In a city where fresh fish and Iberian pork rule the menus, beef is quickly becoming in fashion now in Lisbon. Traditionally, the most common beef dish you’d see on any Portuguese menu is the Bife a Casa (sirloin steak with pan sauce and occasionally, a fried egg on top). These days, burger joints are springing up all around, many of them as small scale (one-off) restaurants in mall food courts. There’s very few McDonald’s in the city, and it seems that Honorato (a local company) has become the leading burger franchise. Then, we found Ground Burger… and our tummies we’re happy.
Located just north of the city centre, up by the Cortes Inglés mall, and beside the Gulbenkian Museum grounds, Ground Burger brands itself as specializing in old school American burgers and craft beers. However, This isn’t your typical greasy spoon burger joint. The restaurant space is beautifully designed, with white marble-patterned tables, and clean lines all around… sort of like a “gourmet” kitchen in one of those renovation shows on HGTV. Floor to ceiling glass makes up the exterior walls, giving a great view of the castle in Jardim Calouste Gulbenkian next door.
Ground Burger also takes it up another level by providing full table service, with excellent staff who often speak multiple languages. They are very helpful in decision-making, and are more than willing to have a quick conversation out you.
On the menu are several different Burger versions, but Susete and I love the namesake “Ground Burger”. The patties are made in-house, as are the buns, which results in an amazingly juicy burger (cooked to the customer’s specification – go with medium), with high quality toppings… there’s no cheaping out here!
The fries…. oh, the fries. Batatas fritas (fried potatoes = fries) are on pretty much every single menu in Portugal, but these beauties are some of my favourite fries anywhere in the world. Perfectly fluffy potato on the inside, and super crisp on the outside, with the additional hit of rosemary, Maldon salt, and crispy fried garlic slices, and served with house-made aioli. Really, couldn’t get more perfect than this.
The drink menu is quite extensive for a burger place. As they advertise, they feature several American craft beers, but also have a number of local Portuguese ones as well. This is a pleasantly common trend in Portuguese restaurants… no matter what cuisine they are doing, they always have local products on the menu. Several wines are also offered, and in typical Portuguese fashion, coffee is of course not forgotten about. In Portugal, even in a burger joint, there is damn good espresso on the menu.
With burgers becoming a hot trend over the past couple years in Lisbon, Ground Burger continues to stand as my favourite burger place in any city I’ve been to, including Toronto!
Ground Burger – Av. António Augusto de Aguiar 148
Open: 12pm – 12am