Hudson’s review

Regular readers will know that I’m a fan of the burgers at Caprice and have taken advantage of their two for one winter special quite a few times (see the full list of winter specials here). So I was pretty excited to hear that the Caprice owners had opened a burger joint in town. Hudson’s is in Kloof Street where Limno’s Bakery used to be (opposite the Lifestyle Centre). I’ve heard mixed reports, but had the opportunity to test it for myself yesterday.

Hudson’s is a small, simple place with an indoor and covered outdoor section. We elected to sit outside because it was a fine winter’s day. Inside the decor is very modern and funky, with natural and recycled woods used in various ways and enhanced with some thoughtful lighting.

The menu is uncomplicated, offering about 10 burgers including a vegetarian option made with chickpeas and lentils. All burgers come on a sourdough bun and are served either with chips or salad. The burgers also come in two sizes, 150g and 250g. I opted for the Royale (150g, R47), which is what I usually order at Caprice. It comes with bacon, cheddar, chilli and onion rings. I thought it would be a good way to compare. It was a great burger, the bun was soft and the patty had flavour. I find a lot of the ‘gourmet’ burger places in Cape Town rely too much on the sauce or topping to give flavour so the patty tastes like nothing. At Hudsons, you could have a simple cheese burger and still enjoy good flavour. The burger was different from the Caprice version, but very good. It had more chilli, which I like and it was smaller so you could easily eat it with your hands which is something the Caprice burger does not allow.

My dining partner opted for TheWorks (250g, R56) and it looked really good. Shredded lettuce, red onion, cheddar, mustard mayo, dill pickle and tomato relish. I might give it a try next time. I had the chips which were thin cut, the way I like them. However, I’m tempted to go for the salad option next time because it wasn’t the boring side salad one might expect, but rather an interesting and fresh looking salad.

There are some other menu options like salads and side orders of chili poppers (R19), etc. Also some desserts if you’re still hungry. The chocolate brownie sundae (R29) sounds delicious.

We washed the burgers down with pints of Jack Black draught (R19) which I quite enjoyed. It’s the first time I’ve had the draught and I prefer it to the bottled Jack Black. I was also pleased to see they have Brewers & Union beers on offer too.

The service started off badly, but improved. I’ve heard that the service is ropey but they are apparently aware of the problem and are addressing it.

They currently have no WiFi (see my list of venues with free WiFi in Cape Town here), but they say they are getting in the next week or so. Once they have the WiFi and have sorted out the service issues, I won’t be able to think of a reason not to eat here regularly.

In the meantime, you need to at least go and experience a good quality burger. Even Royale fans will like it.

69A Kloof St, Gardens
Tel: 021 426 5974


  1. Nick August 11, 2009 at 10:48 am

    Did you wash the beers down with draught or the burgers?

    1. Dax August 11, 2009 at 11:33 am

      Thanks for the proof read Nick, I’ve corrected the mistake.

  2. sarah August 15, 2009 at 10:08 pm

    love this place- seriously good burgers,the ostrich one is especially yummy and one of the few places in cape town with the option of wheat free buns, ive become a local

  3. Nols August 17, 2009 at 10:41 am

    This place is awesome. Went there for dinner on Friday. The food is great. Had buffalo wings, great wine, good draught beer and very good burgers. The music and vibe is excellent. Will be back !

  4. mike August 17, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    Really good food and vibe at hudsons! The burger patties are very tastey and you can tell they use good quality ingredients. Have had some good afternoons there watching rugby having burgers and beers with my mates!

  5. blade August 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I live just up the road and I always walk past there on the way back home from work.
    haven’t actually done there but I always get the sense of a great vibe inside.
    ill be there for after work drinks and maybe some chow there tomorrow.

  6. Dax August 22, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    This was a comment made to me on Facebook, thought I would share it:

    Dax, went to Hudson’s Sunday night, and boy was i not impressed!

    Maybe it is may age, the lighting was so bad – could hardly read the menu! Although the funky seats looked good not comfortable to sit on! Burger roll was not fresh and it was a normal burger roll – not the sour dough roll you spoke about. One communal toilet and directly opposite the prep kitchen. The prep kitchen was visible as I had to wait to use the bathroom – nothing wrong with having prep kitchen but not next to the toilet and the prep kitchen was not particurlarly clean which is a bit off putting when are about to have dinner! In the toilet there were 4 used face towels for drying hands – were very grubby, had not been changed in a while.

    The burger was tasty but over cooked. Chips not fresh – re cooked! The barman was biting his nails and picking his teeth, not a pretty sight while having dinner. Waitron was friendly! But Sadly ALL in all was disappointed and doubt we will return!

  7. Dax September 8, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    I popped into Hudson’s before watching District 9 at the Labia (support independent theatre!) this evening. Let me rather say I tried to pop in, but when your burger takes half an hour, you aren’t popping in.

    I ordered a large of The Works (R56) and didn’t really enjoy it. I think the smaller patty balances with the toppings better.

    The chips were not as nice as last time, nor do they have wifi yet. I also used the loo and saw why people were complaining about the hand towels.

    So all in all, a fairly disappointing visit.

