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Hamburgers in Davao

spaceburger

Since I have lived in Davao, I have tried hamburgers at some of the restaurants here, some had good points, and some had not so good points. The most consistent in a flavor comparable to America was McDonald’s. I am not saying it was a great burger, but the taste was the same as the Big Mac I would have in America.

At some of the better restaurants, I would try a burger and they were ok but not great. Either the meat was too dry, the bun too big or stale or there was so much stuff on it, it tasted good but did not have the grilled burger you look for in a better quality hamburger.

Earlier in the week, Bob Martin wrote in his site, Live in the Philippines, about a new restaurant in Davao, Brothers Burger, which is a high-end burger with a high-end price to match. They have burgers with the expensive types of beef such as a Wagyu Beef. Wagyu Beef is better known as Kobe Beef. The Wagyu Burger sells for 350 pesos ($7.50 USD). They also have a Black Angus Burger for 250 pesos ($5.40 USD).

Now, if you do not live in the Philippines, you might think this is a decent price for a high-class burger but for 350 pesos, Elena and I can have a decent lunch at many of our regular lunch spots.

There is another Burger Restaurant here in Davao, Space Burger. When I first moved here, my nephew mentioned Space Burger to me as a better burger. Since this nephew lives on a Filipino diet, I did not know if what he felt was a better burger, if it would be up to my American palate. There are a few locations here in Davao and even up at the food court at Gaisano Mall, but for some reason I never tired it. Then at a house party one of our friends who after talking about hamburgers mentioned Space Burger to me. This friend loves hamburgers and American food in general; I thought I would try it.

Monday Elena and I were at Gaisano Mall, we were talking about where to have lunch, and I thought about Space Burger so we headed up to the fourth floor. They offer 100% beef burgers in different combinations, from a plain burger, cheeseburger then with combinations with bacon, grilled onions and/or mushrooms. I decided on their Ultimate Burger, which has everything.  It is a ¼-pound burger and with all the toppings is only 105 pesos ($2.25 USD). They use an open flame grill to cook the burger. Except for the cheese, which is a cheese sauce instead of sliced cheese the taste was great. The grilled onions are what did it for me.

The smell and taste of the onions reminded me of a pre-fast food restaurant my family would frequent when I was a kid. It name was Dave Shores and you would go up to different areas for the types of foods. I remember looking at, smelling the onions on the grill as they cooked, and caramelized.

Maybe someday, if I feel rich or someone offers to buy me lunch at Brothers Burgers I think I will fulfill any burger urges at Space Burger in the future. Even though they were out of French Fries, just the Burger and beverage left me comfortably full with a happy tummy.

If you live in, or plan to visit Davao, and in the need of a good burger, take my advice and try Space Burger.

23 Responses to “Hamburgers in Davao”

  1. Michael says:

    Thanks again for the infomation. Just one more thing that I have learned on this website that will make my upcoming trip to Davao more easier! Any recommendations where I can try the famous Tuna from the area?

    • Bruce says:

      Michael,
      We do not go out for Tuna so I will ask around. I do know and have been at Marina Tuna in Sasa. They have a good selection of many fresh fish, some still swimming in their tanks.

  2. pinaywife says:

    that sounds wonderfully yummy and the price is just right! good thing you found a good burger there =) and btw, congrats on the pr3..will visit again

    • Bruce says:

      Pinaywife,

      Thanks, I have had a page rank 3 for a while, get more of your friends in the blogging world linked to me and maybe I can get a 4.

      Also thank you for the $5 donation Christmas present. It is nice to be thought of, no matter how much. The thoughts are what counts.

  3. Steve in Davao says:

    Bruce, as I once said on your site, food is the “maker or breaker” for me here in Davao. I have lived in 12 or 13 countries during my military days and food was always the decider as to whether I was comfortable or not. I can adapt to almost any living condition, but bad food is not an option for me.
    In the states, McDonald’s was my daughter’s favorite. I would take her there once or twice a week and sit while she ate her burger and fries. Man, I hated McDonalds. I’m a Burger King guy, yea… charbroiled all the way. BUT, I have come to really enjoy the Big Mac here. Funny how location, location, location can be so important in food too.
    I told my wife that we need to find the Pizza and Garlic bread place you wrote about a few months ago. Now I have to try the Space Burger at Giasano Mall.
    I have so many options here. I love many of the filipina dishes ,and, some great american-style foods as well. I’m getting real comfortable, real fast!!!
    Man, you keep writing about food and we’ll be lifelong friends. Thanks for the article.
    Steve in Davao

    • Bruce says:

      Steve,
      Will do. Just to let you know, Space Burger is not only in Gaisano Mall, there is probably some out in Matina too.

  4. pinaywife says:

    you’re welcome. =) i’ve been down to pr0 for a couple of months now.. I guess that should be one of my new years wish..

    • Bruce says:

      Pinaywife,
      I do not fully understand SEO and page ranks. I know if is about the amount of higher pagerank sites you link to and they link back. Checking your site with site: and index:on google, you have higher numbers than I have. I do not have the answer, but from what I have read, except for some “pay per post” affiliates google page rank is not being used much.

  5. Gene says:

    Bruce,

    Quit that! I just ate and all this talk about burgers is making me hungry—AGAIN!

