A food hunt in Penang won’t do much good if you can’t figure out where to get some unique gourmet burgers to gobble down.
From a burger without a basic ingredient to a cheese drowned bad boy, one with a Japanese flavour twist and many more mouth-watering mashups, you’ll be craving to know what every single burger on the list tastes like.
Here's our recommendation of the best burgers you need to try at least once when you're in Penang:
1. Dandy Modern Food
You may have eaten a full contemporary dinner here, but you are still missing out if you haven’t tried Dandy's Lamb Burger
. The dealmaker is the patties itself, made in their own butchery using 100% lean lamb, stuffed with seasonings and aromatic herbs before barbequed to perfection on the sizzling grill. Roasted curried cauliflower, cheese, fresh coriander, lettuce and Dandy’s secret sauce further add taste and texture to the gamey goodness. Be sure to leave some stomach space for desserts.
2. Alfresco G Trattoria
If you’re torn between a burger and a pizza, the Pizza Burger
at this casual-dining restaurant has you covered. The one-of-a-kind stack features a 120g juicy beef patty piled with BBQ sauce, caramelised onions, a sunny side up egg, turkey bacon, gherkins, shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese cocooned in pizza dough, then baked to perfection in a stone oven. With the flavours on par with its creativity, there’s no other burger like this in Penang.
3. Little Journeyman Cafe
The term “out-of-the-box” gets thrown around quite a lot, but when describing this cosy cafe’s Fried Chicken Burger
, it perfectly fits. The thick patty is coated with chilli powder and fried to crispy perfection before it’s pressed between the buns and paired with curly fries. Your mind would immediately roll the drums as a waiter heads to your table with their signature Raclette cheese, scrapes the melted cheese and blankets it over the slab of meat. Did someone say extra cheese?
4. Let’s Meat
This American-inspired cafe is a firm favourite among meat lovers and deservedly so, as both flavours and portions are spot-on. The menu includes a few burger choices, with their Blackened Fish Burger
being a top pick. Expect a blackened Cajun fish pimped up with mango salsa, caramelised onions and greens, placed between a poppy seed bun, and served with fries. Does pulled pork get you excited? If yes, check out their ½ Pound Pig Burger
, a whopping ½ pound of pulled pork topped with coleslaw, which translates as meaty, messy and delicious in every mouthful! Factor in uncommon smoothies, neat service and uplifting ambience too.
5. Hard Rock Hotel
Just like the rock-and-roll themed memorabilia and energetic live bands, the burgers at Hard Rock Hotel are a thing of pure beauty. With a juicy beef patty slathered with hickory barbeque sauce and crowned with caramelised onions, seasoned turkey bacon, cheddar cheese and vine-ripened tomatoes, their Hickory Barbeque Bacon Cheeseburger
straddles the line between sweet and savoury. Amidst the meaty options on the menu, their Veggie Leggie Burger
, made of a grilled veggie patty topped with portobello mushroom, squash and roasted red peppers, will make you rethink your stance on a vegetarian burger. Milkshakes are optional but encouraged.
6. Something Else Bistro & Bar
Bread is boring and meat is everything. If your lips curved upwards after reading this, you've got to try this full-of-life bar’s Naked Burger
. Aptly named, chicken chops play the role of buns and stuffed in between are a piece of grilled steak with crispy pork bacon, a fried egg and fresh greens. A handful of golden fries and brown sauce completes the dish. One thing for sure, the meaty stack tastes even better than your imagination. In the beverage department, their inventive cocktails top the chart.
7. Junk Cafe
If you want to survive a conversation about good burgers in Penang, you need to have tried the ones at Junk Cafe. Every element of the burger is top-notch without any exaggerated twists. From the buns to sauces and of course, the juicy meat patties, they are made from scratch. Don’t go pass their Tzatziki Burger
– a flavour-packed beef patty smeared with a refreshing sauce made of Greek yoghurt, mint, paprika and cucumbers, and Blood Cream Chicken
– patty bathed with their signature Blood Cream sauce (imagine a classier version of cheese meleleh
!). With an option to double or triple the patties, decide like the word "calories" never existed.
