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These 11 Awesome Euro-Burgers Will Remind You Of Home The Next Time You Travel

Okay, okay. I know you’re supposed to eat local food when you travel. But sometimes you need comfort food to transport you back home. Everyone does it when they’re traveling (even if they don’t admit it). Hamburger proliferation is in full effect across Europe at the moment, and they’re making the American institution their own. It reminds me of what Vincent says at the beginning of Pulp Fiction, “It’s the little differences. I mean, they got the same sh*t over there that we got here, but it’s just…it’s just, there it’s a little different.”

Here are some “must visit” burger joints to hit if you’re traveling through Europe this spring. They’ll surprise you with their inventiveness, while also hitting all of your nostalgia receptors:

MOSCOW, RUSSIA

It’s always interesting to see how another culture views your culture, especially if we’re talking about Russia. Starlight Diner probably doesn’t have the most amazing, or gourmet burger in the city. But, it 100% offers a decent burger in a boxcar diner, replete with waitresses dressed like high school cheerleaders. They’re open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Moscow is a 24 hour city. When you stumble out of a club at 8 in the morning after waaaaay too much vodka, Starlight offers the food to soak up all that grain alcohol. The environment is so John Waters-level kitsch in exacting detail and accuracy that you’ll forget you’re not in Baltimore.

This is how they see us. And they’re not exactly wrong.

 

WARSAW, POLAND

Barn Burger is the height of the hamburger trend sweeping across Poland. The beef is local. The bread is fresh baked. All their sauces are made in house. Their fries are hand cut. This is on the trendier side of Warsaw, so expect a lot of Polish millennials standing in line. A line which is totally worth the wait. Their Muppet Burger has local cheese and bacon and pickled jalapeños, something that was damn near nonexistent in that part of Europe 10 years ago. Plus it’s tasty as hell.

 

BERLIN, GERMANY

Burgers and hip-hop are two of my favorite things. This roving pop up and food truck has some of the best burgers in a city — what puts them over the top is they blast classic hip-hop from their truck or tent and provide plenty of beer. It becomes a place to hang out and party on the street after you’ve had your meal. Very Berlin. Everything is locally sourced and cooked with serious care. They also bring guest chefs to run the show all the time. This means there’s always something new on the menu.

 

PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC

High end burgers have arrived in Prague. It was bound to happen in a city with tens of thousands of American ex-pats. The Tavern Praha is as close to a classic American gastro pub as you’re going to get. Their cocktails are spot on. Their burgers are perfect. They even have waffle-cut fries. Oh, and plenty of local beer to wash all that delicious comfort food down. Situated just off Riegrovy Sady, The Tavern is the perfect place to fill up before a day (and night) of beer garden mayhem.

It’s a tiny place, so make a reservation if you don’t want to wait for ages.

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OMG! 😍😋😋 #daperderelatesta

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ZAGREB, CROATIA

Burgeraj is a lot of fun. They serve excellent burgers with potato talers instead of fries. Burgeraj also has one of the best collections of craft beers available in the whole of Croatia. Hell, it’s impressive by European standards in general. Locals hang out, eat burgers, and drink beer–often spilling out into the street in the wee hours. You’ll be hard-pressed not to make new friends at this wonderful place. Their chef combines all sorts of local ingredients to make some unique tasting burgers.

Forest mushrooms, check. Local funky cheeses, check. Decapitated Lego head lampshades, check.

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Zadnji radni dan. Malo se igramo 😃 #burgeraj

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All dressed up for Friday. #burgeraj

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COPENHAGEN, DENMARK


“Ever wondered how a piece of fried buffalo mozzarella would look like if it was covered in an avalanche of chili mayo?” Oh, my lord in heaven YES! Cock’s and Cows has three locations in Copenhagen. It’s amazing they don’t have 50. They are crushing the local burger game. They don’t just rely on beef, either; they have sumptuous fish, chicken, cheese, vegan, egg, you-name-it options. Their menu is full of delicious treats including a seriously stellar, and boldly inventive cocktail menu. Cock’s and Cows is a must for anyone visiting fair Copenhagen… right after your reservation at Noma.

LONDON, THE UNITED KINGDOM

It’s hard to pick a great burger place in London. There are just too many to choose from. So I’m going with the place I know best: MEATliquor. Their Dead Hippie burger is just outstanding, featuring mustard fried meat, an excellent pickle, and perfect sauce. MEATliquor always has a great atmosphere, too. The cocktail bar is fun on its own. I also really like their service style–everyone’s food comes out on one, big communal cookie sheet. It’s not the easiest place to grab a table. And sometimes you’ll probably wait a good hour, even if you have a reservation (restaurants make money at the bar, shocking, I know). But all of that is just London. It’s part of the experience. I’ve always met Londoners drinking and eating here.

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Oh lord 💛🍔🍟🙌🏼 #meatliquor

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BOLOGNA, ITALY

A lot of Americans go to Italy — but most of those go to Rome. In fact, Rome is the 12th most visited city in the world. Bologna doesn’t even register in the top 100. Well Done Burger is confidently, and correctly named. Bologna is known for having ancient towers, the oldest university in the Occident, and arguably the best bar scene and the most amazing food culture in Italy. Well Done Burger is outstanding. Every time I go to Bologna, I have to go at least once. They have a burger that replaces the meat patty with an arancini! Like so much food in Bologna, everything is skillfully collected and lovingly cooked. They even bake the buns in the shop so you smell baking bread when you arrive early enough for lunch. Oh, and instead of their awesome thick-cut fries on the side, you can get perfect calamari fritti.

