It’s clear by now that the restaurant burger isn’t going anywhere, but with every shop and restaurant serving up that classic meat sandwich, how does one make their burger stand out? Well, we’ve sifted through the burger archives to find the year’s biggest burger trends.
- Ramen + Burger: When Nombe introduced their ramen burger, it had ramen addicts and burger aficionados alike rejoicing. With a 50/50 pork belly and Wagyu patty sitting between discs of ramen noodles and toppings that would out-umami Umami burger, we thought that was the peak until Hapa Ramen revealed this week on Twitter that they too have been playing with the burger. Cheeseburger Ramen that is. Yes, ma’am, we’re talking cheesy-jalapeño meatballs floating in a broth with charred ginger, tomatoes, bacon and veal bones.
- Remixing: As for the accoutrement, sometimes it’s hard to steer from the OGs: cheese, bacon, onions, mayo… We’ve seen some trends that dance that line by paying homage with some unique interpretations like Kronnerburger’s cheese-mayo which embraces both condiment faves into one amazing sauce (an aioli de fromage will also appear on the burger at Franck LeClerc’s second Café Claude slated to open tomorrow). Of course there is the bacon, whether in jam form, as seen in Corner Store’s burger, or ground up IN the patty like Rickybobby.
- Crazy Toppings: Speaking of toppings, many chefs are using this space as a canvas to realize some of their culinary wet-dreams. There is beef tongue at Hopscotch to pickled zucchini at Spruce to kimchi relish at Namu and our personal favorite, sliced black truffles at Bix but few things can withstand the test of time like the now practically standard bone marrow topping (optional at Kronnerburger and, well, not, at Goose & Gander in St. Helena).
- Other Buns: Whether it’s brioche (ala Nopa) or Mason Pacific’s pretzel bun, few things have rocked the creativity boat in this department like the aforementioned ramen “patties” from Nombe, the fondly remembered patty-buns of the shuddered Spork’s inside-out burger or the infamous fried chicken tender “buns” of KFC’s Double Down sandwich (not exactly a burger but c’mon, it was pretty ingenious).
And while the food poisoning incident in Canada has that ubiquitous Cronut Burger trend delayed, you can satisfy your burger-sweet tooth in the meantime with a Nutella Burger from Burger Bar.