Orlando Burger Battle, Orlando Magazine’s Signature Event Highlights The Best Burgers in Orlando
Orlando has some juicy, decadent, over the top burgers! That was my takeaway from last night’s Orlando Burger Battle, an epic burger competition hosted by Orlando Magazine at the brand new Ace Café in Downtown Orlando. An event that proved that The City Beautiful can throw down in the burger scene with the best of them.
12 popular Orlando restaurants came ready for a fight. Making gigantic sliders to win the sold-out crowd and the celebrity judges votes. These included The Tap Room at Dubsdread, Jimmy Hula’s, Planet Hollywood, Shula’s 347 Grill, Liam Fitzpatrick’s, Ace Cafe, Freddy’s, White Wolf Cafe, Artisan’s Table, The Whiskey, Hash House A Go Go, and Raglan Road.
We enjoyed free beer and wine, plus cocktails in the VIP area, and all the burgers we could eat! I only sampled 5 until I got the meat-sweats! The event also featured boozy milkshakes and a Fry bar but I sadly missed sampling those.
Fun Night Out for Orlando Foodies!
In attendance were some of my favorite foodie friends and bloggers in Orlando. I’m sharing some of their great captures below. Be sure to click to their Instagram pages for their drool-worthy photos and give them a follow. You will see all of Orlando’s amazing culinary scene.
This is what burgers with friends looks like! Fun capture by my friend Candace at @AuthenticallyCandaceEats
My foodie friends Julius Mayo of Droolius.com, Faith Gorsky of AnEdibleMosaic.com, Emily Ellyn of EmilyEllyn.com and Kelly Green of SeaworldMommy.com. She not only captures the best selfies, she had a fun slide show recap.
Go Epicurista Favorite Burgers
Raglan Road Irish Pub
Tied in first place for my top favorites (from the ones I sampled) was the deep-fried Battered Burger from Raglan Road Irish Pub. It was decadent and crunchy and so fun to eat. The hand-battered patty is topped with tomato chutney and garlic mayo. Can you say outrageous!? I love the food and drinks from this authentic Irish pub in Disney Springs and you can find this burger at their walk-up counter service eatery Cookes of Dublin, located right next door.
Here’s a funny capture by OrlandoFoodGuys.com.
Tied in first place for me was also Jimmy Hula’s Polynesian style Aloha Burger. It was packed with flavor! Loved the teriyaki glazed pineapple topping. I can’t believe I haven’t visited this fun Florida based, beach inspired restaurant chain. They are known for their tacos and burgers and now I see why. Delicious!
We sat on a picnic table under the giant oak tree (the event was held in the parking lot of ACE Café) and enjoyed the live music by a Beatles cover band. My lighting was dim and sultry so here’s my shot in the dark. It was still tasty even though my photo didn’t capture it fully.
Here’s a shot in the light from my friend Michelle Snow of CitySurfingOrlando.com (@zengrrl) so you can really appreciate this beauty. Be sure to check her website for a great calendar of all the fun happenings in Orlando.
The Taproom at Dubsdread
The Taproom at Dubsdread served up their magnificent creation with house-cured pastrami, gooey Emmenthaler cheese, coleslaw and chunky pickle. I wish I could have eaten this tall creation in one bite but it may have required me to dislocate my jaw.
My talented photo stylist friend Faith Gorsky of @AnEdibleMosaic.com captured the line up!
The Whiskey is known for their gourmet burgers and their creation topped with pimento cheese was quite tasty! Who doesn’t love pimento cheese?
Look at this shot by my friend Jennifer Grady from OrlandoFLConnections.com Check out this site for info on attractions and fun happenings around Orlando.
The Celebrity Judges Favorites
Celebrity judges included my friends Ricky Ly of TastyChomps.com, the always fabulous, retro-rad chef and Food Network star Emily Ellyn, my favorite dining critic from Orlando Magazine, Joseph Hayes (I go everywhere he recommends!), and the incomparable award-winning chef Kathleen Blake of The Rusty Spoon (one of my favorite restaurants on my Must-Eat List of Orlando). To add a lot of class and glamour to the event, they were joined by Miss America 2004 and local Orlandoan Erica Dunlap. One thing I know for certain, they must have had a tough time choosing the winners from all these creative burgers.
