12th Best Burger in the World is from Durban

INTERNATIONAL travel, food and hotel company, Big 7 Travel, named Durban’s very own restaurant’s burger, the Gypsy King Burger by Smokin’ Joe’s Knockout Burgers, as the 12th-best burger in the world.

The survey recorded burgers from around the world, including many of the best from the United States, looking at elements like value for money, consistency (Google and critics’ reviews), innovation, atmosphere, location and accessibility. Not only was Smokin’ Joe’s Knockout Burgers voted the best in Africa, but it beat the only other South African burger joint on the list, The Dog’s Bollocks in Cape Town, which came in at number 34.

Owner Yusuf Bassa said that although the local restaurant has made it onto the list before, the results came as a shock. “In 2019, we made it onto this list somewhere in the 60s, and we are so shocked to see how we have climbed up the ranks. I know we’ve put in the work, but it is still unbelievable to be named as the best in Africa on an international list like this,” he said.

Bassa started Smokin’ Joe’s at Musgrave’s rooftop night market. “We first started cooking at a Durban food market in 2016, for about a year, and then as we got more popular on social media, we opened up a restaurant in Musgrave about a year later. This is where we were for two years, and then, we opened up this space in Essenwood. And we have been here for about three and a half years.”

The restaurant owner is also a sports and boxing fan and said he got the Durban burger joint’s name from Muhammed Ali’s boxing rival Joe Frazier. “Smoking Joe was the name of the famous boxer, Joe Frazier, but Joe is also my nickname, and I am also quite the boxing fan. Muhammed Ali was my hero, and Smoking Joe was his rival, and we make a lot of smoke when we cook, so we put Joe and Smoking together with the addition of the boxing theme. We created an entire concept out of that.”

Berea Mail’s Nia Louw took a trip to the popular burger joint that has put Durban on the map and had a taste of some of their lekker local meals!