So I ordered a hamburger at a new restaurant and they brought me the burger but without a patty, with two slices of square salami in it.

When I asked them where the patty was, they said I should've asked them to put it specifically, otherwise the default is just salami.

Since burgers aren't something I eat all the time and not many restaurants have it around my place/country, I was wondering if that is even a thing? Is it true that the patty is optional in a burger?

  • 3
    Even if it is - if you feel they are trying to be clever at your expense, don't go there again. Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 10:43
  • 1
    What was it actually called on the menu? Where are you? There's many kinds of burgers.
    – Catija
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 14:02
  • 5
    Again: where are you? This feels like a very locale-specific thing. Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 14:32
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    If you're in a non-english speaking area, or if it's a new restaurant run by non-native english speakers, it's possible that 'hamburger' was the best they could do to describe it. (either not knowing a better word, like 'sandwich' or thinking 'ham' was a reference to a pork product) Also likely not knowing that it's a 'hamburger sandwich', as hamburgers can be served without the roll (although it's assumed to be a sandwich in the US)
    – Joe
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 15:18
  • 2
    Can you find a link to the restaurant? Would be interesting to see this on a menu.
    – Caleb
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 23:54

2 Answers 2


If you order a burger, it should definitely come with a patty made up of ground beef. In some cases, the burger could be made of chicken, turkey, bison, etc. But, in that case the type of meat is generally specified. In the case of beef, the type of meat is generally ommitted from the details, and assumed the patty will be beef. Here is a picture of what you can expect to get if you order a "burger" in America.


I have never heard of a burger that comes with squares of salami instead of a ground patty of some kind. It's possible to have a ground pork burger, but not salami. It seems to me what you were serves is best considered a "salami sandwhich".

enter image description here


The wikipedia article you linked describes "a sandwich consisting of one or more cooked patties of ground meat, usually beef, placed inside a sliced bread roll or bun." right at the beginning.

Unless regional differences apply, if there is a definition of a dish that is undisputed enough to be publicly documented in this way, one can assume that it is a restaurant's duty to clearly tell you about their different interpretation (on the menu or by telling you upon ordering).

  • It was someone else who suggested the edit to include link to Wiki article. Nevertheless, good point about the wiki article definition. +1.
    – Tom
    Commented Dec 14, 2016 at 11:31

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