Burgers are easily one of the most popular dishes in New Zealand. Nothing can beat a juicy burger patty with fresh vegetables, crispy bacon, special sauces and handmade buns.
There is an excess of gratifying burger restaurants in Auckland; in fact, some have spawned off-shoots around the rest of the country, and one has even gone international! But these are the best of the best.
The quest for the best burgers in Auckland should begin with higher expectations than what you’ll receive from a drive-thru window. And through some rigorous research, multiple stains, and a few quarrels over the perfect sauce to bun-size ratio, we did it – we produced our guide to the best burgers in Auckland.
You may demand extra ketchup or vehemently deny that pickles have any place in between two buns, but what we can all agree on is that you’ll want to know what every single burger on our list tastes like. Add these restaurants to your bucket list now to see how marvellous the burgers of Auckland are for yourself!
Commercial Bay, 7/21 Queen Street, Auckland CBD
Yes, it might seem like a weird place to start but trust us – Hotdog authorities Good Dog Bad Dog have demonstrated they also know what they are doing when it comes to creating excellent burgers, and their cheeseburger hoagie will change your life.
Cheap, junky, quick and easy, everything you want and nothing you don’t, the hoagie is served in a long bun with double smashed patties, double cheese, special sauce, pickles and onion. A true classic – they have a fried chicken and fish version too. To complete your visit to the America’s take a trip south of the border for cocktails at nearby Ghost Donkey.
St. Kevins Arcade, 18/183 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
A lowbrow eatery from Kyle and Jordan, who also bought us yum cha inspired Culprit. Adding to the vibe that is St Kevins Arcade, Lowbrow brow offers contemporary fast-food paired with natural wine. Surprisingly affordable, their ‘sandos’ run around $15 and are always crowd-pleasers,
The fried chicken (fried thigh, cheese, iceberg, pickles, mac sauce) or macdaddy ( brisket patty, iceberg, cheese, mac sauce) are our go-to though their Parma Jamma (panko fried eggplant, red pepper relish, mozzarella, lettuce) also gets raze reviews from our vegetarian friend.
A low key spot for a relaxed chill or date, we love the affordable price point, atmosphere and table service offered at Lowbrow and visit at least once a month.
Plus they have curly fries!
Multiple locations – Commercial Bay, Newmarket, Takapuna & Ponsonby
An upscale burger joint that serves delicious burgers, old-fashioned shakes, epic fries and cold beers. It’s a simple premise, but one that has helped it expand to 7 locations nationwide (and four in Auckland).
Cool, fun, hip and yet not outrageously expensive, anytime we head to Burger Burger out go-to is the classic double beef and cheese with potatoes skins with truffle oil and aioli. And maybe a cheeky cocktail or three.
184 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
An ’80s inspired street food eatery, Sneaky-Snacky is known for their Insta worthy glazed doughnut burgers and hot and spicy Nashville hot chicken.
Operating out of a hole-in-the-wall / Asian food court in the middle of K Road, this glutinous spot will absolve your souls and guide you to an imaginary afterlife full of oral joy and orgasmic delight. Seriously. We aren’t kidding.
Our go-to is the fried chicken doughnut burger with MSG fries and a soda – the glazed doughnut buns perfectly complement the juicy and crispy fried chicken. And well, if you are going to do this, you need to go all-in, so the MSG is a must.
You’ll want to use the gloves provided, as things do get messy, and clear your schedule for the rest of the day. The food coma here is real.
Pop-Up Food Truck
When it comes to claiming the title of the best burger in Auckland, the name first off the lips of those in the know is often BabyG Burger.
They have a cult following in Auckland, and given their transient /pop-up nature, you will have to do some searching to find them – but when you get your hand on one of these bad boys, you will see that you have struck gold.
Offering smashed burgers (a super-thin burger cooked with lots of flavor from the browned bits that develop during cooking) with the perfect sauce, salad, seasoning and meat ration, the BabyG burger experience will change your life and have you following their Instagram page habitually for a future update.
Think x2 smashed patties, x4 American cheese, pickles, onions, and special sauce, on a grilled potato bun. It is pure perfection.
Currently, they have an online order with a secret pick-up location available, but word on the street is they are searching for a more permanent home in Avondale where their faithful followers can gather once more.
354 West Coast Road, Glen Eden
Another disciple of the smash burger craze sweeping Auckland and the world, Rosier Brugers offers some of the most gargantuan burgers you’ll ever have set your eyes on.
Using only certified organic products from neighbouring Clarks Organic Meat Specialists and buns supplied by Glen Eden’s Crafty Baker, you need to be in quick each day before their limited stock of burger patties run out – frequently by 6 pm even on a weekday.
