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Favorite Local-Beef Burgers in Honolulu


Born and Raised: Thanks to a growing number of Hawaii ranchers raising and keeping cattle here, it suddenly seems there’s no dearth of local beef hamburgers. Here’s a look at some of our favorites from the newer eateries around town.

Downbeat Diner

Opened January 2011; American Burger, $8

The bun: Potato bun from The Patisserie.

The works: Green leaf lettuce, sliced onions, tomato, American cheese and Downbeat house sauce, a take on Thousand Island.

The patty: Six ounces of 100-percent grass-fed beef from Kulana, a Hawaii Island cooperative that sources from ranches all around the island. Gas-grilled.

Strengths: Is it sacrilege to pair an all-natural beef patty with American processed cheese? You can ponder that while we finish our burger and yours.

42 N. Hotel St., 533-2328, downbeatdiner.com.

Honolulu Burger Co.

Opened July 2010; Classic Cheeseburger, $7.89

The bun: Kaiser roll from The Patisserie. Other options: whole wheat or a slightly sweet taro bread.

The works: Mari’s Garden organic aquaponic Manoa lettuce, sautéed onions, tomato, cheddar and a house-made dressing with roasted garlic, mayonnaise, ketchup, chipotle and relish. There are eight other options for cheese, including Gruyere and Naked Cow Dairy feta.

The patty: A third of a pound of Kulana grass-fed beef. Gas-grilled.

Strengths: There are more elaborate offerings at Honolulu Burger Co.—you could top your burger with kālua pig, Portuguese sausage or pastrami—but the simplest burger shows off the perfectly charred patty and the sauce that brings it all together.

1295 S. Beretania St., 626-5202, honoluluburgerco.com.

Salt Kitchen and Tasting Bar

Opened June 2011; Maui Cattle Co. Burger, $12

The bun: A Kaiser roll, from local bakery Daily Bread, holds up to a sizable meat patty.

The works: Butter lettuce, house bread-and-butter pickles and tomato.

The patty: Eight ounces of grass-fed beef from Maui Cattle Co., a cooperative of Maui ranches. Maui Cattle Co. recently switched from grass-fed beef that was finished on grain and pineapple to grass-fed beef from start to finish. Gas-grilled.

Strengths: This burger is solid as is (and hefty at half a pound), but add on guanciale (cured, unsmoked pig jowl) and red onion jam to send your tastebuds over the moon.

3605 Waialae Ave., 744-7567, salthonolulu.com.


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Honolulu Magazine April 2018
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