September 9, 2023 – A culinary burger feast with some creative combinations, as the annual Zagreb Burger Festival kicks off in the capital.
A nice thing is happening in Zagreb.
Several festivals and events have been introduced to the Croatian capital in recent years, and not only have they succeeded, but they have thrived. Advent in Zagreb is obviously the biggest success story, going from literally nothing to the best Christmas market in Europe three years in a row. But there plenty of other success stories not far behind.
One of them, the much-loved Zagreb Burger Festival kicked off its 8th edition on Thursday, with 20 stalls offering a real quite fabulous (and somewhat unusual) selection of burgers in 20 stalls, washed down with some excellent cocktails and cold beer, with a truly superb gelato to finish if you have room.
The Zagreb Burger Festival is organised by the same team who put the fun into Advent in Zagreb with the Fuliranje stand, as well as this year’s excellent inaugural Asia Street Food Festival. With live music, lots for the kids, and some of Croatia’s top chefs creating the burgers, it has become a firm favourite with locals, expats and tourists, with more than 150,000 visitors last year.
And, as you can see above, media interest has now gone international, as I found myself being interviewed by Chinese television on the opening day.
A lovely atmosphere, and Zagreb in the park in September is one of the joys of life. As for what’s on offer, let me refer you to the official press release in English below. But do come. A fun day out, and you will not go home hungry.
Great food and fun in idyllic Tuđman Park during Burger Festival
The eagerly anticipated Burger Festival Zagreb is open in Dr. Franjo Tuđman Park and for the next ten days will be an oasis of great food and fun.
When you set foot onto Festival Square surrounded by the lush greenery of the park, you are instantly transported to a world where nothing is to be missed, and you know you will be happy to return as soon as possible. Charmingly decorated, with just enough seating places as well as chilling areas, the festival square is circled by 20 food stalls offering burgers of all sorts.
There are two large kids’ zones with trampolines and creative kids workshops. There is also the Zagreb Street Art Zone with an exhibition hosting 183 artists from all over the world as well as live art performances and entrance-free Street Art tours around the city. The Festival will offer five entrance-free live concerts, two gratis silent cinema projections and two entrance-free cooking shows.
As seen on the opening day, visitors are happy to try out everything that this Festival has to offer – and this year it truly is an imaginative and diversified display of delicacies.
Besides food, locals are drawn to this Festival for being able to meet and chat with some of the most famous chefs in Croatia who are rarely seen all together. And, indeed, it’s not every day that you are served with burgers made in front of you by MasterChef judges and a Michelin star chef.
There is a vast choice to choose from: we tried some of the most extravagant burgers with Wagyu beef and coffee (Full Circle by Marko Palfi) those with blueberry jam (Burger Jam), burgers with shrimp (Picnic Mingle and Fun), a burger with guacamole (4 Burgers), a burger with mushroom ragu (Hidden Wine Bistro by Deni Srdoč), lamb burger with mint (Bistro Funk).
Those of you who prefer classic combinations will be happy to try Juicy Lucy (Cheesy Burger), Signature 2.0 from Burger Bar, Creamy Pomodoro (Chefs Burger by Ivan Pažanin), Mum’s, Dad’s, Granny’s or Grandpa’s Polpette Burgers (Bite of Fun by Melkior), Greek burger (Submarine), or Grandmaster Smash at Boogie Lab, where you can see them kneading and baking your brioche bun in front of you.
One of the stalls is dedicated only to making fries and sweet potato fries with numerous toppings and sauces. If you are searching for a kick of Asian flavours there is Spicy Korean burger (Burger Institute by Mate Janković).
This is also a perfect opportunity for you to try out plant-based burgers and plant-based eggs that Beg’s Plant Based is serving every day from noon to 4 PM as Brunch Burger. You can also try the Brunch Bubbles combo served by Picninc Mingle and Fun’s bubbly cocktails together with Beg’s Brunch Burger.
One of the stalls is Mrs. Fogg to all the locals very well-known and loved pizza and bar, that serves a unique dish named Pannicarno. It is a hybrid of panuozzo and meat patty served in double-baked pizza dough in a shape of a bun.
At the beginning or the end of your tour through Burger Festival (depending on where you started) you will find Gingle Bells , famous cocktail heaven and this year they are proud to offer TerraGino Fusion, alongside to already much loved Mojitos, London Mules, Skinny Beach and other mixed beauties. If you are in the mood for dessert go and visit pink truck Pri suncu because they will delight you with artisanal gelatos that are incredibly creamy but light and come in creative combinations of flavours like almond and honey.
Central Bar is well stocked with premium liquors, Staropramen beer, top wines and non-alcoholic beverages.
When you try and find your favourite burger, you are invited to vote for it by scanning the QR code displayed at each stall and the winner will be announced on the last day of the Festival, on Sunday, September 17th.
Entrance: Free, Open: every day from noon to midnight, Duration: September 7th-17th
Location: Dr. Franjo Tuđman Park, Zagreb. Follow the latest on the official Facebook page.