• Sunday , 18 February 2018

With Burgers, Wings AND Tacos, No One Left Hungry at This Year’s Burger Brawl

Photos, story by Jill Beckel

On a hot and humid Sunday, the 7th Annual Philadelphia Burger Brawl took over the parking lot of Xfinity Live. Over 60 local Philly area restaurants competed for the title of best burger, best taco and (for the first time ever), best chicken wing!

This year, Explore Philly was excited to be a part of the judging panel! When it comes to food, we are always more than eager to help out. We got to judge the first burger round. Each burger sample was judged on its taste, look, bun, meat and originality. All restaurants were kept anonymous so that the burger tasting would be fair. Our favorite was one burger that had pickles, cheese and a special sauce that was similar to Russian dressing. Other judges judged the taco and wing categories too.

Organized by Rob Wasserman, the Burger Brawl is more than just an eating event and strives to give back to the local community. Burger Brawl proudly, “funds literacy programming through technology for Philadelphia’s under-served children in our public elementary schools.”

Pre-sale tickets were $45 for general admission and $100 for VIP tickets. At the door, they were $55 for general and $115 for VIP. VIP’s got to start the event early at 2:00 pm, enjoy an open bar, and mix and mingle with celebrity judges like WMMR’s Steve Morrison, Fox Good Day’s Mike Jerrick and many more! Visitors of Burger Brawl got to enjoy unlimited samples of the best burgers, tacos, and wings in Philadelphia and vote for their favorite. All General Admission tickets included one free alcoholic drink. The event was open to all ages and free for children 10 and under.

After we finished our judging duty for the day, we walked around to check out all the booths. It’s a great way to sample all of Philly’s best burgers – all in one place! The wings and tacos were a welcome addition this year (who doesn’t like wings and tacos??). There truly was an option for everyone with every topping imaginable, vegetarian burgers and tacos, and new creations we’d never seen before. It was a very hot and sunny day, so the water ice vendors were also a refreshing treat. For entertainment, there was a live band to pump up the crowd and a few parking lot games set up like corn hole.

At the end of the event, the title winner of Best Burger went to Village Whiskey! El Vez won the Taco Takedown Award and Amanda’s Bar None was voted “King of the Wing.” One thing is for sure – Philadelphians really love their burgers!

The Full Winners List:
Best Burger: Village Whiskey

Best Burger People’s Choice Award: The Union Tap

Taco Takedown: El Vez

King of the Wing: Amanda’s Bar None

Taco Takedown People’s Choice Award: Revolution Taco

Cut Throat Cocktail: Moonshine Philadelphia

The full list of Burger Brawlers contestants included: Village Whiskey, James, Twisted Tail, Vintage Wine Bar, Taproom On 19th, Davio’s, Amanda’s Bar None, Good Dog Bar, Stove And Tap,  Sabrina’s Café, El Vez, Lolita, Loco Pez, Buena Onda, Five Saints Distilling,   Steam Pub, Rouge, Misconduct Tavern, R2l, The Blue Duck, Lucky’s Last Chance, La Peg Brasserie, High Tides Restaurant & Bar, St. Benjamin’s Taproom, Wycombe Publick House, Maggie’s Waterfront Café, Tredici, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza, The Blind Pig, Aldine, Rogues Gallery, Hard Rock Café, Lo Spiedo, Shoo Fry, The Union Tap, New Wave Café, Happy Rooster, Chef Tony’s Kitchen, Wahlburgers, Moonshine, Revolution Taco, 1100 Social, Al Pastor, and The Industry Bar.

This couple had some serious burger-lovin’ spirit!

Our first round of burger samples to try!

So many burgers to try….

Taste testing is a hard job, but someone has to do it.

The lines for burgers formed as soon as the event started.

It was a beautiful, sunny spring day!

Our official Burger Brawl score sheet.

Our burger from La Peg Brasserie.

Steam Pub had some killer wings.

Twisted Tail

A refreshing Rosati Ice hit the spot on a hot, meat-filled day. We tried the mango and chocolate flavors.

And we couldn’t forget about Rita’s either!

A shrimp taco from Buena Onda.

Everyone happily wandered from booth to booth deciding which to try next.

Lucky’s Last Chance is a Manayunk favorite.

Lucky’s Last Chance of Manayunk knows their burgers.

Our first ever chicken fried burger!

Rogues Gallery

Stove & Tap wings and sauce.

Taking a break from all the eating.

Everyone was working hard all day to make sure that they presented the best and tastiest food possible.

R2L taco

Lo Spiedio

Vintage Wine Bar offered a brunch burger.

Xfinity Live’s Drive-Thru Burger was a big hit.


El Vez with some of their signature tacos.

The Carson Wentz burger!

Revolution Taco’s sample had authentic Mexican flare.

I loved this Pizza Burger! As the name suggests, it combines two of my favorite things – pizza and burgers!

Revolution Taco staff hard at work.

The Blind Pig’s Pig Mac was cheesy and delicious.

Mac & Cheese wings!! The perfect snack, hangover food or anytime food really.

The judges anxiously awaiting their burger samples.

Live music kept the atmosphere fun and energized.

All the burgers that the judges got to taste test!

We love Philly and our beautiful skyline.

Some people enjoyed a round of corn hole while digesting all their burgers.

All ages came out to enjoy this year’s Burger Brawl.

It was a beautiful late spring day.

The grills were fired up all afternoon long!

Burger samples? Don’t mind if I do.

This one was my favorite since I love pickles and the sauce was great.

The crowd proved that Philly loves its burgers.

Everyone was excited to get their eat on!

Some more hungry judges.

Everyone worked as a team to get those burgers cooked to perfection.

All ready to judge those burgers!

Every table had a line, but all moved quickly.

Most restaurants chose to make sliders their sample of choice verses trying to cut up big burgers.

Food, fun and nice weather – what more could you ask for?

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