If one American food as successfully achieved world domination, it’s the humble hamburger. Ever since early restaurateur Louis Lassen first served a hungry hurried customer some grilled beef trimmings and pressed them between two slices of toasted bread, the burger has become the fast food of choice. Today, patties are piled high with a huge array of toppings and use every ingredient under the sun. Each chef has his or her own twist on the classic blueprint and almost all are totally delicious. However, there are some creations that stand head and shoulders above the rest. Here’s our list of the most legendary burgers of all time.
Chief Wiggum - Fergburger
With such a host of well-established franchises all over the world, it can be difficult for individual burger joints to gain the international reputation that they often deserve. One restaurant that has is the legendary Fergburger of Queenstown, New Zealand. This Mecca for burger lovers specialises in gourmet creations fashioned from unorthodox ingredients. While every item on their menu is worth sampling, the jewel in the crown has to be the Chief Wiggum, which combines pork belly, hash brown and apricot seeded mustard in an unusual and utterly spectacular sandwich.
Ari Gold - Patty and Bun
While it may not have the tradition of the United States, Britain is fast establishing itself as a pioneer in the burgerverse. With street food emporiums popping up all over the country, a generation of young chefs are taking the hamburger blueprint and running with it. One of the most acclaimed modern burger joints anywhere on earth is London-based Patty and Bun. Delivering dirty burgers of the best possible kind, the king of P&B is the imperious Ari Gold Cheeseburger, which uses a special smokey mayo to bring out the flavour of their wonderfully juicy beef. This burger is not forgotten in a hurry.
The Whopper - Burger King
It may not be the most glamorous, but there can be no doubt that The Whopper is one of the most influential burgers ever created. The first “gimmick” burger to debut on the fast food market, the world would not have industry favourites like the Big Mac were it not for Burger King’s signature menu item. Layers of beef, tomato, lettuce, pickles and onion are sandwiched between two sesame seed buns and slathered in mayonnaise and ketchup, creating an iconic flavour that has a worldwide fanbase.
Double Cheeseburger - Au Cheval
Voted as the best burger in the world on numerous occasions, the sandwiches for sale at Chicago’s Au Cheval have rightly reached iconic status. The limited menu only offers either single or double cheeseburgers, but there is a reason that customers are prepared to spend hours outside in the cold Midwestern air to enter this temple to beef. Optional toppings of thick cut back bacon and a sunny-side-up egg can be added to create a “completely transformational burger experience”, according to The Burger Guide. This is one to add to the burg-cket list.
Le Bartholome - Big Fernand
Leave it to the French to turn the humble burger into an essential dining experience. The thing that sets the burgers apart at Big Fernand is the quality of their ingredients. Beef is sourced from the finest French butchers, the bread is made specifically for the chain by one of the most famous bakeries in Paris, and the whole thing is topped with unpasteurised cheese, in an oozy orgy of unrivalled decadence. Le Bartholome, featuring smoked raclette, bacon, barbecue sauce and chives, is the undisputed daddy of them all. Magnifique.
The Slider - Whitecastle
While epic and iconic burgers are today being built all over the world, it is important that chefs do not forget their heritage. Named by Time magazine as the most influential burger of all time, the simple, square Slider from Whitecastle is rightly hailed as the one that started it all. Originally created in 1921, The Slider has been satisfying customers for almost a century. Movies have been made, songs have been sung and chefs have been inspired by their first taste of the mythical cheeseburger. It might not always get the plaudits, but were it not for Whitecastle, we would not have any of the other legends on this list.
With so many delicious creations constantly springing up all over the world, it seems our love affair with the burger will continue for some time yet. However, as with any food, there are some examples that warrant more attention than others. For anyone looking to taste the pinnacle of what the burgerverse has to offer, look no further than this list.