Burger juice dribbled down Gordon’s chin, and the look of satisfaction on his face sparked an idea that would take a decade to come to fruition. I had just visited a small farm in the Veneto region of Italy, and picked up a kilogram of fresh ground meat. In 2004, the only burgers in Venice were from the ubiquitous terrible fast food chains. Gordon, a meat lover, took one bite of the burger and we immediately knew that I had to open a burger shop in Venice. Over many a glass of wine, we dreamed up a restaurant called “Burgers, Balls, and Beers.” Soon after, I met a young English girl named Sophie, and the beginning of the burger team was born. In the end, the idea of a burger shop in Venice died under the complexity of Venetian regulations and logistics, but the dream stayed with us.
In 2008, I moved from Venice to Kiel, Germany, and was immediately floored by the sheer immensity of the grilling culture there. But where were the burgers?! One can only eat so much nackensteak and bratwurst, right? I began to grill burgers for my colleagues at the university, and the dream came roaring back.
I soon learned about Kieler Woche, a massive week-long sailing, food, and music festival in Kiel, and was surprised to find that I could open my own burger stand. In 2011, a ton of friends came together to help me build the Kieler Woche burger stand that would become known as John’s Burger Box. The first years of our Kiel Week success are too long a story to tell on this page, but we’ll eventually write it all down and link to it here.
For now, it’s only important to know that Kiel Week was the launching pad for John’s Burgers, a restaurant in Kiel where we make and serve the kind of burgers I grew up on in New York. This restaurant culminates a decade of scheming with close friends, many of whom you’ll meet at our new spot on the corner of Gutenbergstrasse and Hansastrasse in Kiel, Germany.
Our crew is determined to deliver the best burger available in Kiel or elsewhere. We are dedicated to the craft, and with a fantastic mix of the best local ingredients, you will soon have burger juice dribbling down your chin as well.