๐Ÿ” Top 10 Burgers I Ate while Digital Nomading

Michael Dec 07, 2023
51 People Read

โœˆ๏ธ ๐Ÿ” Jet fuel is to airplanes... as burgers are to me...

So, it's only fitting that I chronicle:

The Top 10 Burgers I enjoyed while traveling the world for 2+ years as a Digital Nomad ๐Ÿ‘‡

10. Fly Burgers โ€” Da Nang, Vietnam ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ

Da Nang... Like a sleepy Rio de Janeiro of the East.

At least, that's what it felt like:

Long beachfront walking promenade... sandy shores shaded by the high-rises that line the water...

Da Nang Digital Nomad

We were there during World Cup 2022...

And before wandering the streets at night to catch the games at different bars (and even at makeshift TV set-ups on the sidewalks)...

We dropped into a friend of a friend's place โ€” Fly Burgers: An American Kitchen.

Vietnam's Spiciest Burger

This place is known for "Vietnam's Spiciest Burger Challenge."

And while I didn't participate in that masochism...

I do remember wanting to order another burger after finishing my first one.

9. Franco's Holzofen Pizza โ€” Antalya, Tรผrkiye ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท

Antalya โ€” a Mediterranean jewel with thousands of years of history (including Roman).

It's like an Italian coastal town... but more affordable, walkable, and with the Islamic Call to Prayer ringing out from the mosques 5 times a day. ๐Ÿ“ข

Antalya Turkey Digital Nomad

We spent almost 3 months here in the Summer of 2023.

We encountered tons of Russians fleeing their war-embattled country...

And thousands of sun-seeking European tourists (I was surprised to learn Turkey is the 6th most visited country in the WORLD). ๐ŸŒ

We spent many days & nights walking through Hadrian's Gate into the Old Town...

There, we tried Franco's Burger.

franco's burger antalya

Fully encrusted in a flaky, Wellington-style pastry...

This double cheddar cheeseburger with caramelized onions, caramelized mushrooms, pickles, etc. hit the spot.

And to top it all off โ€” I dipped each bite in their tasty homemade burger sauce.

TeลŸekkรผrler (thanks) to Franco's.

8. Shake Shack Covent Garden โ€” London, UK ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง

I know, I know... a popular American burger chain that you can get anywhere these days...

BUT โ€” the burgers ARE good... and this one was more about the memory for me:

In August 2022, we took the underwater "Chunnel" train from Paris to London... and we met up with a friend before taking the Tube toward Piccadilly Circus.

London Digital Nomad

Hot and sunny out in London (rare)... people out for a daytime pint... pub crowds spilling out into the streets...

We were thirsty & hungry from traveling, and so plopped down at Shake Shack in Covent Garden for a bite:

I always love the spongey-ness of their buns, the quality of meat, the short height of the burger (making it easy to eat), and adding in some cherry peppers for a little pow! of flavor.

The fries though? Not a fan... ๐Ÿ˜ฌ ๐ŸŸ

7. Zing Burger โ€” Budapest, Hungary ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ

During a 2-week train tour through Europe in June 2022...

We arrived in the city of regally-decorated natural hot springs and palatial riverside landmarks, Budapest.

Budapest Digital Nomad

We'd heard rumors from other Nomads about this place - and it didn't disappoint.

Tons of history, beautiful architecture, boat rides up and down the Danube River...

A couple days wasn't enough at the Wombat's City Hostel (a former 4-star hotel).

And right next door was Zing Burger:

Zing Burger Review

I'm a sucker for modern burger places like this...

The ones that have high-quality ingredient options like pineapple, avocado, fried eggs, caramelized onions, homemade sauces, special cheeses, apricot jam โ€” and gourmet sides like sweet potato fries.

Despite being in a new culture with an opportunity to try Hungarian food...

All I could think about was Zing.

6. Fonzie The Burger's House โ€” Rome, Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

Just a short walk from the Spanish Steps...

This hidden gem was my lifeline while drowning in a sea of too much pasta and pizza for 3 months in Rome.

Rome Digital Nomads

I routinely wolfed down one of their "championship" burgers โ€” The Tatanka โ€” with sweet potato fries.

I don't recall if the meat was actually bison, like the name suggests, or not...

All I remember was an explosion of flavor between the avocado, caramelized onions, and sweet aioli sauce.

I thought Italy did not have good burgers...

But the Fonzie proved me wrong.

5. Tagliata Carne y Pasta โ€” Medellรญn, Colombia ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ด

So many Digital Nomads RAVE about Medellรญn...

Me?

Medellin Digital Nomad

I think it's easily the most overrated digital nomad destination.

It was loud, crowded, big city vibes... and I felt I had to be extra "on guard" walking the streets.

With that said... the affordable gourmet FOOD in Medellรญn is its saving grace. ๐Ÿ•Š

And something I remember fondly was The Steak Burger at Tagliata Carne y Pasta in the Manila neighborhood.

With REAL "cuts-like-butter" steak on the inside...

I ordered this bad boy over & over again.

4. Mu Burger โ€” Playa Del Carmen, Mexico ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ

Settled in between the better-known cities of Cancun and Tulum...

