Working on ICHIBAN NO MACHI has helped me to fall in love with this town. The more places we visit, the more we document all the really excellent spots to eat and drink in Sapporo, the more we know; this is the best city in the world. And as we bring you all these many reviews of restaurants in Sapporo, we are proud to issue our list of the absolute best hamburgers in Sapporo.
While the individual reviews are a great way to get to know each shop, as our project grows, we’re ready to do some rankings. If you know our previous work on the list of the absolute best beer bars in Sapporo, you know a list like that can help put your options in perspective.
We have reviewed all the best hamburger restaurants in Sapporo. I dare anyone to even try to compete with the insider knowledge we bring to these reviews. Ready to challenge us? Oh yeah? Too late, you lost. Yes, we’re that proud. And to get right to it, without any further ado, here are the best places to have a burger in Sapporo.
Sapporo’s Best Hamburger Restaurants
We’ll include a few addition recommendations, but here is a list of our top five favorite hamburger shops in Sapporo:
Our top recommend for the best hamburger shop in Sapporo is Jacksonville American hamburgers. Jacksonville actually runs a small Burger Empire ™ in Sapporo, with four shops here in this fine city. The original Odori Jacksonville is just north of Odori park. There is what we like to call ちさい Jacksonville near Maruyama station. There is a Jacksonville in Kita ku (we have yet to try that location). And the newest Jacksonville hamburgers in Sapporo in the Moyuk building near Odori station.
Of course they make a good cheeseburger. Sure. And if you know our reviews, you know we love their Special Mexican burger (メキシコ ハンバーガー). And since the newest Jacksonville opened in the building with the aquarium, I have been eating there often and trying more of the burgers. I had the Western Bacon Cheeseburger the first night at the new spot. And a few nights ago I had the classic Bacon Cheese Burger. All of it, fantastic.
For an additional note here (that is not included in any of our reviews) about the “burger sauce” at Jacksonville hamburgers. I can confess I didn’t know much about it until recently. I always get that Mexican special, and I don’t want any extra flavors competing with the salsa and sour crème (yes, all that and more). As a “burger purist” I am always reluctant to have any “special sauce” on the burger, but this week I ordered it on the side, and, it was very good. It is a little sweet, and I am guessing it is a honey mustard sauce. (That is a guess.) I still like to order my burgers plain (as to not taint the flavor of the bacon and cheese), but with the sauce on the side I could dip my fries in it and… I liked it. Good sauce, guys. Well done.
It is possible that there is a specific burger that is better than what you might get on average at Jacksonville (and we’ll talk about The Meat Shop next, look out), but across the menu, Jacksonville delivers an exceptional range of hamburgers, again and again, putting them at the top of our list. Despite the multiple locations, we will limit them to just one spot in our list (although on a burger by burger basis, they might be able to earn more than one spot).
As we move on to the #2 spot on our list of the most delicious hamburgers in Sapporo, we are very happy to point to The Meat Shop in Sapporo.
Sapporo’s Meat Shop is more than a hamburger restaurant. They are perhaps more properly a steak restaurant (and a meat-specialty restaurant), but they have a practical lunch menu that features one of the best hamburgers I have ever had in my life. I am not entirely sure the hamburgers are even available for dinner (so, some caution there), but for lunch, they deliver not only a near perfect burger, but also an environment that is both comfortable and cool.
If you look at the lunch menu at The Meat Shop, you’ll see at least four choices of suggested burgers. There are also occasionally an emphasis on a special (I can think of the bacon, egg, and cheese burger). There are options for gorgonzola cheese, for avocado, and more.
For my part, it is always the same: Give me the bacon cheese burger, every single time. And while that is a good choice at almost every hamburger restaurant, at The Meat Shop you can order it with their in-house smoked bacon, which is truly extraordinary. They are sometimes out of bacon (and very occasionally out of hamburgers), and on those days my heart breaks upon hearing the news. But on most days, I can slide up to the counter, order a burger, and settle into a one of the best experiences on offer for lunch in Sapporo.
(While the cost is considerably higher, check out their menu for a really fantastic dinner experience as well.)
Thank you, The Meat Shop.
The #3 spot on our list of the very best hamburgers in all of Sapporo comes to us recently. Just this week we published our review of Grill and Hamburger Monster Sun in Sapporo. It is amazing to me that it took us so long to add this place to our list, because it is that good, and as we’d first been there years ago (but didn’t have the chance to try the food until recently).
Is the hamburger at Monster Sun in Sapporo delicious? Why yes it is. (So is there steak sand-o-ich-i.) But the whole experience at Monster Sun is well done, and helps us to feel so enthusiastic about our recommendation (I am nearby right now, and I am tempted to run over there for a bite). Cool spot, hip “retro” décor, great prices, and just a few steps from the Nishi 18 station (so even when it snows, no hassle to get in there).
We went twice in the same week after we final had our first taste. And I will bet you a dollar I’ll be back in there for another round this week. Great spot.
Thank you, Monster Sun.
The forth spot on our list of best hamburgers in Sapporo? Maybe Rana should be third? When you like these shops this much, it’s hard to really rank them. I love Maruyama’s Rana Burger, I have been there many, many times, that place feels like home to me, and they make a fantastic burger.
While a hamburger can most certainly be a work of art (we think so, as you can tell by all the time and attention we dedicate to this topic), in theory, burgers could be a relatively similar product. But somehow, Rana Hamburger manages to make a very “different” product.
