A family-owned fast food restaurant in the west of Ireland has won the title of Ireland’s Best Burger 2022. Blue Thunder, in Claremorris, Co Mayo, topped the online poll in which 38,564 votes were cast by members of the public. More than 450 burger bars, cafes, restaurants and pubs entered the competition, which is part of National Burger Day, sponsored by Kepak.
Blue Thunder, which also has branches in Westport, Castlebar and Tralee, is owned by Joanne Byrne, whose parents Pat and Marian O’Malley opened the Claremorris branch 34 years ago. “Our selection of burgers have stood the test of time and our deluxe cheese and bacon burger, as well as our much-loved prime burger, are firm favourites amongst our customers,” Byrne said.
Surprisingly, many of the better known burger brands, such as Bujo, Bunsen and Gourmet Burger Kitchen, were not included in the selection from which the public could choose to give their votes. “The National Burger Day campaign is open to all foodservice operators across the island of Ireland and this is regardless of who their meat supplier is. Participation in the campaign is decided by operators themselves and those who are not represented decided to not participate in the campaign,” said a spokesperson for the competition.
The only burger restaurant in Dublin to make it into the winners’ list is Thunder Road Cafe in Temple Bar, Leinster winner of the category for gourmet burgers. Previous winners of the overall title are The Hungry Moose in Kilkenny city, Honest Burger in Galway, and Flipside in Sligo.
Many of the participating outlets are offering special meal deals and for every photograph shared on social media with the hashtag #NationalBurgerDay, a meal will be donated to Simon Communities across Ireland.
Best burger in Ireland
Overall winner: Blue Thunder, Claremorris, Co Mayo
Best burger at a …
Restaurant: Roastie Midleton, Midleton, Co Cork
Hotel: The Curious Fish (The Mariner Hotel), Westport, Co Mayo
Pub: The Globe Bar & Restaurant, Kilkenny
Convenience/Forecourt: Circle K, Best Convenience Burger
Independent Fast-Food Chain: Blue Thunder, Westport, Co Mayo
Takeaway: Johnny’s Ranch, Ramelton, Co Donegal
Food Truck: O’ Reilly’s Food Truck, Bandon, Co Cork
Best independent takeaway
Connaught: Cafolla’s Castlebar, Castlebar, Co Mayo
Leinster: Mullen’s Castletown Road, Dundalk, Co Louth
Munster: Wimpy, Fermoy, Co Cork
Ulster: Friars Rest, Letterkenny, Co Donegal
Northern Ireland: The Pizza Shack and Burger Bar at McCreesh’s, Mullaghbawn, Newry
Best gourmet burger specialist
Connaught: Harry’s Galway, Galway City
Leinster: Thunder Road Cafe, Temple Bar, Dublin
Munster: Yay Burger, Ballydehob, Cork
Ulster: Burger Jacks, Milford, Co Donegal