The Best Burger in North America (is in Canada)

The Best Burger in all of North America isn’t a $100 foie gras filled monstrosity – it’s in Canada and costs $5.

I’ve eaten my way around the world, so when someone says they know of a great burger joint, I’m always game, but usually a little skeptical. Hometown pride often usurps taste buds and so when said someone goes from “great” burger to the “best burger” I take it with a grain of salt.

But I was schooled properly in Calgary, Canada, when local foodmaster Dan Clapson took me to Alley Burger and had me try the Double Whole Truck Burger.

Best burger
The founders of Alley Burger: John Jackson and Connie Desousa. Photo: Calgary Metro News.

In 2001, Connie DeSousa and John Jackson were running the restaurant they founded, Charcut, and came up with an ingenious idea for the extra leftover meat. They fresh ground it into burgers and started selling burgers out the restaurants back door – posting on social “burgers in the alley at 10!”

Consisting of two patties, lettuce, tomato, piri piri mayonnaise, chorizo bacon and cheese curd, the Double Whole Truck burger is perfection. The “all social all the time” concept took off and soon their Twitter and Facebook pages were being trolled by people hoping for a shot at gastronomical heaven. Lines were a block long and many times, if you were at the back of the line, you’d wait in vain.

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“When we ran out, we ran out,” Connie said. “Because we use fresh cut meat in our restaurant, if we didn’t sell it all that evening it would have been waste. So we started selling burgers (from the meat) out the back alley – but it was just the extra meat.”

Best burger

The burgers were so popular, the couple started selling them from a food truck, but even that didn’t satisfy the demand. These days, the sandwiches have found a permanent home in the city’s Simmons building and is open for lunch Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

You haven’t had a burger until you’ve had an Alley Burger. Trust me – it’s worth the trip to Calgary just for a bite.