We’re going full ham and celebrating the ultimate in British pub food. But why is it called a hamburger? There’s no pork involved - in fact, most patties are made of beef, right? Well, it’s said the naming comes from a group of rowdy sailors from Hamburg who named America’s turn of the century (that’s the 20th century, folks) culinary invention after themselves. Bit cheeky, perhaps, but they may have been on to something - after all, we’ve been calling them hamburgers ever since.

So, in tribute to these sailors and their burger legacy, we’ve come up with some of the city’s most bonkers burger concoctions, including some that are so big we’d be surprised if a whole crew could get through them! Go forth and enjoy.

Founded in 1945, English’s of Brighton is the oldest restaurant in the city, and has long been a stalwart for seafood in the area. Of course, then, their burger offering was going to be grand. Comprising a smoked haddock & crab cake, crab mayonnaise, Parma ham, lettuce, guacamole and sriracha, all served on a charcoal bun, this decadent offering might set you back £20, but it’s oh so worth it.

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Every one of The Bok Shop’s burgers is a play on a song or artist name in the hip-hop genre - and they’re all a little bit quirky in their own right. However, should you decide to ‘Bossman your burger’, you’ll find it well and truly pimped. £6.50 will get you all the extras on top of your chosen burger (extra thigh fillet, a hash brown, bacon and cheese) PLUS an OG Bok wing skewered through the top. If this ain’t extra, we don’t know what is.

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When we first heard of avocado in a burger, we were pretty against it. Then we found out a London burger joint was serving sliders where the avocado took the place of the bun - and that’s when we got a bit angry, to be frank. That may be sheer sacrilege, however Wolfsmouth’s crispy fried aubergine burger is a force to be reckoned with. There’s also vegan yoghurt, miso glaze and kimchi alongside every millennials favourite veggie, and somehow, even though it shouldn’t, it just works.

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The troll is at it again, its ever-changing menu resulting in yet more wondrous concoctions that even the most imaginative of men would struggle to invent. Desperate for Duck is one of the newer ones on Paul Clark’s rotation, combining shredded duck, loganberry compote and Sussex Camembert in a Flint Owl brioche bun for a mere tenner. Though it’s likely to only be on the menu for a few weeks, Trollburger has a tendency to bring old faves back. Just poke him until he does.

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True to its nature (and its killer playlists), the burgers at The Pipeline are all named after female rock legends - but the best bit (and perhaps the most ‘Brighton’) is they’re also all vegan. The Debbie Harry might bring in peanut butter to make it stand out, but what really caught our eye was the Suzi Quatro. First: how on earth do you make vegan blue cheese? Secondly: can we have some?

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The TripAdvisor community’s favourite spot for brekkie in the city, Compass Point Eatery is well known for its abundance of pancakes, but did you know they also do a Breakfast Brunch Burger? This one incorporates the buttermilk pancakes it’s known for along with a 6oz burger patty, American cheese, fried egg, streaky bacon & maple syrup on a brioche bun. But with fries on the side, we’d be surprised if you finish the lot!

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Arguably Brighton’s most loved plant-based pub food, Beelzeburger (part of the Beelzebab kitchen) runs once a month at the Hope & Ruin, with a number of odd delights to choose from. Thought pineapple on a pizza was wrong? How about the abomination in a burger? Beelzeburger’s Ananas mixes it up with a Southern fried seitan patty with peanut satay, lettuce & seitan bacon and we have to say, it might change your mind about the whole pineapple thing. Keep an eye out for their regularly changing specials.

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The New Club’s Plant Burger moves mountains to prove not all vegan burgers are made equal. A butternut squash, coconut & cashew fritter is topped with red pepper ketchup, rocket, caramelised onion and finished off with house fries to create a supreme dream that feels naughty, but actually, is pretty damn good for you.

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Did someone say ketchup leather? This odd phenomenon sees your regular tomato ketchup freeze dried until it takes on a thick gel-like consistency, meaning it pokes out of your burger like a slice of cheese. But it’s not the only part that will blow your mind. Umami butter (sorry, what?), truffle brioche and kombu cheese fondue are all part of what make Lucky Beach’s LBB so unique - you might need a thesaurus to find out exactly what’s in it first though.

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Prepare yourself for stinky breath with this one - but it’s totally worth it. BurgerKult’s Swamp Thing hails from 2015 but is still going strong, offering ground chuck steak topped with crayfish tails, Cajun swamp sauce, red chilli jam, rocket, plum tomato and shaved red onion. The best part? If you want to get really crazy you can double up on patties for an extra £4.

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So. Many. Onion Rings. The Mount Doom of eating challenges, The Shameless Dirty Burger Challenge dares competitors to devour the entire plate in 20mins - or pay £22.75 for the (dis)honour of failing. Glory may be precious, but try as you might, odds are you shall not pass!

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A kilo and a half of beef, plus pulled pork, fries, onion rings and coleslaw await those willing to give Smokey’s i360 Burger Challenge a try. Simply put, it’s a monster of a burger, inspired by the tallest observation tower on the south coast (which will taunt you in the background). You’ve a full hour to attempt this one, reckon you can rise to the challenge?

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Published -19th August 2019