Meal Ticket: Box Burger, Bray, Wicklow

Box Burger draws you in with the nostalgic exterior of the 160-year-old Railway Building that houses it

Box Burger
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Address: 7 Strand Road, Bray, Co Wicklow
Telephone: 01-5381000
Cuisine: American

Overlooking the Bray Promenade, just a few minutes from the Dart station, Box Burger draws you in with the nostalgic exterior of the 160-year-old Railway Building that houses it. It’s the newest venture from Conor and Nicola Duggan, who also own Platform Pizza right next door.

The starter portion of nachos coming out of the open kitchen pass look enormous, so we go straight for what we came here for – burgers. At Box Burger, they’re following this year’s trend of sweet, more manageable buns and a more restrained approach to toppings. There are 14 burgers to choose from, including two vegetarian and one vegan option. My Mexican Burger (€10.50), served with a complimentary Frozen Margarita, is a juicy, handmade beef patty slathered in a chipotle mayo, with just the right amount of guacamole and slices of red chili packing real heat squeezed into the brioche bun. The Seitan vegan burger (€8.50) impresses in flavour and texture. This is not just a token burger placed on the menu to placate the occasional vegan; it’s clear that the same amount of thought and care has gone into this burger as has gone into its meat peers.

Sides are usually around €4.50 but if you add them to your burger order they come in at €3. Our sweet potatoes are on point, and the corn on the cob is pleasantly smothered in a subtly spiced butter.

Desserts are straightforward American diner fare. A chocolate fudge cake (€6) is firm yet not too dense. I climb the mountain of 12 mini donuts (€6), coated with cinnamon sugar and with a pot of Mr Whippy style ice-cream alongside, and marvel at my strength of character in finishing a dessert that could happily feed two. Our bill, which also includes a strawberry lemonade (€1.75) and a Diet Coke (€2.50) comes to €40.75.


What I’m not fond of at BoxBurger is the over-bearing red lighting. Combined with the playlist (featuring Huarache Lights and Can’t Do Without You), I get the distinct feeling of being in a club. But no one’s dancing on the Sunday we visit, except for a five-year-old out with mum and dad. The trappings of the casual dining restaurant are all here: Falcon enamel plates, chipboard walls giving way to the exposed original feature brick, open-plan kitchen, quirky bathrooms and ample plug sockets for phone charging.

Among all this potentially distracting style, do the burgers bring the substance? Indeed they do. And because of that, I can give the calculated chipboard look the blind eye.

Aoife McElwain

Aoife McElwain

Aoife McElwain, a contributor to The Irish Times, is a food writer