Here’s Emily Ellyn with her burger and martini combo captured by my friend and talented food writer and wine educator Lisa Wilk of TasteCookSip.com I guarantee her photos will make you want to eat out every day of the week. But, she does share some amazing home creations too.
The judges unanimously chose Freddy’s classic steakburger as their favorite. I’ve never been to Freddy’s and now I must go! They were also serving their frozen custard and I missed it. You know me and ice cream so I was doubly sad about that.
In second place for both judges and attendees was Liam Fitzpatrick’s. The Lake Mary Irish pub delighted taste buds with their beefy burger served in gold ashtray. Points for presentation!
Here’s a shot of their presentation by Michelle Snow of CitySurfingOrlando.com @zengrrl
Third place went to Artisan’s Table with their hoagie-style creation served with a coffee tequila shot!
The Crowd Favorites
The People’s Choice was White Wolf Café and their creative concoction topped with goat cheese, lettuce, cabbage, crispy onions and roasted red peppers. The quaint cafe in The Ivanhoe Village is another spot I need to visit soon. Liam Fitzpatricks was also chosen in second place by the crowd. In third place was Jimmy Hula’s,one of my favorites of the night!
Here’s a fantastic recap of some of the favorites by Lisa Wilk of @tastecooksip
The Best Burgers in Orlando
Three guys (Freddy, Liam and Jimmy), a wolf and an artist won the night! Here’s the recap of the winners.
Judges Blind Picks:
- 1: Freddy’s
2: Liam Fitzpatrick’s
3: Artisan’s Table
The People’s Choice:
- 1: White Wolf Cafe
2: Liam Fitzpatrick’s
3: Jimmy Hula’s
- 1: Raglan Road Irish Pub
1: Jimmy Hula’s
3: The Taproom at Dubsdread
The brand new Ace Café dazzled with their classic car and motorcycle display, some of the rarest and most sought-after in the world! This casual restaurant hailing from the UK is a fun addition to the Orlando dining scene.
Here’s a fun slide show from Dena of @itsacupcakelife
“Burgers, Brews and Bikes!”
Orlando Burger Battle was all about “burgers, brews, and bikes” as my friend Erica Acevedo of TheCrumbyKitchen.com captured. Her recipes are amazing so bookmark this page for reference.
This is the burger from the folks that make the craziest comfort food, Hash House A Go Go! It had mashed potatoes and bacon! Are you kidding me? They call this twisted farm food!
It’s not a party until a Lamborghini photobombs your burger shot! Great capture by @OrlandoFoodJournal
Thank you to Orlando Magazine for hosting such a fabulous night. I hope it becomes a signature event for the city. It was an absolute blast and a fun way to enjoy a beautiful night out in The City Beautiful! It even started to rain lightly and we didn’t care. We sampled some of the best burgers around, had a couple of drinks, enjoyed live music, and got a chance to hang out with dear friends. There’s nothing better than that.
This awesome video from @the.wandering.maven pretty much sums up the night. Better be on the look-out for next year’s event. It sold out this year. I’m certain it will be even more popular next time.
These are some stressful times we are living in with all the natural disasters that have impacted many around the world, especially in my beloved Caribbean islands and in Mexico. My heart goes out to everyone impacted both there as well as those like me who have family there and were so worried for their safety. It is more important than ever to not only get involved to help in any way we can but also to take care of ourselves, enjoy life and celebrate every day with friends. Life is short. Don’t put off enjoying it to someday. Live it. Go Make Someday Happen!
Disclosure: I was a hosted media guest for this event and received no other compensation. I was under no obligation to write this post and all opinions are my own. As always, I only share with you experiences worth celebrating to inspire you to go celebrate life with friends and #MakeSomedayHappen one delicious bite, sip and trip a time. For more information click to read my disclosure policy. Cheers!