There are certain foods I wish were just healthy in spite of all of the reasons why they are naturally not: ice cream, chocolate, pizza, and that American classic...hamburgers. Unfortunately, science has not found a way to turn these into diet-friendly options, but one intrepid burger joint in Tokyo has ventured to make a burger that is as healthy as possible without sacrificing flavor. That burger joint is none other than...
The 3rd Burger
3rd Burger earned its name from the proprietor's three principles for the restaurant: 1) it has to be as quick as a fast food restaurant; 2) the burgers have to be gourmet; and 3) the cafe had to accomplish both of those objectives while keeping prices at a medium-range for customers.
With this in mind, the original 3rd Burger cafe opened in 2013 in the ritzy Omote Sando area--not an easy place to break into business with success. Many a cafe have tried and failed. However, with its objective of offering customers burgers they could eat every day (thanks to taste and healthiness), the 3rd Burger, not only succeeded with their flagship store, they managed to expand to three other locations (Kichijoji, Ark Hills (near the US Embassy), and Shinjuku).
So how are the burgers, anyway? They really are a fantastic, cheap gourmet option that won't leave you feeling heavy and lethargic afterwards. How do they achieve that? Each 3rd Burger cafe bakes its own buns in-house. They source fresh vegetables daily and prepare them same-day for use on the burgers. As for the meat, they also keep it fresh, mincing it in the cafe's own kitchen to make the burgers.
My favorite burger that the cafe offers is its signature "3rd Burger," a hamburger topped with lettuce, tomato, komatsuya (Japanese mustard spinach), and a fantastic wasabi tartar sauce. A close second is the Avocado Wasabi burger. There are 13 other burger options available, so fear not--they will invariably have something you will enjoy if my two favorites don't strike your fancy.
The side menu is limited, but tasty. You have a choice of fries or corn chips with their signature wasabi tartar sauce.
3rd Burger also has a tasty smoothie menu. The signature 3rd Smoothie is a mix of veggies, apples, and bananas designed to be paired with the burger to help your body digest the fats and oils from the burger while giving you an energy boost. They also have a carrot and banana smoothie on the standard menu, but they will always have a seasonal option available.
For information on 3rd Burger cafes (locations, opening hours, etc.), check out their website here.
So there you have it...
...Burgers made with your health and taste buds in mind. If you are a fan of burgers and happen to be in Tokyo, I say zehi, head over to this burger joint because you won't be disappointed!