I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – New Zealand make the best burgers I’ve ever tasted. Infact I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so many in the space of three and a half weeks!
So without further ado here are my best burgers in New Zealand…
3. The World’s Coolest McDonalds, Taupo
I kept reading in all the leaflets I picked up in the i-site tourist offices that the McDonald’s restaurant in Taupo was a must-visit attraction. Now to name Maccy D’s as a tourist attraction I thought was quite odd so figured it must be pretty special, so naturally when we arrived in Taupo at lunchtime we headed straight there.
Just what makes the Taupo McDonald’s claim to be the “world’s coolest”?
The massive aeroplane outside it, that’s what!
The aeroplane is genuine vintage too, not just some fake model fashioned to make McDonald’s a bit quirkier. The plane was built in 1943 and after serving time with South Pacific Airlines of New Zealand, among others, it eventually retired and has been at McDonald’s since 1990.
We decided we wanted to sit in the plane to enjoy our meal so thinking that it would be quite busy up there, I headed off to grab us a table while my husband ordered. Turns out I was the only one up there because it was so hot! Everyone else was taking advantage of the air-conditioning in the main restaurant.
Well, I wasn’t completely alone, this sparrow kept flying in and out, grabbing a few fries left behind by previous diners.
The plane still has its original cockpit that you can peer into and there are also story boards on the walls just outside the cockpit for aviation buffs to learn about the aeroplane’s history.
The food itself I have to say is pretty standard. Typical McDonald’s really, I enjoyed it but the main reason Taupo McDonald’s makes the list is because of its fun factor!
2. Fergburger, Queenstown
Fergburger is world famous, quite a feat considering it only has one branch and that is located in Queenstown on the South Island of New Zealand. Cited by many as a tourist attraction in its own right and featured in the likes of Lonely Planet, you will see the queue for Fergburger before you see the restaurant itself!
Curious to see what all the fuss was about we headed there for lunch one day. We were queuing for around half an hour and then our order came about 15 minutes after that. Crazy! We were there around 2pm so had anticipated that we could be waiting a while. If you don’t fancy the wait, then Fergburger is open 21 hours a day so you can get your Ferg fix at a slightly less busy time.
Fergburger started in 2001 as a hole-in-the-wall on Cow Lane, it is now located on Shotover Street and has expanded with two businesses next door – Fergbaker, a bakery selling pies, pastries and cakes etc (which also happens to be where they bake the buns used for the burgers) and also Mrs Ferg, a gelateria.
We didn’t try the bakery but we did visit the gelateria twice, once for hot chocolate and once for gelato. There aren’t really any queues for Fergbaker or Mrs Ferg so some people queueing for a Fergburger did end up dropping out and opting for a pie or something instead.
Was it worth the wait? Well we did end up going there twice. But note – there aren’t many places to sit so be prepared to dine alfresco. Plus the burgers are also pretty huge so we shared fries between the two of us.
1. BurgerFuel, all over NZ
BurgerFuel is a New Zealand gourmet burger chain that began in Auckland in 1995 and can be found all over New Zealand’s North Island (with a handful of stores in the South Island). They also have branches in Australia, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but sadly not the United Kingdom.
BurgerFuel are particularly famous for their amazing aioli sauce and also the ‘doofer’ – a cardboard device for holding your juicy burger. The restaurants are kitted out in a funky purple theme and the burgers all have names like ‘Bastard’ and ‘Bio Fuel’.
We ate at one of the Auckland branches and one of the Wellington branches. My first BF was the ‘V-Dub Vege’ and I would go as far to say that it was the best veggie burger I’ve had to date! Normally I find veggie burgers quite dry but this was delish washed down with a bottle of New Zealand’s famous L&P Lemon & Paeroa and a side of spud fries with aioli – my mouth is watering just thinking about it! I can’t remember what my second BF was but no doubt it was something cheesy!
But seriously BurgerFuel, when are you coming to the UK??
There you have my best burgers in New Zealand of the fast food variety (if you can count Ferg as fast?!). Have you ever eaten at any of these places? Or if not, where in the world would you find your best burger?