The Best Burgers in Sydney

Hi! You may know me as the guy who brought you the series on the best ramen in Sydney. Why, welcome back dear reader! Looks like you and I share quite the discerning palate of carbs and fat, the source of any balanced diet.

Here’s the deal folks. For the ramen post, I covered seventeen ramen joints. That’s not exhaustive, but it was a start. I’ve upped the ante this time round, because I’m both an overachiever and a masochist, with arteries that somehow manage to remain relatively lipid-free. This time, I’m going to cover thirty burger restaurants.

Did I stutter, or are you going to wipe the stunned look off your face and click through?

Due to the sheer amount of content, I’m going to try my best to keep this short and sweet. However, I’m known for detail and depth, so let’s see just how successfully I fail at brevity.

Fret not over who invented the burger or when it was invented. Let’s all agree on something that’s axiomatically true as far as us Sydneysiders are concerned: we have damn strong burger game. There’s a reason a group like the Fatties Burger Appreciation Society (FBAS) sprung up in Sydney. I’ve been a member for some time now, and while there’s a metric ton of pointless banter and trolling in the group, members stay true to the end-game – it’s 60,000+ strong throng of pure burger lovers.

Okay, let’s stop waffling (this ain’t that kind of post) and start burgering. Feel free to skip the fluff below, but given it is my methodology, you might want to take a gander at it anyway.

The Best Burgers In Sydney – Methodology

The Visits

The visits were subject to the following conditions:

1) I made every attempt to avoid visiting during peak times. I’m here for pure burger quality, not possible dips in service or quality. While consistency, even during peak times is essential to good trade, I simply wish to find the best burger a restaurant can flip. Besides, visiting when business isn’t busy is good advice in general.

2) All visits were made when I was moderately hungry. Destroying a burger while famished may bias my results. Same with if I were stuffed.

2) Any burger joint less than 3 months old was excluded. Like people, businesses take time to mature. If you have a query on how a burger joint that isn’t listed here compares to the stalwarts, hit me up in the comments!

3) I ordered only one burger at each restaurant. This burger is the restaurant’s signature burger, or what I think is the crowd favourite (thanks Fatties!) if a signature could not identified. If I’m completely unsure, I’ll ask the staff directly – can’t get any better a rec than that.

4) The restaurant must be a permanent establishment, not a pop-up or temporary gig (there is one exception to this rule). No point raving about a burger you can’t regularly obtain.

5) This one’s controversial, but this is a beef only zone. I love a good chicken (or fish, or even vegetarian) burger, but birds and cows could not be more different. Same goes for vegetarian burgers. While not all will agree, I think I speak for most carnivores when I say the quintessential burger is a beef burger.

6) If the patties are thin (80-150g), I order it as a double. If they are gourmet (~200g e.g. Bar Luca), I ordered it as a single – Construction does affect the experience. I deferred to chef’s recommendations in instances where I felt unsure.

7) Each burger was eaten as-is: no extra toppings, sauces or whatever. Where extras are allowed as options, I did consider extra bacon. Everybody loves bacon.

8) Sides are cool, but are completely ignored for this post. The best chips  in the world won’t save a mediocre burger. That’s the end of that.

Tasting notes are taken immediately after consumption – this sieve of a memory ain’t going to get in the way, that’s for sure.

The Scoring

You like sesame seed buns? I like brioche. You like your patties extra-dry? (bro, just no) I prefer them pink. See where I’m going here?

I will do my best at providing an objective and quantitative assessment on my subjective palate for each burger. In other words, nothing beyond what I normally do. However, if you end up realising your tastes don’t match mine…well I suppose you could always go back to the Fatties’ Facebook page for something that more closely matches your preferences. In the end, don’t take this post too seriously.

I will be focusing on four cornerstones: patty, condiments, buns, and construction. The patty is obviously going to be the most important aspect of a burger. Let’s score this out of ten. After that, it’s no exaggeration that it’s often the sauce and use of cheese that truly distinguishes excellent burgers from the merely good. This is out of 8. The bun comes close behind, out of 6. A burger that needs to be eaten with a knife and fork is a failed burger but could still taste good, so let’s say construction’s out of 3. Miscellany (quirks, unique selling points, how the burger tastes “all in all”) is scored out of 3. These criterion are elaborated in an Appendix, for extra interested readers.

Total possible points – 30. While there is obviously no true “king” of burgers in Sydney, those that score 20 or higher count among the exceptional.

Without further reading (have I already written half a post’s worth of words already?), BRING ON THE BEST BURGERS IN SYDNEY.

