The longer I sat down in the Burger Village restaurant in downtown Raleigh the more I liked it; the signs on the wall clearly stating this is my kind of place.
Craig and I try to eat as clean and as healthy as possible. We cut back on some areas of our budget so that in our home we can eat grass-fed beef, wild salmon, and organic foods!
When eating out in Raleigh, it’s not always easy to find organic food, grass-fed beef is even rarer, and gluten-free is hit or miss!
But not at Burger Village on Glenwood Ave. Their menu is dedicated to organic, non-GMO, and grass-fed meats with plenty of options for those with dietary requirements including vegetarian and vegan options. AND, they have exotic meats like bison, elk, boar, and ostrich – something frequent travelers like us who have spent a lot of time in Africa, love to eat!
I’m most excited by this new downtown Raleigh restaurant, not just because of its delicious food, but the comfort of knowing my body will not suffer to much from it.
Well, I won’t suffer unless I overindulge, which there could be a high possibility of with delicious desserts and appetizers on the menu. But that’s totally on me!
The Burger Village Difference
Burger Village is the only place I have come across in Raleigh, and possibly even further in my USA travels, where the food served on your plate will be 100% grass-fed, cage-free, organic, non-GMO, and free of nasties.
That’s not just great for our bodies but for the environment as well. Products come from farms and dairies that are mostly family owned and operated with livestock that is nourished and cared for in pastures, not confined spaces.
Hold on now, there is more! Anyone with a dietary consideration knows how tough it is to eat out. Burger Village has your back.
They have plenty of gluten free, peanut free, and vegan and plant-based menu items. As a gluten-free eater, I could eat almost everything on the menu, whereas I’m often left with 1-2 choices or even none.
They have gluten free buns (or lettuce wraps) and a separate fryer, so you don’t have to miss out on their yummy, Cajun seasoned fries and tater tots (I know they serve those in heaven). P.S. In Australia we call them potato gems.
Not just that, but the drinks are also handcrafted to be better for you. The Maine Root Sodas at Burger Village are not your typical sodas, but a better version made from 100% organic sugar cane without any high fructose corn syrup and major allergens. These sodas also go into their cocktails.
What surprised me the most about Burger Village is that the cost is affordable, especially given the quality of the food and size of servings. You will not walk out hungry and may need a to-go box. I’ve had plenty of burgers in Raleigh that are half the size for the same price, if not more!
As we said to the owner, Dee, “We’re excited about this partnership. It couldn’t be a better fit for us.“ And of course, we think it’s a fantastic place to eat in Raleigh to share with you. So, if you’re searching on your phone for “gourmet burgers near me”, keep reading!
About Burger Village
In that short period of time serving burgers in Raleigh, they’ve amassed over 500 reviews on Google with a 4.7/5 rating. That is solid cred backing up our new-found passion for this new downtown Raleigh restaurant.
Burger Village is a locally owned business by Dee and Shalini Bhatia (also women-owned and minority-owned business!) It’s part of a franchise started by four Long Islander brothers – Sam, Nick, Vick & Ravi – who are related to the Raleigh owners!
The first location opened in 2013 in Great Neck, NY and since then have opened five locations in New York, one in San Luis Obispo, California, another in Edmonton, Canada, and now here in Raleigh, NC!
Now we know the local story behind this new Raleigh burger joint and the high quality of their food, let’s go through what a meal can look like.
We’re sharing with you a wide variety of food options. If you can eat it all, go for it. Otherwise get ready for a box to take home for yummy next day leftovers.
Start your meal with any of the hand-crafted signature cocktails on offer.
Of course, we went for the showstopper signature cocktails: Smoky Old Fashioned and a Mango Mojito with a bubble of nothing on top that you can pop and release mythical smoke over the drink. Watch our video on Instagram.
With the Old Fashioned, you can choose what flavor you want for the smoker. Craig chose cherry. I don’t usually drink bourbon, but I really enjoyed their smoky old fashioned and could have drunk a lot more than my taste test.
My mango mojito was not too sweet or strong and was a light and refreshing accompaniment to the food. If cocktails aren’t your thing, they have craft beers from local breweries, and, wait for it, organic wine made using sustainable and eco-friendly practices.
If you don’t want alcohol at all, there are those delicious, refreshing sodas, that are not sickly sweet.
We had ginger beer soda and sweet mango tea and enjoyed them both. I find traditional Carolina sweet tea disgusting, but this was very drinkable. I’d be more than happy for my girls to get refills. We’ll bring them on our next visit here.
They also have hand-spun milkshakes in a variety of flavors – what’s a burger joint without them!
There’s a solid selection of appetizers to choose, from loaded cajun fries to cauliflower tenders. All come with two dipping sauces. I recommend the signature sauce with chipotle, ketchup, and hot sauce.
We went for a serving of traditional wings with half buffalo and half mango habanero. The chicken was melting off the bone and I loved the sweet spiciness of the mango habanero – the perfect dish for Sunday NFL football which is on the TVs at Burger Village. So, it’s a burger restaurant in Raleigh and a sports bar!
We also had an appetizer of guacamole and chips, one of our favorite appetizers to get and it didn’t disappoint – fresh and creamy, with a little zing. Plus, Cajun seasoned fries and sweet potato fries.
Dee also recommended breaded zucchini as a popular appetizer. We’ll be ordering that on our next visit.
If you’re in the mood for something lighter, order one of their large and delicious salads. They have a wide range of styles from Asian Kale Salad to Egg & Bacon salad and a Toasted Almond Salad.
What makes the Burger Village salads unique is your protein will come in the form of a patty, presented in the middle of the salad. You can choose from any of their exotic meats or their vegetarian patties.
