The best thing to come out of a shipping container
Whether you're exhausted from a day chilling out on the beach, looking for a date night, or just want somewhere the kids will love, Port Burger in Port Noarlunga is perfect. It's only just a few steps away from the beach with plenty of free parking in the car park opposite.
Having gone past Port Burger a number of times last summer and seen it absolutely buzzing with happy burger lovers, it's a shame it has taken this long to visit. Port Burger is by far the best burger bar along Adelaide's southern coastline.
On a quick glance, you'd be mistaken to think Port Burger could be a storage area or even a quirky pop-up art gallery, but thankfully the big bold lit up signage and oversized menu board are an indicator for empty tummies to come on in.
This popular burger bar is built around one shipping container with an extension to the side for seating and it somehow just works! It gives it a unique appeal and has been cleverly designed in its use of space. It will be a surprise if we don't see more of this concept popping up all around Adelaide.
Initially, inside comes across as a dark industrial feel, but after spending some time dining, it's the perfect casual banqueting atmosphere. The vibe is set with a good level of music playing with the team being super friendly with everyone they meet. The brickworks (pretty sure they aren't real!) around the bar and kitchen give it that restaurant look and it's not long before you forget it's just a shipping container! Don't miss the pedal bar stools either - classic!
But it is the outside area where Port Burger really shows off. Despite the fact it was not open on this winter's night, we've seen the garden when it's been at it's best. Upcycled wooden furniture, string festive lighting, parasols, beanbags, fire pits, and a perfectly sized sandpit for the kids to play in. There's even a kids little wooden kitchen to make their own (pretend!) burgers and a dining bench to feel like they really own it! With the indoor seating area fully opened up during warmer days, this is the ideal casual dining experience.
With it being a wintery Sunday night, wind howling and rain threatening, it was the perfect night to be wrapped up warm for a date night. Port Burger was the place to be that night. It was busy with burger filled bellies sitting around the wide, high tables. Some chatting away. Others watching the TV screen whilst tucking into their tasty food in front of them.
The 'Port Crew' were busy serving dine-in and walk-in takeaway customers, with an abundance of Uber Eats and other delivery drivers coming and going. As a takeaway customer, there is also the luxury of ordering through their online app so there is minimal hanging around upon pick up. And with a loyalty scheme linked to the app… we think we could be in trouble with the number of times we will be ordering!
First things first, we decided on a non-alcoholic date night and opted for a couple of shakes from the range of shakes, loaded shakes, and iced drinks available. If it had of been an alcoholic date night though, the choice of locally crafted beers was immense. The team definitely support local with Pirate Life, Big Shed, Little Bang Beer and Swell Brewing Co. There are also other Aussie classics including Canberra's BentSpoke and Manly's 4 Pines, where I didn't realise they serve my all-time favourite Brookvale Union Ginger Beer until after we ordered! Let's just say it's worth spending time looking through their display fridge! Local wines and kids drinks are also available.
The loaded shakes look amazing. Especially after seeing the photos on their social media. Being a cookies and cream fan, my sweet tooth was screaming out for an Oreo cookies and cream shake, battling with the Malteser and Mild temptation, but tonight was about going more savory than sweet!
Ordering was up at the counter and easily done. One Port Burger Twin Beef and Bacon burger. One Panko Chicken and Bacon burger. And.. wait for it… one Fried Crispy Chicken Loaded Fries. Now, neither of us had eaten that day so our bellies were pretty hungry, but yep, this was going to be a mountain of food. We became the proud owner of Table No. 2's little flower pot until our feast arrived.
After ordering, our shakes came pretty quickly. One chocolate. One vanilla. I'm normally the chocolate shake girl, but I lost the bet this time. But I'm kind of glad I did. The shakes were a little on the warm side, which was slightly disappointing, even on a cold night. The vanilla one went down okay, but the chocolate tasted a little powdery for my liking. I'm not sure how it was made, but I was definitely getting more gutted at not choosing a Ginger Beer!
Try the Port Burger milkshake - just maybe ask for it to be extra cold...
The food came within about 15 minutes of ordering and wow, was my mouth watering at this point. We made a quick move to a table that became vacant away from the cold air coming through the front door. A quick wipe down from a crew member and a few seconds under the ceiling heater, we were good to go! And this is what burger dreams are made of! Juicy. Succulent. Full of flavour. And huge! I don't think I've taken this long to eat a burger for a long, long time. So glad I didn't order that extra pickled sliced beetroot!
As we normally do, we share between us. I started off with the Port Burger Twin Beef and Bacon, which I would highly recommend if you are absolutely starving. It was crammed packed full of bacon, onions, pickles, and mustard; a true American style burger.
Next, I moved onto the rest of the Panko Chicken and Bacon burger. The chicken was chunky and tender, bursting with smokey taste from the bacon and rounded off with a hit of BBQ relish. Even the floured milk bun was so good!
I almost don't want to talk about the loaded fries… they hardly got touched! These are a meal in their own right. This is properly reflected in the price, being roughly the same as a burger. They looked so inviting and was one of those moments where you just don't know where to start. Loaded fries seem to be becoming the new answer to Adelaide's Atomic Bombs (ABs) and the huge pieces of Panko Chicken were just heavenly.
We picked around the edges, but they did end up coming home with us. The only thing that was slightly strange was that the sauce that came with them tasted more like a chipolata sauce than a ranch sauce that was advertised. It just seemed to have more a kick than ranch sauce would have normally.
As one of the Port Crew took away out finished burger boxes, we were asked if we wanted to take away the loaded fries! With a quick nod of the head and our bloated faces, we were promptly given a lid from them to take home. "Those loaded fries are deceiving aren't they!" he mentioned as he handed it to us! With a thanks for the food and wave goodbye, we were shown out the exit door as the bar has a one-way system for COVID safety.
With so much on the menu, we will definitely be back again. The different types of wings we reckon would be worth a try, even the Spicy Buffalo Fried Cauliflower burger sounds good to us as meat lovers! And absolutely loved their kids' options under the 'Skippers menu'! Brilliant.
If you can still fit more in, their dessert range is limited to their loaded shakes or iced drinks, but there is always Royal Copenhagen just a couple of doors down if you want to finish yourself off completely. This may have to come with a mandatory walk along the beach or esplanade though!
Loaded shake anyone?? Image credit: Port Burger Facebook Page
Port Burger definitely puts Port Noarlunga on the map for great tasting food in a unique setting with its chilled out vibe. We'll even forgive them for their hashtag typo which we're sure is just as popular at the bar itself #itsgoodship.
Port Burger's current opening hours are Weds/Thus 4pm to 8pm, Fri/Sat 11am to 8pm and Sun 11am to 7pm. Mondays and Tuesdays they are closed. With summer coming up, their opening hours may extend as Port Noarlunga becomes more and more alive with beach (and burger) lovers!