Get ready for the best summer ever burger lovers, with the inaugural Burger Nation 2024 set to kick off this week.
Celebrating the best burgers that New Zealand has to offer, the month-long showcase sees more than 250 eateries around the country serving up their own unique take on this most humble of culinary heroes. And with organisers out to reclaim the essence of what makes a great burger, the celebration sees everyone from classic takeaway joints, to beach-side food trucks and city bistros taking part.
“We don’t want to stare into the void of a burger spiked on top of a bloody mary in a Las Vegas death spiral of insanity,” says Nick Brown from event producers Cook & Nelson. “Burger Nation is about finding the best burgers in real life. The dirtiest, tastiest, umami-iest burgers in the country!”
With a total of 250 eateries taking part from Havelock North to Hataitai, Mangawhai to Morrinsville, Ngatea to New Plymouth, Piha to Petone, Waiheke to Waipiata and Chartwell to the Catlins, burger lovers are in for a lip-smackingly good summer.
Whether it’s the Frying Nemo from Ponsonby’s Parade, the Boardwalk from Beach Buns in Hahei, the Karaage Chicken Burger from Albion Canteen in Napier or the Ramalamadingdong Ramen Burger from The Crooked Elm in Lower Hutt, there’s something to tickle all tastebuds north of the Cook Strait.
Further south, burger fans can also munch on many a mouthwatering creation, like The Squid Games from Beers by Bacon Brothers in Christchurch, the tongue-twisting Peter Piper Picked A Pecking Pickle Pork Burger from the Birdwood, also in Christchurch, the Bourbon Legend from Rad Dad in Invercargill, and – laying claim to the southern-most entry in the showcase – the Burger Me! That’s A Tasty Burger from Peake’s Kitchen in the Catlins.
With loads of classic and smashed beef patties and Kiwi burgers on offer, there’s also plenty to tempt more adventurous palates, from beef cheek, venison, pork belly, goat and a Lamburggini, to soft shell crab, duck a l’orange and a vegan sticky ‘pork belly’, and Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, Brazilian, Japanese and Mexican inspired creations.
“Wherever you are over summer, now’s the perfect time to get out there and sample our nation’s best in all their juicy, glorious burgeryness”, says Brown.
Running from now until Sunday 3 March 2024, Burger Nation is open to all New Zealand eateries, with burger joints, pop-ups, food trucks, bars, cafes, bistros, hole-in-the-wall eateries, a hotel and even a cinema taking part.
With no competitive element to the promotion, the only requirements are that each entry is recognisably a burger, involving a bun – or bun-substitute and a cooked patty that can be meat, fish or vegetable, and it must include pickles from the McClure’s Pickles range in, on or with the burger, because in the words of Brown: “the burger party only really gets started when the pickles get amongst it!” Everything else is up to the maker’s imagination.
What makes a great burger? “It’s about accessible decadence” says Brown. “Whether it’s a vegan masterpiece or cheesy meat fest, a good burger is about balance within excess. The harmony between salty, fatty richness and the punchy acidic pop of a premium pickle.”
Burger Nation 2024 is brought to you by Cook & Nelson and McClure’s Pickles.
www.burgernation.nz @burgernationnz / @cookandnelson #burgernationnz