Calamari fritti!

 

DUBLIN, IRELAND

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#1ofYour5ADay!

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I love Ireland. It’s the place I’ve visited the most, after Singapore. The people. The food. The Guinness. Oh, and the whisky. There’s an ease to life there that’s intoxicating. Bunsen is intoxicating, too, in its gentle, family-run simplicity. They are making very basic burgers on the surface. Their menu is very small. What really makes Bunsen stand out is their care of ingredient sourcing and the way in which they prepare those ingredients. They’ve sourced local beef from specific cows, which is ground daily on site. They found the perfect bun (an Amish dinner roll) and have a friend bake them daily in his bakery. They source all their produce from local farmers and hand pick it. They only use Jewish delicatessen pickles (f*ckin’-a, right?). Their search for the perfect cheese led them to making their own cheese before deciding American yellow cheese was unassailable for the perfect burger. The truth is, they’re worth the trip to Dublin alone.

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#IGotTheseCheeseburgers….

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Burger envy outside Bunsen Temple Bar.

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PARIS, FRANCE


Burger culture is exploding in France at the moment. It’s no surprise in a city focused on fashion. Burgers are this decade’s most fashionable food trend in Europe. Blend has been around before it became fashionable. They have four locations across Paris now and serve some serious burgers. It’s also Paris. Everything is done in-house to the highest quality and standard. The menu is vast and interesting. It’s also surprisingly inexpensive for Paris–a burger will set you back €15 at lunch with fries and a drink. Their Signature burger has an onion compote made from onions, balsamic, blue cheese and bacon. It’s perfection. Make a reservation.

 

MADRID, SPAIN

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Terminamos este trabajo con la última fotografía de esta composición gastronómica que montamos para el equipo de @goikogrill . Después de un tiempo haciendo fotos a sus hamburguesas, decidimos que era momento de cambiar de estilo, de hacer algo diferente acorde a la nueva estética gastronómica que impera en las redes sociales. Para eso, pensamos en que sería una buena idea aprovechar el formato de Instagram, y crear una macrofotografía con la intención de dividirla en 6 fotografías independientes con sentido por sí mismas, pero que conformaran una sola imagen cuando estuvieran juntas. Primero, dividimos la mesa en 6 cuadrantes en formato 1:1. A continuación, decidimos cual iba a ser el elemento principal en cada cuadrante: todos debían contener un plato diferenciado del resto, un protagonista con elementos a su alrededor. Una vez escogido el plato de cada cuadrante, rellenamos huecos con los ingredientes que formaban ese plato, decorando y equilibrando cada cuadrante. Por último, quedaban los puntos en común, colocar elementos en mitad de los cuadrantes para que se viesen completos al ver la foto final. Dos horas y media más tarde, terminamos el trabajo de Food Stylism e hicimos la foto, colocando la cámara sobre el trípode y elevándola lo máximo posible. En cuanto a la iluminación, teníamos preparados 2 flashes en remoto con Softbox porque el día había salido nublado, pero nos la jugamos: colocamos la mesa al lado de un ventanal y un reflector plateado de 1'5 m al otro lado de la composición… fue más que suficiente para obtener una luz suave y libre de sombras raras y feas. Este fue, a grandes rasgos, el proceso que seguimos para sacar esta fotografía. Lo pasamos muy bien trabajando esa mañana, y nos sentimos muy afortunados de que el equipo de @goikogrill siga confiando en nosotros para sacar adelante nuevas ideas y conceptos visuales para sus burgers. Seguro que repetimos la experiencia, pero…¿cuál será la próxima apuesta? Se aceptan sugerencias 😉👍🏻 #food #foodstylism #familiagoikogrill #goikogrillgb #foodmadrid #foodie #foodart #foodporn #gastroart #gastroarte #gastronomy #gastromadrid #igersfood #igersgastro #igersmadrid #jdavidfuertes #juan

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Spain has the best food in Europe. So does Italy. No, Spain. Damnit! They’re both too amazing to put one over the other. Sorry, France. Goiko Grill in Madrid is just fantastic. They cut a hole in their buns so you can dip your potato wedges into the creamy egg yolk on your burger. Seriously. It’s neigh on genius. Everything is local. Everything is delicious. The atmosphere is Madrid–plenty of booze and conversation all centered around tasty food. In true Spanish tradition, they have a €11.50 Menu del Dia (burger, fries, bottomless wine). They close for siesta around 5 p.m., and reopen around 8 p.m. for dinner. Pass the evening over a table of amazing burgers, bottles of wine, and great company at Goiko Grill. Then mosey around Madrid’s amazing bars and cafes until the wee hours.

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Ñammmmm 🍴😋 #tbt #goikogrill #hamburger #eat

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Sublime y adictiva!!!

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HAPPY TRAVELS! AND EVEN HAPPIER EATING!

Zachary Johnston is a director, writer, traveler, and part-time chef and mixologist. You can see for yourself on Instagram @ztp_johnston, or on Twitter@ZTPJohnston.

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