Melbourne’s love affair with the humble hamburger shows no sign of cooling down. There are more buns to get your hands on than ever before with tasty offerings from seasoned grill masters plus some remastered classics from fresh, new burger maestros. So, there’s really only one decision for you to make – do you want fries with that? Of course you do!
Sonny’s at John Curtin Bandroom
In the unlikely environs of the John Curtin Bandroom you’ll find Sonny’s Fried Chicken and Burgers. Specialising in 24-hour brined chicken, pressure fried and crispy as you like, this American-style outfit has classic cold (slaw, potato salad) and hot (mac and cheese, biscuits and gravy) sides to accompany the main event.
Still mourning the loss of The Belleville? Globe Alley has risen up in its place with an overloaded menu of delicious bar food, drinks, and of course – heaps of great burgers. Take on the absolutely stacked ‘Beast of Chinatown’, featuring endless layers of Angus beef smash patties, double jack cheddar, hickory bacon, jalapeños, BBQ & ranch sauce. Or pretend you’re being virtuous with the ‘sleazy and vegan’, where meat-free brisket, apple and fennel slaw, pickled jalapeños and smoked BBQ sauce make for a massive meal.
In what can only be described as the answer to all our early-morning, post big night out burger-craving prayers, Melbourne has its very own 24-hour burger joint. Butchers Diner can satisfy your burger cravings no matter the time of day. Burger for breakfast? Absolutely. There’s an impressive list of hamburgers, cheeseburgers, Japanese fried chicken burgers and check out the daily specials – think 18-hour beef brisket burger with kohlrabi slaw, house pickles and mustard on Tuesdays. Cash only.
Andrew’s Hamburgers has been serving up old school burgers and milkshakes since 1939. Once only an Albert Park institution, you can now get your mouth around one of Andrew’s prized patties at its new CBD location in Franklin Street. The epitome of no-frills dining, the Andrew’s burger with the lot is a wise choice and includes lettuce, onions, egg, bacon, tomato, double cheese and tomato sauce. Wash it down with a blue heaven milkshake.
Since opening their first joint in Brunswick, Royal Stacks has expanded to the city and become a crowd favourite on Collins Street. With 100 per cent Australian pasture-fed beef burgers such as The King, Queen Bee or the Miss Elizabeth with truffle mayo, this burger bar is burger royalty. Plus, their signature frozen custard desserts will cool you down this summer.
The video game-themed 8bit on Swanston Street is never short of a steady stream of burger aficionados consuming their culinary creations. Choose from options like the Altered Beast with beef, bacon, cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, 8bit and BBQ sauce or the After Burner with beef, tomato, red onion, chilli sauce, jalapenos, mustard and chipotle mayo. For vegetarians, the 1 Up Mushroom Burger features a crumbed mushroom with cheese, tomato, red onion, green tomato relish, lettuce, mustard and 8bit sauce.
Can’t afford a table at the three-hatted Vue de Monde? Well, there’s good news. You can still sample chef Shannon Bennett’s culinary cleverness at his Benny Burger outlet in Little Collins Street. Benny Burger, a nod to his dad, Benny, who liked to cook a burger on the barbie, boasts all ethical burgers. Choose from the No Apologies Double Cheeseburger, Mr Burns, the Cluck Off or the Yoga Burger.
The Grand Trailer Park Taverna
Want ultimate taste minus the regret of overindulgence? Well, you can’t beat American-style diner, The Grand Trailer Park Taverna with a burger menu that will make any sandwich-lover drool. There’s the tamer KSA – where it all began – with its beef patty, cheese, tomato, butter lettuce, special sauce and mustard on a toasted brioche bun, through to the Atomic stacked with a premium beef patty, American cheddar cheese, caramelised onion, chilli cheese kransky, streaky bacon, BBQ sauce and truffle cayenne mayonnaise on a toasted brioche bun.
Here are some other notable burger establishments you need to know about:
- Wonky Trolley – the hot tip from these self-confessed gourmet burger specialists is to try beef beauties The Full Trolley or The 3051. There’s also chicken, vego and kids burgers.
- Burger Project – Mastered by Melbourne’s fine dining chef, Neil Perry, these buns boast the finest produce cooked to perfection. If you’re not prepared to commit to quite so many calories, try their burgers in a bowl. Find stores at St Collins Lane and Bourke Street.
- Captain Melville – notable for its American-style cheeseburger made from ethically sourced ingredients packing heaps of flavour with pickles and chips.
- Three Crowns Hotel – The menu boasts seven burgers to choose from so the choice isn’t easy. But the American Cheeseburger and Buffalo Fried Chicken stack up well. Don’t forget to add on waffle fries and panko shrooms.
- Trunk – This all-day diner boasts a tummy-tempting breakfast burger and a gourmet selection for lunch and dinner. Check out the wagyu or bbq jerk chicken burger, or if it’s meat-free Monday try the Spicy Veggie burger. If you’re still hungry, you can super-size everything with the Super Trunk Burger.
- Huxtaburger – A fond favourite for its Britney, Justin and Cheesus burgers, Huxtaburger has gone and combined two of our favourite things into one must-have summer sensation. An ice-cream burger! Vanilla ice-cream rolled in Huxtacrunch with chocolate or caramel sauce. Genius!
- Betty’s Burgers – It’s pink and pretty and kitschy cute but Betty’s serving up nothing but serious burgers in Elizabeth Street. Think slow-cooked pork belly or crispy fried mushrooms filled with melted Gouda and Gruyere cheese. There’s nothing cheesy about it.