Newport Burger Bender. Image Credit: Discover Newport

A Newport and a Tiverton restaurant took top honors for best burgers after this year’s Newport Burger Bender’s fierce 10-day competition.

The first-place winners for each category:

  • Best Beef Burger: The Feast, The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, Newport
  • Best Non-beef Burger: Salmon Banh Mi Burger, Boat House Waterfront Dining, Tiverton

“This year was tremendous,” said Julie Grant, Discover Newport’s Digital Marketing Manager, and the contest’s organizer. “We had a record-breaking 56 burgers from 42 restaurants competing this year. And the most people ever – 1,800 – voted for their favorite burger.”

The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar in Newport earned first place for best beef burger. The Mooring Sous Chef, Erica Costa, created The Feast; a half-pound Angus beef patty with Cacoila, port wine cheese spread, fried potato sticks, a sunny side egg and a red Portuguese hot pepper served on Portuguese pop bread.

“Truly the star of this burger is the Cacoila meat,” Costa said. “This is pork meat, which is heavily seasoned with a Portuguese marinade. It is then fully cooked until texturally it pulls apart.”

In the non-beef category, Boat House Waterfront Dining took first place for its Salmon Banh Mi Burger; a Gyoza salmon burger, with Asian BBQ sauce, pickled carrots, radish, jalapeño, cilantro, and sriracha mayo served on a toasted sesame bun.

The 2023 Newport Burger Bender contest ran between February 17 to 26. The winners receive a $500 prize, a featured listing for 12 months on, the coveted Newport Burger Bender trophy and lots of bragging rights.

The winners and praise from voters:

Best Beef Burger: The Feast, The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar

Arturo A, “It’s the best burger I ever had.”

Best Non-Beef Burger: Salmon Banh Mi Burger, Boat House Waterfront Dining

Susan E, “It was so good, I had it twice!”

Class of 2023 superlatives and praise from voters:

Most Social: Totty Pastrami, Caleb & Broad

Marci P, “I can’t stop thinking about it.”

Biggest Sweet Tooth: Vandessert Burger, The Dining Room at The Vanderbilt

Christiane H, “Sooo insanely delicious. 20/10 stars”

Best Drip: French Dip Burger, Jo’s American Bistro

Andrew H, “the dip really gave it an extra oomph.

Most Likely to Save the Planet: Rowdy Ranch BBQ Burger, Sprout and Lentil

Heather B, “No animals were harmed in the creation of this burger.”

Most Napkins Needed: Bacon Jammie Smash Burger, The Beehive Café

Teresa P, “The whole burger is amazing but especially the bacon jam!”

Most Likely to Become a Menu Staple: Ramen Fried Katsu Sando, Yagi Noodles

Zachary P, “This should be permanently on the menu!!”

Most Likely to Nap in Class: Kansas City Burnt Ends BBQ Burger, Zelda’s

Maureen A, “Warning: you might need a nap after eating this burger.”