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Best Hamburger in Halifax

I'm kind of surprized this thread doesn't exist already. I mean for years there were no good hamburgers in Halifax (I know, some of you just LOVE the peanut butter burger at Darrell's), but now gourmet burgers places are popping up everywhere! I haven't been to any of them yet, but a burger quest is in due order! What do you all think? Where is the best hamburger in Halifax?

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  1. Tried Darrell's, the fixing are okay but they use frozen patties which for me eliminates them at the starting gate. I think their excuse given for not using fresh ground was supply. The Chickenburger uses fresh and I'd bet they do 20 times the business Darrell's does so that doesn't fly.

    Ate for the first time at the Brooklyn Warehouse a week ago Thursday. Had starters though, friends nearby ordered burgers, they looked good but they said they were dry and not worth the price. A colleague recommended Ace at Gus', apparently run by former cooks at BW - she said burgers are 10x better and half the price.

    I'll be interested to hear what's learned on your thread.

    2 Replies
    1. re: chilibeanpaste

      I can only comment on a couple. I have had Ace a few times and it is good. If you can stand the atmosphere/location it is worth it. One of the other new ones is Flip Burger and it is the opposite of Ace in terms of atmosphere - new, clean, almost corporate in style. The burger was a disappointment. I ordered a blue cheese burger and it came with no condiments or sauces. i leaned you have to spec those at the time of ordering. I find that odd. I would go back to Ace but not to Flip.

      1. re: Greg B.

        ... there is almost always a negative correlation between quality of food and quality of environment! lol but I, for one, have no problem hanging out at Gus' pub. I'm looking forward to trying an Ace burger soon.

    2. I had a coupon for Rock Bottom Brewery so I randomly began my burger quest there. Wow. I was really impressed with the peanut butter burger. I don't even usually buy into the hype for PB burgers, but for some reason I was in the mood. Thick patty, Nova Scotia beef and peanut butter cream cheese... I am planning a return visit to Darrell's to make comparisons.

      1. Went to Relish today. Expensive! But good. Patties were thinner than I like, but they were fresh Angus Beef. From Alberta, which I don't like. And I quite liked the fries.

        ... by the way, I have it on good authority that the burgers at Darrell's are not frozen...

        3 Replies
        1. re: existential_crisis

          Really? Then why do they seem like they are? My husband and I ate there once and ordered the peanut butter burger. We were both very unimpressed and thought the burgers were frozen. I found it no better than fast food.

          (I'm not disputing your info, just saying I think they SEEM frozen)

          Edit: I have since seen the post below that explains they are no longer frozen. So I guess they were when we went.

          1. re: CanadaGirl

            How long ago did you go? Last time I went was 2-3 years ago and it seemed frozen to me too, although my friend claims they were never ever frozen (I don't believe that).

            1. re: existential_crisis

              Probably about the same time. If that wasn't a frozen party I was served, I can't imagine what they did to it. If there are a lot of people who believe the party is frozen, we can't all be nuts!!

        2. I like Darrell's but its an atmosphere thing as well, they did switch over to fresh Nova Scotia Beef this summer which has upped them a notch

          Cheese Curds is good not great
          FlipBurger was not up to snuff I found it dull and dry
          Relish yet to be yet

          MY 2 faves are Ace Burger owned by Brooklyn Warehouse
          and the purist super cheap classic at Westcliff

          1 Reply
          1. re: HalifaxRetales

            I was just at Darrell's. They aren't using Nova Scotian beef. It's certified angus beef brand from Alberta. It's not frozen, but it might as well be...

            alas, I am still not impressed by Darrell's.

            The Nacho-Typical-Burger is pretty tasty, but I can't get into the beef.

          2. We've been to Relish a couple of times this past month, but the first time was the best. I had the Harvest Burger (I think? — the website is letting me down.), and my husband enjoyed their special that week, which involved nice crunchy fried tortilla strips.

            Also! a choice of dips for sweet potato fries. Yes! Ketchup doesn't cut it.