    If you ever get to talk with the owner of that Space Burger, ask him or her if they have one here in the Angeles area. I’d like to try that.

    I know how Steve feels. Ayala just opened the Marquee Mall close to us and I think Mc Donald’s would probably make more money from me if they charge me rent rather than per order.
    That Big Mac sure tastes good.

    Anyone that finds themselves in Manila and wants a good burger, I would suggest going to the Swagman Hotel on Flores St. in Ermita Manila.
    Its an Aussie hotel and restaurant with fantastic burgers. Even the US Ambassador, Ms. Kenny walks over there to eat from time to time.

    Take care all. I’m off to find something to eat and get even fatter!

    • Bruce says:

      Gene,
      Maybe buy a Space Burger franchise. 🙂
      After eating there, I doubt I will eat a big mac much anymore.
      I have eaten and stayed at the Swagman. I agree with the food being good but did not like the room accommodations.

      • Tom says:

        Swaggman has good food but it is an older hotel so the rooms are a little frayed around the edges. I usually stay there if I am in Manila because it is convenient to the places I usually go and they have an Airport shuttle.

        My great quest in the Philippines has been for good Nachos. The biggest problem seems to be that the chips are almost always stale.

        Next time I am in Cebu I’ll look to see if there are any Space Burgers there. I like a good burger too. 🙂

        • Bruce says:

          Tom,
          I was at Swaggman once. The food was good, great breakfast deal. As you agree, the rooms are not worth the cost. I would love to find tender beef that does not cost an arm and both legs.

  6. BrSpiritus says:

    We can find just about any burger you want in the Philippines, but no White Castle. I guess I’ll have to make a batch of sliders at home soon because I’m getting the craving.

    • Bruce says:

      BrSpiritus,
      I remember you mentioning Space Burger to me, and should not have waited so long. To me, White Castle was a novelty but I prefer the taste of a flame broiled burger any day.

  7. Gene says:

    Bruce,

    Maybe when I start collecting retirement I might look into the burger place. I’m not sure I want to be “married” to a business but who knows.

    I agree with you on the rooms at Swagman. I was helping Rod Hegerty, the owner there last year for a time. Some of the rooms are quite nice now and last I saw many still needed to be redone.

    I found a new taste treat at the Marquee Mall in Angeles.
    Black rice! I’v always hated rice but this rice is really different. Turns purple when cooked and has a great taste.
    It sells for P75.00 per kilo but well worth the price.

    • Bruce says:

      Gene,
      Collecting retirement? If we live that long. hahaha
      I do not know about the rice, but at that price and feeding 6 at 3 meals a day, I do not think we will try.

  8. alan cline says:

    Any chance Space Burger might import to Cagayan De Oro ? 🙂 Biggest problem here regarding burgers out side of finding quality beef is finding lettuce , tomato and onion .

    Apparently , the reason for that is that most of those toppings are contracted out to the large chains like McDonald’s , etc . Had an expat friend that once grew lettuce near Cagayan de Oro .

    It would be brought to CDO for shipment to Manila by boat but none left in CDO . We used to joke about our lettuce at McDonald’s coming from this area but being two or three days old by the time it actually got to a local McDoo. 🙂

  9. carz says:

    hi,
    Madayaw!

    Im a SPACE BURGER ADDICT. Bruce is right that its the best burger in Davao. i first tried brothers burger in Trinoma Mall in Quezon City and at that time it taste like a bit pale and well charred.. i tried brothers burger here too, oh well the taste improved but not that of spaceburger. last holidays i went to Bacolod City, Negros Occidental and tried their different burgers there, like CRAVE BURGER, PENDY’S, BOB’S… man,its only big but the taste? hmmmmm lets just talk about the size..its big. hehehe

    space burger has lots of branches here, i.e., in Mapa st.(near Davao Doc Hospital), in J.P. Laurel(auto shop), in Buhangin(near Davao Medical Center), i dunno in matina if that is still there..and etc..
    well i hope space burger will make a branch inside the airport, cuz my folks outside davao city always suggest it for “pasalubong”,

    more power!

    • Bruce says:

      Carz,

      I feel Space Burger is better than most upscale restaurants burgers. I do not want to become an addict. I find if I eat something too often, I get burned out and then never go back. My only close addiction is to Boyd’s. they have many items I enjoy, Elena is the addict. She only eats the pizza P03, a white pizza with roast chicken and mushrooms.

  10. Karl says:

    Hi

    I am currently working here in Manila. But i am really from Mindanao. I was there just last 2 March 2010 and my boyfriend bought me this burger from space burger. I have to agree with you…really taste good.

    And the reason why i got to read your blog is because i am actually surfing the net to look for a space burger here in Manila. But sad to say there is NONE.

    • Bruce says:

      Karl,
      I think Space Burger is a franchise, maybe you can get some investors together to open one in Manila.

  11. jack says:

    I was reading bob martin web site and saw bob’s burgers. He was right that it is the best burger in davao. I had the big boy which is 1/2 pound double decker. Simply delicious and bob white the owner was very nice. It is in Habana compound on rizal st. it is Rizal street restaurant and has the best burgers in daval

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