Durham’s best burger: Fat Hippo vs Tango

Because we’re here to answer the important questions


Tango has been the uncontested winner of Durham’s burger scene since its opening in 2013. Now, newbie rival Fat Hippo has muscled its way in and quickly drummed up a following for its delicious burgers and filthy sauce.

This rivalry is truly the greatest feud of our time, surpassing Jenifer vs Angelina, Coke vs Pepsi and even Diana vs Camilla. Only one can be victorious. Let the fight commence.

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Menu

With a slab of black pudding or squirt of aioli, Tango gets a firm 10 out of 10 for its interesting menu.  The burgers are themed around different countries.  There’s a jerk chicken ‘Jamaican Me Crazy’, a lamb patty ‘So So Greek’, and an Asian pulled pork ‘Good Morning Vietnam’.  Although, feta cheese has somehow managed to wriggle its way into a Spanish burger…

There are fewer choices on the Fat Hippo menu and the fillings are not quite as adventurous. However, if you want a filthy burger, this is the place to go. Each burger comes with two 4oz patties apart from the 4×4, which goes large and doubles up.

The Fat Hippo special is piled high with onion rings, and the Candy Man has candied bacon, as if our favourite pork product couldn’t get unhealthier. Our recommendation is PB&J, a peanut butter and bacon jam burger for the braver ones among us.

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Chips

Chips deserve their own heading, because they’re sometimes more of a reason to go to a burger restaurant than the burgers themselves.  Tango quite aggressively assert that they serve ‘fries’ to the point that the waitress couldn’t understand one girl when she ordered chips.

You can upgrade your chips in both restaurants to fashionable sweet potato, and Tango even offers five different toppings, including chilli beef and pulled pork. However, don’t be taken in by this fanciness – the Tango chips were a disappointment and needed a smothering of mayonnaise to overcome the blandness.

Fat Hippo wins this round – their chips are so tasty they don’t need any extras, but treat yourself to the bacon and filthy sauce if you’re feeling particularly naughty.

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Patties

Both Tango and Fat Hippo have the usual spiel about 100% locally sourced beef, and both also say they cook their patties pink, but only Fat Hippo lives up to the claim.  They’re juicy, well cooked, delicious, and you get two of them for the price of one.

Drinks

Every student knows that fine dining isn’t just for eating but also for getting drunk.  That’s easy at Tango, with cocktails priced at a fiver. Fat Hippo is more expensive and there’s not a Mojito in sight. Who would have thought peanut butter and Jack Daniels could go together?

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Or Jamesons and pickle juice? Apparently it does, or maybe it is just Fat Hippo trying to be efficient with its ingredients.  However, if you don’t want to confuse your taste buds, you can go for their home brewed beer instead.

Extras

You shouldn’t be reading this article if you don’t like burgers but, if that is the case, you can still go to Tango with your burger-loving friends and not be left out.

There are steaks, loaded nachos, spring rolls, or chicken wings.  Shockingly for a burger restaurant, there are even healthy salad bowls, which will leave you guilt free to then tuck into those nachos.

If you don’t want burgers at Fat Hippo your only option is a starter, and a plate of deep fried gherkins is probably not an ideal dinner.

Price

Both restaurants have similar prices and decent discounts.  Fat Hippo has ‘Hippo Hour’ between 5pm and 6pm on weekdays with three courses for £12.50, or a condensed lunchtime menu with smaller burgers for £5.

Tango offers 10% off at lunchtimes and a dangerously cheap 20% student discount between 3pm and 6pm on weekdays.  And if you’re going to MONK’s Hangover Thursdays, you get a double patty for the price of one.

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Overall…

Although this may be heresy coming from a Durham student, Fat Hippo’s burgers are more delicious than Tango’s. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go to Tango as well. In fact, you might as well go to both restaurants, on the same day, one after the other, because how else are you going to spend that student loan?