11 of the best burger places in Suffolk
- Credit: Archant
It’s National Burger Day on August 27 – celebrate by booking a table at or delivery from one of food and drink editor Charlotte Smith-Jarvis’ favourite places.
1. The Filling Station, Debenham
Tucked away off the main drag this mother and son operation dishes up some absolutely cracking takeaway burgers. Owner Amanda only uses the very best raw ingredients to start out with, including chuck and rump cuts (and other meats) from Palfrey and Hall butchers, salad from W A Wards Greengrocers and brioche buns from Two Magpies Bakery. A great deal of care goes into preparing every element, from marinating the chicken in spices and buttermilk overnight, to slow-cooking pork shoulder for six hours. There are over 15 burgers to choose from – from The Cowboy (with cheddar, American cheese, onion rings, tomato, lettuce, barbecue sauce and smoky mayonnaise) to the Hot Chicken (Southern fried chicken with bacon, tomato, jalapenos, and sriracha mayo). Salad boxes, fries, loaded fries and plenty of other moreish sides also feature , including mac and cheese bites and halloumi fries.
2. Love Thy Burger
The owner of this industrially-designed burger restaurant used to assess the quality of national burger chains, and spent a lot of time researching ‘the perfect burger’ before setting up shop in Ipswich. Now, he has three restaurants under his belt, opening branches in Colchester and Southwold. Local butchers meat is hand-pressed to order on the grill and served with a tempting array of toppings, including the signature red onion marmalade. My favourites are the Phat Pig (burger with pulled pork, homemade slaw, smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickle and smoky barbecue sauce) and the Goody Two Shoes (falafel burger, grilled halloumi, lettuce, tomato, garlic mayonnaise and slaw or chilli jam). The rosemary fries are addictive and you can add them to your order with a soft drink for an extra £3.50.
3. Best Burger, Stowmarket
Tucked into a converted wagon behind the Queen’s Head pub on Station Road, this reliably good burger joint usually has a dizzying amount of choice . Beef is sourced from Needham Market, using the chuck cut for flavour and each month owner Brendan conjures up a special flavour, taking inspiration from around the world.
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One of the most popular choices is the Ozzie, tucking a beef burger inside a sourdough bun with bacon, fried egg, a pineapple ring, cheese, lettuce, spicy tomatoes and beetroot. While one of the most popular specials has been a chilli cheeseburger with mature cheddar, sour cream, tortilla chips, tomato salsa and homemade chilli, slow-cooked on the barbecue. Of course, if you’re not so adventurous, they have plainer burgers, as well as chicken and veggie burgers, fries and sides.
4. Jojo’s, Lowestoft
It’s worth making the trip to this award-winning American diner from anywhere in Suffolk. The flavours they pack into every dish is outstanding. I’ve had some of the best waffles and Southern fried chicken of my life at this place. Currently they’re offering collections and local delivery. All meat and buns are local, and every element is homemade. I highly recommend the melting Pig Mac (eight hour slow-cooked Kansas city-style pulled pork, Swiss cheese and house apple slaw) and The Colonel (Southern fried chicken, streaky bacon, hash brown, Monterey Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato and chipotle ketchup). The fried chicken seasoning is spot on.
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5. Forge Kitchen, Ipswich
Eat in or order a takeaway for collection from the slick drive-through service set up in lockdown. All burgers are hand-pressed, with the bovine selection made with 100% 30-day matured British beef barbecued in the Kopa oven for that flame-grilled flavour. I like the Holy Smoke – topped with smoked back bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, stilton, beer cooked onions and pepper mayo.
6. Hmm Burger, Newmarket
One of our food reviewers Mark declared the patties here some of the best he’s tasted in his life ...high praise indeed. At the moment they’re offering collections from 12noon and deliveries from 4.30pm. You can’t go wrong with their classic Hmm Burger, made with prime beef, red onion marmalade, lettuce, tomato and house sauce. But Mark recommends the Blue Burger – topped with a generous slice of Tuxford & Tebbutt stilton and all the other toppings above. He says the Cajun fries are worth adding to your order too.
7. The Arbor House, Ipswich
A very short walk from the town centre, close to Ipswich Museum, this neighbourhood pub/bar has a really lovely feel and is where we often go with friends and family if we want a quick, nicely made, reasonably priced dinner or lunch. I adore their small bites (especially the halloumi fries) and our entire family rates their jumbo burgers, made with good beef and served in a decent bun with homemade fries. My husband always orders the Stack – a gut-busting two burgers with streaky bacon, melting cheese and homemade onion jam. Good craft beer on sale here too.
8. The Grundisburgh Dog, Grundisburgh
The pub is open for food from Wednesday to Sunday and has burgers on all week, but Friday is Burger Night when you can takeaway a feast from 5pm to 8.30pm or order any burger for £7.50, adding fries for £3 and a pint for £2.50. They have an ‘all the works’ burger layered with bacon, Monterey Jack, salad, onion jam and American mustard, as well as chicken and veggie or vegan burgers.
9. The Unruly Pig, Bromeswell
The Unruly Burger – a premium quality British patty layered with blue cheese mayonnaise and onion jam inside buttery brioche –has been a staple on the menu of the award-winning gastropub since it opened. There would probably be an outcry if the kitchen took it off. Make your order extra indulgent by ordering a side of the unctuous dripping-fried chips.
10. No4 at The Abbeygate, Bury St Edmunds
My family and I rarely visit the town without making a stop for a bite at this cool, casual restaurant/cafe attached to the independent cinema. I have a penchant for the kale salad (it’s more delicious than it sounds) and the chocolatey, custard-filled Nanaimo bars. And the kids crave the poutines. High up on the list for my husband though are the burgers- juicy, generous, and tasting of good quality prime meat, they’re a winner every time. Usually you can build your own burger from a selection of toppings and fillings. At the moment there’s a reduced menu running, but still with quite a mouth-watering range – from the 100% prime beef burger with bacon, cheddar and barbecue sauce, to a jackfruit burger with barbecue sauce, and Jamaican jerk or grilled chicken, all inside a brioche bun with salad and remoulade. You can go ‘bunless’ if you like, with your choice of protein sitting on top of a salady bowl of rice, spiced chickpeas, pepper, onion, lettuce, mixed seeds and more.
11. Queens, Bury St Edmunds
The pub has merged with the owners other spot in Bury (Ben’s Restaurant) while it remains closed to bring diners the best of both worlds. The menu is all about spreading the hyper-local message, incorporating rare breed and locally sourced meats from the family smallholding and other Suffolk farms. You’ll find dishes from both Ben’s and Queens to choose from – Queen’s having become known for its ribs, hot dogs and stonkingly good burgers. They’re made in-house, served on the kitchen’s own brioche buns with house fries and slaw. My husband likes The Queen burger (with Monterey Jack cheese, crispy bacon, burger sauce and salad) but I recently enjoyed the Posh Spice curried butternut squash burger. Sides include truffled mushroom mac and cheese and beer battered onion rings. From Tuesday to Friday takeaway any two burgers for £20.
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