Playa del Carmen is a beach town in the Yucatan peninsula โ€” which is a special region unlike anything I've seen:

Playa Del Carmen Digital Nomads

Beautiful beaches... jungles... Mayan ruins... and natural cave swimming holes called "cenotes."

This was our first stop outside of mine or my wife's home countries...

And I loved it. โค๏ธ

There's a huge nomad/ expat community there... you can enjoy Caribbean ocean views from the dozens of rooftop pools speckling the modest skyline... walking down the touristy 5th Avenue (Quinta Avenida) is always fun for people watching...

And when I wasn't eating delicious Mexican food โ€” I was frequenting places like Mu Burger.

Mu Burger Mexico Review

With high-quality burger meat & ingredients (like gourmet pickles)... and assortment of artisanal dipping sauces... and sweet potato fries...

Mu was one more thing to love in this magical Mexican area.

๐Ÿฅ‰ 3. Cabana Burger โ€” Brazil ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท

We were lucky enough to make multiple visits to the world's most naturally beautiful city:

Rio de Janeiro ๐ŸŒด

Rio de Janeiro Digital Nomad

While there, we stopped into a "Shake Shack copycat (but better)" chain...

And I wolfed down the Truffle Burger at Cabana Burger.

Cabana Burger Review

The bread and the meat were both spongey-soft...

Combine that with the melted cheese that swirls together with the truffle sauce?

Both space and time seemed to stop for a moment after the first bite.

๐Ÿฅˆ 2. VERO Artesanais โ€” Florianรณpolis, Brazil ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท

This place probably would have taken the #1 spot had they not since closed. ๐Ÿ˜ข

The island of "Floripa" in south Brazil โ€” Our first real nomad destination:

Florianopolis Brazil Digital Nomads

Beautiful nature... laid-back, California-like skate & beach culture... activities like hiking, visiting lakes, riding motorcycles, and the popular Brazilian trend of playing Beach Tennis. ๐ŸŽพ

Our only "bones-to-pick" with the place were the frequent raining... AND the weird restaurant hours (closed at random days and times)...

But when they WERE open... I'd hustle over to VERO Artesanais.

vero artesanais review

With nearly everything homemade โ€” "Melt-in-your-mouth" buttery Focaccia bread... sweet barbecue sauce... and hand-formed beef patties...

It's just one of those cheeseburgers that leaves you wanting to order another one โ€” even when you're already completely stuffed.

R.I.P. my special burger friend. ๐Ÿ™

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Now, before we get to #1... a couple more worth mentioning:

Honorable Mention: Madero Burger โ€” Brazil ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท

In the USA, gas station food isn't HIGH on the list of desirable cuisine...

But in Brazil, it's normal to pull over for an hour to enjoy large food courts alongside the highway.

And that's where you'll often find Madero Burgers.

Madero Burger Brazil Review

Thick, juicy patties wedged in between fresh French bread... and dipped in special mayo-like sauce...

Madero will be your ol' reliable in Brazil.

Honorable Mention: Burger do Meu Sogro โ€” Brazil ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท

Portuguese for "My father-in-law's burger."

You have to be VERY lucky to get the opportunity to try this burger (it's not open to the public)...

That's because โ€” it's actually my real father-in-law's homemade burger:

The quality of meat & food in Brazil is on another level...

Mix that with the "ingredient" of warm Brazilian hospitality... and you've got something great landing on your taste buds.

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Now, without further adieu...

Numero UNO goes to ๐Ÿ‘‡

๐Ÿฅ‡ 1. Saltbae Burger Galata โ€” Istanbul, Tรผrkiye ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท

"Saltbae... you mean the meme guy who sprinkles salt on fancy steak?"

Yes, that Saltbae.

Salt Bae Steak GIF

While visiting the incredible city once known as Byzantium... then "New Rome" when the Empire moved their capital there... then Constantinople... and now Istanbul....

We stopped in at Saltbae Burger Galata.

Saltbae Burger Galata Review

You'd think a chef (Real name: Nusret Gรถkรงe) with that level of popularity wouldn't have great quality control at his "spin-off" locations...

But you'd be wrong:

They did the fundamentals REALLY well with The Vaccine Burger.

Nothing fancy... (besides, of course, the waiter pouring liquid hot cheddar cheese over the burger at the table... and them giving us black rubber gloves to wear while eating it...)

Click to watch*

...OK but BESIDES that...

Nothing fancy โ€” Just 4 of the most important ingredients:

(1) White sesame bun (2) Smoked beef (3) Cheddar cheese "injection" and (4) Caramelized onions.

Throw in some seasoned fries on the side...

And you've got a simple, yet elegant, masterpiece.

(BONUS observation & advice: I'll say it again โ€” NEVER underestimate the importance of a burger's low-height for easy edibility... This little guy packed a flavor punch with it's compact design.)

So, congrats to you, Saltbae...

Along with all the thirsty viewers on social media...

Looks like you captured my heart, too. โค๏ธ ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท

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So, there you have itโ€”

My top 10. ๐Ÿ”

Are you a digital nomad? Or do you love burgers? Or did you enjoy reading this? Or do you have a pulse?

๐Ÿ‘‰ Hit me up on Instagram to connect: @MichaelExplorin

Until Next Time,

Michael