For years I’ve known about Rocky’s Burger Bus but just never got around to trying it. I finally found the perfect opportunity last week when my coworker wanted to pick up coffee from Fratello Coffee Roasters which happens to be nearby to where Rocky’s Burger Bus is located. As the name suggests, Rocky’s is literally an old transit bus turned into a burger factory. It is parked on a vacant corner in the middle of an industrial area in Southeast Calgary. When we first arrived shortly after noon, we lucked out and there were only a couple of people in line ahead of us. By the time our food was ready which only took a few minutes, there was a lineup of at least 10-15 people.
The menu at Rocky’s is pretty straightforward and typical of a greasy spoon joint. It mainly consisted of burgers, fries, onion rings, poutine, smokies, bacon on a bun, and milkshakes. I decided to try the burger as I had known that’s what Rocky’s is famous for. The burgers come in a couple of variations – Single ($4.50), Single with Cheese ($5.50), Single with Cheese & Bacon ($6.25), Double ($8.00), and Double with Cheese ($8.50). All the burgers come topped with mustard, relish, and onions.
I ordered the Single with Cheese & Bacon and was shocked at how generous the patty was. The burgers are freshly grilled on the griddle for each order. Though the patty was cooked to well done, I was surprised that it was still juicy and plump on the inside while being slightly charred on the outside. I could taste that there wasn’t much filler in the patty. It was just all beefy goodness! Usually I’m never one to go for quantity over quality. But in this case, I just couldn’t help but compare this burger to the Whole Truck Burger that I had from the Alley Burger Food Truck recently. There’s no doubt the Whole Truck Burger tasted more gourmet. However, the single patty on the Whole Truck was a fraction (half or even a third) of the size of this one from Rocky’s and the Whole Truck was slightly more expensive if you add the cheese curds and bacon. Though the beef in Whole Truck Burger was more flavourful, Rocky’s beef patty is quite respectable. This burger at Rocky’s, considering the price point, tastes so much better than most of the burgers from the typical fast food chains. If you have a healthy appetite, Rocky’s is the way to go without having to spend a fortune for a good tasting burger.
My coworker ordered the “Rocky Special” for $9 which included a single burger with cheese, fries, and pop. He added bacon to the burger for an extra dollar. The fries were fresh cooked and had good potato flavour. They were perfectly toothsome on the inside while crispy on the outside. Of course flavour-wise, these couldn’t compare to the Duck Fat Fries from the Alley Burger Food Truck but they actually reminded me a lot of the Parmesan Fries that come with our lunch sets at CHARCUT. I’d be curious to try the poutine on my next visit to Rocky’s as I’ve come across some great reviews about it.
Overall, I was really impressed with the food we tried on this visit to Rocky’s. Note that the seating is limited at Rocky’s. There are a few picnic tables that you can sit at if the weather is nice. We lucked out last week and went on a really warm day so we got to enjoy our burgers at one of the picnic tables. I suspect if we go during the winter months or on rainy days, we will have to eat in the car. Rocky’s is a no-nonsense, hearty burger joint and definitely a hidden gem here in Calgary. It’s too bad they are only open on weekdays from 10 am to 3 pm.
Rocky’s Burger Bus
1120 46 Ave SE