Bev’s Burgers: My Joburg Burger Obsession

by | Mar 31, 2023 | Food and Drink, Johannesburg | 12 comments

Update: Bev’s Burgers moved to a new location at the Roosevelt Park Bowling Club, off Milner Avenue, in September 2023. To get there just enter “Roosevelt Park Bowling Club” into your GPS.

In a city/country that seems to be full of bad news, here’s a nice story: A man named Bev with no formal culinary training cooks hamburgers in his house during covid, starts selling said burgers to his friends, sells out repeatedly, opens a kitchen at a local bar, creates a successful burger joint, and then gets voted second-best burger in Joburg by a popular local radio station.

Bev Visser of Bev's Burgers
Bevan Visser, creator of Bev’s Burgers in Linden. He used to work as an audio engineer before covid, when he lost all his business and took up burger-making to cover the bills.

I can’t remember who it was or when, but someone recently dropped a comment on my 2Summers Facebook page asking if I’d tried Bev’s Burgers. I had not. But one glance at Bev’s Facebook page convinced me I needed to.

Bev’s Burgers: The Basics

Bev’s is located at the Irish Club in Linden, which I had never heard of despite hanging around Linden all the time. The club has a members-only bar, with a grungy-dive-bar vibe, and a nice outdoor seating area for everyone. (I think there is some public indoor seating too, but the outdoor seating is nicer.)

The Irish Club in Linden
There’s an Irish Club in Linden…Who knew?
Bev's Burger window
Another look at the cheerful, steampunk-style Bev’s burger take-away window.

The Irish Club is located in what appears to be a former city park, next to a playground and some dilapidated tennis courts. It’s not a place where you’d expect to find one of the top gourmet burgers in Joburg, but don’t be fooled: The Irish Club is deceptively charming and the perfect location for an unpretentious burger establishment like Bev’s. The Irish Club is also a music venue and hosts some great local bands.

Irish Club bar
The Irish Club bar.
The outdoor seating area at the Irish Club
The outdoor seating area, which is well protected even during bad weather.

The Bev’s concept is pretty straightforward. First, choose a patty: beef, chicken, or vegetarian, as either a single or double. (Single burgers start at R70.) Next, choose your toppings: cheddar cheese, Danish feta, caramelized onions, jalapeños, etc. Lastly, choose your sides: home-made chips (fries), onion rings, Asian slaw, etc.

Bev's burger menu
A hard-to-read image of the full menu.

All the burgers are served on brioche buns that Bev makes himself. There are also a variety of sauces you can order. There are a few other options on the menu — salad, chicken strips, and a couple of other items — but I can’t see myself straying from the burgers.

Burger from Bev's Burgers
A classic Bev’s Burgers meal: Beef burger with cheddar, caramelized onions, and jalapeños, plus chips.

I’ve been to a lot of burger joints in my life and eaten many great burgers. But I can’t think of another burger I’ve had that was better than Bev’s. I’ve eaten at Bev’s three times in the past two weeks (for research!), and every aspect of each burger I’ve tried — right down to the fresh, bright-red tomato slices and crisp, green lettuce leaves — is done carefully and well. The patties are all hand-made, including the vegetarian patties, and get this…They don’t even need ketchup (a grand statement coming from a ketchup-lover like myself).

Bev’s side dishes are spectacular (don’t sleep on the Asian slaw — it’s spicy and delicious), and service at the Irish Club is great, too.

Beef burger from Bev's
A classic beef patty with avo, jalapeños, and caramelized onions, served beside beautifully colored slaw. Look at that bright red tomato (a rarity in Joburg)! You have to eat these burgers with knife and fork, of course — they fall apart quickly with all those yummy toppings. But I’m not complaining.
Veggie burger with panko-crusted mozzarella
Bev’s also runs a weekly burger special. This is the “Mozzarella Crunch” burger (I chose a veggie patty), which has a thick slice of panko-crusted mozzarella and sweet chili mayo on top.
Veg burger from Bev's
Veggie patty with cheddar, avo, and jalapeños, plus slaw.

The first time I visited the Irish Club was for a festival on St. Patrick’s Day. There were dozens, and later hundreds, of people there, and everyone was drunk, and our plastic table was slanting downhill. Bev’s was operating with a pared-down menu so you could only order beef/chicken/veggie burgers with a limited number of toppings and chips.

Simple Bev's order
My maiden voyage to Bev’s, on St. Patrick’s Day.

But even in the midst of all that chaos, my friends and I knew we were witnessing burger greatness. Bev’s Burgers is something special and it’s still a bit of a secret. Go soon before everyone else discovers it.

Julia eating a veggie burger
Julia, a happy vegetarian burger customer.

Bev’s Burgers and the Irish Club are at 82 5th Avenue, Linden. Follow Bev’s on Facebook for opening hours, menu updates, and announcements.

12 Comments

  1. Barend van der Merwe

    Look’s very lekker! He must bring them burgers to Cape Town.

    Reply
    • 2summers

      I hope he does, for your sake! (As long as he keeps his original location here, haha.)

      Reply
      • Bev Hammrich

        The food sounds delicious! Three times already! I believe you are definitely enjoying your “research!” What a great success story. Thank you for sharing.

        Reply
        • 2summers

          It’s been very enjoyable research.

          Reply
  2. dizzylexa

    Those look so yummy will have to take the trek that side, they do also run a really different kind of market there, more like a proper flea-market on a Sunday, which will make my trip worth it.

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Oh cool! I didn’t know about the market. Will have to check that out.

      Reply
  3. AutumnAshbough

    Does he make his own veggie patties? Are those becoming a thing in Joburg?

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Yep, he does, and they are really good. They’re definitely becoming standard at most burger places, although some are WAY better than others.

      Reply
  4. Nancy McDaniel

    OMG I so wish I were closer. WAY closer. Next time I come to South Africa for sure. The photos made my mouth water!

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Let me know when you’re here 🙂

      Reply
  5. Kate Melville

    Definitely going to have to go! I’ve been meaning to check out the Irish cliub (it’s basically a 2 minute drive for me). They have a quiz night and a boot sale on Sundays- and this is just another (very good) reason to go! Thanks for the article!

    Reply
    • 2summers

      Oh yes, you’re the second person to mention the Sunday market. I need to check that out too.

      Reply

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