How-To Fat Boy: Taking a Bite out of Manitoba's Favourite Burger

Posted September 07, 2023 | Author Desiree Rantala

If you're from or live in know what a fat boy burger is. And chances know what they taste like. What is this mysterious Manitoba burger and why is it so popular? Here's the ultimate how-to guide in understanding Manitoba's favourite burger and the man who helped us crack the code.

Being from Manitoba or living here, it's easy to take for granted the marvellous nuances that we've all come to love and adore. Until you've spoken with an out-of-province friend or picked up casual conversation with a tourist or visitor, you realize there's a much smaller, more victorious hero living amongst us. And it's in the shape of a burger.

Folks have questions and we have answers. Most of them anyway. If there was anyone to help us tackle this tasty tale, it was one guy. His name is Richard Caron (@fortheloveofallfatboys) and he's Manitoba's very own king of fat boy burgers. This famous burger has been around for decades for good reason. Not only does it serve up timeless taste but also hearty history. I spent the day with Richard to help break down this blissful beast and learn what makes the fat boy fly, and not flunk.

What is a Fat Boy Burger?

It's All About The Sauce

More than just a glorified sloppy-joe or what sounds like the name of a comfortable recliner, a fat boy is a burger that includes all the fixings...with the most important ingredient being the addition of homemade chilli meat sauce on the burger. No, not with the side of fries but on the actual burger itself.

There are ten specific ingredients that come together to complete the famous burger. Although ordinary when separate, together they create a mouthwatering masterpiece. I have to say, when you eat a fat boy, something remarkable happens. It's a special type of feeling you get as you unpack the foil wrapper, the soft bun touching your lips as you taste the zest of mayo and crunchy pickles. If you're like me, you know something tastes good when you do a little happy wiggle dance as you munch away.

The Ingredients:

#1: Sesame Seed Bun
#2: Beef Patty
#3: Mayonnaise
#4: Mustard
#5: Sliced Pickles
#6: Shredded Iceberg Lettuce
#7: Sliced Tomato
#8: Chopped White Onion
#9: Slice of Cheese
#10: Chili Meat Sauce

How Do You Eat a Fat Boy Burger?

Breaking Down The Basics

Now don't take a fat boy burger for granted. There's more to this burger than meets the eye, or the taste buds we should say. There's strategy involved. As Richard says, "there are five components that you need when eating a fat boy."

# 1: Napkins - "You need your napkins. You're going to get into some very messy situations with this hamburger." This statement couldn't be more true. Just when you think you have enough, grab a few more.

#2: A Fork - "Speaking of the messy burger, you need a fork. You need to be picking up those bits at the end to fully get the satisfaction of the full experience of the burger." With a burger this tasty you're going to be wanting to chow down on every morsel and you need a tool to help you do just that. No bits left behind!

#3: Two Hands - "It might seem like a given, but you need two hands. You try and hold this fat boy with one hand, it's just going to go all over the place. Two hands is a must." Don't fat boy and drive. It's not worth the clean up later!

#4: A Drink - "You need a drink. Soda, water, just depends what you'd like to wash your fat boy down with." If you're feeling like you're in for a treat... satisfy your sweet tooth with an iconic drive in chocolate milkshake.

#5: A Fat Boy - "And lastly, obviously, your fat boy experience, needs a fat boy." Don't think we forgot the reason we're all here. Once you're prepped and ready to go... don't forget the star of the show.

Bonus: Fries - If you're ever been to any drive in or diner, there's nothing like getting food in a greasy paper bag. It's just a thing and we love it! "If we're talking about the grease factor and there's some on the paper bag, it means you're going to have a good time with those fries." And don't worry about dropping a few fries... a few squirrel or seagull friends will find their way about for an afternoon snack.

You know you're at the right place when your to-go order gets served to you in a paper bag and the bag has a couple grease spots. That's what we're looking for. Hand cut shoestring fries are a good sign at a drive-in. You can tell they were made with some love. Richard Caron
to Brian's Drive In
Fat Boy's Take a Road Trip


Brian's Drive In, Lorette

Brian's Drive In, Lorette

Do Fat Boy's Taste Better Outside The City?

This is Travel Manitoba...which means a blog isn't complete without a road trip. We went for a drive to Brian's Drive In in Lorette, just outside the city of Winnipeg for a quintessential fat boy experience. We wanted to know...does a rural fat boy taste better outside the city?

Rural drive-ins offer the best people watching along with local traffic, friendly picnic table neighbours, great fries and awesome milkshakes. In the end, we determined that the burgers themselves don't necessarily taste better outside the's the addition of adventure that adds a special something. If you're ready to try your first fat boy, take it for a trip and hit the road to Brian's. Richard rated their burger 8.5/10.

When eating a fat boy, we're looking for a little bit of a messy nature to it. And a melding of flavours. If you're on a road trip south east of the city of Winnipeg, come to Brian's Drive In. The messiness on the face...that's what you're looking for. Richard Caron
at Superboy's
Fat Boy's Enjoy City Living

Super Boys, Winnipeg

Super Boys, Winnipeg

Super Boys, Winnipeg

A High Five Since 1985

You're walking down main street in Winnipeg and you come upon a timeless classic diner. You open the door and are greeted by the smell of iconic poutine gravy and you can see a half pound beef patty sizzling on the grill. Welcome to Super Boys! Super Boys has been around 38 years and counting. Georgia Chouzouris, daughter of owner Angelo Corantzopoulos explains "the lineage of the fat boy burger runs deep here. You gotta love what you're doing." With everything being made from scratch and superb customer service, there's a reason they've been rated so far as Richard's #1 fat boy in Manitoba, with a rating of 9.35/10. And Super Boys goes beyond the traditional naming convention with their fat boy actually being titled a Super Boy. Pair your experience with homemade handcut fries and a chocolate milkshake. Feeling extra ambitious? Go for the chilli cheese fries.