            I know most of the discussion here centers around beef, but meat's not my thing, and I can say that Relish's veggieburger is far better than Cheese Curds's (limited) options. It's flavorful and crispy at the edges, and the quinoa adds nice, substantial mouthfeel.

            1. Just back from ACE in Gus'. Not a huge selection but some wild combos. Best burgers we've had in this city, great fries. Meat was substantial and very juicy, thinking they gave the meat a jolt of butter before serving. A tiny bit of pink in the centre but what the hell, done to perfection for me. Taste extraordinary, toppings generous and inventive.

              From what I've heard and seen of the burgers at Brooklyn Warehouse I'm afraid they've been badly Ace'ed.

              Sure the scene is pretty dark and dismal but the burgers brightened the day. Clientele friendly and laid back.

              2 Replies
              1. re: chilibeanpaste

                Yup, just did ACE over the weekend. Loved it! Best so far in Halifax that I've tried. And we tried just about every burger on the menu...

                1. re: existential_crisis

                  Glad you liked it. Had a take-out Saturday night and the burgers were even better than the first time. As far as Gus' goes it's rather refreshing to get out of the fluorescent light scene.

              2. Went to Cheese Curds last night. Everyone seemed to like it. I wasn't overly impressed. It's like they tried too hard to season the meat instead of just letting it be. Now some people like that. Also, burgers were hard to eat. Depending on the topics (which we had to choose - again - some people like that, some don't) the buns had trouble holding everything in. I thought the meat had a strange texture too, but it's fresh local meat by definition. They DO core their pineapples now. And we liked the poutines (despite hearing bad reviews).

                1. Oops, almost forgot to update this! I did a quest of all the gourmet places in town. My picks:
                  1. Ace
                  2. Cheese Curds
                  3. Relish
                  4. Flip Burger
                  5. Darrell's

                  The Works and Crispy Cristy are on their way...

                  1. Not a burger fan myself, but my daughter is. She is also very, very picky-she has to be, she is Celiac (gluten issues).

                    She LOVES Ace and says that not only is the burger terrific, but they took time to understand the GF challenges and cheerfully and safely serve those who suffer from the same problem that she does.

                    High praise indeed!

                    1. I've had Cheese Curds - which was almost overwhelming when I had to choose what went on my burger - I generally prefer a little more guidance from the creator. The food was good and I'd say worth the wait in the long line. If I was in Dartmouth, and if I was craving something greasy, I'd make the effort to get to Cheese Curds.

                      Relish, on Quinpool, was disappointing. There was nothing bad about anything that I, or my dining companions, ate, but despite the varied burgers ordered, most tasted very similar. Found the price would have been ok for something outstanding, but WAY overpriced for the boring food that I got. Also don't like the way that staff have to yell at you when you arrive - too gimicky. Won't go back.

                      I've always enjoyed Darrell's (both frozen and the new "fresh"). I don't crave the burgers, but if I'm in the area and feeling like a safe bet, Darrell's is definitely a contender.

                      Love Ace Burger. The atmosphere at Gus' doesn't bother me, but I know people that are turned off by the bar and its inhabitants (somehow inhabitant seems more fitting than customer in this case). I love that the choices aren't overwhelming and every single one of them is good. Even the veggie burger - not only is it better than other veggie burgers, but I'd say it certainly gives some standard burgers a run for their money. I would, and do, go back for more.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: eastcoastal

                        Totally agree with you about Relish...v. boring, especially for those of us who just want a perfectly seasoned patty with minimal condiments. My partners was better because the burger was slathered in BBQ sauce. But very pricey and that noisy and silly entry routine is childish.

                      2. The peanut butter burger at Rock Bottom - love it.

                        1. Hidden Jewel...The husband and I hate going out to eat because we are such food snobs. Had a burger at a little pub in Dartmouth called Reilly's. Its located at the MicMac Quality Inn. it was AWESOME! Do yourself a favour...Go have one. The kitchen is open from 4pm - 9pm and the cold beer is the cheapest I have seen in ages

                          1. I make the best hamburger in Halifax:)