Burger Saturation

Burger, how much do I love thee? Well apparently, Victoria really loves a burger judging from the selection of burger restaurants we’re currently enjoying. One might think we’ve reached the saturation point, but hey, only time will tell.

I can only imagine that there’s a little teeth gritting over at Pink Bicycle, who were the first out the door four years ago. That said, their restaurant is small and given the consistent queue out the front door, there was room for competition.  The Pink Bicycle menu has grown over the years to include not only a variety of burgers, but also a selection of salads and side dishes, and an extensive list of garnishes and condiments. The theme is very local, with special attention paid to local proteins. Pink Bike has a comfortable atmosphere, particularly in the cooler months, as it’s fairly cozy inside. Prices are moderate and consistent with industry standard.

The new Bin 4 Burger Lounge is a lot like Pink Bike, but with a more modern ambiance, more booze and a longer menu. Their burger selection is extensive, seriously, they have a burger for everyone.  If you’re a Pink Bike devotee Bin 4 might bug you, as there are many similarities. That said, it’s burgers, you can’t deviate from the formula much without compromising the theme. Bin 4 is a lot slicker than Pink Bike, so if you fancy a little more selection and more sophisticated atmosphere, this is going to be the pick for you. The quality of the food is very good, with similar attention paid to local products and attention to detail. In contrast, Bin 4 local includes more BC products while Pink Bike is truer to the Island interpretation of local. To be fair, it’s hard to have an extensive menu selection and reasonable prices if you don’t include BC in your local purchasing.  Prices are comparable to Pink Bike.

If you’re not looking for a formal table service restaurant, but you want the premium burger experience Big Wheel Burger is your newest option. The brainchild of Peter Zambri, Jeff Heatherington and associates, Big Wheel is the no-chain option for fast food burgers. The menu appears to be modeled after the American In and Out Burger, with simplicity at the forefront (i.e. limited selection of carefully chosen items). They have burgers (beef with one veggie option for non-beef eaters), hot dogs, fries (including chili and poutine), shakes and cookies.  Unlike most fast food restaurants they have beer and wine. That’s a bonus.  Like Pink Bike and Bin 4, they use BC raised beef and further distinguish themselves from fast food restaurants with scratch preparation methods. Less expensive than a sit down restaurant, Big Wheel is pricey for takeaway, but the ambiance is swankier, the service a bit more thoughtful and the food tastier.

If you just want a greasy old burger and have had a enough of the froufrou, Victoria has recently gained a downtown Burger King and Fat Burger. To be perfectly honest, I’m a huge sucker for a Whopper and am especially fond of the Angry Whopper -  but only on special occasions.

UPDATE: I missed one! Check out Jackalope Bistro for the 'quirky' burger options in Odeon Alley. 

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