Brewsta´s Burgers

Brewsta´s Burgers

Brewsta ranks Prague's top burgers. Who comes out on top?

Brewsta´s Burgers

Brewsta´s Burgers

Brewsta ranks Prague's top burgers. Who comes out on top?

Published 16.09.2009
Last updated 01.03.2011

          "I want to keep fighting because it is the only thing that keeps me out of the            hamburger joints. If I don't fight, I'll eat this planet." George Foreman

More than a year ago, I did my own survey of  Prague's hamburgers.

I certainly wasn't the first to do so. This particularly American food has been a very popular topic here, and my burger post received big hits.

As I noted then, The Prague Post used to do an annual article on Prague's best burgers.

And I saw that Laura Baranik of Prague Spoon fame just published a review of several burgers in Lidove noviny.

For the past several months, I'd been collecting fresh burger data for an update. So, I thought now would be a good time to put out my own list.

This post will not tell you what is the best hamburger in Prague. But it will tell you what I like the most. And the least.

My survey is far from comprehensive -- burgers are becoming increasingly ubiquitous in the Czech capital. But it is a much longer list than any other I've seen out there. And I've got pictures.

I always ordered a bacon cheeseburger, if possible, which usually came with fries. I ate some of these burgers quite a while ago -- the price listed usually reflects what I paid. If the burger has changed since my visit, let me know.

Anyway, let's begin with my least favorites and work our way up to my most loved. And it is love.

16. Jet Set City Center (180 CZK)

The most unpleasant piece of meat I have encountered. It was well done, to the point of being dry and rubbery. I actually got tired chewing. I lost the will to finish it.

The bacon was, let's say, un-American -- very ham-like. Also, I'm not a big fan of the more ball-like patty style. They must have fried the hell out of it to cook that thick meat all the way through.

15. Red Hot & Blues

I did not like this big, bad burger. The best thing I could say about it was that it was large.

The ground beef was rubbery, and the bacon was a disaster. The slices of pork were so overcooked, they had the consistency of a Visa card. And this was not a one-time mistake. Their bacon at breakfast was bad, too.

And to top it off, they put some cheap ketchup in my Heinz ketchup bottle. Either that or they mixed the real stuff with water. I'm sure I'm not the only one who can tell the difference. I don't recall what the price was -- I lost the receipt, and I don't think their website is up to date.

14. Cafe Imperial (235 CZK)

They called it the "Double fist" Hamburger." It was quite wide. But the patty was also surprisingly thin. And even stranger, given the lack of depth, was that the one served to me was practically raw. I'd rate it higher if it was cooked properly.

But I was also put off when I found cucumbers on top. That's just wrong. My favorite thing about this one was the perfect grilled onions on top.

13. Mozaika (199 CZK)

I do not give extra points for creativity. In fact, on my list, I take them away. Mozaika's burger was too clever by half.

The meat was too peppery. The grilled onions, combined with bacon, cheese, lettuce, and tomato did not combine well. It was chaos under the bun. The thing was certainly large, but felt like a rock in my stomach.

Overall, I like Mozaika, though it seemed to have lowered its standards on our last visit.

12. Ultramarin (220 CZK)

This burger has gotten some positive press, but I didn't like it much. The menu said it was cooked on a "lava grill," but I could not taste it. The flavor was undistinguished. The beef was cooked well-done, and it was slightly rubbery.

It had onion jam on it, which was unconventional, a little too sweet, but not terrible. However, I was disappointed by the single mushroom cap on top. That didn't work. They should have cut up a few more and fried 'em.

The bacon was too hammy, which I don't like. There was no tomato on the side, just red peppers and cucumbers. On the plus side, it was huge. And it had a great bun.

11. Cafe Bar Wigwam (115 CZK)

This is the burger I love to hate and hate to love. It's always a train wreck. Being a regular at the restaurant, I've probably had more of these than from any other place. And it seems like every week, it comes out differently.

But in general, the meat is almost always overcooked and too salty. The crumbly, low-quality bun is a repeat criminal offender. Construction is usually haphazard. The bacon is smoky, but rarely crispy. It's often drowning in mayo.

