Formerly Gourmet Cafe, Beef and Liberty is an American-style burger diner in the Shanghai Center in Jing’an. However, the name “Beef and Liberty” is taken from the motto of the Beefsteak Club in London, a popular hangout for upper-class men in the 18th and 19th centuries. We’d also like to think the name insinuates that their burgers are so tasty that had Patrick Henry eaten one before his speech, he would’ve said “give me beef and liberty, or give me death!” And indeed, these burgers rank amongst the most titillating beef pucks in the city.
Rustic brick backdrop befitting of a Tuscan pizza den combined with the primary colors, well-lit interior, and spic and span counter tops of a 50s diner. An outdoor patio with covered picnic benches allows adults to kick back while toddlers scurry about in the sunshine.
All burgers are made with 100% certified black angus beef from Australia that’s ground on-site. Burgers range from the classic with beef, lettuce, tomato, onion and ketchup (65RMB) to the lamb burger with imported lamb, harissa yoghurt, pickles, parsley, lettuce, tomato and tzatsiki sauce (80RMB). You can also get your burger bun-less in a bowl with salad greens.
The one drawback is that fries aren’t included, which means you’re paying a hefty amount for just your burger (65-115RMB) – around as much as damage as both a burger and fries at Blue Frog .There’s even an empty space on the burger plate where the fries should go! But I digress. The fries, of which you can get regular (22RMB), black pepper (28RMB), or pommes frites (22RMB), are the perfect hybrid of crunchy, mashy, and greasy. And to reiterate, the burgers are some of the best in the city. They’re squatter and flatter than the condiment-stacked skyscrapers you get at Blue Frog, but equally tender and juice-oozing, and they sport a nice crackling baked bun. Not to mention that you can get them medium rare. And on Monday’s after 6pm it’s buy-one-get-one-free!
Also don’t miss Beef and Liberty’s drink selection, including spiked shakes and imported beers! This isn’t your stock selection of Carlsberg, Heineken, Tsingtao and Bud either, but delicious craft brews, including Rogue Dead Guy Ale, Punk IPA, and Saranac White IPA (all 50RMB).
A bit pricey, but we’re not going to pooh-pooh a scrumptious burger in a pleasant setting; an all too endangered species in Shanghai. We’d even say Beef and Liberty’s burgers deserve a spot among Shangtown’s top 5 tastiest.
Beef and Liberty – Shanghai Centre, 1/F, 1376 Nanjing Xi Lu, near Xikang Lu (南京西路1376号, 上海商城1楼, 近西康路). Tel: (0)21-6289-5733. Hours: 11am-11pm daily.
See a complete list of our reviews here.
Benjamin Cost is Shanghaiist’s Food Editor. Email tips, recommendations, and news updates on Shanghai’s dining scene to [email protected].