Started by award-winning barbecue pitmaster Dion Angove, this humble burger joint is one of the best burger places in West Auckland, with the classic Double Cheeseburger and 10hr Low n Slow BBQ’d pulled pork burger being two of our favourites.
While you can try your luck on the day, we recommend ordering online in advance to secure your preference -and always then seem to be ready right on the dot!
97 Karangahape Road, Auckland CBD
Sometimes you want a burger that’s just a little bit different, and the Korean owners of this humble burger bar cook up a delicious twist.
The tender beef Bulgogi Burger has been audaciously to come with butter garlic mushroom but what really makes it unique is the homemade Bulgogi sauce. Sure, there might be some grumpy purists out there who insist that fusion cuisine has no place in burger – but to those we say, your loss is our (weight) gain.
The porky pork burger and fried chicken are also worth seeking out. All can be made a combo for $5 extra, which includes a can of drink and crispy shoestring chip. The perfect spot to line your stomach before or after a night of drinking in the nearby nightclubs of Auckland CBD.
Multiple locations – Commercial Bay & Grey Lynn
Another one for burger purist to freak out over, but it’s undeniable that Wise Boy burgers have carved out a niche for themselves serving indulgent plant-based burger goodness.
Originally starting out in a food truck out made out of recycled materials, there are now two outposts of this plant-loving burger spot (whose vegan aioli and mayo sauces are now so popular they have found their way into a range of boutique stores and supermarkets across the country) for people who love guilt-free vegan burgers and a happier Earth.
Our current favourite is the Super Smash Bros with house-made mushroom and tofu smash patty topped with cheese, crinkle cut pickles, tomato, red onion, lettuce and their top-secret burger sauce. Their tater tots and ‘milk’ shakes are also to-die-for!
72 Taharoto Rd, Smales Farm, Takapuna
Yes, it’s a chain, but it’s a Kiwi born, raised and locally-owned spot that prides itself on providing burgers that are both quick and delicious.
If you are in a hurry, their curbside grab-and-go service allows you to get your fix without leaving the comfort of your car – all delivered in record time and can fit in one hand. Offering simple burgers, sides and shakes, Shake Out is positioning itself as a homegrown competition to the like of McDonald’s – except with fresher ingredients and all compostable packaging and organic NZ.
A hybrid of the USA’s In-N-Out Burger and Shake Shake from local behemoth Burger Fuel, Shake Out has carved itself a lucrative spot in the local market and is likely to expand significantly in the coming years. So get in now while it is still cool.
175 Symonds Street, Eden Terrace
This is a burger purist’s romantic ideal. Humble but beloved by all, Burger Geek is confirmation that less is more. Nearly impossible to savour slowly, the burgers disappear in seconds, probably due to that ideal balance of Wagyu and Angus cuts, freshly ground on-site each day, to squishy bun to toppings
No visit to this Eden Terrace hotspot is complete without ordering at least one for the table, but good luck leaving without ordering another. E.R.B.’s Krabby is simplicity at its finest: two double smashed patties, cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard and aioli.
That’s it. It’s the stuff of Plankton’s wet dreams, and you wouldn’t need an elaborate plan to get past Mr Krab and Spongebob to get a taste. It’s the simple things in life – something that Burger Geek knows and practices.
247 Dairy Flat Highway, Old Albany Village
A shining, beefy example of Auckland’s Smashburger trend, Fat Puku slings crisp-edged, pressed-thin patties on fresh as buns and a sprinkling of real quality ingredients “for a tasty motherfuckin’ burger.”
You can find these singles, doubles, or even plant-based Beyond Meat patties inside Pioneer Pies in the Old Village of Albany. Run by two burger-loving 80s kids raised on old-school hip hop, sneakers, and American cult movies, the burgers here are simple, real and tastes like an American dream.
Fat Puku also offers fries and soda – but that is it. They know who they are and what they are doing – and damn, do they do it well!
156 Church Street, Onehunga
Constantly on Best Burger and Cheap Eats lists of all kinds in Auckland, this Onehunga burger joint is a must-hit for its innovative & fresh flame-grilled gourmet burgers.
Generously sized, affordably priced and with a cute little garden out back to enjoy it in, Saltwater Burger Bar promises once you eat it once, you have to eat it again. And again. Their menu is vast, with toppings and bun’s varying based on your choice with something for everyone. You’ll want to try more than a few.
Our current favourite is the Go Nuts – with 160 grams of berry, streaky bacon, Fix & Fogg’s coffee and maple peanut butter camembert, banana tamarind jam, red onion, lettuce all served on an artisan ciabatta.
Edible works of art – we promise the entire menu is just as inspired.