I wouldn't recommend this burger to anyone. It shouldn't rank this high. And yet... I have a place in my slowly clogging heart for this thing. Don't ask me why, it's not rational.

10. Burger King (109 CZK includes fries and Coke)

That's right. I liked the Whopper more than all the burgers listed above. Harsh and somewhat twisted, I know. But that's how I feel.

9. Fraktal (170 CZK)

They have a flame grill. I saw the burgers flaring up on it. But I could hardly taste it. Very disappointing.

The beef had a seasoning that I didn't mind so much. But the meat also had a slightly rubbery consistency. The melted cheese was excellent, and the bun was good and strong. If they hadn't murdered the bacon, I'd have rated it higher. And the fries weren't hot.

8. TGI Friday's (270 CZK)

This burger's flame-broiled patty reminded me a lot of Burger King. The meat is thicker and juicier than a Whopper, but still thinner than many other burgers on the list. There was great American-style bacon. To me, it's a gourmet version of a Whopper. Except they put the toppings on the bottom. Not good for them.

I don't love the restaurant, but I liked this pricy burger. One important thing you should know: at the Anděl location, it was 40 CZK cheaper than at the Na Příkopě TGI Friday's. I did have a bad service experience at Anděl. But their great chocolate shake put me in a forgiving mood.

7. Jama (205 CZK)

The menu offers a bacon burger (175 CZK) and a cheddar burger (175 CZK), but no combo. To achieve full bacon cheeseburger status, you have to order one of the above burgers, and then add extra cheddar (45 CZK) or extra bacon (45 CZK).

On the hefty burger I had, the bacon had the tell-tale signs of being deep fried rather than pan fried. Also, the onions were cut so thick, they wouldn't fit under the bun. The owner later wrote me and said those things would be fixed. But I returned and the onions were the same. I didn't recheck the bacon.

The meat was good quality and juicy, but pan-fried. Good toasted bun and plenty of cheese.

6. U Maleho Glena (155 CZK)

This one was pretty good and hit a lot of the right classic notes. The meat was juicy and flavorful. But I believe it was pan-fried.

The bacon was plentiful and smoky, giving it almost a grilled taste, but it was soft and not really crispy. The tomatoes were sliced in annoying, awkward wedges. Red lettuce is not my favorite for burgers. The toasted, buttered bun was a real winner. It was among the sturdiest, holding everything together very well, and yet not too heavy.

I didn't subtract a point because the cook disappeared and didn't start cooking for 15 minutes after I ordered when I was super hungry.

5. Golf & Country Club Hodkovičky (235 CZK)

Good burgers at a golf club? Even I was shocked. This burger probably would win the contest for best looks. Everything was well-balanced and proportioned.

I really loved the flavor of the ground beef. Just the right fat content. I didn't like the lettuce, tomato, and onion sitting under the meat. I'd downgrade them for only giving a tiny dish of ketchup and forcing me to ask for another one.

4. El Barrio de Ángel (159 CZK)

Cooked on a flame grill, this ground beef came all the way from South America. The patty was well-seasoned, with a perfect amount of salt. The low fat content made it very dense and even a bit dry in the middle. Still, juices dripped on the plate -- the chef brushes the burger a lot on the grill.

It came with lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo already on it. It was well-constructed. But I'm not a big fan of having mayo already on the burger, except at Burger King, where I have been conditioned to expect it.

3. Hard Rock Cafe (280 CZK)

This one wins the prize for best flame-grill flavor. They put a char on that baby without ruining the meat inside.

The bacon was top quality stuff, but overcooked at the edges. For me, there was just a little too much melted cheddar cloaking the good quality meat. The bun was strong and nicely toasted, but a little large and out of proportion to the size of the patty.

The lettuce, tomato, and raw onion rings were good and correctly sized. I was happy to see some pickle slices. Despite my small criticisms here, this was a great burger, and I had a real hard time ranking the top three. I love them all.

2. Potrefena Husa on Vinohradska (248 CZK)

I eat lots of these Husa burgers because I live nearby. They are truly great. They are cooked on flame, and you can always taste it.

