The best burger in Ireland 2021, as voted for by consumers, is to be found at Flipside in Sligo town, an independently owned burger restaurant serving more than 20 varieties of the patty-in-a-bun meal, including beef, chicken, and a vegan version made with black beans and brown rice.
Almost 20,000 votes were cast, for more than 450 burger outlets, in the campaign which culminates in National Burger Day tomorrow, Thursday, August 12th, when participating outlets nationwide, including restaurants, hotels, cafes and bars, as well as takeaways, will offer two-for-one deals on their signature burger. A full list of places where the offer will be available is indicated on a searchable county-by-county map on the website, nationalburgerday.ie.
In addition, for every burger photograph shared on social media tomorrow using the hashtag #NationalBurgerDay, a meal will be donated to Simon Communities.
Flipside, opened by local men Paul Brennan and David Dunne in October 2018, won the overall award for the strength and variety of its burger offering. The restaurant previously won the Best Gourmet Burger in Connacht in these awards, now in their fourth year and sponsored by meat company Kepak Group.
The Flipside beef burgers are made with grass-fed Angus beef from William Clarke butchers in Sligo. Co-owner Paul Brennan worked with Keith Clarke, one of three sons of William Clarke now running the butchery business, on the recipe for the patties. Flipside also has its own "secret burger sauce", and according to Dunne the components of the pink sauce include mayonnaise, pickle juice and "a couple of different spices and seasonings."
Catherine Cleary, reviewing Flipside for The Irish Times Magazine in 2019, said: "The food is in that sweet spot where fast food is made with thought and excellent ingredients. So the slice of beef tomato in their classic burger (we order ours veggie with the black-bean-and-chickpea patty) is a juicy, gorgeous slab of tomato, not a watery afterthought in there for show. The veggie version of the burger is everything that was promised, firm and tasty, crisp on the outside like meat and lightly spiced to keep it interesting."
Flipside pivoted to takeaway orders last year due to Covid-19 restrictions, and the move proved so successful that the company is now looking for an additional premises in Sligo to continue to offer burgers to go. The proliferation of mobile food units during the pandemic resulted in two of the four regional awards for Best Gourmet Burger being claimed by food trucks. Gaelic Burger in Kildare took the Leinster award and O’Reilly’s Foodtruck in Cork took the Munster title.
In other food news, Galway business The Dough Bros was voted best pizzeria in Ireland, and best takeaway service in Europe, in the 50 Top Pizza, The Guide to The Best Pizzerias in Italy and Worldwide awards, announced this week. During the pandemic, the company developed a part-cooked pizza that could be shipped nationwide, for finishing at home.
National Burger Day award winners
Best burger in Ireland: Flipside, Sligo
Best burger at a …
Restaurant: Thunder Road Café, Dublin
Hotel: Hotel Killarney, Kerry
Pub: Harry's, Galway
Convenience/Forecourt: Station Burger at Apple Green
National Fast Food Chain: Burger King at Apple Green
Independent Fast-Food Chain: Blue Thunder, Claremorris, Mayo
Independent Takeaway: Tony's Pizzeria, Dundalk, Louth
Best independent takeaway
Connacht: Cafolla's in Castlebar, Mayo
Leinster: Fairview Grill, Dublin
Munster: Lixnaw Chipper, Kerry
Ulster: Johnny's Ranch, Donegal
Northern Ireland: The Pizza Shack & Burger Bar, Newry, Armagh
Best takeaway chain
Connacht: Blue Thunder, Westport, Mayo
Leinster: Burger Boxx, Ashbourne, Meath
Munster: Bun Bros, Ennis, Clare
Ulster: Friar's Rest, Letterkenny, Donegal
Best gourmet burger specialist
Connacht: Cian's on Bridge Street, Westport, Mayo
Leinster: Gaelic Burger, Kildare (foodtruck)
Munster: O'Reilly's Foodtruck, Cork (foodtruck)
Ulster: Burger Burger, Dungannon
This article was updated on August 13th, 2021, to include revisions to the results issued by the organisers