8. Awesome Canteen
Tucked along Victoria Street, Awesome Canteen may not scream burgers at first sight, but the menu does feature several flavoursome picks. One of their most talked-about burgers is the Peanut Butter Burge
r, a patty of either chicken or beef, topped with homemade peanut butter, caramelised onions and melted Swiss cheese, all held together by an artisanal poppy seed bun. Another big hit is their Paleo Burger
. The deconstructed burger consists of their signature patties, sautéed diced portobello mushrooms, a heap of salad, scrambled eggs, roasted pumpkins and guacamole salsa, with no signs of a bun. A healthy detour, though no less delicious.
9. Flip Burger
This burger hub boasts an adventurous menu which includes one of the most Instagrammed creations, the Furippu Katsu Baga Burger
. Picture this: in the middle of a charcoal bun lies a panko pork pocket filled with chicken loaf and lava cheese and glazed with teriyaki sauce. If you fancy something sweet, opt for the Sweet Swedish
– an unusual unison of peanut butter and jelly, bacon strips, cheese sauce and cheddar over a patty of your choice. Sticking to classic is what you seek? Then sink your teeth in their Signature Pork Flip Burger
. If for some reason, you still need more incentive to check out this eatery, we have only addressed a part of their menu.
10. Burger Society
Burger Society may be a new kid on the block, but burger purists are already having a great time. You'll need to come back over and over again to try all the burgers on board. Boot with either Trio Cheese
– juicy beef patty decked with mozzarella, cheddar and parmesan crisps or Golden Cereal Fried Chicken
– a combination of Nestum-fried chicken and salted yolk sauce. For vegetarians, the Vegelicious Burger
, filled with a delicious patty made from mushrooms, broccoli and black beans, is something to be marvelled at.
11. G9 Dining House
A cheeseburger, but not as you’re familiar with. We’re talking about a homemade patty (chicken or beef) piled with Mac & Cheese
and cushioned on a charcoal bun with fresh greens. Just the sight of the macaroni cascading down the burger affirms that you're getting the good stuff. While this alone makes for an excellent meal, the key is to pair it up with any of their signature milkshakes, and you have an easy win on social media too.
12. Blue Vegan Restaurant
Good vegan burgers are hard to come by. So, if you haven’t tried this blue-themed restaurant’s burgers, you definitely should. The Black Magic Energy Mushroom Burger
features a fried Eryngii
mushroom topped with homemade vegan mayo. The resoundingly crunchy patty is said to be comparable to KFC, thanks to their special homemade flour. While their Authentic Panggang Style Tempeh Burger
, with a mouth-watering combination of grilled tempeh and homemade Panggang
sauce, couldn't be more perfect for those seeking a spicy-savoury spin. Wash it all down with their vegan wine, for a memorable vegan dining experience.
13. Yeah Moze aka Manzoku
Many Japanese restaurants do add in smatterings of bonito flakes or seaweed as toppings to dispel the monotony of a regular burger on their menu. But the folks at Manzoku has upped the game with their Sushi Burgers
. Buns are swapped with deep-fried rice katsu
, which are seasoned with special Japanese spices, and once the burger is built, it is wrapped with a seaweed sheet. Flavour offerings include salmon mentai
, pork kare
pork and at times, unagi
. Don't forget to order their pearl milk tea as well.
14. The BRGR
If adding layers of cheese on meat patties doesn’t excite you much already, how about blanketing the entire burger itself with cheese? If you have nodded yes, head over to The BRGR and order their Dirty Cheesy Burger
. Staying true to its name, you'll be served a classic chicken burger generously topped with nacho cheese sauce and paired with curly fries. Regular favourites include their Sweet & Salty Teriyaki Chicken
, Korean Spicy Grilled Chicken
and Soft-Shell Crab
, to name a few. Each one tastes better than the last, so good luck picking a winner.