How the World Tops Its Burgers

9 ways the world interprets American-style hamburgers, from topping them with beets to dousing them in sauce

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

Some burgers in East Asia top their hamburgers with...buns made of rice.

One of the many reasons that burgers are so appealing is that they are extremely versatile. While purists may lead the rallying cry against toppings, filler, or condiments of any kind, the truth is that you can fill them with meats or grains or vegetables; pile them high with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions; or just slather ketchup, mustard, or your own version of “special sauce” on top. No matter what, they’ll still be delicious — and, as this list will show you, they’re the perfect canvas for experimentation, something that has been done with this American culinary icon liberally Here are nine different ways the world tops, dresses up, and modifies hamburgers to fit local tastes.

How the World Tops Its Burgers (Slideshow)

To find the items on this list, we took a look at our some of our previous compilations, like The World’s Wildest Burgers, to seek out countries that clearly have enough of a taste for burgers to get creative with them. This differs from our previous article, of 10 Burger Variations Around the World, because it consists of hamburgers, in the American sense, that are topped, filled, or dressed with foods or sauces we wouldn't use here — such as pineapple — while the other list consists of ground meat patties that are not hamburgers as we understand them — but closely related. The exact differences are subtle, but in terms of taste, they are worlds apart.

Some of these burgers, like one with rendang sauce, sound delectable, and others… not so much. But this is probably subjective. After all, just because the appeal of a jet black burger with jet black cheese and jet black sauce is baffling on this side of the pond does not mean that is the case in Singapore, where Burger King serves burgers inside black buns as well and otherson buns that are white as snow. Luckily, the meat and toppings inside the white burgers are their standard colors.

So while you fire up your grill to make some hamburgers this Memorial Day weekend, take a gander at how people in other parts of the world are enjoying this beloved classic. And let us know if you would try (or not try) any of these by tweeting at @thedailymeal and commenting below.

Aussie Burger (Australia)

In Australia and New Zealand, when you order a burger with “the lot,” what you get is a burger topped with pickled beets, a grilled pineapple ring, a fried egg, and spicy mayonnaise. Cheese and bacon are optional. You can order it almost anywhere that serves burgers Down Under, but if you’re near Brooklyn, head to Five Leaves in Greenpoint.

Black Burgers (Japan)

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Both McDonald’s and Burger King in Japan serve burgers with buns that are dyed jet black using squid ink. In some locations, the cheese and sauce are also black. However, pictures from real life show the bun is actually more like charcoal — similar to faded black jeans. The taste is reportedly very peppery.