It’s official: the era of burgers is upon us. What with the arrival of international cult-favorites (we’re looking at you Shake Shack and Mo’s Burgers) in Philippine shores, there’s no denying that this fast food favorite is experiencing some renewed appreciation at the moment. Though they’ve never really wavered in popularity, they’ve become such a constant part of our food adventures that they have somehow melted in the background – an iconic meal choice that we’ve stopped giving special attention to just because of how much we’ve gotten used to them.
Thankfully, us Filipinos are the type who doesn’t need much nudging when it comes to appreciating, or in this case, re-appreciating food legends. Case in point: the long hours we are willing to take just to taste a good, quality burger. But while there’s nothing really wrong about fangirling or fanboying over international favorites, we think it’s also important to ‘stop and smell the grill’ of those that have been in close proximity to us all this time. Below, a list of eight local burger chains that can serve you some quality grub minus the hefty price tag and the long lines.
1. Chevy Burger
Address: 113 J. P. Rizal St, Marikina, 1800 Metro Manila
‘Little place, Big taste.’ Chevy Burger couldn’t have put a better tagline for what they offer. The small shop tucked in Marikina may not have all the pomp and glamour of other well-marketed burger chains, but they do serve one of the best and most affordable bites in burger land. For only P85, you can enjoy their Messy Melt, a burger made with a juicy beef patty, mushroom, bacon, cheese, and cheese sauce. A look at its ingredients may make MSG haters crinkle their nose in disgust, but the burger actually hits the right tone of savory without overkilling on salty. If you’re feeling a little fancy, you can go for their premium burgers (all under P150!) and order the Chevy Belly, a towering beauty of beef patty, ham, egg, cheese, chicken spread, mushroom, bacon, onion, tomato, and lettuce. It’s like breakfast, only made cooler.
2. Scott Burger
Address: Third Floor, Uptown Place Mall, 36th Street Corner 9th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
Here’s the burger chain that started the BUY 1, TAKE 1 trend that many affordable burger spots have since adopted in the country: Scott Burger, the 1985 brand that has reopened its doors in Bonifacio Global City last year. The original burger shop was started by Gregory Ty, a Filipino who thought of bringing one of America’s favorites here after working in the U.S. food scene. Gregory Ty is actually the uncle of Lloyd Lee, husband of beauty queen Shamcey Supsup. The pair is now the force behind the new and improved brand which has returned to delight Filipinos with their Buy 1, Get 1 deals.
What’s great with Scott Burger is that, even though it does come at a very cheap price mark, the brand doesn’t cut corners when it comes to taste. You can get its Premium Hamburger for only P105 (P155 if you want it to come with fries and drink), which is a quick light bite of the classic patty, cheese, lettuce, and tomato combination. It does come on the smaller side which may leave you unsatisfied if you prefer bigger bites, but that’s what the Buy 1, Get 1 deal is for. So you can get two for yourself. The place also offers other fast food fares like spaghetti, fish fillets, and chicken bites.
3. Blazing Burger
Address: 1207, 444 JP Rizal St, Makati, 1207 Metro Manila
One of the best burger joints in Makati is also one of the most unnoticeable ones. Tucked in one of the less noisy streets of JP Rizal street is Blazing Burger, a hidden favorite among those in the area who want to get their fill of affordable quarter pounders. One of their best is their Ultimate Cheesy Blaze Burger (P105), a heavy whooper with a succulent beef patty, ketchup, mayonnaise, sliced cheese, cheese sauce, lettuce, tomato, and onion. We love how the cheese sauce doesn’t overwhelm the rest of the flavors of the burger – you can still taste every other ingredient there, the patty most especially. Don’t forget to order their wedge cut fries for the ultimate cheat day meal.