The meat is high quality, but perhaps a little too lean, leading to some dryness if it is cooked too long. The patty was small for the bun, but still very filling. The bun is one of the weaker ones. The bacon isn't exactly American-style, but it is usually cooked more crispy than usual for English style.

The lettuce, tomato, and red onion are cut and sized just right, so it all fits together well. They give you different types of Heinz ketchup to go with it. I wish it wasn't so costly, but I should note that it used to be much more -- around 300 CZK. They dropped the price. Smart move. But still an expensive habit.

1. Bohemia Bagel in Holešovice (155 CZK)

I wish I could get to this restaurant more often. Only because I love this burger. It strongly appeals to my fire-cooked bias.

The ground beef is lightly salty and juicy. The bacon occupies that place in the American-English divide, not as crispy as I'd like, but there's usually plenty of it. There's red onion, lettuce and tomato already on there. But I'd take a point off for them putting it under the patty, where the juices run into them. They should be on top.

Then, there is the great, toasted, buttered bun, which is like the one used at U Malého Glena (both started by Glenn Spicker). It's the perfect size and helps make this burger great. And I confess, the great price does help it taste a little better to me.

But like I said, the top three are almost interchangeable in my book -- all delicious.

I'll just add at the end that, putting aside individual components, I just ranked these hamburgers according to my level of eagerness to have another one. Maybe you have a different list. Or you don't like hamburgers at all.

That's fine. I don't want waste time fighting about it.

I still have a lot more hamburger eating to do.

