You'll Want to Instagram This Cool Burger Stand
It looks like it's straight from the '60s!
432 F. Manalo Street, Barangay Batis, San Juan City
Open from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Mondays to Sundays)
(SPOT.ph) A good ol' juicy burger epitomizes carnivorous indulgence like nothing else. It's a go-to meal for many a meat lover for that reason—and it pretty much never goes out of style. Now imagine going ham on a great burger while breathing in fresh air in an al-fresco setting with retro-looking car-themed accents. Here's where you can do exactly that: Burger Garage, a one-of-a-kind burger establishment in San Juan where you can take your meal outdoors.
As you can guess from the name, Burger Garage is located in a garage—one that's got a relaxed but nostalgic feel with old-fashioned road signs, Motul container drums repurposed as tables, and even a vintage car front on display, looking like it came right out of the '60s. In the afternoon you get to soak up the sights in sunshine; as the sun sets, you can have your burger in the evening breeze.
Co-owner Josh Albeda (formerly a sports photographer for ABS-CBN) and partner Alysa Salen-Albelda (who also worked in the media industry) have long been huge burger fans—to the point that they would do road trips out of the Metro just to find the best versions around. "With our love for [burgers], we thought of putting our own burger joint to share to others what we love," Josh shares in an interview with SPOT.ph. "We also combined it with our enthusiasm with cars, that’s why we came up with the concept."
Albeda and his partner officially started Burger Garage in their home garage in Cubao in 2014, but closed down after a few months upon realizing they were not ready to run the business yet. "Both of us were still working [our media jobs] during that time and conflicts on our schedule was a huge problem," says Josh. "We also struggled in managing employees and our supply chain, so after a few months we decided to close the business." They moved to Makati and reopened in 2017; sadly, they had to close down again in 2020 as the pandemic took place.
They reopened again in September 2020—this time, in a new spot in San Juan. "To comply with the IATF guidelines and for safer dining, we looked for a place that is bigger than our old location and with an open-air dining area," says Josh. "During our search, one of our friends offered his space in San Juan which we found to be perfect for our concept."
More than their cool space, the highlight of Burger Garage is their lineup of diner-inspired eats. You've got lots of choices when it comes to the burgers—you can go simple with the One Way (P150) with a 1/3-pound pure-beef patty, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and their signature sauce; next-level with the Bumper-2-Bumper (P275) with double the patties, double the cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and their signature sauce; or smoky with the Smoke House BBQ (P210) that's got a pure-beef patty dipped in barbecue sauce and served with caramelized onions, lettuce, and tomatoes. If you're up for a spicy bite, don't miss the Chili Mudbath (P195) with a beef patty, chili con carne, and jalapeños; and if you're looking to go all-out sinful, definitely place an order for their 10-inch monster burger known as the 10-Wheeler (P799).
On the menu, too, are sausages—among which are the Hatchback (P130) with caramelized onions and spicy Hungarian sausage, and the Crossover (P160) with cheese, bacon, and mushrooms. You can also go for their Wings (P190/eight pieces, P290/dozen, P370/16 pieces), which come in flavors like Salt & Pepper, Sriracha Classic Buffalo, and Garlic Parmesan.
While Josh admits that rebuilding the brand was "not easy", they're continuing on the fight toward recovery from the pandemic—with help, of course, from their loyal following and new customers. Come for the sights and the great food, stay for the opportunity to help a well-conceived, striving local business out.
Burger Garage is at 432 F. Manalo Street, Barangay Batis, San Juan City. For more information, check out Burger Garage's Facebook page.
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this strange new world.