Hamburger Shop “Tack”, Sapporo

When we started planning our ideas about the “Best Hamburgers in Sapporo,” there were a few shops that would be required to make that list complete – and Hamburger Shop “Tack” was the final must-have for the perfect tour-de-burger of this city, Sapporo, the best city in the world.

Like many of my favorite restaurants in Sapporo, I found Hamburger Shop “Tack” just by keeping my eyes open as I moved around the city. This is an unusual place, with a great vibe, and you can start to pick that up from outside, even as you drive by in a car (or in my case, in a taxi).

As you can see, there a few tell-tale signs, not-so-subtle hints that this might be a good place to get a burger. As I came by one day, I made a mental note, “I want to try that place.” When a friend of mine and I were making plans, this is where I brought him.

Hamburger Shop “Tack” is near the corner of Minami 4 and Nishi 9. To get here, I typically walk from Susukino station. The first three blocks are in the noisy, crowded part of the district. Then, you have a few more blocks (past a school), that are quieter. It’s a short walk, and tonight, on a warm spring night, it was beautiful out.

The room is a mix of yellowish-brown coloring, properly seasoned with years of smoke coming off the grill. There is dark brown wainscoting and old, well-worn hard wood floors. A proper counter, with six bar stools. Just two tables, a two-seater and a four-seater. The walls (and everything else, for that matter) are lined with Americana; Some natural, like a series of Jack Daniels bottles, or a small display of Marlboro cigarette packs; some less natural, with generic, “intentionally aged” tin signs, trying (somewhat successfully) to evoke an American diner feel.

In that way, Hamburger Shop “Tack” is a little similar to Route 9 Sapporo, but somehow less forced. I personally find it amusing that both places have never-been-used, high-end professional dart boards. How do I know the dart board has (basically) never been used; there is a conspicuous lack of holes in the wall that would be expected if it had ever seen any action. The dart board in Hamburger Shop “Tack” is also too high, nearly at the ceiling, which lets you know the Japanese are using the dart boards (and most of American artifacts in this place) as props. Which is fine with me. I have no pride. I just want a good burger.

And speaking of the food:

The first time I came here with my friend, I didn’t even have a burger. Could it be true? Yes, on that particular occasion, it was. The hamburgers are the focus here (as they should be), and we’ll get to them, but in addition to a robust list of gourmet burgers, Hamburger Shop “Tack” also does a Cuban sandwich. That is what I had the first time I came here. And just for this review, I ordered a second one. And I took a picture so you can see it in all it’s glory (it’s below), and then I asked to have it packed up, I’ll eat it for lunch tomorrow.

Just imagine that, a Cuban sandwich, here in Northern Japan. Does that sound a little special? Well it is. Remind us to add this sando to our post about the best sandwiches in Sapporo.

But, I know, you want to know about the hamburgers here at Hamburger Shop “Tack” in Sapporo. To be real with you, I do too. And tonight, while my I sipped my second, Sapporo Classic beer, and my take-way Cuban sandwich was being prepared, I can tell you, I did have one their hamburgers. And it was… as good as you imagine it might be.

Hamburger Shop “Tack” has a long list of choices for burgers. Does he have a cheese burger? C’mon. Can you add bacon to that? Of course you can. What about a bacon, egg and cheese burger (which is a great combination)? Yes, yes, yes. Is that all? We haven’t even gotten started yet.

I had the salsa cheese burger, and it was fantastic. Is it rude for me to mention in this review that Jacksonville also has a “Me-ki-shi-ko” burger that also has salsa and is also fantastic? No. We love both burgers here. And I am more than confident, you’re going to try both. Multiple times. You’ll be glad you did.

But, wait, wait… there’s more. He makes a sea urchin cheese burger. I don’t like sea urchin. Not at all. But I know a lot of people do. I am happy to give him props for having that on the menu. He also has a ratatouille burger. Who else can say that? Nobody else makes a ratatouille burger. Do you see what I’m laying down here: this place is special.

I have been here two times (as of this review). The first time, there were two other guys in here besides me an my friend. There were deep into a night of burgers, beers, and some cigarette smoke was peeling off their table (this is a smoking friendly establishment). This time, I was all alone. It’s a great spot, and not usually over-crowded. Is it more of a lunch spot? It might be, but it’s a perfect place to unwind for dinner.

This place is easy to like. Perfect vibe and atmosphere. Coming back a second time set the hook a little deeper – I’ll be back again soon. I am sure.

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