The feelgood factor of a hamburger never diminishes so thank goodness the humble burger has experienced a renaissance in Melbourne. With new restaurants dedicated to perfecting the art of the humble burger opening each week, you’re bound to find the variety (animal, vegetable, mineral) that you’re craving somewhere in the city. Here’s our list of the best burger restaurants of the moment.
As a kid, the best thing you could do with a Kraft single was wedge it between two pieces of buttered bread and squash the whole thing into the toaster until it was golden, melting and a potential fire hazard. As an adult, you order the double patty smash burger: double beef, double cheese, double the oozing feelgoods.
From the brains behind The Pantry comes Royale Brothers and they are serving up heavenly goodness wrapped in grease-proof paper. The Royale with Cheese (beef, cheese, onion, lettuce, pickles, mayo and royale sauce) is making a name for itself as the best burger in the city.
Like a diner on steroids, Fat Bob’s is crammed with vintage signs, and you’ll be glad you stepped off the map and into an unlikely garage in Moorabbin to bask in their neon glow. The now-iconic foil-wrapped burgers get extra points for their soft, sweet buns that remain intact despite the onslaught of sauces and juices they contain.
Brother Burger’s second dining room is down the South Yarra end of Chapel Street and we’re not just there for the alcoholic milkshakes. The open kitchen lets you watch the chefs press 100 percent Wagyu patties and cook them to a juicy medium.
We like our burgers with a side of nostalgia, and the old school corner shop Tuck Shop Takeaway serves them alongside peanut butter milkshakes, hand cut fries and soft serves. The burgers are American-style, featuring plenty of pickles and mustard, but the Tuck Shop also serves the “Veggie Wedgie”, one of the best veggie burgers around, with a patty of beetroot, lentils and brown rice.
This is a feel-good diner that ditches the red bar and chequerboard floors for hand-crafted furniture and vintage lighting. The menu’s all-American, though, with buttermilk fried chicken, flattop dogs and mascarpone mac ‘n’ cheese served alongside burgers you’ll need to unhinge your jaw for.
If you’d like to chow down on a burger in Super Mario World, 8Bit is about as close as you’re going to get. Light bulbs hang from red cables, walls are distressed brick or covered in pixellated tile mosaics and primary coloured stools sit before potted mushroom icons. But enough of the geeky details, you’re here for the burgers, and whether you choose beef, fried chicken or crumbed mushroom, they’re glorious.
When you want a burger, but also want to go easy on your coronary, Chew Burgers is the way to go. There’s an intentionally limited menu of three Wagyu, one chicken and two veggie options, with the trade-off being everything is done beautifully (read: reasonably healthily) using house-made sauces and pickles, Northcote Bakehouse buns and meat sourced from the Otway Ranges.
The city’s most upmarket gastro pub, is housed in the Crown entertainment complex, and is home to a downstairs burger bar that offers late-night fuel when you need it. The very-Vegas Merrywell offers a stack of messy burgers that defy the dress code, plus a couple of more refined options if you care about getting mustard on your threads.
There’s no need to mess with the classics when they’re done well and that’s the best thing about Local Burger Co. There’s no false advertising when you order an Old School Cheese Burger or a Classic Beef Burger. Grab your burger, you sweet potato fries, maybe a salted caramel shake, and picnic like you did as a kid, in the park across the road.