CoVa Battle of the Burgers - Southside Recap

On Saturday, April 27, Coastal Virginia Magazine hosted the second annual CoVa Battle of the Burgers at the Military Aviation Museum in Virginia Beach. A winner was crowned Coastal Virginia’s best burger on the Southside as 17 local restaurants grilled their best sliders for a very hungry crowd.

Restaurants from Virginia Beach, Norfolk and Chesapeake served scaled-down version of some of their best burgers for the judges and attendees. The judges picked their favorite, while each guest received a gold coin to cast their vote for the People’s Choice best burger.

Contending for Best Burger were: 219 Bistro, 1608 Crafthouse, Bay Local, Black Pelican Greenbrier, Blue Pete’s, Casby’s, Egg Bistro, J&K Style Grill, Lager Head’s, Old Beach Tavern, Repeal Bourbon and Burgers, Sage Kitchen Virginia Beach, Sweetwater Cuisine, The Boardroom, The Landing, Union Alehouse and Warriors Taphouse.

The sliders were each paired with a local beer or cider. Those who purchased beer tickets received a silver coin to vote for the best beer.

Ballast Point, Big Ugly Brewing, Buskey Hard Cider, Coelacanth Brewing, Deschutes Brewery, Fair Winds Brewing Co., Hardywood, Lickinghole Creek Brewery, MoMac Brewing Co., Old Bust Head, Old Ox Brewery, Sly Clyde Ciderworks, Suncrush Beer, Virginia Beer Co., Wasserhund and Wild Wolfe were filling up the souvenir glasses with tastings and full pours.

With 17 different sliders to choose from, there was no shortage of variety between all of the restaurants. Attendees were able to enjoy an array of toppings, from crispy fried onions and brisket to gooey melted cheese and even peanut butter.

After four hours of sampling, sipping and voting, Bay Local’s Fondue Burger was crowned the People’s Choice for best burger. This all-beef burger was oozing with a blend of smoked gouda and cheddar, then topped with crispy fried ham and a sweet tomato jam. Bay Local also received my vote for best burger.


As the winner, Bay Local will be on the cover of next year’s March/April issue of Coastal Virginia Magazine.

Following some deliberation, it was announced that the judges selected Lager Heads’ The Southerner burger as their favorite. People were abuzz over the burger topped with a fried green tomato.

Lager Heads’ paired beer, Suncrush Beer, got the most votes for best beer. The citrusy ale is brewed with green tea, crushed tangerine and natural flavor. A glass of Suncrush made for a refreshing sip under the sunshine.

I’m not a huge beer drinker, but I loved Suncrush’s light body. I was also no stranger to the Sly Clyde and Buskey tents, returning multiple times for their ciders. Sly Clyde’s Inkjet is reminiscent of a blackberry mojito. The CoVa Burger Battle gave me an opportunity to try Buskey’s Tart Cherry cider was a delightful surprise, seamlessly balancing sweet and tart.

Check out this slideshow featuring a few of the burgers at the competition.

If you weren’t able to attend the event, you can still visit these restaurants to try the full-sized version of each of these burgers.

Click here to read more about the burgers that competed in the CoVa Battle of the Burgers - Southside.