4/1 Melton Road, Mount Wellington
Nearly immediately after opening, this unassuming Mt. Wellington takeaway started getting raves for its gourmet burger with hand made burger patties, sauces, fresh, quality ingredients, and weekly changing specials.
And that’s about it – but in one bite, you’ll realize you don’t need much more. If you can’t decide what to order – their fish burger is one of the best in Auckland – and their chicken salt fries are to die for.
Multiple locations – Ponsonby, Sylvia Park, CBD & Airport
Another burger spot in Auckland that believes less-is-more, Better Burger, originally started providing its simple burgers to punters out of the back of the Old Britomart Country Club and has since taken its simple-yet-elegant concept and run with it.
There are four burgers (single, double, chicken and mushroom), fries cut and made to order, thick shakes and soda. That’s it. For years this concept worked perfectly – but the wheels seem to have come off a little as of late with the closing of two CBD locations, and increasingly mixed reviews.
We still craze the simplicity of a double cheeseburger and fries hungover many a Sunday morning or before heading out on an international flight (yes, they are inside the international terminal now, so no more Maccas!) – but based on the feedback we are getting, it’s a little ‘hit and miss’ these days.
Let’s hope they get back on their game.
Multiple locations – Browns Bay, Northcote, CBD & Remuera
Three words: The Biggest Marco. This popular North Shore burger spot has rapidly expanded to fours locations in recent years, and they offer a ton of burger options, including Wagyu Beef, Chicken, Fish and Vege options. But one signature burger needs to be on your must-try list.
The Biggest Macro is, well, big, with four premium beef patties topped with four American smoked Cheddar cheese slices, four strips of maple smoked bacon, one fried egg, a hashbrown, lettuce and smothered in bourbon BBQ and mascarpone aioli. It’s like nothing you have ever seen and will have you swearing you’ll never eat another meal ever again.
For those with a weaker constitution, the simple beef and cheese are also exceptional. As always in life – order a side of curly fries.
549 Great North Road, Grey Lynn
One of the best things we love about living in Auckland is the array of Asian food on offer (including epic Korean BBQ and dumpling spots). Tiger Burger brings these Asian flavours into the burger-sphere with their playful takes and vibrant energy.
With a fun vibe reminiscent of street food vendors in Bangkok, these Asian-inspired burgers are never dull and come with the option of sleek cocktails or beer/wine since they are fully licensed. We recommend the Galbi with Aged Taupō beef, caramelised galbi onions, rice vinegar pickles and honey garlic mayo accompanied by a sied of K-Fries and Bibimbap Slaw.
Oh – and did we mention everything is ethical, sustainable and as locally sourced as possible!
20+ locations Auckland-wide
Come on, how could we not? The wide-ranging menu at Burger Fuel is rife with gourmet combinations, and fans of the burger chain will defend to the death their own go-to order.
Here is our call: the American Muscle, double obviously, boasting New Zealand Beer, Cheddar, Pickles, Dijon Mustard, and an extra helping of Burger Fuels blessed relish and aioli. Argue with this classic; we dare you. Paired with a chocolate thick shake and kumara fries.
With 88 locations in six countries, including 54 sites in New Zealand, BurgerFuel is the old faithful of good burgers in Auckland – and always a great standby with locations across the city. And judging by the lines each time we came out of lockdown into Level 3 – the entire town agrees with us here.
Multiple locations – Newmarket & Mount Eden
Now with two locations in the city (including the Westfield Newmarket shopping mall), Corner Burger’s big selling point is that their patties are pressed fresh daily, and sauces and sodas are handmade in-store. Locally owned and operated, the team here is dedicated to crafting the best burgers for our friends & family and have some of the friendliest and best staff in the business.
Each burger has options for Butter Glazed Bun, Gluten Free, Salad or a Double, and all chicken and beef offerings can be made vegan, so swing by, pull up a chair, grab a drink and start getting creative. There is also daily deals, fun cocktails – and a mini-snickers burger for dessert that cannot be missed.
Multiple locations – Pukekohe & Takapuna
Oh, you can order the fire-roasted and fried chicken at this upscale yet casual restaurant export from Hamilton, but you’d have to live with the regret of skipping the cheeseburger.
It might come as a bit of a surprise, but it makes sense when you realize this chain is owned by the Burger Fuel group(the original name in good burgers in Auckland).
Its beauty lies in the fact that it’s sophisticated without being exotic while still embracing the inherent messiness that makes a burger so darn fantastic. Squeezed between two fluffy buns, there is local Hereford prime beef, pickles, cheese, mustard, onion, mayo and ketchup.
As one friend so aptly put it, the cheeseburger is like manna from heaven—only with pickles on top.