• In the bustling Northern Suburbs of Bellville, there’s a place where history and culinary delight blend seamlessly – The Burger Fair Drive-In Restaurant and Takeaways. This iconic establishment, with its retro charm and mouth-watering menu, has been serving the community for an impressive 48 years.

    A Family Legacy

    Burger Fair’s origins date back to nearly half a century ago when it was initially owned by a company. The turning point came when Mr. Willie Carstens and his family took the reins of the Northern Suburbs business. Eventually, the Bellville branch was entrusted to Mr. Carstens’ nephew. “Last year, my wife Anetta, my daughter Ronel Lizamore, and I decided to take over and continue the legacy,” says Mr. Carstens, reflecting on their commitment to the family tradition.

    “The Burger Fair experience is deeply rooted in family values and tradition,” explains Ronel. Having been part of the family for 23 years, the decision to take over was driven by a passion to maintain a beloved local institution. The drive-in concept itself has become a nostalgic nod to simpler times, offering a unique dining experience where patrons can enjoy their meals from the comfort of their cars or at the cosy seating area.

    Every journey has its hurdles, and Burger Fair was no exception. “Transitioning ownership and updating the establishment was challenging, but we overcame them with dedication and support from our loyal customers,” shares Ronel. This resilience has helped Burger Fair thrive in an ever-evolving restaurant industry.

    Burger Fair
    Burger Fair/ Facebook

    A Changing Clientele

    One notable change over the years has been the shift in clientele. “Our customers have evolved from the older generation to a younger, more diverse crowd,” notes Mr. Carstens. This evolution reflects the restaurant’s ability to adapt and stay relevant, appealing to both long-time patrons and new visitors.

    Burger Fair is more than just a restaurant; it’s a landmark. “One of the standout moments was when Jack Parow shot his music video ‘Cooler as Ekke’ here,” Ronel reminisces. The establishment is a popular spot for classic car clubs, hosting events for the Old Morris Club and the VW Beetle enthusiasts. Its vintage charm has also made it a sought-after location for film studios, with productions like ‘Deep Fake’ and a recent VW ad for Germany being filmed on-site.

    Menu Favourites

    Ask any local, and they’ll rave about Burger Fair’s legendary offerings. “Our hamburgers, chips, milkshakes, and sosaties have been fan favorites since the beginning,” says Mr. Carstens. However, the menu hasn’t remained static. “We’ve introduced pizzas, which have quickly become popular thanks to our wood-fired oven,” he adds.

    Among the crowd-pleasers, a few dishes stand out. “Our Aussie Burger, sosaties, ribs, and the famous Big Status Burger are what we’re known for,” Mr. Carstens points out. The Status Burger, in particular, is a must-try – featuring five juicy patties, bacon, cheese, egg, and pineapple, served with a side of chips. “It’s my personal favourite,” admits Ronel, highlighting its hearty and flavourful composition.

    Burger Fair/Facebook

    Burger Fair’s evolution is evident not just in its menu but also in its facilities. “We’ve upgraded our seating area to accommodate small parties and those who prefer dining at tables,” says Ronel. These enhancements ensure that Burger Fair remains a comfortable and welcoming place for all.

    In the heart of Bellville, The Burger Fair Drive-In Restaurant and Takeaways continues to be a beloved institution, blending rich history with modern tastes. Whether you’re a long-time local or a first-time visitor, a meal at Burger Fair promises a delightful journey through time and flavour.

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    Doll House: South Africa’s original drive-in restaurant

    Images: Burger Fair/Facebook