The price of the hamburger at Rana Burger in Maruyama is a little higher than you might expect. And I confess, I hadn’t noticed that the menu says they make their burgers from Wagu beef; perhaps that is where the difference starts. And when you read our most spectacular review of Rana burger, you might notice the featured picture includes some bacon; the bacon is “homemade” and much thicker than any bacon I have ever had on any other burger. It’s all that…
But the real difference for me (or so I am convinced), is their “spicy sauce.” It’s the sauce (I think) that makes me want to go back so often. As I mentioned above, I will typically order my burgers rather “plain” – which is to say, I like to taste the main components (I don’t need a bunch of “mayonnaise” in the way). My typical order is “meat, cheese, and lettuce” only. I don’t think Rana does “vegetables” on their burgers, so my order ends up being meat, cheese, and… oh yes, I do want that spicy sauce. Most places, I will pass on the sauce, but at Rana it’s a feature. Totally original, and a beautiful addition to a burger.
Thank you, Rana Burger. We’re impressed.
For the #5 spot on our list of the Sapporo’s best burgers, Hamburger Shop Tack in Sapporo is a near perfect “Sapporo” experience; funky, but special and a standout choice for our list of the best hamburgers (and more interesting experiences) in Sapporo.
Sapporo’s Hamburger Shop Tack is a bit beyond the far end of Tanukikouji to the west, a short “hike” from Susukino station. It’s an eccentric little shop, done in a distinct “American” style (even though the owner has never been to America). The vibe is “cartoon America” with Marlboro cigarettes, and Jack Daniels, and Tabasco and more. The is a dart board, which is too high to use (and was only there for decoration anyway). The walls are darkened by years of smoke and it all just adds to the flavor of the place.
Tack makes a delicious burger. Burger, with fries, and a beer – hallelujah. And his menu goes beyond that, and includes a Cuban sandwich (which in no way helps him qualify for the best Sapporo burger, but is another fine feature of this shop).
Great vibe, good style, unpretentious… Hamburger Shop Tack is a winner.
Thank you, Hamburger Shop Tack. We can’t wait to come back.
We have a few more recommendations that did not make our list of the best hamburger restaurants in Sapporo, but are still excellent spots to get a good burger.
For a couple of additional restaurants that we like that specialize in hamburgers:
Route 9 Hamburgers in Sapporo
Route 9 hamburgers in Sapporo is an “American diner” themed restaurant here in Sapporo. There are at least two actually. We are primarily interested in the location somewhat near Nakajima Park, but there is a new edition in the Tanuki COMICHI building (the burgers are the same, but we don’t particularly recommend that location). The Route 9 at Minami 9 jyo Nishi 8 is a winner. American dinner aesthetics, beer (and cocktails), they no longer have onion rings (maybe that is why they didn’t make the top list?), but a good time. Very original burgers, including the Route 9 Burger that has a spaghetti sauce on it (which is our favorite).
Burger Industry is in Kita Ku, near the Kita 34 station; it is a little, quirky shop, that is takeout only, but has a “very tasty burger.” It also has a friendly, local vibe, like it belongs in a college town. Simple, but delicious. I would ask for the sauce on the side (next time), but as for the jalapenos on the fries, that is winning idea.
Hamburg Steak North Continent
A Hamburg steak, to me, as an American, is a hamburger (without a bun). It is considered a different class of food here in Japan, and I can accept that. But if you want a great experience (less hamburger shop, and more Hamburg restaurant), you can have an excellent meal there (including a big healthful salad) in a very nice environment. Hamburg steaks, served on a plate, with your choice of five or six of incredible sauces. Not a proper hamburger, but so good, Hamburg Steak North Continent sneaks onto this list anyway.
To make this list complete, and to show we don’t pretend to like anything we don’t actually enjoy, we can talk about hamburgers in Sapporo that we didn’t like.
We recently had a burger at Bearfoot Sapporo (which has a big menu, emphasizes hamburgers, but is still more of a bar than a restaurant, we’d say). I had been looking for a good beer bar where I could have a full meal, and had been specifically saying some place should serve a proper hamburger. And when we saw the hamburger on the menu at Bearfoot (and the pictures do look good), I was excited to try it. Bearfoot is an interesting place for a drink, but there hamburger was terrible. It was very much like a hamburger you might get in someone’s house, if they didn’t put any love into it; all the parts were there, but the taste was not great at all. It was also so salty, I couldn’t finish it. If Bearfoot is the plan for the night, we recommend you eat elsewhere (maybe at the Jacksonville in the Moyuk building), and then head over for a drink at Bearfoot (although, we think there are much better places to have a beer as well).
Okay, that is it for our list of the Sapporo’s top hamburgers. As always, we reserve the right to add to and revise this list as we discover new places to eat a hamburger in Sapporo.
If you haven’t read our list of the absolute best beer bars in Sapporo, we recommend that as well. Many of the best hamburgers in Sapporo can be a part of a great night where you have a burger, and then switch shops for a good beer after (maybe a second beer, many of the recommended hamburger restaurants in Sapporo serve beer as well). For example, you could go to Route 9 hamburgers for a dinner, then head over to Beer Inn Mugishutei (which is very close by). Or start out at Sapporo’s Monster Sun Hamburgers (which closes a little early), and then head to Beer Cellar for some craft beer (also a short walk). Or do the new Moyuk Jacksonville by Tanukikouji and then have a delicious Japanese craft beer at Beer Kotan after. Many such amazing combinations.
This is one of a series of our “best of” lists for food and drink in Sapporo. In addition to our list of the beer bars, we have a start on the list of the best pizza in Sapporo, and are working on a list of the best Indian food in Sapporo (coming soon).
We love Sapporo. So many amazing spots to drink or get something to eat. We hope you can use our Sapporo restaurant reviews to explore Sapporo, the best city in the world.