Off the Menu: Bite Into OC Burger Week July 12 – 18

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Bosscat trio of burgers / courtesy of Bosscat

Burger fans rejoice: OC Burger Week returns July 12 – 18, but apparently the concept has proved to be so popular that Burger Week has expanded into both Long Beach and Los Angeles.

“In addition to celebrating the mighty burger, the goal of Burger Week is to drive additional traffic to independent restaurants, which have experienced one of the most challenging times in recent history,” explained Pamela Waitt, president of the Orange County Restaurant Association. “We welcomed the idea to expand this event into Los Angeles County and, with the support of Shamrock Foods, Maker’s Mark, Foodbeast, and KFI’s The Fork Report, we’re looking to make a significant impact on sales when restaurants need it the most.”

The 2nd annual Burger Week will highlight burgers from nearly 100 participating restaurants throughout OC, LA and Long Beach. During the week-long event, diners will be able to explore a variety of burgers, ranging from classic to creative. Various proteins from beef to plant-based are highlighted on menus priced at $10, $15 and $20.

Many restaurants will also feature takeout packages and a featured cocktail made with Maker’s Mark, Hornitos Tequila or Knob Creek Bourbon Whiskey.

Burger Week participating restaurants, menus and featured cocktails will be updated at

More than a dozen restaurants in Newport Beach and Laguna Beach have special Burger Week menus. I’m looking forward to hitting as many as I can. But remember—the new state mandate temporarily forbids indoor dining, but most of the restaurants on the list have patios. Those that don’t will offer their burgers to-go.

Burger Week menus that caught my eye, and my palate:

Cappy’s Café burger / courtesy of Cappy’s

Bello By Sandro Nardone: This new Newport Beach Italian restaurant does not seem like a burger joint, and it’s not, so they have concocted a $15 burger for Burger Week unlike any other. It starts with two seasoned pork patties plus tuna aioli, salsa verde, caramelized onions and sliced tomato on a handcrafted bun. Add some hand cut crispy potatoes, fresh herbs, garlic confit and gorgonzola, and you have an Italian burger feast.

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations: Located near John Wayne Airport, Bosscat offers a trio of $15 burgers for Burger Week. Choose from a spicy fried chicken sandwich (technically not a burger but still sounds delicious), southwestern Beyond Burger made with a Beyond Meat patty, and The New Yorker which combines a ground beef patty with sliced pastrami. All burgers come with fries. Accompany any burger with their $10 New York Sour cocktail made with Maker’s Mark Bourbon.

Cappy’s Café: This Coast Highway landmark has four $20 burgers listed for Burger Week. Choose from a Hangover Cheeseburger served with two fried eggs, a Jalapeño Cheeseburger, a Turkey Cheeseburger, or a Chili Cheeseburger served open faced on a brioche bun and smothered with chili and cheddar cheese, topped with avocado. Choose one of eight sides and a 22oz beer, and you’re set for burger nirvana.

Champagnes Bistro & Deli: This is my go-to breakfast spot, so I admit I have not tried their burgers, which for $15 sound delicious. The Champagnes Burger is angus beef with Tillamook cheddar cheese, the Rancho Burger combines angus beef with hickory smoked bacon plus house made barbecue sauce, while the Santa Fe Burger features angus beef with mild green chilies, avocado, pepper jack cheese, and chipotle aioli. Add a choice of sides and either a beer or a cookie.

Fable & Spirit: Named Best New Restaurant at the 2019 Golden Foodie Awards, Fable & Spirit makes a fine burger. Available for lunch only for $15 each, choose from the house ground Creekstone Farm steak burger with brie fondue and sweet onion jam, or a crispy chicken sandwich. Either one comes with house made chips. I’ve had their beautiful burger and I’m going back for another one!

Fleming’s Steakhouse: This flagship location in Fashion Island has one of the best deals for Burger Week—three courses for $20. Start with either a salad of lobster bisque, proceed to one of three burgers (Prime Burger with cheddar cheese and peppered bacon, California Burger with bacon, avocado, cheddar cheese and smoked jalapeno aioli, Mushroom-Farro Burger with mushroom, chickpea and farro veggie patty plus goat cheese), then add a choice of desserts.

