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Trip Report The "Best Burger" in Antigua Guatemala

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The quest for the best hamburger haunts Americans and Canadians even here in Antigua Guatemala. Though we love the local grub, Yolkobsens still get a hankering for a really good burger once in a while. Enter Moto Cafe in Antigua Guatemala.

First, you need to know that this is an eclectic little set up, located at the 6th calle oriente #14. On any given day you will find in front of the shop 1 to 10 motorcycles of various hefts, mostly Honda 200 CTXs. These are rented out for touring packages around Guatemala, from a day trip to Pacaya to spree through Guatemala varooming from the Caribbean to Pacific coasts.

Once inside you find a combination of motorcycle tour office, bar and snack bar. The front of the establishment is totally open and from its front seats you can watch the women at the communal clothes washing station giving a sudsing and rinse to the family togs. Normally, you have an excellent view of a small public park directly across the street, but at time of writing it was enveloped in green baffling due to retooling of the park and construction of public rest rooms.

At Moto Cafe conversation with strangers over a beer is easy since most of the clientele is made up of gringos, swapping stories and insights about life in Antigua Guatemala and general travel experiences in Mexico, Central and South America. It’s a really great atmosphere. And, if you blow the smoke out the front, you can enjoy a Cuban cigar, which the bar also has on offer.

So now for the hamburgers. On the advice of Mr. Y’s Antigua Guatemala dentist, we sought out the cafe for its excellent treatment, presentation and execution of the burger. Now, if you are in a hurry for your burger and fries, this is not the place for you. Get yourself to a “ye olde drive-through” if that’s your thing. There are many in Guatemala city along the commuters strip leading to the central of town.

The Moto burgers are not actually made on site. Instead they are prepared in some mystery kitchen a few blocks away and are delivered to diners about 20 to 25 minutes post-order. That’s fine. We just ordered more beer and watched more laundry being done in the warm sunshine.

When the burgers arrived we were thrilled. The acid test of a good burger? The buns were toasted, an old fashioned and often neglected part of the art form. It also appears that the burger fairies who prepared this used a fat-to-lean ratio more in keeping with North American hamburger meat cuisine than usual Guatemalan formula.

It’s an excellent burger, grilled just right and dressed with the right amount of mayonnaise-mustard sauce. Mr. Y gave the thumbs up on his cheese burger. The only thing missing was dill pickle. The fries were crisp and reasonably tasty (though likely started off from freezer and went to oil). Overall, we think this is the best burger in Antigua Guatemala. Hands down. We are prepared to keep testing our way through town, but so far this one take the gold.