Richard Caron
The King of Fat Boy Burgers

Brian's Drive In, Lorette

Brian's Drive In, Lorette

Brian's Drive In, Lorette

3, 2, 1, Dive In

Having lived across Canada from Charlottetown all the way to Victoria, Richard can attest that Fat Boy's are a Manitoba marvel and he's on a mission to taste them all. With over 65 burgers being reviewed up until this point, Richard's burger 'list' is ever evolving and growing. He estimates that he's eaten at least over 300 fat boy burgers to date. Richard's reviewing and rating of the fat boy's began to stand out due to his astonishingly accurate rating system. Going as detailed into his rating system out of 10 with up to 3 decimal points. His highest burger to date leads the ranks with 9.017 at Super Boy's in Winnipeg. Miraculously, there's no bite that Richard can't recall. And although you'll find that all fat boy's are not identical, many establishments take it upon themselves to tackle their own spin on the burger. Offering subtle variety such as a non sesame seed bun, regular lettuce instead of shredded, or real cheese vs processed. But one factor is non negotiable; there has to be chilli meat sauce.

Often folks will comment to Richard that a fat boy is simply "a burger with chilli sauce." But Richard will be the first to respond otherwise. "It's not really that" says Richard. So you might be wondering just how Richard stumbled upon this fat boy pilgrimage.

The journey of Richard's @fortheloveofallfatboys Instagram account began some time ago in one of Manitoba's Interlake communities. Gimli is not only home to the largest Icelandic population in Canada outside of Iceland, but also several places to snag the famous fat boy burger. And more importantly, where the journey for Richard's fat boy reviewing began; at Beach Boy Restaurant. Along for a day of adventures with his family, Richard began to eat the fat boy and comment on it's taste, with his kids inquiring as to what a fat boy was. In explaining the burger out loud, Richard realized that there really is no where else in Canada to find a burger like this and that maybe there was something here, as far as content goes. His wife figured she would start recording Richard's review commentary and post it on social media. @fortheloveofallfatboys took off. With a trained culinary background, Richard's taste buds have been there done that, but nothing compares to a fat boy.

After awhile, with anybody reviewing or tasting something, just like a sommelier, they've tasted thousands of wines in their lifetime. How can you not take their advice, based on the shear volume. Richard Caron
Fat Boy's Are A Family Affair

Super Boys, Winnipeg

Super Boys, Winnipeg

Super Boys, Winnipeg

An Order With A Side Of Smiles

Fat Boy's are a family affair and that's just fact. A fat boy for lunch, a fat boy for dinner, or a fat boy just because. A fat boy for one, A fat boy for two, or a fat boy for fun with the whole family. Fat boy's are much more than their messy exterior. Richard knows that if anything brings family together... it's quality time spent together... with taste buds.

Richard can be seen traveling Winnipeg and surrounding communities in search of the perfect fat boy review. But, not without his family. "It's interesting in the sense that there's a fair amount of diner places in downtown Winnipeg that close by 2 or 3 o'clock. If I'm working during the day there's not a lot of time to get to these places" says Richard. With certain factors additionally being the time of day, hours of operation, and the availability of his wife and two children. With Richard being at the front of his Instagram operation, it's not without his partner in crime. "I talk to my driver and my camera person to see whether she thinks that we can make it there without the kids having a melt down, how hungry we are and how much gas is in the tank." When we spoke, a few places that were next on the radar included Gimli, Winnipeg Beach, and Grand Beach.

I'm hoping that 20 years from now my kids recollect that this is an experience they remember from their childhood and attach themselves to it. And if they travel away to far away lands they can be fat boy ambassadors. Richard Caron
Everyone Wants A Fat Boy

Brian's Drive In, Lorette

Brian's Drive In, Lorette

Fat Boy For You, Fat Boy For Me

Everyone and their dog wants a fat boy burger, quite literally. Amongst this small town diner awaits a line of varying individuals. Hungry and ready to eat. There's neighbourhood kids waiting to spend their summer allowance from grass mowing and hard earned coin, workers waiting for a lunchtime break and hot meal, and even a visiting guest with their furry companion along for the ride. It's true how Richard points out that "it's remarkable that modernization hasn't taken away these drive-ins in Manitoba." One of the most frequented comments that Richard receives on his account is the astonishing surprise of how many fat boy establishments there are in our province. Richard even went on to share his observations that "people from the east coast, when they visit here and fly back, they will get iced coolers and put a fat boy in it, to take back on the plane."

Super Boy's, Winnipeg

Super Boy's, Winnipeg

Super Boy's, Winnipeg

As one can say it is just a hamburger. But to me it's weirdly now become way more than that. Richard Caron

Memories Are Homemade

With many ways to fat boy nowadays and thanks to technology, a fat boy is only a drive or phone call away. Whether you're meeting up with friends at an urban dive, taking a road trip outside of the city, or simply ordering take out and having a fat boy delivered to your door, the fat boy culture in Manitoba is alive and well.

Needless to say that in the end, you should have messy hands, a messy face, a full stomach, and full heart. If you're hands are clean and you didn't touch a napkin, sorry to say, you didn't fat boy right. Because yes, there's a way to do so. Happy fat boy'ing!

About The Author

Hey there, I'm Desiree! I've lived in Manitoba my whole life. I love a great slice of pizza, photography and exploring our beautiful province. I'm passionate about storytelling. Have an idea for adventure? Let me know!

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