While Melbourne has become famous for its café culture and
obscure hip laneway eateries, Sydney is still known for sandstone institutions with big water views (and even bigger bills).
But to focus on that would be to ignore the Harbour City’s tastiest secret: epic burger joints.
Sure, in recent years, Sydney’s burger ‘market’ has become over saturated (and not just with trans fats). Back in the day all you had was Mary’s, Dan’s Hong’s Lotus cheeseburger and Chur Burger.
Now there are imitations and innovations of the classic American Burger™ as far as the eye can see (and the stomach rumble).
But before you go get lost in a mountain of Big Macs and Ben Bry’s (not that there’s anything wrong with either of those), we thought we’d come up with a list of the best burger joints in Sydney, to satisfy each and every craving.
Want something delicious, cheap and nasty? We’ve got you covered. After something a little more fancy? All good too. Or maybe you want a burger with a view? This list has got that as well, so do yourself a favour and add it to the bucket list for your next late lunch, or night out.
Bonditony’s Burger Joint
Where else in Sydney can you order a Trippin’ Zeahorse burger with a Negroni on the side? No prizes for guessing where this culinary masterpiece is located. At Bonditony’s Burger Joint, in the heart of the Eastern Suburbs (and by ‘heart’, we mean the beach), eating a burger is more than just a foodie experience—it’s also about rock n’ roll. With a background in the music biz, Tony came up with the idea to open a family friendly, punk rocky, down-to-earth burger joint in 2015—and the rest is history.
You’re strolling down Oxford Street, having worked up an appetite at the local watering holes. After last weekend’s antics in The Cross you’re not sure you can stomach another World Bar teapot cocktail, greasy pepperoni pizza or ill-advised kebab. So now there’s only one place left to turn: BL Burgers. From the ‘classic cheese’ to ‘BL veg’ and ‘blame Canada’ offerings there’s enough variety here to satisfy you and your vegan Surrey Hills bae (if you’re here on your own, treat yourself to the shoe-string fries—just for good measure).
The ultimate summer spot for you to enjoy the best view of the Pacific Ocean (this side of the bridge, anyway), Bondi’s Icebergs Terrace also makes one mean burger. And if you’re still peckish after, there’s also Insalata, freshly shucked oysters and crispy fish sangers (along with a full cabinet of drinks), and much more on offer.
Forget it being the coolest place to party in Sydney since the lock out laws; Newtown has more to offer than Goon sack scolling undergrads and hipster cafes. Whether you’re after a bacon and egg roll or something a little more serious, with its ‘open diner’ vibe and quality feeds Macelleria is the pick of the bunch.
Surrey Hills’ finest ‘dude food’ establishment, Chur Burger is your go-to for OG beef burgers, marinated grilled chicken, lamb, fish and heaps more. Adding to the quality (but not pretentious) aesthetic are this joint’s famous spiked milkshakes, which combine flavours like “apple crumble” and “fireball whisky.” Basically, no night time escapade through the foodie capital of Sydney is complete without a trip to Chur.
Ume Burger is Bar Ume’s fun-loving Barangaroo brother. With a slightly more “burger shop” vibe than Surrey Hills’ Bar Ume, Ume Burger is a classic in and out burger joint. That said, it is located in waterfront Barangaroo, and crafted by Amber Road Design, so to say it’s downmarket would be to go too far. Although they serve four mouth watering signature burgers (along with a Menchi version with crumbed pork belly, shredded cabbage, mustard, Japanese BBQ sauce and yuzu-kosho mayo) the place has become known for their pink, help-yourself soft-serve machine, which changes flavour each time you visit.
Rockpool Bar & Grill
Internationally acclaimed chef Neil Perry offers Modern Australian cuisine in an ornate art deco room with a cocktail bar, which is the perfect venue for a pre or post lunch or dinner drink or casual bite to eat. With a no bookings policy, an excellent bar menu and a cocktail and wine list second to none, it is ideal for life’s impromptu moments.
After 8 years bettering Sydney’s burger experience through its big brother, Pub Life Kitchen, Superior Burgers launched in 2016 with a mission to serve humble burgers delivered with restaurant depth and principles. There’s also Nashville hot chicken, beer battered potato scallops and fish tacos.
After refining his skills with Melbourne establishments like Grand Trailer Park Taverna and Royal Stacks Brunswick, burger nerd Dani Zeini brought his mouth-watering patties to Sydney in 2016—and Chatswood burger lovers haven’t gone hungry since. As per all their outlets, Royal Stacks has a singular focus: burgers. And lots of ’em. Choices range from the classic Single Stack (beef patty with tomato, lettuce, pickles, cheddar and special sauce), to options like the Prince Harry (which adds horseradish, shallots and gherkin mayo), and The King (which chucks a huge mac ‘n’ cheese croquette into the works) for when you’re feeling, as the Instagram kids say, ‘extra’.
If slow food values with fast food service is your jam (relish?), then you’ll feel right at home (briefly) in any of the Burger Project’s Sydney outlets. With offerings in Martin Place, Broadway and Circular Quay, Burger Project is the step up from Maccas that every young man must one day take. With a bright aesthetic and immediately satisfying, crunchy fare, the Burger Project is truly a burger joint worth getting your chin greasy for.