We ordered the Crumbled Goat Cheese salad with sun dried tomatoes, roasted red peppers and Tzatziki, which was beautiful and creamy, just like you’d find in Greece (I can verify this from my recent travels to Greece).
How could you not pair a Greek style salad with a lamb patty? In Australia, we eat lamb as much as they do in Greece. We don’t understand why more Americans don’t farm and eat it, because, to us, its supreme deliciousness!
Exotic, Grass Fed Burgers
Anyone in the Triangle area (or further) who loves burgers should add this restaurant to their list. They are some of the biggest burgers I’ve seen, with plenty of interesting fillings and sauces, AND exotic meats.
There is no boring burger on the menu here. (We may have even offered a suggestion for a Kangaroo or Emu burger!)
You’ll want to come back from multiple visits to try all the different patties, and if exotic is a little unsettling to you, they have standard beef, turkey, grilled chicken, salmon, BLT, and even a hot dog.
A great feature of the burger menu here is each patty will have a recommended signature pair. That is toppings and fillings that go well with that particular patty. Order the recommended pairing OR go wild and choose any of the signature toppings on the menu to your liking.
The patties and signature pairs are priced separately. Put them together and you get the full price burger. I love this fair pricing because if you are a plain burger eater, like our daughter, you don’t have to pay extra for toppings you won’t eat.
We stuck with the recommendations and ordered their three biggest sellers:
Village Beef Burger with the California Mystery topping: cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, roasted red peppers, guacamole, and signature sauce.
Village Bison Burger with the Jalo Pkwy topping: Smoked mozzarella, lettuce, tomato, fried egg, sautéed onion, jalapenos, BBQ Sauce.
Village Gluten Free veggie burger with Spicy Vegan topping: vegan mozzarella, Pico de Gallo, sautéed onions, sautéed mushrooms, and chipotle ketchup.
All three were delicious and filling. I think the Bison burger was probably my favorite; the smoked mozzarella enhanced its flavor. And Aussies eat a lot of eggs on their burgers, so it felt like home!
I was surprised at how tasty the vegetarian burger was. I was a vegetarian for six years and it was hard to find a good tasting veggie burger. My paddy was made from various vegetables, but they do have impossible and beyond burger patties as well.
NOTE: If you eat grass fed meat, you’ll likely know there is a difference between grass fed and 100% grass-fed. Simply stating “Grass-fed” typically means the cow is 80% grass fed, then 20% grain finished. Look for the label that says 100% grass-fed, meaning it never consumed grain. Burger Village is 100%.
The gluten free buns come from Udi and the brioche bun on most of the other burgers come from local Durham favorite, 9th Street Bakery. All other bread forms come from Raleigh local favorite, Union Special Bread. We love that they also source local products when available.
Burger Village Sides
Again, with more flexible options, sides are an additional menu item. Choose to skip them, select your favorite, or share a side with your dining partners.
The sides come with two sauces and all deep-fried products are cooked in non-GMO rice bran oil.
The signature sauce paired perfectly with the Cajun seasoned fries and sweet potato tots – both of which were extremely moreish.
I’m NOT an onion eater, but Craig is, and he really enjoyed the onion rings, which are hand cut, battered and fried to order. He said they were similar to how we do it in Australia (except we don’t call them Bloomin’ Onions.)
And, if you feel like both onion rings and fries, you can order the Frings which is a half serving of each!
Yes, There is Dessert, too!
“Make some space belly, we’ve still got dessert to come.”
Did someone say flourless chocolate cake? It’s very hard for me to resist this gluten free desert, which is one of my most favorite ever. It was delicious! Craig and I happily shared it. There’s also carrot cake, cheesecake, sundaes and soda floats.
Lunch Special (+ catering)
Looking for a hearty and healthy lunch option? They offer a lunch deal consisting of a Burger, Fries and Soda for $15 (Mon-Thursday, 11am -4pm). That’s a good deal, right there!
And, if anyone is interested in catering to their event, check out their catering menu then contact (984-528-2939) to place your catering order!
I think on my next visit I will swap the gluten free bun for the lettuce wrap so I have more space in my tummy for their other delicious menu items. I am a low-carb eater, so the bread was heavy for me. That’s just a personal preference. I like that there are options to suit how you like to eat best.
Ambiance of this Raleigh restaurant
Here you will find an upmarket, sports-bar-style ambiance. It feels casual enough to come here for a relaxing family dinner, stop in for a quick bite after work at the bar, perfect for a quick feed before you hit the lively Glenwood Ave nightlife, or suitable enough for a date night.
The interior is a warm and inviting open-air dining space with a central bar and bright signs and chalk drawings reminding you that you’re taking care of your body with healthy food.
They also have a popular outside patio that is kid and dog-friendly!
We chose a table inside, but right next to the open-air windows so we could watch life go by on Raleigh’s biggest nightlife street, but still enjoy the cozy ambiance inside AND the cool music playlist.
I am thrilled that Burger Village opened its doors in Raleigh. I am looking forward to seeing how this restaurant grows and expands as it helps introduce a healthier way to eat burgers and protein.
As an immune sensitive person who reacts often to different foods (mostly unclean), it’s wonderful to know you can walk into a restaurant and feel safe with what is in the food and how it is being cooked.
I love the flexibility and diversity of the burger menu, allowing you to order according to tastes and how much you eat. Most burger restaurants only diversify with their toppings, not with their patties. I love the huge variety of plain and exotic meat options.
All the food we had was great with some of the best burgers you’ll find in Raleigh. We look forward to returning again and tasting more menu options.
As we told Dee, “We can see ourselves eating here all the time.”