Helmsman Ale House: Another restaurant with a killer deal, Helmsman has a $15 burger menu that includes a choice of three burgers (Helmsman Double Burger, Hatch Reaper Double or the Spicy Fried Chicken) accompanied by fries or a salad plus dessert.

Stacks Pancake House burger / courtesy of Stacks

Hopdoddy Burger Bar: As the name implies, Hopdoddy specializes in burgers. Their $20 Burger Week menu features a choice of three burgers, all served with a side of hand-cut fries & a Hornitos margarita: The Classic, The Thunderbird with ground chicken patty and steakhouse bacon, and a Buffalo Burger with steakhouse bacon, blue cheese and buffalo sauce.

Selanne Steak Tavern: This Laguna Beach standout serves outstanding burgers. The first time I had one, just the first bite put a smile on my face. Their Burger Week menu is $15 and available for lunch only. Choose from three burgers named with hockey references (co-owner Teemu Selanne is a Hockey Hall of Famer and former player with the Anaheim Ducks), including the “Hall of Famer” with slab bacon, the Major Penalty with Tillamook cheddar, and the “Duck” Burger with beef patty and duck salami. Includes a side of The Rookie (poutine).

Sessions West Coast Deli: When I think of Sessions, I think of sensational sandwiches (their famous Summer Zephyr is still my favorite). Now, I may have to start thinking burgers. The Fashion Island location has a $20 Burger Week menu that offers a choice of the Perfect Burger with prime angus beef or the Wild Melt with seasoned turkey patty, fig jam and smoked Gouda. You also get a choice of sides and either a beer or a cookie.

Tavern House burger / photo by Chris Trela

Stacks Pancake House: I have never had a burger at a restaurant known for pancakes, but that’s about to change based on their $15 Burger Week concoction. Available for breakfast and lunch, the BBQ Kalua Pork Burger is a collaboration with FoodBeast’s Constantine Spyrou and includes a beef patty, kalua pork, slaw, Hawaiian BBQ sauce and Cheddar Jack stuffed between a Portugese bun. Choose from one of four sides.

Taco Rosa: I love Taco Rosa’s Mexican cuisine, but I may start loving their burgers too. Their $15 Burger Week menu has three burgers on the menu: Al Pastor, Guacamole Burger, and Blackened Chicken Burger. Each one comes with a choice of three sides plus a choice of beverages, including beer.

Tavern House Kitchen+Bar: Restaurateur David Wilhelm has hit a home run with this restaurant, and with his Burger Week menu. For $20 you can choose from one of six burgers plus a choice of sides and a beer. Burger options: Tavern Cheeseburger with wagyu beef; Cowboy Burger with green chile, pecan wood smoked bacon and BBQ sauce; BBQ Pork Cheeseburger with wagyu beef, cheddar cheese and BBQ pulled pork; Impossible Burger; Grilled Fish Burger with coleslaw, tartar sauce and avocado (available blackened); and Fried Chicken Burger (may be the best fried chicken in town). The Cowboy Burger is my favorite—it’s a beautiful messy handful. Ask for some extra BBQ sauce on the side. The garlic-parmesan fries are superb.

True Food burger / courtesy of True Food

True Food Kitchen: This health-conscious restaurant has a $25 Burger Week menu that includes choice of sides and a wine pairing for each burger. Choose between the Turkey Burger with smashed avocado, organic tomato, butter lettuce, smoked Gouda, jalapeño remoulade, on a flaxseed bun and paired with Tangent Pinot Grigio from Edna Valley, or the Grass-fed Burger with umami, mushroom, caramelized onion, organic arugula, parmesan, mayonnaise, on a flaxseed bun and paired with Cannonau Alta Vita from Italy.

Other restaurants in Laguna Beach participating in Burger Week: Mozambique and Skyloft.

For a complete list of participating restaurants and menus, visit

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