The Great Burger Stand is one of a multitude of restaurants that has opened within the newly erected Shibuya Stream building. Located on the ground floor, alongside the revitalized Shibuya River, the restaurant is unmistakably American. From the wooden cottage decor with faux stuffed deer heads to the huge American flag billowing in the wind, it seems like this burger place is yet another American-inspired eatery in Tokyo (i.e. other notable spots include Kua Aina and Hawaiian pancake stores).
What truly stands out, however, is the sense of community here. Old friends chat between the clinks of beer bottles knocking together, a polyphony complemented further by the sound of burger patties sizzling in the kitchen. After I put in my order for a bacon cheeseburger, I sat back and observed the groups of people gathered on the patio. From work buddies to families with small children, it seemed like everyone knew each other.
This is the vision that the owner, Atsushi Kurumata, sought to realize: creating a vibrant hub for food, friends and good times.
The most noticeable part of The Great Burger Stand’s burgers is, perhaps, the sensationally crispy buns. Despite the sauce soaking into the bread as I ate, the bun remained crunchy until the last bite. Surprisingly, the patty was not as dense as one would expect from a hefty dish, and it carried a certain sweetness from the trickling meat juice. The mustard cut through the dish and gave it a clean taste with each bite. Combined with the cheddar cheese and thick slice of bacon, the burger made for a satisfying meal at the end of a long day.
Stop by The Great Burger Stand to enjoy a hearty meal on an outdoor patio — a call back to fleeting summer days spent hanging out with friends around an open grill.