Freshness Burger is Pretty Fresh, as in Rad.

Melissa Uchiyama

Wonder of wonders, I have never sauntered into Freshness Burger until this month. I was surprised by the choices offered, both in the obvious burger department, and in the vegetarian burgers. Not bad, Freshness.

I also had no idea they were such a California-cool kind of place. Very vintage with aqua walls, old black and whites of adorable couples, surf shacks, and model VW buses parked on coffee tables. Freshness Burger is pretty cutesy, but how would my burger fare?

Decoupaged vintage memorabilia celebrating 20 years of Fresh | Photo by Melissa Uchiyama

Well, for starters, Freshness Burger offers all-beef burgers as well as split (Japanese-style) pork/beef burgers. They make every burger just after you order it. There are no heat lamps keeping meals warm or falsely hot, like they’ve just been grilled. Here, they are made fresh, with the caveat that all burgers are…frozen.

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The Classic set features all-beef burgers, with beef made from Aussie cattle. The Blue Cheese Burger, Avocado Burger, Classic, Classic with Cheese, and Double patty Classic are your all-beef choices. Can’t go wrong with avo or blue cheese, I say. The least expensive of that list is the Classic, or plain, at 480 yen.

Buns are made with kabocha/pumpkin and thus, have a very subtle orangy hue if you’re looking out for it.

More about Freshness Burger:

1. Like I said, they, unlike many competitors, have vegetarian burgers on the menu. This is very, very good. You may not always be in the mood for beef, especially when their three bean burger is so hearty. Plus, it’s nice to have options for your vegetarian friends. They make two different vegetarian burgers! Back when I was a “sage and peace pipe slinging, yet a bit-angry, hardcore” vegetarian, with memorized portions of Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle in my vocabulary, I ordered “Big Macs, hold the mac” from the Big Arches (that is, if I actually chose be a patron).

I could have come here and had my pick of a three-bean, hearty bean burger or a straight-up tofu burger!

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Not a mushy mashup; three beans are recognizable and bun-worthy. | Photo by Melissa Uchiyama

2. Freshness is indeed priority in the way they, for instance, squeeze fresh grapefruit juice, the sliced golden orbs spread-out on the counter as proof (not that I needed it), while a member of the Freshness Staff uses an old-fashioned press to fill a whole glass for me.

Real pulp cannot be imagined; this was like a Big Gulp of goodness and fruity cheer.

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Freshly squeezed juice can feel like an elixir—all that freshly harvested pulp and vitamin c (300 yen for small, 400 yen large). They also offer similar lemonade, or a trio or freshly squeezed lemon, grapefruit, and orange (330 yen/340 yen).

Armed with fresh pulp is a fabulous way to get going. | Photo by Melissa Uchiyama

3. They take condiments seriously. No mere ketchup/mustard combo here, no siree. Instead, they offer condiments from around the world, as if it were international food day in fifth grade. Sweet mango hot sauce from The Amazon, rock salt from somewhere in the US, Montanini oil from Italia, and so on, in addition to your red/yellow bottles. I have discovered the goodness of Lea and Perrin’s garlic sauce on Freshness fries. This bottle would be prime on ANYTHING, which is sweet because all of these condiments can be purchased for your very international cupboards at home.

One condiment for each of your fries- | Photo by Melissa Uchiyama

4. Freshness Burger does many things organically, specifically their coffees and teas. Their cattle supply for beef is free-range, grass-fed from Down Under. In addition, their potatoes are also said to be organic.

5. Avocado salad for 240 yen in Japan is a pretty good deal, especially when the salad  comes loaded with cukes, diced onion, and a sweet chile dressing.

Tropical, sweet, & omega-packed makes for a great side dish! | Photo by Melissa Uchiyama

6. Beer is served–not so with other cheapy competitors! Freshness pours the golden, Munich-style Lowenbrau, for 360 or 470 yen.

7. Various desserts keep cool in the fridge—cheesecake, chocolate cheesecake, & homemade donuts totally peak my interest. For 280 yen, you can taste their NY-style cheesecake and see how it stacks up.

8. Breakfasts at Freshness Burger are now MUCH healthier—like RAGING, Incredible Hulk-healthy. Spirulina super food smoothies are now blended and sold for 300 yen, in addition to being paired with other breakfast items as pancakes, omelette sandwiches, and popovers (450 yen per breakfast set of smoothie & food item). For some wacky reason, they also offer hot dogs on breakfast menu. Health shake with a hot dog? Yeah…maybe not. Pancakes? Sign me up.

Fresh flowers, fresh fresh fresh. | Photo by Melissa Uchiyama

Truly, the more I learn about this company, the more impressed I am.

It’s nice to have another spot on the radar, a more-than-decent place to grab a blue cheese burger, just-squeezed juice, cold beer, or fries.




Name: Freshness Burger
Pricing info: Lunch combo (sandwich & drink) starts at 540 yen
Location(s): Ogikubo, Shibuya, Shinjuku,
Business hours: 7 days, 10:00 AM-11:00 PM

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3 Responses to “Freshness Burger is Pretty Fresh, as in Rad.”

  1. Avatar
    Raphael Megzari July 31, 2013

    Hey Melissa,

    I saw a couple of articles on your blog. You seem to know the Tokyo food scenery pretty well.
    We are trying to start the salad bar concept in Akasaka
    Next time you are in the area let me offer you a meal. We have wrap sandwich and salads (all quite generous). We’re just looking for feedback to get better 🙂

    Have a lovely day,

  2. Avatar
    LovetoeatJapan April 29, 2014

    Ah Freshness Burger! When I used to travel to Hachioji I would take my work colleagues there to enjoy the awesome and fresh yet uniquely Japanese burgers. We also downed a few beers… I remember they usually played Beatles music in the front of the house as well. This would be a great export to SF, LA or Seattle. Or better yet, a “Freshness Burger” Truck!

  3. Avatar
    CheapoGreg May 1, 2014

    Stay clear of the coffee – it’s rubbish. Paid 388yen for a cafe latte – no steamed milk, too hot and it tasted horrible. A 7-Eleven coffee would have been better.

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