Battle of the Bacon Cheeseburgers!

Since starting Life of Burgers (almost 6 years ago!), I’ve been all about the burgers that were original and unique, and that used a wide variety of toppings and flavours to impress the tastebuds. This meant that a lot of the time, when choosing a burger, I would overlook the more simple and classic ones, in pursuit of the next great creation.

While I always appreciated the beauty of a burger that didn’t need to push the limits to be great, I have never really given them the attention that they deserve. Until now.

I’ve decided that a good chunk of my burger feasting experiences over the next while will be dedicated to eating Bacon Cheeseburgers all over Halifax, and finding the one to rule them all! I’ll be taking detours along the way if a must-try burger pops up, and of course for Halifax Burger Week, but my main focus will be on these simple beauties.

To pick which places/burgers would qualify as contenders, I decided on a list of “allowable toppings” so there was no question about whether or not they were eligible to be included.

Obviously, each burger has to have at least a beef patty, bacon and cheese. I’m also allowing different types of bacon and cheese (e.g. back bacon, Monterey Jack, etc.) to allow some variation (bacon/cheese offered as an add-on is ok). Other toppings that will be allowed are:

  • Tomato
  • Lettuce (or “greens”)
  • Pickles
  • Onions (grilled/fried/caramelized onions are ok, but no battered ones)
  • Ketchup
  • Relish
  • Mustard (dijonnaise included)
  • Mayo (different flavours of mayo are ok)
  • Burger/House/Secret sauce that is made specifically for the burger

Burgers don’t have to have all these toppings, but if it has something that isn’t listed here, it won’t be able to play (that means no onion rings and aioli this time around!).

I’ve set the boundaries of Halifax/Dartmouth/Bedford for restaurants (it’s totally possible that I venture further in the future!), and after scouring MANY menus, I’ve made a list of 55 restaurants that have a qualifying burger on their menu.

Restaurants will be randomly put into nine different groups (six per group, except for one that will have seven) and each group will face off in nine rounds. The winner from each round will go to the finals, as well as one burger that almost won its round that I feel should still have moved on, for a total of ten finalists. I will then try all ten finalists again (just to be sure that each one continues to bring the greatness), and from that one burger will be crowned the king of Bacon Cheeseburgers!

And that’s it! Be sure to follow all the beefy updates on Instagram and Twitter, and show your love and support for the burger that you think will crush the competition!

Burger #63 – The Smoke Burger (Durty Nelly’s)

Way back in 2014, when Life of Burgers was still pretty new, I paid a visit to Durty Nelly’s one evening where I found a burger that thoroughly impressed me. It was called the Whiskey Smoke Burger, and between the onion rings, the whiskey apple BBQ sauce, and the Guinness honey mustard, it quickly became one of my favourite burgers in the city.

However, it is normal for restaurants to change up their menus from time to time (which can be either really great or a swing and a miss), and unfortunately the Whiskey Smoke Burger didn’t make the cut during one of these changes and I had to say goodbye to a burger that treated me right.

While that one may be gone, it just so happens that there is another burger on the menu that has many similarities to the old one, with a few changes. I stopped by to try The Smoke Burger, hopeful that it would be just as good as the one I had 4 years ago.


From the menu: “Smoked garlic aioli, bacon, smoked cheddar, BBQ sauce, lettuce, pickle, onion rings”


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Burger #61 – Vandal Burger (Vandal Doughnuts)

When Ace Burger Co. closed up shop at their Gus’ location in the North End (don’t worry you can still get your fix across the harbour at Battery Park in Dartmouth) they left a burger-shaped hole in the heart of every burger lover in Halifax. Luckily, the fine people behind Riot Snack Bar stepped up to the plate and quickly opened up Vandal Doughnuts.

At first mention, most people probably thought that a place called Vandal Doughnuts may be more of a cafe-esque kind of place, but it just so happens that they also have a menu of gourmet sandwiches and burgers (obviously alongside a wide selection of donuts of all shapes and sizes).

The combination of there being new burgers in town, and the team that creates some pretty delicious food over at Riot being the ones cooking them up, I knew a visit was a must. There are three burgers to choose from on the menu (one of which is a veggie option titled “Return of the Mack”), and I figured it was only appropriate that I go with the Vandal Burger for my first visit.


From the menu: “Grass fed beef, blue cheese, double smoked bacon, balsamic mayo, pickled red onions and local greens on a brioche bun”


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Burger #59 – Big Earl (Cheachie’s)

We are now over a month into 2017 and it’s finally time for Life of Burgers to get back into the swing of things by chowing down on some delicious burgers!

