Neighbourhood: East Kildonan
Address: 2-1596 Regent Ave W
When it comes to creating a “better” burger, Nuburger does so in more ways than one. Not only does it deliver on health and flavour, it’s committed to sourcing local ingredients. All beef, chicken and pork served are ethically raised in Manitoba, buns are baked fresh everyday by Gunn’s Bakery, and when available, produce comes from local suppliers. This, along with a passion for composting, has earned Nuburger a reputation as one of Canada’s most environmentally-responsible eateries.
Earth talk aside, this local chain is a paradise for burger addicts, listing more than 20 varieties with ingenious combos of toppings (all of which are made in-house) like black currant reduction and truffle aioli or blueberry bbq sauce and balsamic onions. These mod burgers are everything but basic.
Named after the Star Wars icon, beefy “Obi-Wan Perogy” is an ode to Manitoba’s favourite dumpling, riffing on the beloved flavours. Thick, crunchy housemade potato chips add playful texture to local Bothwell cheddar, bacon and caramelized onions. Of course, sour cream is a must, and an herbaceous dill version doesn’t disappoint. Another beef patty, “Shang-awesome”, is a lesson in flavour pairing. Tangy, crisp Asian slaw and sweet chile mayo are a winning counterbalance to spicy mushrooms and sharp goat’s cheese.
A juicy chicken burger dubbed “el luchador” is a fiesta on the tongue. Chipotle mayo brings a hit of heat to sweet corn salsa and briny feta cheese. Perfectly ripe avocado and fresh cilantro and tomato seal the deal with Mexican flair.
Veggie burgers here are original, enticing even carnivores with piled-high fixings and protein-packed patties. The original “Unburger” is like a hearty Greek salad on a bun with cukes, tomato, feta and sprouts. Spicy Sriracha adds unexpected punch to a zesty tzatziki, kicking the classic up a notch. Strong pesto and balsamic flavours burst with every bite of Nuburger’s healthiest option “field of dreams,” with a hefty grilled portabello mushroom in place of a patty. Topped with juicy roasted red pepper and creamy chevre, it’s an elegant rendition of the fast-food favourite.
Staying true to character, sides extend beyond typical French fries, although crispy yam fries with rosemary aioli are a must-order. Impressively thick hummus (dense enough for the upside-down test) is elevated with a healthy dose of dill, a fresh departure for the usually garlic-dominant dip. Carrots, cucumber and cherry tomatoes accompany for scooping up every last bite. An order of addictive edamame spiced with sweet curry fills a bowl big enough to feed a whole table, but don’t make the mistake of eating the tough edamame pod like my amateur guest did during this visit. Thankfully, he lives to tell the tale.