close up photo of burger
Photo by Valeria Boltneva on

Bring your enthusiasm and inner food critic – the 6th Annual Newport Burger Bender Contest returns this month.

Dozens of chefs across Newport and Bristol counties will prepare delicious burgers, such as “The Bacon Jammie Smash Burger”, “Surf and Turf Burger”, and the “Crunchy Fried Tofu Burger”, for this year’s fierce competition, which is scheduled to land on local menus from February 17 to 26.

For those burger enthusiasts who would like a beef alternative, some restaurants will have plant-based or non-beef burgers (veggie/vegan, pork, lamb, seafood, etc.) in addition to traditional beef burgers. Winners will be named in beef and non-beef categories. The burgers with the most votes will be crowned winners (along with their chefs). Local media will also determine their “critics’ choice” winners.

Restaurant winners in each category will receive the following, according to the event organizer, Discover Newport; 

  • A $500 prize
  • A complimentary featured listing for 12 months on ($600 value)
  • The coveted Newport Burger Bender trophy (plus bragging rights)

Each burger will be photographed and featured with a detailed description on the Newport Burger Bender page on Participating restaurants will receive customized menu inserts with their unique burger entry to encourage customers to order, enjoy and vote. Diners can use the website to plan their burger-tasting adventure.

“From plant-based creations filled with crunchy fried tofu, to juicy, meaty, beef burgers piled high with wagyu or lobster or a fried green tomato – there is something tantalizing for everyone’s palate this season,” said Julie Grant, Discover Newport’s Digital Marketing Manager.

Voting will be activated on the Discover Newport website from February 17 – 26. People can also vote at participating restaurants using custom QR codes displayed for each participating burger. Diners simply looking to share their decadent delights can do so on social media with the hashtag #NewportBurgerBender. 

The highly anticipated Newport Burger Bender contest shares the same dates as the 35th Annual Newport Winter Festival

Discover Newport will accept submissions for burger entries until Feb. 10, 2023. Click here to sign up. You’ll be contacted to schedule a date to photograph your burger. For questions, please get in touch with Julie Grant at