This is the first installment of a new miniseries within ‘BeefFanatic On Tour’: The Hamburg Hamburger Files. Hamburg boasts a rising and thriving, modern burger scene. The northern German harbour city is also the namesake of the hamburger, so what could be more perfect to feature on BeefFanatic.com?
It’s widely accepted that the hamburger got its name from the city of Hamburg, but accounts vary as to the exact dish birthed the modern day beef-and-bun hamburger. Some say it came from ‘Hamburg style beef’ or ‘hamburg steak’ which was basically raw, ground beef – server in a tartare style. Others say ‘Hamburgers’ were actually large, cooked meatballs before morphing into the patty shape that we know and love today.
Either way, we have Hamburg to thank for the hamburger. Just like we have the Frankfurters to thank for the modern hot dog. Germans love their ground meats – always have, always will.
During my regular trips to the port city, I have been dining in style at some of the best burger places recommended by friends and colleagues. And so our miniseries begins with Dulf’s Burger.
The closest London comparison I can draw is to Patty & Bun – Dulf’s is a messy plate-full of beefy delights, customizable in many different ways and overflowing with goodness. The restaurant sits in the Karolinenviertel (neighbourhood), a millennial area with Notting Hill-like vibes and tons of recent uni grads.
Dulf’s Burger serves 150g patties of Charolais beef – if you have never seen this French breed of cattle, then google it – spoiler alert: they’re huge. Served atop your choice of three different buns: sour dough, sesame, or brioche, the burgers are sumptuous and the toppings are plentiful.
I went for the Farmer burger on a brioche bun, which comes topped with cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, a fried egg, homemade burger sauce, and overflowing with coleslaw. Dulf’s range of homemade burger sauces is quite impressive too: highlights include truffle, wasabi or cumin sauce.
Of course, I went for the truffle sauce.
Together with an (overpriced) Moscow Mule and a side of crispy sweet potato fries, this meal was a winner. Easily on par with some of my favorite burgers in London, which is really an impressive level of burger goodness. The coleslaw was homemade, crisp and fresh, the bun held up under the multiple sauce and runny egg bombardments, and the beef was full of flavor.
My friend went for the classic Dulf’s cheeseburger which arrived with double cheddar cheese and the standard lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions and choice of burger sauce, along with a side of gooey, delicious mac’n’cheese. A picture of perfection…
For me, Dulf’s Burger is excellent – were it in London, it would easily place in my top ten burgers. Being in Hamburg means I can only stack it up against other Hamburg hamburgers, but this is going to be a difficult one to top.
The restaurant itself was packed, with people queueing outside and waitstaff frantically taking down waiting list names on their iPads. Just like you’d see at a joint like Flat Iron in Covent Garden. With rows of Oktoberfest-style benches outside and an under-the-arches feel insides, Dulf’s Burger looks and feels the part.
The burgers are just the right side of ‘decadent’ in their construction and toppings. The flavors are rich, yet the beef stands up to the barrage of other tastes.
The meat is cooked well and stacked high in the bun with the accoutrements. The sides that we tried on this visit were delicious and the portions were generous. There were tons of pre-scripted burger variants on the menu and choosing isn’t easy.
Definitely give Dulf’s a try if you ever find yourself in this harbor city on the Elbe river. If you’re a connoisseur of delicious burgers, I promise you that they won’t disappoint. Visit Dulf’s Burger in Hamburg, Germany on Karolinenstraße 2, 20357. Or check out their Facebook page.