– Story by Darcy Nybo Photography by Don Denton
What better way to pander to hunger pangs than to bite into a burger? With this in mind, I set out on a best-burger hunt of the Peninsula. After much deliciousness, I settled on my top five. Find them below, in no particular order because they’re all great!
|The Bacon Cheeseburger from Deep Cove Market.|
Fish on Fifth is known island-wide for its great seafood, but its vegan burger tastes fantastic. This was the first restaurant on the island to carry the Beyond Meat burger and it only took one week for Fish on Fifth to sell out of its initial order of 520 burgers.
Once you taste it, you’ll know why. This is not your fast food Beyond Meat burger, this goes above and beyond. Burgers are cooked on a designated flat-top cooktop which gives them a subtle smoky flavour. Add some bakon (fake bacon made from rice paper and spice), a house-made barbecue sauce and a fresh bun, and you’ve got something to smile about. You can order this burger with any side, including an all-vegan Caesar salad made with Daiya mozzarella.
The onion rings here are super crispy and made with Fish on Fifth’s own gluten-free batter. And yes, they have a fryer designated just for vegans, so go ahead and order that vegan poutine too!
Open for lunch and dinner until 8 pm, seven days a week. 9812 Fifth Street, Sidney.
|The Beyond Meat burger with Caesar salad at Fish on Fifth.|
Deep Cove Market is a funky little destination with everything from locally produced goods, yummy baking, gourmet specialty items, gifts and more. If you find yourself a bit peckish, it also has fantastic burgers! Deep Cove’s Market Kitchen has special burgers for each day of the week, and since I was there on Monday, I feasted on the Bacon Burger.
This burger is a perfect combo of a beef patty topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, onion, tomato, mustard, mayo, ketchup and pickles on a fresh-baked and toasted Kaiser bun. You can also order your burger gluten free as they have a wide assortment of gluten-free bread, buns and bagels.
I’m also told they serve a mean Rueben.
The Market Kitchen is open 7 am to 4 pm during the week and 8 am to 4 pm on weekends. 10940 West Saanich Road, North Saanich.
Chuck’s Burger Bar has quite the reputation for great food and good times. Don’t let the exterior fool you, there are gourmet eats inside! Chuck’s has a wide variety of burgers to choose from, including the Hawaiian Pleasure Burger, made from ground bacon. Open wide to get this stack of yummy in your mouth, and make sure you have plenty of napkins. This taste treat is at once salty, sweet, smoky and crunchy thanks to a zesty, smoked, lime and tequila barbeque sauce, gouda, pineapple, roasted garlic and hot pepper jelly.
If you can tear yourself away from the burger, make sure you don’t ignore the coleslaw. It has a kick to it. And while you’re there, try the BBQ’d Candied Bacon, cut extra thick and candy-cured in a sugar spice blend and then grilled to perfection.
Not up for a burger, then try Chuck’s Chop House Poutine. The steak is cooked to perfection and served over fries, cheese curds, mushrooms, onions and a rich demi gravy.
Open Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm. 2031 Malaview Avenue W., Sidney. (There’s a second location at 538 Yates in Victoria.)
|A Hawaiian Pleasure burger with fries at Chuck’s Burger Bar.|
Haro’s Restaurant & Bar is right on the water, so you get to people-watch and take in that ocean view from either inside or outside on the patio.
I sampled the Halibut Burger and was not disappointed. It was perfectly pan-seared with creamy slaw, caper remoulade, arugula and crispy shallot, all between a brioche bun. Sometimes the distinct taste of halibut can get lost in burger form, but not with this burger. It was perfectly cooked to be flavourful and juicy. There are three sides available: hand cut fries, house salad or Caesar salad.
I went rogue and ordered a side of clam chowder which had a distinctly smoky flavour. The chefs here combine smoked fish and seafood, roasted corn, smoked bacon, crispy leeks and saffron Turmeric with house focaccia. The leeks add a nice crunch to the soup. If you prefer fries, you won’t be disappointed. The fries here are all hand cut and cooked so they are crispy right down to the last fry.
Open 11 am to 9 pm Sunday to Thursday, and open until 10 pm Friday and Saturday. 9805 Seaport Place, Sidney.
Canoe Cove Joe’s in Canoe Cove is a great place to enjoy a burger. There’s a cosy wood stove inside to keep you warm on cool days, and a great patio for days when you just want to bask in island sun. About five years ago, Joe came down and had an Ultimate Burger. He loved it so much, he bought the restaurant!
Burgers here are all made from scratch. The Ultimate Burger is created with ground beef mixed with panko, egg, Worcestershire sauce and a special seasoning. This Italian-style seasoning is what gives this burger an earthy flavour, and it’s perfectly offset by the tangy mustard. This is all served up on a brioche bun with sliced cheddar, bacon, lettuce and tomato.
Joe let me know the secret to his great fries too. The hand-cut Kennebec potatoes are blanched, cooled down, then fried in oil just before bringing them to the table. Burger sides include fries, soup or salad.
The soup changes daily here, and Joe’s also has a white seafood chowder with salmon, cod and shrimp.
Open 8 am to 3 pm seven days a week. 2300 Canoe Cove Road, North Saanich.