4. The Snack Shack
Address: 109 V. Luna Extension Brgy. Sikatuna, Quezon City (and other branches)
Everything about the Snack Shack screams comfort, from its good grub to its cozy interiors. The place, which has two other branches, has become low-key popular for its guilty-but-definitely-worth-it menu which consists of the regular comfort food lineup of cheesy fries, hotdogs, and of course, burgers. You definitely get good quality and big servings for what you pay for – its Grilled Bacon Cheeseburger, which only costs P130 is a quarter pounder goodness of 100 percent beef patty, grilled bacon strips, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. We love how the flavors of the bacon and patty are balanced by the lettuce, tomatoes, and onions – you don’t need to worry about everything being too salty for your liking. Request to have more than just a few napkins when you make your order though. Each burger can be quite a mouthful so you’ll definitely need them!
5. Hungree Burgers
Address: 1421-B Zobel Roxas St, San Andres Bukid, Manila, Metro Manila
When it comes to burgers, Hungree Burgers definitely has a history to brag about. Established by the late veteran crooner Arthur Manuntag and his wife Kathryn, this burger shop started as a nameless kiosk during the 90s at the Manila Jai Alai building. It was only in 2000 that the couple decided to finally give a name to their brainchild, adopting Hungree Burgers AND marking another feat by being the first to offer eight-inch burgers in Manila. The joint is presently going as strong as ever thanks to the regular following they have managed to maintain over the years. Our favorite on their menu? Their Double Decker which is a definite steal at only P109. Perfect for those who want to treat themselves to a little bit more protein, this burger comes with double patties and cheese slices. Talk about a good kind of overdose!
6. Big Better Burgers
Address: G/F, The Pergola Mall, Aguirre Ave., BF Homes, Paranaque City (and other branches)
BF Homes has always been popular as a food destination, and for good reason. The place has some of the best and underrated culinary spots in the city, one of which is Big Better Burgers. Though the burger joint has expanded now with a few more branches, the brand remains under the radar, something a lot of its patrons actually wants to stay. But alas, good things must be shared, and the burgers from this place perfectly fit the bill. It’s the place to go if you want to try something a little bit different with your burgers. It offers quite a few unique combinations like the Hahalapeño (P135) with spicy pepper cubes, onion, and other spices on top of a quarter pounder juicy patty and the Bacon BBQ (P149) which, though may sound odd with its bacon, beef, and BBQ sauce mix, actually works. If you’re really hungry and don’t mind spending a bit more, you can go for their Double Dare, a double-decker of premium beef patty, cheese, tomatoes, and lettuce.
7. Campfire Burgers
Address: 23 Scout Limbaga Ext, Diliman, Quezon City, 1103 Metro Manila
What comes to mind when you think of a campfire? Comfort? Coziness? Perfectly grilled treats? Those three things are definitely captured by Campfire Burgers, a small joint in Diliman serving good grub at affordable prices. You’ll have to prepare yourself before going in and placing your order. Their burgers are big and stuffed enough to give you a food coma despite their affordable price points. We love The Fix (P139) a jawbreaker with a quarter pounder of fresh beef patty, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, cream cheese, double bacon, and their signature Campfire sauce. The burger is so big, you may actually need to request for a fork and knife to actually go through it. Another one of our favorites is the Scout Reaper (P149), which can be as notorious as its name. Though not as tall as The Fix, you can expect it to make you feel full for a good half day or so with its ⅓ lbs pure beef patty, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and jalapenos. Campfire serves it with their own Reaper sauce, a thick, spicy, and savory beauty made of real Caroline reaper peppers.
8. Burger Garage
Address: 1121 Rodriguez Ave, Makati, Metro Manila
Burger Garage is no longer a new name for those who love hunting down under-the-radar quality food spots. A shop with a theme inspired by the automotive industry, this little Makati gem has been steadily building its reputation of being one of the best burger joints that offer affordable fares. One of their best-sellers (and our top pick) is the Bumper-2-Bumper (P149) a meaty treat of pure beef double-patty cheeseburger topped and sandwiched by lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. Unlike other burgers that can get borderline “umay” once they go the double-patty route, this one from Burger Garage just has the right amount of savory balanced out by the freshness of its veggies. Pair it with an ice cold bottle of beer for extra flair!