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Burger Wars: Finding The Best Burger In New Zealand | Don't Ever Look Back

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Burger Wars: Finding The Best Burger In NZ

Burger Wars: Finding The Best Burger In NZ

You may have heard of Fergburger, an extremely popular gourmet hamburger restaurant in Queenstown, New Zealand.

But do they serve the best burger in New Zealand, or even the world?

It was our goal to locate the best burger restaurant in New Zealand and we started our search on the South Island.


Velvet Burger

Velvet Burger Restaurant Dunedin

Our first stop was Dunedin, home to two Velvet Burger restaurants (there is also one in Auckland for those on the North Island).

As we’d just finished a couple of delicious Dunedin cheese rolls before coming to Velvet Burger Octagon, we chose two mini burgers for our taste test.

Baby Brown (left)
The Great New Zealand BBQ in a burger. Beef pattie with Salad, BBQ sauce and Aioli.

Chicken Little (right)
A tasty little number filled with Grilled Chicken Breast, Salad, Relish, Aioli and Basil Pesto.

Burgers from Velvet Burger Dunedin

Both of the burgers were made with quality ingredients and possessed a lot of flavor. The service at Velvet Burger was good and we were happy with what they delivered.

Natural Kumara Chips from Velvet Burger

The definite highlight from Velvet Burger was the natural kumara chips (sweet potato fries) with a side of Aioli. One of our friends recommended that we try these when were in New Zealand and we certainly weren’t disappointed!

We would definitely come back to Velvet Burger if we ever visit Dunedin again.

Our Velvet Burger Rating: 7/10



Fergburger - Queenstown, New Zealand

Fergburger was on our “to-do list” before we even arrived in Queenstown and judging by the constant crowds around the restaurant, it was on many others’ lists too.

We went to Fergburger for lunch on our first day in Queenstown and had some tough choices to make with many appealing options on the menu. Luckily we had about 10 minutes in line to decide on what to order.

Our final choice was to opt for the standard Fergburger (had to give it a try!) and one of their chicken offerings.

The Fergburger (left)
Prime New Zealand beef, lettuce, tomato, red onion, aioli & tomato relish.

Cockadoodle Oink (right)
Butterflied & crumbed chicken breast, American streaky bacon, avocado, letuce, tomato, red onion, aioli & tomato relish.

It was an approximate 30-minute wait for our food but we were lucky enough to secure a table in front of the restaurant on what was a lovely day. This was all the part of experience – if you’re looking for a quick feed, Fergburger isn’t the place to go.

Burgers from Fergburger Queenstown

Chips and Aioli from Fergburger

Our first impression was that the burgers from Fergburger were enormous! But after digging in for our first bite, we knew that they were something special.

Huge Fergburger

The Fergburger burgers were so delicious that we both managed to finish them off along with a side serving of fries between us.

Success! Fergburger devoured!

Fergburger was a definite winner, despite the fact that we were so full we could barely walk afterwards!

Was it the best burger in New Zealand? So far it was an emphatic yes, although we would probably say that we’ve had slightly better elsewhere in the world.

Our Fergburger Rating: 8.5/10



Burger Fuel Restaurant in Wellington

BurgerFuel is the biggest burger chain we ate at in New Zealand with 30 locations across the North Island and a few more spread across the world. It’s tagline is “engineering the ultimate burger” and we had high hopes when we entered the restaurant on Cuba Street in Wellington.

We placed our order and within minutes, our burgers and fries were on our table.

First test passed.

Our BurgerFuel Meal

A nice touch was the innovative and patented Doofer, a folding cardboard burger holder. The Doofer holds your big, messy BurgerFuel burger together as you eat it. No lost fillings and no juice/sauce on your hands – a highlight for us!

Our burger choice was as follows:

Bio Fuel (left)
1/3 pound 100% pure NZ grass fed beef, free range egg, beetroot, salad, relish and fresh natural BF aioli

Third Pounder With Cheese (right)
1/3 pound 100% pure NZ grass fed beef, melted cheddar, bread & butter pickles, dijon mustard, relish and fresh natural BF aioli

Burgers from Burger Fuel

Compare the appearance of the burgers above with those from Velvet Burger and Fergburger and it’ll tell you the story of how they tasted.

BurgerFuel was decent for a burger restaurant chain but unfortunately our burgers were nowhere near the quality of Fergburger and the kumara fries with aioli were far superior at Velvet Burger in Dunedin.

Our BurgerFuel Rating: 5.5/10


The Winner – Best Burger In New Zealand

Fergburger Queenstown NZ

Fergburger – Queenstown, New Zealand


Are there any other great burger joints in New Zealand that we should have tried? Leave them in the comments below!


  1. Posted August 19, 2013 at 9:18 pm | Permalink

    I’m gutted I didn’t try it now! I was there for over a week. What’s wrong with me?!
    Arianwen recently posted..Dolphins are NOT my friends

    • Posted August 19, 2013 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

      Over a week in Queenstown without trying Fergburger?! All the more reason to go back one day. 🙂

  2. Posted August 19, 2013 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    We decided we didn’t want to deal with the long line at Ferburger in Queenstown, so we never tried it. We did fall deeply in love with Velvet Burger though. I think we ate at both locations twice each in the span of 2 weeks. Yum!
    Ali recently posted..Getting to Know Our Neighbors

    • Posted August 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      Don’t blame you for avoiding the queues.. we just wanted to get it out of the way as it was on our list of things to do! Velvet Burger was impressive.. we probably would have enjoyed it more if we didn’t eat beforehand!