I decided for the first Halifax burger of the year, that I would visit a place that has been recommended to me a few different times, but I had yet to give it a try (except for Burger Week 2015). Cheachie’s is known for their menu of Mexican food and burgers, some of which are actually comprised of a combination of two of their regular burgers! Wanting a burger that was a bit more modest, I went with the Big Earl.


From the menu: “Mayo, lettuce, tomato, 8oz. burger, cheddar cheese, bacon, onion rings, ketchup & BBQ sauce”

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Burger #56 – Sweet & Smokey Bacon Brat Burger (Elle’s Bistro)

With February in full swing, the best time of the year is almost here! That’s right, Halifax Burger Week is just around the corner, and in true Life of Burgers spirit, I’ve been warming up my stomach for the huge event.

Elle’s Bistro is a cozy brunch and lunch spot, nestled in the middle of Barrington Street, and they just so happen to have a bunch of delicious-sounding burgers on their menu. My first experience here was during last years Burger Week, and at that time they were fairly new to Halifax. I decided it was time to make a return visit, and although it was a tough decision, I ended up going with the Sweet & Smokey Bacon Brat Burger.


From the menu: “Smokey burger topped with bacon, bratwurst and sharp cheddar”


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Burger #49 – Big Devil Burger (Baton Rouge)

During Halifax Burger Week, some of the participating restaurants opted to have one of their regular menu burgers be their entry for the week. One of these places was Baton Rouge. The name of this burger was titled the Big Devil Burger, and since no one had anything bad to say about it at the time, I figured it was time to go back and give it its own LoB write-up!


From the menu: “Half-pound of premium beef, fried onion rings, tomato, Swiss cheese, smoked bacon, sweet & spicy BBQ sauce”

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Burger #43 – Porkey & The Beef (Gahan House)

During Burger Week, I had the pleasure of trying a lot of amazing burgers. Some were beautifully simple, while some had the perfect combination of toppings on top of a delicious patty. An example of the latter was Gahan House. Located on the Halifax Waterfront, at 1869 Upper Water Street, Gahan House created an awesome burger that just so happened to make my top 3 of the week. Thankfully, they decided to make the burger a regular menu item, and I figured it was time to go and try the Porkey & The Beef burger again.


From the menu: “House Ground Atlantic beef, local pulled pork, 1772 IPA BBQ sauce, maple white balsamic onion jam, panko fried pickle, local bacon, ADL cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, roasted garlic aioli, Iron Bridge brown ale bun”


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Burger #42 – Steakhouse Burger (Krave)

Being someone that is always on the lookout for the next great meal, it is really exciting when a place changes up and/or adds new items to their menu. It’s even more exciting, for me personally, when those changes involve burgers, so it’s safe to say that when I heard about Krave’s new menu, I was very eager to see what they came up with.

Located at 5680 Spring Garden Road, Krave is a modern twist on a classic diner, and they have quickly built a huge fan-following since their opening. Their new menu provided a few new burger options for me to choose from, and I eventually settled on the Steakhouse Burger for this visit.


From the menu: “Seared beef patty, smokey shoulder bacon, mozza, sauteed mushrooms and onions, onion ring and smokey horseradish mayo”

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Burger #41 – Smokehouse Burger (Athens)

Given the fact that burgers are such a popular food item, it seems that almost every restaurant nowadays has a burger on their menu. Even some places that specialize in certain foods will sometimes throw a burger on their menu as an option for a potential picky customer. While I’m all about a world full of burgers, this leaves a lot of opportunity for mediocre burgers, and nobody wants that.

One of the places that I was worried that this might be the case was Athens Restaurant. Located at 6273 Quinpool Road, Athens is known for its extensive Greek menu, as well as having a pretty great breakfast selection. I was apprehensive about going here specifically for a burger, but after they had a pretty good showing during Burger Week with their lamb burger, I figured it was only fair to give one of their regular menu items a shot.


From the menu: “6oz local, ground beef patty, BBQ sauce, mayo, smoked bacon, breaded onion ring & Swiss on a kaiser bun”

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Burger #40 – Bacon Cheese Burger (The Wooden Monkey)

While the days might not be getting any cooler, Summer is slowly nearing its end. With the end of this season comes the end of the many awesome patios found in this city, so why not enjoy them while I still can! For my next patio visit, I made my way to 1707 Grafton Street where The Wooden Monkey is located. This was my first visit to this location (I visited the Dartmouth location during Burger Week) so I was eager to see what they had to offer in terms of burgers. I decided to go with their Bacon Cheese Burger.


From the menu: “Grilled 5oz. beef burger from Getaway Farm, caramelized onions, melted white cheddar, bacon, lettuce, tomato, dill pickles and spicy mayo”

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