International Burger Day 2021: Vancouver burgers off the eaten path, from Ancora to Zakkushi

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      The reopening of B.C. restaurants for dine-in service came just in time for one of the most auspicious occasions of the year: International Burger Day.

      Yes, today is the day to get out there and have a burger—whether it’s dining in, picking up, picnicking out (in Raincouver’s questionable weather), ordering in, or cooking at home.

      Here are just a few options to consider (there are many more and it's impossible to list them all), and many of them are available beyond just International Burger Day.

      Among the following are some that you may not have otherwise considered or been aware of. And, of course, there are vegetarian, vegan, and plant-based options too.

      And don’t forget to order a milkshake. (We once heard that it brings all the boys to the yard. We’d explain that more fully but we’d have to charge.)


      Peru's Nikkei nosh

      Each of Ancora’s two locations serve Peruvian-Japanese-influenced burgers. Ancora False Creek (1600 Howe Street) offers the Ancora Beef Burger ($19), with rocoto aioli, aged cheddar, and yucas bravas while the version in Ancora Ambleside (1351 Bellevue Avenue) in West Vancouver comes with aged cheddar, lettuce, red onion, pickles, rocoto aioli, and fries.


      Mac attack

      In the West End, plant-based eatery Beetbox (1074 Davie Street) is offering a new creation—the Beet Mac Burger—that uncannily resembles a rather well-known burger that shall remain nameless. But this one’s meatless.

      This limited-time special includes housemade plant-based patties, melted cheeze, special Mac sauce, and iceberg lettuce, all packed into a sesame seed bun.

      It’s available as both a single ($14) and double ($18) but only this week until Monday (May 31).

      Downlow Burgers' Truffle Royale
      Rich Won

      On the downlow

      Needless to say, Downlow Burgers (926 Main Street) has a menu full of signature burger selections, with entries like the Vegan Burger ($13), with an Impossible Foods vegan patty, vegan bun, Veganaisse, pickles, onions, lettuce, and mustard; and the Truffle Royale ($19.75), with an eight-ounce aged beef patty, Boschetto al Tartufo cheese, slabs of JN&Z bacon, and fancy sauce, all on a Livia potato bun.

      Fable Diner

      Fable on the table

      Fable Diner (151 East Broadway) has an array of burgers, ranging from the Broadway Burger, with bacon, cheese, mushrooms, house kimchi, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, and Fable sauce ($15), to the Loaded Double Diner Burger, packed with double patties, double sliced cheese, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, and Fable sauce ($17).

      But there’s also the Mushroom Miso Veggie Burger to consider, which features a housemade quinoa and brown rice patty, miso dressing, lettuce, and pickles ($16).

      Gyoza Bar's Marukatsu Burger
      Mark Yuen

      Katsu kick 

      Japanese comfort food establishment Gyoza Bar (622 West Pender Street) might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of burgers but its menu includes the Marukatsu Burger ($14.50), which offers a choice of pork or chicken katsu, along with basil onion pesto, sliced cabbage, and tonkatsu sauce, all on a brioche bun.

      Potluck Hawkery Eatery's Ramly Smash Burger
      Rich Won

      Simply smashing

      For a Southeast Asian-influenced burger, check out the Ramly Smash Burger ($16) at Potluck Hawker Eatery (3424 Cambie Street). This egg-wrapped burger dates back to 1979 when it was created by its namesake, Haji Ramly Monk. Before removing the patties are taken off the hotplate, an egg is cracked onto the surface and the burger is wrapped inside it. Enveloping the burger inside the egg helps to contain burger juice, toppings, and sauces, thereby enhancing the flavour.

      This version features a quarter-pound Two Rivers Meats beef patty wrapped in a two-egg omelette, with American cheese, shreddice, and secret sauce, all on a Fife Bakery bun.


      Beers ’n’ burgers

      Over in Gastown, Pourhouse (162 Water Street) will offer a one-day-only burger-and-beer combo ($20) to celebrate this important day.

      Diners have a choice of a Bacon Double Cheese or Crispy Portabella Burger; with either Kennebec Fries, Thick-Cut Chipper, or Tots; and either a tall-boy beer or a pint of draught.

      Tractor at Home

      Tractor factor

      For those who would prefer to cook it themselves, Tractor’s meal delivery service Tractor at Home sells vegan black bean burgers (two patties for $8), which can be topped with cashew beet spread, pickled red onions ($6), and fresh greens on a bun.

      It also sells turkey zucchini burgers ($11), made with lean ground turkey, zucchini, parmesan, garlic, olive oil, Italian parsley, egg, panko, and salt and pepper.

      The Victor

      Upscale option

      If you’re searching for more sophisticated nosherie, there’s the Brant Lake Wagyu Burger ($26) at the Victor (39 Smithe Street). This urbane burger includes caramelized onions, Taleggio cheese, and black truffle dressing, accompanied by triple-cooked fries.


      On the grill 

      Zakkushi on Denman (823 Denman Street) specializes in yakitori (charcoal grill skewers). But in addition to bento boxes and frozen ramen that are convenient for ordering during the pandemic, they’ve also added on a number of Japanese-influenced burgers to their roster.

      Three options are available ($11 each):

      • charcoal grilled teriyaki chicken burger, with terimayo sauce, greens, and tomato;
      • aji fry burger, featuring deep-fried horse mackerel fish with tartar sauce, greens, and tomato;
      • ebimayo burger, with prawn tempura, homemade cocktail sauce, greens, and tomato.