The Best Burgers in the Red Light District, Period.
Regular Red Light District visitors might already have dined at one of Burger Zaken’s two locations in the city. It’s OK, we don’t judge here at Lilly Likes. You do what makes you happy.
Those that haven’t heard of this exceptional burger joint will soon be making special trips to the seedy heart of the city just to dine on this delicious delight. Burger fans everywhere flock to Zaken en masse, ready to devour the best burger offerings you can find for miles.
Sound yummy? We thought so. So we sent some of the Lilly Likes Amsterdam squad over to investigate. If burgers ain’t your favourite food that’s also fine. Head over to our homepages for a full rundown of the floating Chinese restaurant or the pancake buffet boat… In Amsterdam all things are possible.
Now on with the show… What makes Burger Zaken so special and why did the team love it so much? Read on to find out if you need to add it to your itinerary, next time you travel to the Netherlands.
Double Trouble at Burger Zacken
That’s right! There are two chances to catch a brilliant burger at Zaken since they sport two fantastic locations. It’s hard for us to describe just how off-the-wall this place is. It looks like an ordinary burger bar – both locations do. They have a relaxed atmosphere and a casual dining theme – and then you get a glimpse of the menu. With Wagyu beef and Aberdeen Angus on the table, you start to see why they have a hard-earned reputation as creating the finest burgers in Amsterdam.
You can find them on the Old High Street or on Oudezijds Voorburgwal and they are open every day. The Oudezijds location is right on the canal, you can sit on the terrace with a beer and a burger and just watch Amsterdam pass by Catch, what more could you want? We can’t be held responsible for some the sites you may see, it is Amsterdam after all! Catch a burger off their luxurious menu to see how real burgers are made at any time of the day, from 11 am till 3 in the morning… they really know their clientele…
What Makes Burger Zaken Stand-Out-Special?
There are a few reasons we love Burger Zaken but their ingredients list is enough to set them apart by even the strictest of standards.
If you start with juicy, mouth watering ingredients, you will end up with an exemplary burger… and they could school Gordon Ramsay on burger creation if the opportunity arose. Their Wagyu comes straight out of Japan, where it is the best of one of four breeds of Japanese cattle. This particular breed has a genetic mutation (which doesn’t sound tasty) that causes the fat to marble through the meat, instead of gathering in groups like you might find with the likes of a Friesian cow. This marbled fat makes the meat literally fall apart when cooked. Japanese chefs recommend that you eat this meat rare or medium rare to get the full delicious benefits.
By staunch comparison to the attention the Japanese cattle have paid to them, the Aberdeen Angus is a species of cow native to Scotland, specifically the Highland region. When you see the Highland cows with the brown hair instead of the bright red hair, you are looking at an Aberdeen Angus. They spend their lives growing a heavy, thick coat that protects the meat from the harsh conditions of their native climate. Again, years of cattle breeding and enforced genetic selection have created a tender, juicy, plump meat that falls apart in your mouth. We hear tell that the Angus used is Black Angus, which is a breed from South America that is derived from the Highland stock.
So yeah… Burger Zaken really know their way around the kitchen… particularly if that kitchen is filled with beef.
What’s on the Menu?
First of all, if you are just passing in a rush, they will make you a takeaway order. Second of all, they offer burgers, salad, side dishes and desserts – all with an overwhelming choice of sumptuous sauces and toppings… of course, you probably don’t want to add a sauce or a topping to your cheesecake. The Cocktail sauce and the Garlic sauce are 100% made in store , fresh for your fancy, and come with mixed, Greek, or regular salad, fries, or onion rings. With so much choice it is no hard task to personalise an order.
As for burgers, you can have a Blond d’Aquitine Beef from France, a vegetarian or chicken burger, or the aforementioned Wagyu or Black Angus. Feeling especially indecisive? Stack up and have a patty of each.
We were absolutely astounded when we saw the menu just because of the toppings and sauces. Some of the myriad choices include cheddar, blue, or old cheeses, avocado, pineapple – and no burger topping bar would be complete without some crispy bacon. For the sauce menu, they sport your normal mayo/ketchup sauces – but remember that some are home made. There is a sensational garlic based sauce that will blow your mind, and a cocktail sauce that is sort of like Marie Rose. The barbecue, however, is totally where it’s at.
On top of all this delicious dining, they have a drinks menu that covers all the usual non-alcoholic beverages… and perhaps a few alcoholic ones, too. Stay a while and soak up their country-kitchen feeling, modern burger bars with a dessert. They have brownies if you don’t like cheesecake. C’mon. Who here doesn’t like cheesecake? There’s always good old apple pie if you prefer.
What’s the Best Time to Visit Burger Zaken?
it depends on the individual. They are open at 2 am for those that like a night on the town but are equally as ready to greet you when you show up to meet the in-laws for a family lunch. For being so close to the Red Light District, this is an entirely respectable venture, able to greet tourists and natives alike. When’s the best time to visit Burger Zaken? When you want a burger, of course. Keep in mind that it isn’t 1992 anymore and you can follow them on Instagram.
The Lilly Likes Verdict on Burger Zaken?
In the words of one of the expert burger assessors here at team Lilly Likes:
“This is the kind of food you come to Amsterdam for.”
And we think that’s probably as good as it gets.