  3. Posted August 19, 2013 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    Same sentiments! I wasn’t impressed with Burger Fuel at all. But Fergburger is totally worth the money and wait. I had it twice over my short stay in Queenstown! 🙂
    Aaron recently posted..On a food trail in Barcelona

    • Posted August 19, 2013 at 10:27 pm | Permalink

      Yeah we were left a little disappointed with BurgerFuel but I guess it was always going to be a tough task to overtake Fergburger. We never made it back to Fergburger during our 3 days in Queenstown as we wanted to try a few other places.. Fergbaker next door was also quite good!

  4. Posted August 19, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

    Looking at those Velvet Burger photos I wish we’d gone there! I have to say with Fergburger it just felt like the hype was about size and when we got ours it just seemed like an awful lot of bread! I really don’t get why people say they are the best burgers in the world. Best NZ burger for me was from a little burger van in Abel Tasman, packed full of gorgeous toppings and really good quality beef.
    Maddie recently posted..A day on the ranch – the gaucho way of life

    • Posted August 19, 2013 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      Velvet Burger was a good meal and the kumara chips were simply delicious! Yeah we wouldn’t class Fergburger as the best burgers in the world.. I think a lot of people are sold by the hype. We would’ve loved to have made our research a little more extensive, I’m sure there are many great burgers across NZ!

    • Peter
      Posted August 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      That would be The Fat Tui Burger van Maddie. I agree, much better than an overhyped Ferg!

  5. Posted August 20, 2013 at 3:45 am | Permalink

    Wow!! Fergburger burgers are HUGE!! Looks delicious… what an epic burger adventure 🙂
    Rika recently posted..Roatan Month 12 Roundup – ONE YEAR!!

    • Posted August 21, 2013 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

      They were enormous! We were truly stuffed by the time we finished.. don’t think we ate dinner that night!

  6. Steve
    Posted August 20, 2013 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

    Not a bad effort the tropical swine is bay far the best burger at Freg and by placing a phone order you can avoid the q. However just around the corner is devil burger which equals Freg and also has wraps. In able tasmin is the Fat Tui which makes amazing tasty burgers which are way healthier. Nice start but I think you have some more work to do. Good luck

    • Posted August 21, 2013 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

      Didn’t know that you could place a phone order – that’s a great tip Steve!

      We certainly do have more work to do to truly find the best burger in New Zealand (or perhaps the world?!).. bring on Burger Wars Part 2!

  7. Posted August 21, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m always SO sad that people claim Fergberger as the “best in NZ”. I was truly disappointed. There are so many good burger joints in New Zealand! My absolute favorite burger was had while I was in Wellington at a bar called the Tasting Room. I think it might actually still be the best burger I’ve ever had. And I didn’t have to buy my chips separately.

    Laura recently posted..Am I too Sentimental?

    • Posted August 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

      Oh no, we tried to eat our way around Wellington but missed out on the Tasting Room!

      Our sample size for our decision was rather limited but from the sounds of the comments, we’ll need to go back to New Zealand and do a second round of Burger Wars to see what is truly the best burger in the country!

  8. Posted August 21, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    hahaha oh the Ferburger! I rememeber it well! just reading this article makes me want to go back again JUST FOR THAT BURGER!!!! or perhaps I would be more keen to do a burger trial all around NZ as well 🙂
    Rebecca recently posted..Travel and Design – New Series

    • Posted August 21, 2013 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

      Yeah writing this post while hungry wasn’t the best idea haha.. we were practically drooling!

      Imagine that for a full-time job.. searching for the best burger (or other delicious foods) in a country. Yes please!

  9. Posted August 21, 2013 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Haha, this is more my style of travel! I think Burger Wisconsin burgers in New Zealand are at least as good as Velvet Burger or Burger Fuel; Fergburger is a tough act to beat, though!
    Simon Petersen recently posted..The 30 best places to visit in Europe (20-11)

  10. Posted August 21, 2013 at 11:33 pm | Permalink

    WOW! This post made me soo hungry. I am liking how Baby Brown from Velvet Burger looks like. and the sweet potato chips with aioli looks irresistable!
    Jean | Holy Smithere recently posted..Flight Review: Virgin Australia Business Class Sydney to Nadi, Fiji

  11. Posted August 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Tony is absolutely adamant that the best burgers in the world can only be found in America, though we have heard claims that the Kiwis can do a decent burger as well. So far we’ve found that most countries outside of the U.S. & Canada just have no notion of what to do with ground beef and often their burgers are just far too dry and crumbly. I’ll have to withhold judgment on the actual quality of the burgers you tried until we make it to NZ one day, but I will say that at least the Fergburger burgers look like they nailed American portion sizes… 😉

  12. Posted October 15, 2013 at 5:12 am | Permalink

    Ahh BURGERSS!!! We’ve been in the Dominican Republic for over a year now and we have yet to find a decent burger place here. There is one spot though that just opened that we will be checking out soon. Hopefully they live up to the promotions they are doing =).
    Gabriel recently posted..10 life lessons learned from surfing – Episode 4 – Your Surroundings

  13. Posted November 21, 2013 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    You have no idea how hungry you just made me!.. MEAT kinda hungry!!..
    The kumara chips look delicious too by the way. I don’t often see sweet potato fries being served with burgers, but I like them a lot!
    Zara @ Backpack ME recently posted..FOOD PORN: a year of Food Around the World

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