Burgers are the heart and soul of any good food safari and holiday experience. They are the quintessential lunch or dinner for travellers. From the juicy patties to the crispy lettuce – burgers have got it all.
Some say a burger is just a piece of meat with salad between two buns, but to the artisans that go the extra mile to create a terrific burger there is far more to them than meets the eye; painstakingly hand baked buns, prime meat selection, expertly mixed special sauces and perfectly complimentary sides and seasonings – not to mention the decor and atmosphere of the burger joint – all culminate to produce a unique dining experience.
Fortunately for all of us in Niseko, there’s no shortage of tasty burger options to choose from – and we were lucky enough to take on the challenge of a taste testing voyage of some of the best burgers in town.
“The British Abroad” – from Bigfoot Lodge
Nestled in the heart of the village, Bigfoot Lodge is the center of nightlife in Hirafu with frequent events and a wide range of food and drinks. WIth their new and expanded kitchen they boast frequent designer-burger specials that are worth keeping a close eye on.
Ali ~ This was a really solid burger. The hash brown was perfectly crunchy yet soft, the spice was perfectly controlled with a subtle pepper flavour, and the bacon was thick and juicy. The cheese was sublime with a smooth flavour, which contrasted well with the saltiness of the bacon and mustard.
Jaron ~ You can’t beat a combination of bacon with BBQ sauce, and coupled with the pleasing texture of a perfectly executed hash brown this burger left a lasting impression. The buffalo-wing crowning each burger plus easy acces to home-made fireball across the bar will make any Canadian feel at home.
“Jojo’s Original Burger” – from Jojo’s
This open terrace style restaurant is a favorite among locals offering a variety of baked goods, coffees and a great sit down menu. The large open space makes this a perfect spot for having a quiet meal and drink, and also great for large groups.
Ali ~ This classic burger is a great all-rounder. The Hokkaido beef is juicy, succulent, and really makes this burger one of the greats. The mustard and mayo is a great flavour combo, which pairs well with the traditional cheddar.
Jaron ~ The generous sized bun and fried egg grant the Jojo’s burger some serious stomach revenue – best not to tackle the climbing wall down stairs after eating! The unadulterated wedges on the side are one of the best ways to enjoy Kutchan’s famous potatoes.
“Teriyaki Burger” – from Jam bar
This Japanese bar and restaurant offers a variety of mouth watering meals at great prices and has been operating for 30 years. The cosy atmosphere is great for small to medium groups and has a funky vibe and unique interior.
Ali ~ The chicken was perfectly seared, seasoned and amazingly juicy. The homemade teriyaki mayo was so, so saucy in the best way imaginable. The pickles balanced the flavor beautifully. This simple looking burger has a complexity of flavours that are not too heavy, and not too light; it’s just right.
Jaron ~ A tasty Japanese twist on a western classic – the Teriyaki Mayo added some unforgettable flavour and complimented the chicken beautifully.
Having both onion rings and wedges on the side is a great touch which keeps the plate varied.
“Works Burger” – from Wazza Burger
Wazza Burgers are Niseko’s best-kept culinary secret. These burgers are the stuff of legend. Wazza Burger has operated in a few locations around Hirafu over the years, and the burgers are always amazing. Best of luck finding this hidden gem; it is absolutely worth it.
Ali ~ This burger is perfect. The bun is made with 3 different locally produced flours and is then carefully prepared over 3 days then baked in a wood fire oven. It is crispy on the outside and flawlessly soft in the middle. It is then glazed with garlic butter before the other ingredients are added.
Jaron ~ You know you’ve stumbled upon something special when even the bun blows you away! Denser than the usual Japanese style baking and noticeably larger – Wazza’s Works burger contains a delicious array of locally sourced and expertly prepared ingredients that’ll induce a satisfying food coma.
“Beef Burger” – from Burger Boss
UPDATE Dec 2017: Burger Boss is now closed
Burger Boss offers a range of customisable burgers at a very reasonable price. Choose your base style of burger and add as many toppings as you want. With various self serve sauces and an unlimited supply of jalapenos, you’re sure to have a fantastic burger experience.
Ali ~ The homemade bun adds such a great texture and flavor to the burger. The softness contrasts well with the crunchy cabbage and salty pickles. The Aussie beef gives me a sense of pride and is grilled to perfection. I added quite a few jalapenos to mine and I did not regret it one bit. Delicious!
Jaron ~ We chose to add bacon and cheese to our Beef Burger (because bacon and cheese!) and it was still a steal. Having free access to a variety of dressings is a great touch for those who like a bit more control of their sauce experience – whether drippy or dry, you have the power!
Burger Eating tips
- Use the supplied skewer to keep large burgers from slipping apart: you can re-skewer the burger as you progress.
- Hold the burger upside down: if your burger is particularly juicy then the top half of the bun will absorb more juices without falling apart.
- Make crab hands and pinch down on the far side of the burger: this will prevent fillings from spilling out the back as you bite down.
- Use paper burger wraps whenever they are available to hold your burger together: this will also catch any juices and stray salad.