van)
A favourite dish at this West Van neighbourhood gem is the Feast burger, coming with your choice of ground Alberta beef or FFC (Feast fried chicken) and served with mayo-based, mildly spicy “schmear,” crispy bacon strips, applewood-smoked cheddar, pickles, caramelized onion, tomato, and lettuce. Feast’s French, European-trained chef uses a special blend of fresh herbs in his patties and ensures they’re neither pressed nor covered when cooking so that the meat isn’t steamed and there’s no loss of moisture. For burger fans who want to avoid meat, choose either the brunch halibut burger or the veggie burger with marinated portobello, Emmental, and chile honey. All burgers are served on a certified-organic brioche bun from Granville Island’s A Bread Affair (there’s a gluten-free bun too), or you can sub lettuce.
Dining at the restaurant: Stop by for all-day dining, including brunch and happy hour. Choose an inside table at the bar and admire the rustic wood walls and pillars, or dine outside on the patio.
Takeout: Order takeout online or over the phone, or opt for delivery via third-party apps.
If you just want a little bit of burger before or after touring the latest at the Vancouver Art Gallery, order the bison-beef slider; if you’re hungry, order the plate of three. Whichever you choose, the plate comes with pickled cabbage — reflecting the restaurant’s Asian-fusion roots — and crispy shallots. Pair either with edamame, miso cauliflower bites, or gluten-free potato croquettes with truffled mayo. The kids’ menu has a beef slider served with potato wedges.
Dining at the restaurant: Sit inside on the second floor or outside on the huge terrace overlooking Robson Square. Restaurant proceeds support the Gallery and its programs.
Takeout: Order online for pickup and delivery. Call direct for takeout and receive a 10 percent discount.