‘Burger Nation’ organisers warn of burger surges for entrants and their suppliers

by | Feb 15, 2024 | News

Organisers of ‘Burger Nation’, the event put on to honour New Zealand best burger creators, are warning of rhe strain that increased demand will put of entrants to the competition and their suppliers. The public is urged to get in to try the burgers on offer before the strain becomes too great.

Nick Brown from event producers Cook & Nelson warns:

“Would it be an exaggeration to say millions of kiwis have responded to our call to get out there and bath in the burgery goodness that our burger crushes nationwide are serving up… possibly but who’s counting!? What we can tell you is the response has been huge ,with so many burgers a part of Burger Nation there’s a risk we’ll be putting pressure not just on those cafes food trucks and restaurants involved in this promotion, but also on the producers who supply all the great produce that goes into making NZ’s finest burgery burgers… I think lettuce growers will be panicking right now and there’s still three weeks to go! For anyone who is yet to tuck into one of our Burger Nation burgers we’d encourage you to get out there before your local says enough is enough… or the growers refuse to send more lettuce! Now is the time people!”

Frying Nemo from Parade in Ponsonby

Celebrating the best burgers that Aotearoa has to offer, the month-long showcase sees more than 250 eateries around the country serving up their own unique take on this most humble of culinary heroes. And with organisers out to reclaim the essence of what makes a great burger, the celebration sees everyone from classic takeaway joints, to beach-side food trucks and city bistros taking part.

“We don’t want to stare into the void of a burger spiked on top of a bloody mary in a Las Vegas death spiral of insanity,” says Brown. “Burger Nation is about finding the best burgers in real life. The dirtiest, tastiest, umami-iest burgers in the country!”

With a total of 250 eateries taking part from Havelock North to Hataitai, Mangawhai to Morrinsville, Ngatea to New Plymouth, Piha to Petone, Waiheke to Waipiata and Chartwell to the Catlins, burger lovers are in for a lip-smackingly good summer.

Whether it’s the Frying Nemo from Ponsonby’s Parade, the Boardwalk from Beach Buns in Hahei, the Karaage Chicken Burger from Albion Canteen in Napier or the Ramalamadingdong Ramen Burger from The Crooked Elm in Lower Hutt, there’s something to tickle all tastebuds north of the Cook Strait.

Ramalamadingdong Ramen Burger from The Crooked Elm


Further south, burger fans can also munch on many a mouthwatering creation, like The Squid Games from Beers by Bacon Brothers in Christchurch, the tongue-twisting Peter Piper Picked A Pecking Pickle Pork Burger from the Birdwood, also in Christchurch, the Bourbon Legend from Rad Dad in Invercargill, and – laying claim to the southern-most entry in the showcase – the Burger Me! That’s A Tasty Burger from Peake’s Kitchen in the Catlins.

With loads of classic and smashed beef patties and Kiwi burgers on offer, there’s also plenty to tempt more adventurous palates, from beef cheek, venison, pork belly, goat and a Lamburggini, to soft shell crab, duck a l’orange and a vegan sticky ‘pork belly’, and Vietnamese, Korean, Indian, Brazilian, Japanese and Mexican inspired creations.

“Wherever you are over summer, now’s the perfect time to get out there and sample our nation’s best in all their juicy, glorious burgeryness”, says Brown.

Running from now until Sunday 3 March 2024, Burger Nation is open to all New Zealand eateries, with burger joints, pop-ups, food trucks, bars, cafes, bistros, hole-in-the-wall eateries, a hotel and even a cinema taking part.

The Mc Clucking Burger from Leroy’s in Wellington

With no competitive element to the promotion, the only requirements are that each entry is recognizably a burger, involving a bun – or bun-substitute and a cooked patty that can be meat, fish or vegetable, and it must include pickles from the McClure’s Pickles range in, on or with the burger, because in the words of Brown: “the burger party only really gets started when the pickles get amongst it!” Everything else is up to the maker’s imagination.

What makes a great burger? “It’s about accessible decadence” says Brown. “Whether it’s a vegan masterpiece or cheesy meat fest, a good burger is about balance within excess. The harmony between salty, fatty richness and the punchy acidic pop of a premium pickle.”

So what are you waiting for burger fans? A full list of participating eateries is available here or for more information, head to www.burgernation.nz

Burger Nation 2024 is brought to you by Cook & Nelson and McClure’s Pickles.

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