We all love a great burger, especially during these summer months when we celebrate our Independence Days; and nothing gets our erudite readers more worked up than a healthy debate over prime beef patties and buns. So here’s our 2015 installment of The City Paper’s listing of best Bogotá burgers.
If anyone knows how to make a classic American burger it’s Daniel Kaplan, executive chef of restaurants: Ugly American and La Fama. Having lived and worked in the States where he wasn’t exactly flipping patties in a Brooklyn diner, but rather working as sous-chef at the National Press Club in Washington, Kaplan, returned to Colombia to start his own restaurant venture before delving deep into smoked and slow cooked meats.
At Ugly American, Daniel has perfected the art of America’s favorite food without dabbling with too many flavors and messing around with a recipe which has stood the test of time. So liberate yourself from the blasé and enjoy Ugly’s Ugly burger ($35,000), the Fat Kid Cheeseburger accompanied with a heaping of extra thin fries or the latest addition, a Gouda and mushroom burger which is on the menu until the end of July, as part of the Better Burger Project, in which Ugly American is the only international contestant.
Calle 81 No.9–12
Bogota Beer Company
Our “smallest largest brewery” in Bogotá just got that much bigger with news that the landmark Bogota Beer Company has joined the Anheuser-Busch InBev family of world-class beer makers. While we will always love their Belgian “temporada” and a year-round selection of micro-brewed beers, the BBC also offers excellent bar food including a stand-alone Blue Cheese Burger which is generous and a satisfying meal in itself. So well done BBC for delivering on yet another great burger in the city, and for all those good times to be had in the best city pub. You can find BBC’s Blue Cheese Burger at all their venues. And there are many of them!
Ten floors and an elevator is all that separates you from a corner of burger heaven in Bogotá. Located on the rooftop of the Click-Clack Hotel, Apache Burger Bar is a secret no more, thanks to their artisanal and cooked-to-perfection beef patties. Guests have several options when it comes to toppings, yet I tend to find that the melted cheese and bacon burger is my “go to” option when needing a break from running errands near the Parque 93.
Carrera 11 No. 93–77
No burger article is complete without mentioning one of the city’s fast food institutions: El Corral. Ask any 40-something, who has lived through black-outs and curfews, which establishment keeps its following and chances are you’ll get the same answer: El Corral. At a price that’s reasonable and with fresher toppings than you might find in other fast food outlets, the Chipotle and Corralisima have earned their legendary status among Bogotanos. So when you’ve wrapped up your salsa bar crawl and don’t want to start the weekend on an empty stomach, El Corral delivers. Expect to pay an average of $23,000 for the burger combo.
The Agadón burger reached Bogotá thanks to restaurateur Nimrod Molad’s inconclusive search across Latin America for a perfect Angus burger. Inspired by two Tel Aviv eateries, the Agadir and the Odeon, Molad broke the mold in Bogotá with the gourmet burger; and even though he has since moved on to another food venture, his ‘Baita’, Agadón, has stayed the course with its burger platters, including their much-admired bacon and cheese Ranch Burger. Weighing-in at 300 grams, the Agadón Burger is a big star, especially on weekends when it’s always a full house. Good value for money, with burgers priced between $24,000 and $29,000.
Carrera 13 No. 85–75
Sierra Nevada’s burger outlets have been sprouting across the city and for one simple reason: they are good. Well, I can think of another reason: they are reasonable. With a fresh and honest take on a fast lunch burger, Sierra Nevada has several options for their clients, but at $13,900 for the ‘Sierra Nevada’ I tend to not sway too far from the familiar burger path. The Sierra combo also includes a choice of a soda or Ice Tea and comes with an extra thin fries. Always a reasonable lunch option when dashing around town. Several venues in the city, including Zona G, Zona T, Parque Virrey, Parque 93 and Calle 100.
Even though we have given space to certain establishments across the city, there are two burger venues which have been vying for our attention recently and are worth a try: Burger Kill and the chili smothered burger of American Burger. But do not fret. In the increasingly busy and crowded burger market, the one thing we all need is some extra time, and extra fries…always!