Break out the napkins because we have the meats. Coastal Virginia Magazine’s CoVa Battle of the Burgers flies back into to the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach on Saturday, May 20, 2023, from noon-5 p.m. Some of the region’s best restaurants will be serving up their most crave-able and creative versions of America’s favorite sandwich. Participating restaurants will compete for top prizes and the ultimate burger lover’s bragging rights.
CoVa Battle of the Burgers Participating Restaurants *
Here are some of the local restaurants that will be competing in 2023’s CoVa Battle of the Burgers. What kind of juicy creations will they be cooking up? Get your tickets now at CoVaBurgerBattle.com, so you can find out May 20!
Our reigning champ from 2022 returns with something to prove after their PB & J Burger swept last year’s competition. Promising a “reintroduction to BBQ,” Bar-Q—inside Bold Mariner Brewing in Ocean View—offers Southern, multi-regional barbecue from custom smokers and pitmaster James Campbell. Will they stack the deck and pack a lunch this year with that juicy patty topped with peanut butter, pepper jack cheese, jalapeños, bacon and hot pepper jelly? Or is something new brewing?
Beach Barracuda’s Grill
Boasting burgers, wings and everything in between, this come-as-you-are hangout in Virginia Beach has all the comfort food bar faves—not to mention something called Cuda Crab Balls with Texas Petal Sauce—plus lots of live music, drag brunch, trivia and more. Their craft burger menu runs deep from classic to spicy to smothered with all the cheeses, extras and sriracha aioli you can shake a French fry at. Will this fish sink or swim at Battle of the Burgers?
Burger Theory in Newport News takes burgers seriously, specializing in customized patties with 28 topping options for more 4,000 different combinations. And they do it all with a proprietary blend of 77/23 beef designed to give you the “ultimate burger experience” plus a nice selection of local brews to wash it down. Just a few of their “House Burgers” include the BT Boss, Lone Star, Farm Fresh, Ultimate Sriracha and Breakfast Burger. Will one be a winner?
For devotees of Clayton’s legendary Butter Burger, less is more. Chef-owner Ralph “Clayton” Anderson eschews the fuss in favor of flavor galore for his simple, signature Hereford patty topped with unsalted butter, onions, pickles, American cheese and Clayton’s sauce on brioche. Lunchtime is always buzzing at Clayton’s location near Oceana. Whether simple or over-the-top, we’re hoping for some of that buzz at CoVa’s Battle of the Burgers.
With locations in Virginia and Norfolk, Commune has built as reputation for sustainable, farm-fresh “real food” using local ingredients. And the results are as beautiful and colorful on the plate as they are delicious to eat. They’re packin’ a mean vegetarian burger on their menu, of course, but their Double Stack Beef Burger features two Coastal Cattle patties with cheddar or pimiento, pickled mustard seeds and baby greens on brioche. We can’t wait to see how they roll.
FIREBREW Bar & Grill
You won’t find a microwave or a fryer in the kitchen—or anywhere else—at FIREBREW Bar & Grill in the Red Mill area of Virginia Beach. That’s because everything is cooked fresh using their 600+ degree open flame oven and grill. That includes their mouth-watering list of certified Angus beef burgers—from the Bourbon Mushroom & Onion Burger to the Basil Pesto Burger. Let’s see what flavors they fire up for hungry Battle pf the Burgers patrons.
Always grilled to order and completely customizable on location (including in Norfolk and Virginia Beach), this well-known house of all things burgers sweetened things up at Burger Battle 2022 with their Brown Sugar Bacon Burger. But attendees were allowed to get creative with their topping and condiments. Will Fuddruckers’ claim to fame, “We were born to create the World’s Greatest Hamburgers,” win hearts, minds and hungry patrons in 2023?
Old Beach Tavern
Old Beach Tavern wants you to “come hungry, leave happy” from their popular spot on VB Boulevard, where their Famous Tavern Burger will satisfy even your meatiest cravings. Enjoy that burger with a side of live music, karaoke or bingo. On “Smash Burger Thursday” you can get your smash on for only $6. Their Jalapeño Burger is made with ground beef and sliced peppers for added kick. Will they spice it up or keep it simple at Burger Battle?
This Colley Avenue favorite in Norfolk is known for its “victuals and libations,” AKA serious upscale bar food, craft cocktails and local brews, as well as its casual smoking lounge complete with pool tables and arcade games. Burgers? You bet your bar stool. Order it classic or cowboy style with bacon, candied jalapeños (that sweet spice so sooo nice), onion ring, pepper jack cheese and “cowboy sauce.” Maybe that’s how they’ll swagger into Battle of the Burgers.
CoVa Battle of the Burgers Ticket Information
May 20, 2023, Noon-5 p.m.
Military Aviation Museum Virginia Beach
Tasting tickets are $40 in advance and $50 at the gate (admittance 21 and over only). All tickets include general admission, souvenir koozie, select burger tastings, museum admission, entertainment, access to the Arts & Crafts Vendor Village, and a one-year Coastal Virginia Magazine subscription. Beer sold separately. Burgers and Beer: Along with the burgers, there will be a variety of local and Virginia craft beers and seltzers for pairing and sharing.
Learn more at CoVaBurgerBattle.com.