This year has represented a surprisingly downhill trajectory for the fast food industry at large but the consumption of burgers in India has rallied against the turning tide of inflation, outdoing even the friendly neighbourhood pizzerias in a record making first. With a dash of genre-blurring gastronomy by burger joints coast-to-coast, attuned to regional flavour profiles, there has arguably never been a better time for these flame-grilled delights in our history. When it comes to who did it better, Homegrown has compiled an eclectic lineup of diners you can depend on.
I. The Burger Junction In Kakkanad, Kerala
Plump, precocious and game changing, The Burger Junction baked their first buns in 2014 and since then, they have delivered time and again on a red-blooded American carnivore's dream in God's Own Country. From the all beef, no bull patty of The Real Texan to the timeless TBJ Baconator, their revolving menu is a case study in innovation. If you have been hunting for Californian handcrafted perfection, then the closest you will come to it within the subcontinent is indisputably The Beast. You cannot go wrong with accompaniments like their Messi Fries, Cappuccino Shake and Ghost Pepper Buffalo Wings that will make your taste buds perspire.
Check out their menu here.
II. AKU’s – The Brrger Co. In New Delhi
Rumoured for its incredible mouthfeel by the essentialist gourmands among us, AKU's has become a household celebrity for the Meister lamb burgers loaded up with egg yolk and Chalapeno Burger with its gloriously charred chicken breast. While the Mac 'n Cheese side is a hit-or-miss, regulars swear by their truffle fries and Belgian chocolate shakes. For those who flinch at the sight of meat, the Beetburg with its root vegetable patty and Master Wu with wild mushrooms and jalapeños will have you reconsider switching to the cult of vegetarianism.
Browse their offerings here.
III. Burger Seigneur In Bengaluru, Karnataka
Served up by brothers Naufel and Nahiem Verkumb, the standout features for this bistro are how authentic their ingredients are — portobello mushrooms and cheeses sourced from Italy — and the renowned succulence of their tenderloin in the bestselling Trapper Creek burger. An unmatched contender for the top shelf is Morning Glory with patties simulated into a satisfying chewiness through the alchemy of soy bean while for the discerning lamb aficionado, their Detroit and Dynamo creations will not let you down. Indulge in a Jalapeño Popper or two while you are at it and wash it down with the decadent Peanut Butter Latte.
Glance at their spread here.
IV. Veronica’s In Mumbai, Maharashtra
A social climber in the burg-osphere, this Instagram worthy culinary destination cloistered in a Bandra by-lane is filling in some big shoes by opening up where the iconic St. Jude's bakery used to be. While their breakfast bagels and Po' Boy sandwich are already sending shockwaves down the city's spine, a more gratifying revelation is their home baked assortment of burgers that are not afraid to be juicy and extravagant. The Smash Burger with its double rib and marrow patty, BLTease brimming with ham seared to excellence and the Big Floyd spilling fried chicken in an homage to Chef Floyd Cardoz — who revolutionised the New York dining scene — are disrupting the landscape in a way no one could have foreseen.
Explore their creations here.
V. BurgerMan In Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Introducing new brown fibre-induced buns, slow cooking kitchen practices and farm fresh ingredients that make their burgers 'guilt free', the brand BurgerMan has deconstructed the junk label for the past decade. From the OG single Beemer to their unconventional Sriracha Boom, these chain restaurants have been proactive in the Indianisation of burgers, for instance their lentil inspired Smoked BBQ Bean and Teriyaki Jackfruit preparations that also serve as ingenious plant-based substitutes for meat.
Have a look at what they dish out here.
VI. Pronto In Kolkata, W. Bengal
A love affair with gourmet burgers and real-deal shawarmas that started during the pandemic has recently taken off in earnest, Chef Tanuj Sahay's Kolkata venture is now setting the benchmark with its hearty brioche goodness and house special sauces. Veering towards cutting edge, The Whaler with its crunchy fillets of fish and their A$AP Yam reputed for its sweet potato-chickpea patty are redefining what goes between the bun. A resounding winner though remains the low-maintenance but rather creamy ricotta and potato stuffed Star Struck that is comfort food for the soul, topped with smoked peppers, arugula and premium coleslaw .
Dip into their selections here.
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