The contestable Bogotá Best Burger


I’ve been in a bit of a burger addiction phase lately. That means I’ve been spending every week hunting down new burger joints. As I have written previously, Bogotá has somehow made the American invention a national food, so it’s a great place for the burger lover or connoisseur; there’s something for every diet, religion, and price range. When one of my students learnt about my latest obsession, he told me about the SOHO magazine BBB – the Bogotá’s Best Burger rank.

SOHO is like the ‘Colombian GQ’, a very well-respected magazine because it’s funny, witty and informative, even though it verges onto soft porn with lots of naked women gracing its pages in a form of high art photography, making it look more legitimate than it is.

Apart from naked women the magazine also talks about men’s interests like the latest bars, the hottest places and the best pizzas in the city. So, the Kaplan burger of Burger Market was voted to be the best burger in Bogotá according to this mag. A few people had also told me before that Burger Market has the best burgers in Bogotá. After coming across this magazine article I’m now connecting the dots. SOHO mag is read by middle class men. All the people who told me that Burger Market has the best burger are middle class men.

So the other day I went over with lots of excitement and expectations plus telling my dinner companions that this place is famous for their burgers, and especially THE Kaplan burger! Burger Market has since ridden on its best burger status and has named its Kaplan Burger after the magazine as the ‘Soho burger’ on its menu.

That didn’t go down entirely well. Kaplan wasn’t particularly good. Kaplan comes with a fried onion ring and bacon. The smokey bacon overtakes the beef so you can’t really taste the beef. The bun wasn’t particularly outstanding either. One may wonder how it got on the top ten rank at the first place, let alone coming first of the top ten.. Perhaps $ was involved in the ranking..

Mental note: take people’s word with a pinch of salt.

tbc – the OneChinese burger rank

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8 comments

  1. Great post and obsession! I find that many burgers here are overdressed with toppings. I only went to Burger Market once (middle class male here!) and ordered the basic burger, which I found outstanding and probably the best burger I’ve had in Bogota. Looking forward to reading your findings.

  2. As a fan of Chef Kaplan and his designs (and certainly NOT a middle class male), I do agree that it is one of the best burgers. Perhaps you were unlucky and that ONE day, the burger wasn’t at it’s best … Maybe you should give it another go, or accept that it is not of your liking, but not dismiss it so blatantly, and worse yet, suggest some kind of pay-off; I find that unfair and borderline insulting … While it is very valuable to express one’s opinions, one should also have enough tact so as to say what one thinks without suggesting illegal or improper behavior of others – unless 100% sure, proof and all.

  3. Well, as a burger enthusiast myself I’m going to throw my hat in the ring…

    I’ve tried quite a few burger joints in Bogotá so far, and here’s my top 3 (in no particular order): Agadon, Apache (terrace bar at Click Clack Hotel), and the Irish pub in Macarena (not much of a pub, but they do a mean burger).

    I did try Burger Market, and must say even though it was a good “solid” burger by all accounts, I found it a bit overhyped.

  4. I find Becky’s comment to be ridiculous. “Perhaps… that ONE day, the burger wasn’t at it’s (sic) best”, “not dismiss it so blatantly”– what do these statements even mean? Why “should” you or anyone, for that matter, have to give it another go? I don’t think your suggestion about money (which can be interpreted in different ways, not just a bribe) is unfair or insulting– of course it’s a possibility; this is Colombia we’re talking about. You don’t need proof to express that something is merely possible. So many expats and travel bloggers trip over themselves to praise things in Colombia that deep down they consider mediocre or downright bad (things they would never tolerate back home but that seem “good enough” for the third world). Or, they patronizingly praise effort instead of results. Thank you for speaking your mind!

  5. Exactly! Totally agree watch this space!

  6. I find thrilling all this controversy about a burger and the quest for the best one in Bogota… I wish we could have more discussions and opinions about these issues like the best almojabanas or empanadas… I would say this kind of stories contribute to improve the image of my country….

  7. […] mentioned before, I have been going by a Best Burger rank to hunt down the best burger in the city. Admittedly the […]

  8. […] the famous Soho mag wrote about the phenomenon of angry Colombians reacting against the slightest […]

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