Named after yet another up-and-coming Denver neighborhood with yet another cutesy name, Sunnyside Burger Bar has been the beneficiary of significant buzz since opening its doors in the fall of 2014. We eat a lot of hamburgers, so we've been paying attention. But after giving this new trendy spot a fair shake with handful of visits, we’re here to say that Sunnyside just doesn’t measure up to the hype. The location is great, the space is cool, and the staff is nice. But the food just doesn't do it for us. Why? Because Sunnyside doesn't put enough burger on their burgers.
We're all for going crazy on the fixin's, like green chiles and potato chips and pickled jalapeños and quinoa (ok, maybe not quinoa). But the patties that Sunnyside cooks up are just too thin, making all those extra toppings drown out any meat flavor.
We also have another problem - it's way too hard to place your order here. Despite a giant neon arrow pointing you toward the line and a host ready to walk you through the rules, the process is pretty cumbersome. Order booze at the bar, then shimmy up to the main counter to order food, then take a number and head to your table where a server will take over from there. It seems fairly simple, but we've found it cumbersome on every visit. On top of all that, the menu can get tricky - in addition to all of those toppings, there are lots of patty options, including non traditional burgers (see, black bean). Plan to be reading for a while.
To be fair, a weird system isn’t a big deal if the food is lights out - in fact we love HopDoddy, a burger place with a similar ordering scheme. But the burgers at Hopdoddy beat the shit out of the burgers at Sunnyside, and that makes us a lot more patient.
The good news here is that with a few tweaks, this place has potential to be great. The menu is interesting and inventive, with a wide variety of both meat and vegetarian options, and we like the other stuff on the menu like the boozy shakes and the nachos. Just give us a little more burger, and we'll be back with a little more love.
The cheese and sauce that come with this sucker are great. And if you put potato chips on a burger, we’re going to order it. On paper this burger is money, just needs more meat.
Sunnyside does a pretty good job on The Hangover (pictured, right) with fried egg, green chili, bacon and fried potato. But again, it just needs more meat to balance everything out. The burger on the left is the Paleo, which you should probably eat if you're really into CrossFit.
A solid veggie burger option with good pairings between the “burger” and sauce. If you’re a burger joint though, you probably don’t want your best item to be vegetarian.
The shakes at Sunnyside are solid, and they’re spiked. I can get drunk eating ice cream? Yes please.
These are $9 nachos, and they are 100% worth every dollar.