From the window of a vintage caravan found on Trade Me to a permanent nest down New Brighton’s coolest alleyway – The Burger Joint has been making some serious moves over the last couple of years.
It was outside South Brighton Surf Club that seaside locals, Sam Kubiak and Caroline Riley, first opened their mobile food truck. Interest piqued and an appetite for their burger creations only grew… So when given the opportunity to hang their hat in the same town they sold their first patty in, it was a big ‘hell yeah’ moment.
The fresh dine-in venue is tucked down Carnaby Lane with an ethos that is plain and simple – and pretty hard to miss, with it boldly printed across the entranceway: Real Food, Real Local. They mean it too. All patties are made by hand using Peter Timbs and Angus Meats and vegan and preservative-free bread comes from Good Honest Products.
On top of the familiar caravan offerings, Southpaw craft beer and a boutique wine list is available and the arrival of a deep-fryer is a welcome addition for anyone who likes their burger with a side of something golden and crunchy (i.e. everyone). The Burger Joint has made the most of this new appliance with three varieties of loaded fries added to the menu: Kimchi, Cheeseburger or Pulled Pork. Over time, more vegan burgers and desserts will emerge as well as live music and some nifty weekend offerings (Breakfast Burger and Bloody Mary anyone?).
The Burger Joint may have a shiny roof and comfy spots to rest your tush, but the upgraded pad is just as casual and laid back as its roving equivalent. There’s a big ‘make yourself at home’ philosophy, whether that’s venturing to the upstairs lounge for a board game marathon or coming fresh off the beach and sliding into a booth for a feed (wet hair and bare feet are welcome but we’d have to double check on the Speedo policy).
A counter cleverly built to mimic the caravan exterior and a stylish hodgepodge of upcycled retro furniture are extra design elements that hold onto the story of The Burger Joint's humble beginnings.
Despite the new digs, these guys haven’t ditched their nomadic lifestyle completely and can be found rolling around at Common Ground on a Friday night or catering for events throughout Canterbury.
PhotographerNancy Zhou and Ashleigh Vermaak