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R. ORourke(Guest) Published: 12:17:46 06.04.2011
There is a cheap, somewhat doubtful burger joint in Slezsk street near the Vinohrady Pavilion called Butchs Burgers or Butchers Burgers, they have two signs I think giving different names. They do what is, at least for me, a satisfying burger, which comes, oddly enough, with some sauce which can only identify as Thousand Islands salad dressing, but as I say, for me that hits the spot. The atmosphere is also interestingly buffet-like, bare, with car magazines on tables, and a jolly russian lady who takes the orders.
rvknull(Guest) Published: 06:04:24 21.02.2011
good articles, but i really dont like the way you are photographning the food, nothing looks tasty.
Jeff Rubinoff(Guest) Published: 12:37:33 27.02.2010
I'm not a big burger eater, but Press Cafe (corner Premyslovska and Velehradska, near JzP) has just added a few items on their supper menu, including a very nice and simple burger for 175. Patrik in the kitchen is a deft hand with the grill. It's 200g and properly medium. Comes on a ciabatta with grain mustard and a little rucola. Not quite canon but good. Am sure they'll put on other things if you ask and they're still beta-testing the supper menu, so feedback surely welcome. I think the duck breast with caramelized onions is a better value, however.
euwhite(Guest) Published: 03:08:13 23.09.2009
In the interest of fairness; a friend told me that the Jama baked "fries" their burger now comes with seemingly by default and that I had complained about in the comments section recently have an alternative. I hadn't known this; mea culpa. Given this info, I went back and ordered the burger and "french fries" [in English; though why this would be necessary is beyond me], I got real "steak" fries. Perfectly fine. I didn't specify this the first time when I got baked chips, as if I could have known, but their "french fries" are just fine. I've been eating here for 10 years. Silly me. So, Max, fix the the bun (Czech rolls are fine, no complaints), and don't surprise people with those baked potato chips. You have great fries already. You're back to top burger in town in no time. Ta.
euwhite(Guest) Published: 05:46:30 21.09.2009
100% correct about the ketchup Brewsta. And the even sadder thing is that Czech makes great [cherry] ketchup, though it does take a little getting used to after Heinz. It was impossible to find Heinz before, now I can't find the Czech ketcup. That's too bad. How many of us have been to restaus with 15 kcs little bowls of ketchup??? This was one thing when prices were two or three dollars for an entree. Often Czech prices are now above Western prices; that's just wrong.
janne(Guest) Published: 03:47:58 21.09.2009
Check out Palanda at Zlatnicka (next to Imperial) - I would really like to know what do you think about their burger. IMHO it's pretty close to the Potrefena Husa one. And for lower price. Cheers J.
joeled(Guest) Published: 02:59:29 21.09.2009
I agree with the hit-or-miss-ness of Potrafina Husa. Just disappointed that you didn't review the Texas Massakr at Na Urale in Dejvice. Hands down the best hamburger value in prague (120kc for burger and fries)- toasted bun, flavorful meat, real jalepenos.I cant attest to the bacon because im dont have deep preferences for bacon. as i recall it may be a bit soft. But all in all, this burger tastes BETTER than most of those others.
Brewsta(Guest) Published: 03:03:13 20.09.2009
Hi Mare - I've had plenty Heinz ketchup in Prague over the years. Believe me, there's a vast difference between the Heinz, Czech or otherwise, and what came out of the Heinz bottle at Red Hot & Blues. I'm 99.9% certain it was a cheapo Czech substitute -- was only half joking that it could have been Heinz mixed with water.
Louivanamsterdam(Guest) Published: 02:40:43 20.09.2009
I agree with Julia, Argument, in Prague 6, has a nice and tasty hamburguer. The service is very good, maybe because Im now a known customer, but its the same with the rest of the dishes, from the humble daily menu to very good steaks and deserts.
Mareš(Guest) Published: 11:05:14 20.09.2009
A fair warning about ketchup, Brewsta. That stuff in Heinz bottle is exactly what they sell as "Heinz" here in Czech Republic. You can't get real Heinz here since late 90s, when they stopped importing it from Germany and started importing it from Poland and Hungary. All we get now is this shitty watered-down stuff. If you want real Heinz, ask someone to import it for you from Germany, or even better, from GB. East European countries are getting second-grade stuff. Try and taste our "Coke", for instance...
euwhit(Guest) Published: 11:36:40 19.09.2009
Had a Jama burger recently. Agreed, the onion slice thickness has finally been sorted out. But what's happened to the previously good bun??? This one disintegrated into about 10 pieces on my first bite. Geez, if you're going to buy el cheapo buns, at least toast them properly (hint; if you can't see that they're toasted, they're not toasted)!!! And what on earth has happened with the "fries"? Oh dear oh dear; they were also already fine before. Complete disaster now. I ate half of one single fry and left the rest. No thank you. But I am now again happy with the burger (if they can sort out the bun). Tasty.
Julia(Guest) Published: 06:01:15 19.09.2009
Argument in Prague 6 has a very tasty burger too (even better than BK, which is, I agree, quite tasty). From its service, I think it may be a pretty new establishment but at least its burger has lived up to its good ratings on several visits!
Terry(Guest) Published: 04:43:00 19.09.2009