  8. blade September 9, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    yeah my friend and I went there a couple weeks ago.
    im afraid we got the same experience.
    our burgers took way too long to arrive. 1hour
    Apparently some confusion in the kitchen.

    It has only been a couple weeks. I’m sure these kinda problems iron themselves out over time.
    ill be going back again next month just to check it out.

    How was the movie ?

  9. Dax September 29, 2009 at 11:36 am

    I received this feedback via email:

    Checked out your website and wanted to tell you about our first (and last!) dining experience at Hudsons burger joint on Kloof Street.
    Would absolutely not recommend – the open/plan kitchen/dining area is a nice idea when proper ventilation and extractors are fitted. This is sadly not the case at Hudsons, we ate in a smoky room (I was bleary eyed for most of it) and came out smelling like fried onions.

    I had the Ranch burger described as a free range chicken breast with peri-peri sauce and onion rings. What I got was a dry piece of chicken (smaller than one of the giant rings!) dusted with a few chilli flakes (think this was supposed to be the peri peri sauce?) on a completely dry bun – no lettuce/tomato/onion that I consider to be fairly standard consituents of even your most basic burger. This is served with chips or salad (I chose the chips as I didn’t expect that the “burger” would be just a piece of dry meat on a bun!).
    Undoubtedly the worst burger I’ve ever eaten in my life..

    I left the two giant onion rings (size of donuts!) as was doughy and not at all crispy and light. My friend had the chilli poppers and was equally disappointed with the heavy doughy batter (same as for the onion rings).

    We gave feedback to the waitress after – I was quite frankly astounded how they could not be embarrassed with what they served me. Not sure if feedback was given to the manager but no-one approached us to discuss.
    Needless to say, will not be back.

  10. M October 16, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    I’ve been there twice in the last two weeks, and I must say, I love the vibe!

    First time was a Friday night, and we were told our burgers would take 45 mins due to it being packed.

    I ordered the veg option with jalapeño chillies with a wheat-free bun (only after I heard someone else order it and say it was delicious — it was so dark I could barely read the menu with the single tiny tealight), and half chips half salad. Very very very delicious (I might’ve been very hungry, who knows!). Salad was excellent with pinenuts and tasty cheese, although I had no idea what I would be chewing on next as it is so dark (we sat outside).

    Service was excellent, manager on duty couldn’t do enough for us.

    Then I went back last Tuesday night, and the place was pumping, it felt like a Sat night. We were basically sensorially-deprived as, not only could we not see (no lighting), but we could not hear each other (the music was blasting out). Gotta say, the vibe was amazing, but it would’ve been nicer to have been able to chat to each other. I ordered the same veg burger, and this time it wasn’t as nice. We also waited forever for our order (about 45 mins) and this time the place wasn’t totally full. So I guess they are just slow. The service was friendly and lovely.

    I would go back. Restaurants have become so dreary in Cape Town, it’s great when you can find a place that makes you feel you’ve had a night out.

    1. Dax October 17, 2009 at 12:41 pm

      haha, that made me laugh “the vibe was amazing, but it would’ve been nicer to have been able to chat to each other”.

      Quite interesting feedback, to summarise: you couldn’t see because it was too dark, you couldn’t hear because it was too loud, the food wasn’t good and it took ages even though the restaurant was not full. After all that you would go back.

      Sounds like there won’t be a restaurant in Cape Town that you won’t like. Which is good for you, I guess.

  11. Troy January 20, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I absolutely love Hudsons, I’ve become a local. I range between “The Wise Guy” and “The Works” whenever I go and sometimes go for the half and half salad and chips option. The vibe is fantastic and the owner is attentive and really gets to know his locals. This burger joint is not fast food so the waiting time doesn’t bother me…at least i know its being freshly prepared. Great place for a burger, beer and awesome night out with friends!

  12. Dax January 20, 2010 at 11:46 pm

    Things have changed slightly at Hudson’s. They have dropped the price of the burgers a bit but now you pay for your choice of side/s.

    So no more half salad half chips. The salad is R20 and the chips R10.

    My last burger (a few days ago) was quite dry and took ages to arrive. But otherwise the experience wasn’t bad.

  13. M January 21, 2010 at 10:16 am

    Dax, I can’t resist…

    The burger was quite dry. It took ages to arrive. You now get charged separately for salad and even chips, WITH a burger! But otherwise, the experience wasn’t bad. 🙂

  14. Dax January 21, 2010 at 11:15 am

    I get what you’re saying, but I think being charged separately for sides is actually good. You can go and have just the burger for R35 or so which is cool.

    The burger took a while to arrive but the service was friendly and competent. The burger was overcooked, but it normally isn’t.

    So overall, not a bad experience…

  15. M January 21, 2010 at 11:22 am

    My comment was tongue in cheek! See my previous comment on 17 Oct, and your response 🙂

    BTW LOVE your blog, my first port of call before deciding whether or not to eat at a particular place.

  16. Dax January 21, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Very (tounge in) cheeky!

    Glad you like my work, thanks for all your feedback.

  17. john February 5, 2010 at 5:00 pm

    I found the burger patty to be bland. How difficult it must be to put some salt and pepper in the hamburger mix before moulding it. Obviously for Hudsons very difficult.