Restaurant News & Reviews

These 15 restaurants are competing in the 2018 Sacramento Burger Battle

Voters at the 2017 Sacramento Burger Battle said Dawson’s Steakhouse chef Michael Grande (right) and his crew prepared the competition’s best dish.
Voters at the 2017 Sacramento Burger Battle said Dawson’s Steakhouse chef Michael Grande (right) and his crew prepared the competition’s best dish. Rachel Valley

Fifteen of Sacramento’s best burger joints will duke it out for charity at the seventh annual Sacramento Burger Battle on Sept. 13 in Cesar Chavez Park.

Sacramento Burger Battle founder Rodney Blackwell released the 2018 event’s competitors in an email to The Bee this week. Six of the 15 restaurants vying for this year’s championship belts — Alaro Brewing Co., Burgertown, Canon, Capital Hop Shop, Magpie and Waterboy — are competing for the first time.

A panel of judges decided Empress Tavern’s burger was the best at last year’s competition, while the audience voted for Dawson’s Steakhouse. Nearly all restaurants use the same donated meat from Woodland-based Western Grassfed Beef.

The 15 eateries competing this year are:

  • Adamo’s Kitchen
  • Alaro Craft Brewery
  • Burgertown
  • Canon
  • Capital Hop Shop
  • Dawson’s Steakhouse
  • De Vere’s Irish Pub
  • Empress Tavern
  • Localis
  • Magpie Cafe
  • Nixtaco
  • Pangaea Bier Cafe
  • Skip’s Kitchen
  • South
  • Waterboy

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General admission tickets ($70) entitle attendees to samples of all 15 burgers plus access to Bacon & Butter’s french fry bar, desserts and drinks from more than 20 beer, wine, cider and coffee vendors. Other amenities include giant Jenga, music from Davis-based soul/funk band Tha Dirt Feelin’ and a miniature golf hole ending with a seven-foot plastic burger.

Blackwell started the Burger Battle in 2012 as a fundraiser for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation after his daughter was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease four years prior, he said. The charity began organizing the annual event in 2014 and has collected more than $200,000 in proceeds.

Less than 170 tickets remain available on the Burger Battle’s EventBrite page, said Blackwell, who remains heavily involved as a volunteer. The event has sold out every year.

Blackwell regularly posts his and others’ creations to 47,200 Instagram followers under the handle @burgerjunkies, and he reviewed area restaurants on a blog by the same name until 2015.

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