It’s all about the burger, Cologne
They say there’s more than 200 burger bars in Cologne, and as always, there’s no accounting for taste. #Visitkoeln sent me out to review my favourite burger joints.
This is a newcomer among Cologne’s burger joints, but it’s one that deserves attention. Managed by two women, this small snack bar is unusual already in that it’s on Alter Markt which, let’s be real, is not exactly Hipster Central. HOWEVER (yes, I’m shouting), the perfect burger that is put in front of me is even more unusual. The bun is just as it should be: more firm than soft and very flavourful (apparently the secret is a special mix of brioche and pretzel roll). The patty consists of freshly ground meat and was grilled according to my personal preference, medium rare. I’ve also opted for a slice of tender cheddar cheese, some crispy bacon and an egg grilled to perfection. On the side, I’ve ordered a portion of home-made fries with three delicious sauces. When it comes to burger bars, Fräulein Herborths is definitely my top insider tip!
Address: Alter Markt 39, 50667 Cologne
Oh, how I wish Dicker Hund (Fat Dog) had been around when I lived in the area! This relatively new place, with a menu dedicated largely to hearty American fare, is just opposite Agneskirche church on Neusser Strasse. I order the “Spezial-Burger”, which presently arrives. The insides of the perfect bun are buttered then grilled briefly, producing a lovely toasted texture that doesn’t just do wonders for the taste, but is also practical since the sauces don’t make everything go soggy. The delicious beef patty is thick, juicy and medium rare, precisely as I ordered it. Someone in the kitchen knows what they’re doing! My side order of sweet potato fries would have easily sufficed for two, plus they are scrumptious and extremely crispy. A friend recommended the homemade mac and cheese side, but sadly my stomach says no. Never mind, I’ll just have to return another day.
+++ Unfortunately, Dicker Hund is temporarily closed +++
Address: Neusser Str. 87, 50670 Cologne
It’s only just gone noon when I walk through the door of this Eigelstein joint, but most tables are populated with hungry diners. I manage to secure a spot at the counter – great for watching the boys in the kitchen flipping the burgers. I order “Freddys Favoriten”, a classic burger with organic Neuland beef, lettuce, gherkin, onions and ketchup in a whole wheat bun, plus some home-made fries and lemonade. The nice man behind the counter recommended the cabbage salad as a side for a simple reason: otherwise, he claimed, I’d eat too many of the delicious fries. And he’s not wrong: they’re crispy, well-seasoned and probably highly addictive. The burger in front of me is huge and I already know I’m going to fail to do it justice. It’s a good burger, very tasty, although the bun starts to disintegrate fairly quickly owing to the large amount of ketchup. By the way, all burgers are available with a vegetarian patty.
Address: Eigelstein 147, 50668 Cologne
A second outlet is at Kyffhäuserstr. 34, 50674 Cologne
Beef Brothers is a classic among Cologne’s burger joints, and they absolutely deserve the great reputation they’ve had for years. A long, narrow space, it’s hardly where you would go for a romantic dinner date but it’s perfect if you’re quite simply hungry for a burger. After a brief discussion with the pleasant staff behind the counter, I choose the “Ol’ Dirty Bastard”. Thankfully, there’s not a dirty ingredient in sight – it’s very fresh, topped with gorgonzola cheese, bacon and fries as a tasty bonus. Since this won’t be the first burger joint I have to test today, I’m glad that miniature versions are available. This little work of art is superb, just like the Cologne-manufactured lemonade I order to wash it all down.
Die fette Kuh
Die fette Kuh (Fat Cow) is probably a pioneering force in Cologne’s burger scene. It opened in 2011, long before the burger craze broke out. In fact I came here just after it opened – and was transported straight to seventh burger heaven. To this day the joint is full to capacity every single day of the week. No wonder, since they’ve never compromised on quality.
Die fette Kuh serves juicy burgers from grass-fed cows raised in the Niederrhein region topped with very delicious additions. My favourite side is the home-made fries with truffle mayo – for the ravenous, I also recommend the chili cheese fries plus the 200g patty (the small variety weighs in at 120g). All burgers are available as a vegetarian option. For a full Die fette Kuh experience, order the joint’s own craft beer. All in all, this presses all the buttons – but do come armed with some spare time, plus it’s cash only. By the way, to mark the new year Die fette Kuh gave itself a fresh new look in January 2017, so be sure to drop in soon.
Die fette Kuh
Address: Bonner Str. 43, 50677 Cologne