If you’re a true burger aficionado, you’re bound to be spoilt for choice in a city like Abu Dhabi. From big franchises to homegrown concepts, the capital is home to everything from classic all-American whoppers or wacky creations – the Arbab burger anyone?
If you're looking to indulge, here are some places to check out:
Best for: Burgers with a local twist
The Abu Dhabi-founded burger joint was launched in 2017 with the tagline “Be Different” and it’s been sticking to this ethos with juicy burgers “inspired by cafeterias around the emirate”. Which is why its signature The Arbab (which translates to “the boss”) burger features a panko breaded chicken breast topped with XP sauce and Chips Oman. Also on the must-try list is the Buffalo Chicken burger and the Truffle and French Brie burger.
Order: The Arbab is their signature chicken burger, but they also have a non-spicy version called Daloo3s. For beef, try Dynamite 28 or The DB Burger
Various locations across the UAE; burger28.com
Best for: Vegans
The quaint Abu Dhabi cafe does more than just really good breakfasts. On the menu are a number of hearty burgers, from the buttermilk fried chicken burger to the classic cafe burger. But it's the vegan options that truly deserve a shoutout. Their chunky portobello and black bean burger comes with red cabbage slaw, pickled onions and special sauce, while the green buns add to the intrigue. They also have a quinoa, beet and white bean burger, with a naturally red patty, sliced avocado and alfalfa sprouts.
Order: Either of the vegan options
Open daily, 8am-11pm; Al Maha Arjaan by Rotana, Hamdan Street, Al Markaziya, Abu Dhabi; 026106666
Best for: Classic, flavoursome burgers
A meat-lover's paradise through and through, this Al Mina venue serves a signature burger in addition to some of the best steaks in the city. The Superman Deal Burger patty is made in-house using wagyu, and is topped with a generous dollop of signature sauce and cheese, making it, as its name suggests, packed with flavour. The menu is limited (not too much for vegetarians out there), but that also means they have time to really focus on the signatures.
Order: The Superman Deal Beef Burger (Dh54)
Open daily; 7am-midnight; Mina St, Zayed Port; www.flavorslc.com
Best for: Burgers by the beach
This Al Hudayriat Island restaurant has a range of burgers, if you want to try something other than its popular grilled cheese sandwiches. The Nashville 60 is a deliciously messy creation featuring fried chicken, a sweet bun, pickles and coleslaw, slathered with aioli sauce and cheese while the Juicy Lucy is a great classic beef burger. A special shoutout to the very Instagrammable Hudayriat Tower – three beef and chicken sliders with brioche bread and cajun sauce stacked on top of each other, that make for a delicious and hearty meal.
Order: The Nashville 60 (Dh59) or the Hudayriat Tower (Dh99)
Open daily, 11am-3am; 050 411 5459; muncheeze.ae
Best for: A splurge
Located in The Galleria, right by the promenade, Salt Bae's famous restaurant offers one of the nicest dining experiences in the capital. The menu is extensive with everything from carpaccio to sucuk (a spicy sausage) drawing attention. But while you're there, you may want to try what many consider the meatiest burger in town. The Nusret Burger features a chunk of perfectly grilled beef, cheese and caramelised onions. Simple but delicious.
Order: There's only one burger on the menu but it's well worth your time, and costs Dh140
Open daily, noon-midnight; The Galleria, Al Maryah Island; 026799949; www.nusr-et.com.tr
Stock Burger Co
Best for: Hearty burgers
Located within the Holiday Inn, this licensed venue is a favourite for those who want to kick back and relax with a massive burger. The variety is staggering – from a nacho burger with tortilla chips within, to the Shenlong burger, a beef patty tossed in teriyaki sauce, with a papaya salad, to the Buffalo burger with crispy chicken pieces. The venue also has vegan burgers, and you can choose to swap your beef patty of The Stock Burger with their plant-based one.
Order: The Boss Burger makes for a messy, delicious meal (Dh95)
Embassies District; 80078625
Best for: A fuss-free burger
This quaint restaurant, with numerous branches in the capital, may not look flashy but it would be a crime to underestimate its fare. The bread is freshly baked in-house, it has its own special sauce, and there's a wide variety of beef and chicken burgers on offer. The beef whopper is a monster of a burger, with steak beef, a beef patty, onion rings, barbecue sauce and some of that special sauce. But if you’re in the mood for something more classic, they have a signature burger with barbecued beef bacon, onions, special sauce and a ground beef burger patty with mushrooms.
Order: You can't go wrong with their signature burger (Dh19)
Various locations; www.instagram.com/teabreakcafe
Best for: Cheat day burgers
If you're craving melt-in-your mouth burgers doused in cheese, Tobasco's may just be the way to go. The hidden gem burger spot is also famous for peri peri wings (you can choose your spice level), but it's almost impossible to leave without trying a burger (or three). The Animal, with double thick beef patties, caramelised onions and bacon, is is always cooked to perfection, while the Lumberjack features thin crispy beef patties with all the trimmings. You also get to choose your buns - from wholemeal to potato - and there are lettuce wraps for those looking for a low-carb meal.
Order: The Animal (Dh60)
Opposite Khalifa University, Muroor; www.instagram.com/tobascosuae