I will go to Bohemia Bagel, good before football & ice hockey. Cannot believe Burger King is here, at least it is not MacDonald,s, mass produced, processed!. Love bacon crisp also, maybe because i am English!. Do not like mayo on burger, also. Good review, though.
Sinead(Guest) Published: 11:16:22 18.09.2009
Just home from a BB (Holesovice) experience. Top notch burger. Uber impressed. That said I could do with larger fries - juts a few too many crunchies on the plate for me. And a word of warning - ranch dressing? Not so much. That aside though - all fantastic.
Danosb(Guest) Published: 12:03:19 18.09.2009
Thanks for updating the list, Brewsta. Very interesting. Regarding the Potrefena Husa burger (and I've been eating in that location since it was a Chinese restaurant all those many years ago), it has real consistancy issues. Three times in the past year the burger I've ordered without cheese has arrived with cheese. One of three was ordered by my Czech wife in Czech; it's not a language issue. Twice in the last 18 months I've been unable to finish the "burger" as the meat was so gristly. A real turnoff. But when it's good, it's REALLY good. Just beware and be lucky. Right on about Bohemia Bagel's burger. It's the best & the fries tasty too. Now if only we can find a decent club sandwich in this town, given that George's place has closed... Any suggestions?
Grimace(Guest) Published: 11:19:44 18.09.2009
Interesting that Brewsta ranked Maly Glen and Jama one after the other. I always considered those two to be comparable in price and quality, even down to the dysfunctional toppings. BTW, had a burger at Jama recently and the onion slices were normal sized.
Vaxaholic(Guest) Published: 11:45:39 17.09.2009
I had a great whopper at Burger King Hlavni Nadrazi last week. I agree the Husa Burgers are very fine indeed. Haven't ventured into the Hard Rock Cafe but tempted to give it a go based on this review.
Burger Guy(Guest) Published: 01:36:53 17.09.2009
You can't beat the price at Bohemia Bagel. The fries are really good, too. That being said, I have found that it doesn't matter how you order the burger at Bohemia Bagel....they always overcook it to the point of being just shy of a combination between a hockey puck and a baseball glove. If you want it medium rare (a little pink n bloody) you HAVE TO LOOK THE WAITRESS IN THE EYES AND ORDER THE BURGER RARE...otherrwise it'll be overcooked and dry and boring and disappointing.
Brewsta(Guest) Published: 01:12:30 17.09.2009
Thanks, Jarrod. Regarding Hodkovicky, it's just my strong bias in favor of flame-grilled beef. Otherwise, their delicious burger would certainly be higher. It was the highest-ranked of the pan-fried. And "Joe the Stomach" - you can't fool me with that name. I know who you are. Don't be so nasty, mom.
Nick(Guest) Published: 11:33:16 17.09.2009
Another great article. Thanks, Brewsta. I had the burger at Jama rated pretty low after my first visit, a they overcooked the meat to a hockey puck like consistency. But I went back a few weeks ago and the burger was sublime. Juicy, seasoned well, perfectly cooked medium well as I'd asked, and quite filling. They didn't toast the bun, which is always annoying, but otherwise it was great. IMO, they've overtaken the other burger joints in Prague based on my last visit. But seeing how consistency is an issue so often here, that could change the next time I go there for a bite. BTW, heard a rumor that there's a new Ameican-style burger place on Slezska in Vinohrady. Intriguing...
IAMX(Guest) Published: 10:16:18 17.09.2009
unofrtunately I had a really bad experience when I went to Bohemian Bagel in Holesovice...I live close to the place and I could go there more often if I wanted to, but I really didnt like the service. And the explanation on the carts is not clear...In my opinion TGI is one of the best...Onee thing though..I liked your article a lot once again and this Saturday Ill definitely give a try to Potrefena Husa.
Joe The Stomach(Guest) Published: 10:11:42 17.09.2009
"I'd downgrade them ( Golf Club Hodkovičky) for only giving a tiny dish of ketchup and forcing me to ask for another one."...hey jerk...who what...can I have more day is ruined...I had to ask for ketchup! Golf Club Hodkovičky is #1...THAT IS NUMBER ONE!!! Plus it is a Czech establishment... You have no clue what you are talking about!!! bet you think Kolkovna has the best Chinese food...huh?
Jarrod(Guest) Published: 09:33:39 17.09.2009
Well researched, but I disagree with the ranking of Hard Rock ahead of Hodkovicky. That's the best I've had in Prague. Im intrigued about this Barrior burger now though...
Kos(Guest) Published: 09:14:24 17.09.2009
Interesting list that will keep me busy for a while. Had a great burger at Kobe restaurant ... don't forget the goat chese sauce. Pretty good!
meddo(Guest) Published: 08:12:17 16.09.2009
You ate all those in one day!
Hawkins(Guest) Published: 12:52:32 16.09.2009
Always enjoyed Bresta's reviews; says it like it is with no pretentious bull. Clear, straight forward facts. Personally, i think the double-whopper from BK is one of the best :). For Gormet burgers, Fraktal do a nice range with the goats cheese and pistachio being a favourite.
Zappafan(Guest) Published: 11:52:16 16.09.2009
Try as I might I just cannot get on with "fries" - anywhere. They are invariably soggy and go cold very quickly. They are not a good accompaniment to anything let alone burgers. Used to like the burgers at Jo's Bar. Agree that U Maleho Glena burgers are excellent.
Dolphingirl(Guest) Published: 10:04:02 16.09.2009
Have to agree with you esp. about Bohemia Bagel in Holesovice... not only is the hamburger good, but on burger weekends the Greek burger (lamb with tzatziki sauce YUM!) and other burgers are winners.. and you can get sweet potato fries too.. or get mix of regular and sweet potato.. again YUM