The Paris Burger Wars of 2012: and the winner is…

It has probably gone on for a while without any of my readers taking notice of it, but the War of the Burgers, 2012 is raging full-on here in Paris. I have undertaken the momentous job of sampling the various contenders in the battle and have survived long enough to tell the tale. Readers of this blog may recall my review of the Miami Burger Wars? Well here in Paris, there are three places that I know of that ONLY sell burgers and only have the one outlet – no chains allowed in this contest. Yes, there are a few outliers that serve burgers but they are disqualified from this list because they serve something other than burgers as well. As for three contenders, each sells a variety of burgers, soft drinks, signature fries, and cheesecake. Now, I am already pretty addicted to Starbucks and so need to slim down a bit, so I limited myself to strictly burgers and fries (well, the occasional beer too as you will see) and so here is my list in ascending order.

Le Camion qui Fume has perhaps the best concept because it is literally a van that drives around Paris smoking up a storm and serving up burgers at the Madeleine, quai du Loire, or Stalingrad. Now, you’ll notice right away that all of these stores are on the right bank. I  haven’t quite figured that coincidence out yet but bear with me. Camion features about 4 beef burger recipes with decent meat, ok buns, and attractive and not-so-tasty fries. Because it is quite “fashionable”, the lines are incredibly long if you don’t arrive super early and I am not sure that I’d wait 45 minutes for one of their burgers to be honest. They are pretty good, and I like the onion ring included inside the BBQ one. Admittedly also, they have the largest Facebook following with 16k Likes. But there is fashion and there is quality and they are not always in agreement…so let’s check out some other ones…

..like Blend at 44 rue Argout (at the corner of Argout and rue du Louvre). This tiny store (open Sundays!!) features great burgers and tasty (although a tad greasy) fries and – drum roll please – Sierra Nevada beer!! Yes, my favorite beer which up to know if more or less impossible to find here in Paris and they have it. The wait is usually about 15-20 minutes but definitely worthwhile. There is a choice of about 6 burgers or you can create your own. The staff and owner are friendly although need to be a bit more internet savvy (they don’t show up with a Google on “best burger paris” like the other two in my list). I like Blend and have been back three times over the last two months, so it was a close call…

…but Big Fernand still wins hands down. At 55, rue de Faubourg Poissonière, it is not an obvious spot for awesome burgers and extraordinary service. It has only been open for about 7 months but has drawn a huge following (3143 likes on Facebook) in such a short period of time and always has a line. Now, there are several things which differentiate Big Fernand from the rest of the pack: the staff all wear flannel shirts as uniforms and all the guys sport dark beards (gimmicky but it really works), they great you at the door with a huge smile and a warm welcome), and despite the long lines, the services is so fast that they nearly have your burger ready before you even order it. Basically, they figured out what Ford and McDo did years ago and have a burger assembly line which is incredibly efficient. Their fries are yummy but on the greasy side. Yet, that takes nothing away from the delicious burgers (beef but also lamb, chicken, and pork) and homemade buns. A truly wonderful burger experience is to be had.  And if that wasn’t enough, they are opening a hot dog stand three doors down called…the Little Fernand…anytime now…

Other contenders, but which have wider menus than merely burgers and fries include Café de Paris (haven’t tried ’em), Razowski’s (didn’t like their burger all that much), H.A.N.D. (definitely need to try this one!) and Breakfast in America (where I have only had breakfast but need to try the burgers on of these days).

So, which is your winner in the Paris Burger Wars of 2012?

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About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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14 Responses to The Paris Burger Wars of 2012: and the winner is…

  1. chamoule says:

    Try East Side Burgers, a new burger joint that just opened, and serves only veggie/vegan burgers (first one in Paris) and homemade everything, from cupcakes to cookies. and they serve Dr Pepper
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/East-Side-Burgers/230060853766290?fref=ts

  2. Lana says:

    Schwartz’s!!

    • mfinocchiaro says:

      I finally went there this week…holy shit, that is the REAL thing at Schwartz’s. Excellent burger!! It doesn’t quality for my list because they server other stuff than burgers (the pastrami sandwich is amazing too!) but this is the tastiest burger I have had in a long time!

  3. Pingback: More on the Paris Burger Wars – Razowski’s, Schwartz’s, and the Cantine California | Fino's Weblog

  4. Pingback: More on the Paris Burger Wars – Razowski’s, Schwartz’s, and the Cantine California | Fino's Weblog

  5. Pingback: Finding the Perfect Pizza in Paris (well in the 9th anyway) | Fino's Weblog

  6. Pingback: Paris Burger Wars, Part 3: H.A.N.D. (Have A Nice Day) – Definitely a contender | Fino's Weblog

  7. Pingback: Paris Burger Wars, Part 4: East Side Burgers – the Vegans enter the arena! | Fino's Weblog

  8. Pingback: More Paris Burgers: Loulou’s Friendly Diner – A Great Left Bank Grill | Fino's Weblog

  9. Pingback: Paris Burger Wars Part 5: PNY (Paris New York) – great ambiance, OK burger | Fino's Weblog

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