Sydney has long had a love affair with the burger, but with so many of our dining destinations continually offering up their own take of this American classic, it's hard to know where to find the ones guaranteed to satisfy.
Luckily we've done the groundwork for you and scoured the city in search of the finest patty and bun combination, from thick and juicy to light and fresh. No matter how you like it, here’s our up-to-the-minute ten best burgers in Sydney.
Rockpool Bar & Grill
Burger of Choice: Full Blood Wagyu Hamburger ($24)
A CBD gem, Rockpool Bar & Grill has always been a prime spot for any local or visiting foodie. And the Wagyu Hamburger is by far one of the favourites on the bar menu. Its Blackmore patty is thick, juicy, and cooked as well as every other dish on the menu, served with bacon, gruyere cheese and zucchini pickle. The hand cut chips ($12) or the onion rings ($9) are a must, as is this burger.
Lunch Mon-Fri, Dinner Mon-Sat; 66 Hunter St, Sydney; 02 8078 1900; www.rockpool.com
Burger of Choice: Mary’s Burger with Trash Can Bacon ($14 + $4)
Tucked away on Newtown’s Mary Street, this revamped warehouse is always worth a visit whether you’re a local or not. Like Maccas in style and shape, the Mary’s Burger is borderline addictive: incorporating the fancy finger work of ex-Tetsuya chef Luke Powell on the grill, with additional extras like trash-can-lid bacon adding a smoking hit. Accompany with a shot of Jack Daniels and you’ll opt for Mary’s over that shining yellow M any day.
Mon - Sat 4pm - midnight, Sun noon - 10pm; 6 Mary Street, Newtown
Burger of Choice: Grilled Beef and Cheese ($10)
Rising from the ashes of the fire that destroyed this Surry Hills hot spot last year, Chur Burger is one of this city’s most serious contenders when it comes to the best place to get a burger down your neck. The grilled beef and cheese, smothered in mustard mayo and accompanied with fresh tomato and pickle, is at the top of the menu for a reason. At just $10 a pop, we suggest starting here and working your way down.
Mon 11.20am - 5pm, Tue - Sat 11.30am - 10pm; 48 Albion Street, Surry Hills; (02) 9212 3603; www.churburger.com.au
Burger of Choice: Classic Chicken Burger ($12)
Currently relocating away from the new lockdown laws, Buns and Balls beach-vibe cool made a splash when it opened its doors in the Cross last year. The biggest winner here is the classic chicken burger that makes the other (albeit certainly tasty) options pale in comparison. The chargrilled and marinated meat is juicy — and combined with cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayo and original Oporto recipe chilli (owner Gary Linz was a founder of that establishment) — makes for a fresh and flavoursome mouthful.
OUT OF THE BLUE
Burger of Choice: Fish Burger ($7)
Seafood is undoubtedly one of Sydney’s signature attractions, and this Clovelly burger joint always pulls a crowd. Get there early, but definitely get there, and grab the fish burger with chilli mayo: the slight spiciness is an ideal accompaniment to the fresh and tender fried fish. While the wait might be long, the service is friendly, and the small chip portions (for just $4) ain’t small.
226 Clovelly Road, Clovelly; (02) 9315 8380
Burger of Choice: Wagyu Beef Burger with Gorgonzola ($24.50)
Bill Granger has always done well for himself, and his Wagyu burger is no exception to this fact. We suggest the gorgonzola if you’re a fan of strong flavours, because there’s nothing better than a great big cheesy punch to the face alongside a prime juicy patty and the signature zucchini pickles. And, unlike many of the fancy non-tomato-sauce additions out there, the tomato chilli jam is actually very decent and goes superbly smeared all over.
Mon - Sat 7.30am - 3pm, Sun 8.30am - 3pm; 433 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst; (02) 9360 9631; www.bills.com.au
Burger of Choice: Beach ‘n’ Beef Burger ($15)
This quirky, British-influenced Leichhardt eatery is renowned in the area for serving up burgers that are big, feisty and creative. The Beach ‘n’ Beef Burger ticks all the boxes with a delectable combination of bacon, avocado, pineapple, aioli, smoky BBQ sauce, salad and, of course, a fat slab of beef. Cut, minced and made on premises from Australian farms, the burgers at Bonarche have — no surprises here — picked up an award or two.
Wed 5pm - 9pm, Thu 5pm - 9.30pm, Fri noon - 3pm and 5pm - 9.30pm, Sat 11am - 9.30pm, Sun 11am - 8pm; 14 Norton Street, Leichhardt; www.bonarche.com
Moo Gourmet Burgers
CP's Burger of Choice: Greek Lamb Burger ($16.50)
Influenced by the pioneers of Australia's first milk bar and New Zealand's restaurant trade, Moo continues to combine classic with craze. The lamb burger here is an established standout on the menu and the 100% free range Saltbush lamb patty with oregano, garlic and rosemary, tomato, baby spinach and tzatziki makes a delicious addition to this Bondi Beach family favourite.
Mon-Sun 11am - late; 70A Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach; (02) 9300 8898: www.moogourmetburgers.com.au
Burger of Choice: Garden Goodness ($11.50)
It's nice to see vegetarian options getting a little love, and the Garden Goodness at Grill'd is an all-round winner with a quality veggie patty, succulent beetroot, avocado, salad, relish, tasty cheese and herbed mayo. Proud of its fresh produce and friendly staff, Grill'd's shining feature among earth-loving kin, however, is arguably the Local Matters jars; donating $500 a month to worthwhile causes, chosen by you.
A few locations; www.grilld.com.au
The Burger Joint
Burger of Choice: Tandoori Burger ($9.90)
This Darlinghurst one-stop burger shop offers an array of genuinely mouth-watering options, as well as delivery to your door. The Tandoori Burger with grilled and tandoori marinated chicken, smothered in raita (extra raita won’t hurt either), is a topnotch creamy choice if you fancy something a little different to whet your appetite. When you're offered fries ($3-$6), say yes, and grab a complimentary aioli while you're at it.
Mon - Sun 11am - 10pm; 393 Liverpool Street, Darlinghurst; 02 9380 2575; www.theburgerjoint.com.au
Published on March 13, 2014 by Jack Arthur Smith