Jacksonville, Sapporo

When we think of the best hamburgers in Sapporo, Jacksonville is serious contender. While Jacksonville classifies themselves as an “American” burger restaurant, it is very much a part of Sapporo (the best city in the world).  Most of the people eating there at any given time are local Sapporo-jin, but I have heard English spoken in there a few times.

This Original Jacksonville is one of three hamburger restaurants in the “Jacksonville Burger Empire.”

The Original “Odori” Jacksonville (which is this location) | The new Moyuk Jacksonville | ちさい Maruyama Jacksonville (review coming soon)

You’ll find this Jacksonville in Sapporo just north of Odori park, and northwest of Odori station. It’s a small shop with about about eight tables. It gets busy around lunch on work days, and is very busy for lunch on weekends (on at least one such occasion, we ordered the burgers to go, and took them to the park – which is not a bad plan).

Jacksonville has all the basics (or what they call “classic” burgers), and they do grilled chicken “burgers” also, but it is their “gourmet” burgers that set them on the upper tier of special places to eat when you’re in Sapporo.

For my part (and this may be my Southern California roots), Jacksonville makes a Special Mexican Burger that is fantastic, one of my favorite hamburgers of my life. In general, you can really feel the high quality ingredients, starting with the bun. The Mexican burger has salsa on it (which is a great flavor for a burger), but it’s the sour cream that make the burger almost decadent, and the avocado that puts it over the top. さいこう, ですよ。

And if you are paying attention, you can’t miss the tortilla chips tucked under the lettuce that gives it a surprising crunch.  That is a magnificent picture, bring the full glory of that beast of a burger into view.  Makes me hungry just looking at it.

My favorite “Me-ki-shi-ko” burger is ¥1650.  That price comes with the “set,” which includes the fries and a small serving of coleslaw.

If you’d like to bring that price down a little, like many places in Sapporo, they have a lunch menu. Most of the gourmet burgers aren’t available on that menu, but you can have the Jacksonville experience for ¥1000-¥1100.

While it’s perfect for lunch (I’ve eaten here maybe “100 times”), it’s a nice choice for dinner too. I have stopped in for some dinners here on warm summer nights.  I’d order my favorite Mexi-burger, and at dinner, I am more likely to enjoy it along with one of their craft beers.  After dinner, I’d walk back to Odori station though the Odori park, enjoying the warm summer air and watching the skateboarders do tricks by the fountain.  That is a great night.

As an added benefit (and I was reminded of this when I came back recently), they have some excellent lo-key, mostly-instrumental hip hop playing in the background. This is a local spot, mostly Japanese people eating here, but the vibe reminds me of a independent burger shop in a college town; good vibes.

There is also a collection of cookies available at the counter, as you check out. They call them American cookies.  They are crunchie (not soft).  And it is true, you won’t find many like them in Sapporo.  For another ¥300, you can have a chocolate chip cookie to munch on as you wander back through the park.

Great experience. Highly recommended.

As for other recommendations for good hamburgers in Sapporo, that is our specialty. Nearby, you’re not far from a very fine burger at Sapporo’s Meat Shop. If you’re up north, you might try the burgers at Burger Industry in Kita-ku (take out only). To the west, there is ちさい Jacksonville in Maruyama, as well as Rana Burger. To the south, you have Hamburger Shop Tack, and further south, the American diner themed Route 9 in Sapporo. And back to Odori station and Pole Town, don’t forget to visit the new Jacksonville in the Moyuk Building.

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