Table of Contents

Bare Grill – La Perouse

Belfields – Botany

Mary’s – CBD/Newtown

Archie’s Flame Grille

Rockpool Bar & Grill

Five Points – North Sydney

Paul’s Famous Hamburgers – Sylvania

Chur Burger – Surry Hills

BenBry Burgers – Manly

Bonarche Burgers – Leichardt

Burgers Anonymous – Darlinghurst

The Burger Shed – Mosman

Batch Burgers – Kirribilli

Jacks – Newtown

Papi Chulo – Manly

Vic’s Meat Market – Sydney Fish Markets

Barrio Burgers/Barrio Cellar

Pub Life Kitchen – Ultimo

Parlour Burger – Sydney CBD

The Lord Gladstone – Chippendale

The Tuckshop – Glenhaven

Goodtime Burgers – Bondi

Burgers By Josh – Darlinghurst

Guilty – Darlinghurst

Belly Bao – Sydney CBD

Dee Why Hotel – Dee Why

The Milk Bar By Cafe Ish – Redfern

Mister Gee Burger Truck – Haberfield

Bar Luca – Sydney CBD

Ze Pickle – Surry Hills

VERDICT – The Best Burgers In Sydney

Bare Grill – La Perouse

If it weren’t for FBAS, I would never have heard about Bare Grill. I’m extremely glad it got my attention, for this nondescript cafe serves up an incredibly potent meatwich, setting a high bar to beat.

It’s located at the tip of La Perouse, just a short walk away from Bare Island. That walk will be quite necessary, after you smash the trophy that is the fatties burger.

Bare Grill

The fatties burger: double grilled grass-fed beef, bacon, cheese, pickles & house sauce ($13)

Patty:

The patties in this fatty are generous (~180-200gm) slabs of meat, with a charitable ratio of lean to fat. My burger was cooked to a solid medium tipping on the rare side, which is for all intents and purposes, practically perfect.

There isn’t enough browning on the outside (I like to have my char and my soft innards). Further, the sheer size of the patties mean that when they’re stacked as two, you’ll end up tasting lots of beefiness, perhaps even a bit too much. While possibly a turnoff for some, I’m all for beefiness (at least at this level), so all in all there’s some strong patty game here.

7/10

Condiments + Cheese:

One look at how well-endowed the fatties burger is in terms of condiments and I was sold already. There’s plenty of gooey tasty cheese to keep the burger’s flavours together, while the house sauce leans towards the more acidic side to add some bite to the burg’s flavour profile. It’s not too creamy, and thus is prone to dripping.

Overall, the flavour profile is a fairly standard tangy mayo without any gaudy spices or additions. The sauce does its job without trying to flatter the senses too much. Call it careful restraint – if you could even use that moniker to describe a burger like this.

The sauces get really drippy and creamy after just a few bites, so watch your progress!

6/8

Bun:

Bare Grill’s buns are a solid brioche sourced from Brasserie Bread. As an added bonus not found on any other burger, the cafe’s name is branded into the buns itself for that extra bit of visual effect. A cool gimmick.

The bun holds its own despite the enormity of the burger, is just sweet enough to give its own flavour to the meat and cheese when chewing, and is never too bready. It’s not as pillowy-soft as I’d like it to be, but that’s milk bun territory.

4/6

Construction:

The burger holds together beautifully, with almost nary an incident. Some bits of cheese dropped, taking a lot of sauce with it, but all in all it’s very well made for what it is.

But careful here – this burger is about as big as it gets (and might be over the line for some). Any bigger, and these minor construction issues will magnify.

2/3

Miscellany:

At only $13, the fatties burger is actually the best-value meat sandwich in the entire list. Most other burgs start at $13-$14 and that’s for a single patty. There is serious burg-for-buck goodness here, and that makes it an easy win on the Misc front in terms of prices.

3/3

Wholeheartedly recommended.

Total score: 22/30

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Belfields – Botany

Originally, Belfields wasn’t going to make the cut for this post, especially as it wasn’t really getting too much coverage via social media. But word of mouth proves to be the trump card once again – with fairly rave reviews from trusted friends on this relatively unknown burger joint.

And so, being the dutiful burger-destroying citizen I am, I marched on Botany.

Belfield on Botany

Belfield Burger (double) – 2x beef patty, cheese, rocket, Vegemite mayo ($8 for single).

As it was coincidentally National Burger Day when I got my burger, the extra patty came free of charge (sweet!) I forgot to enquire on how much it would cost normally, but expect it to be somewhere between $3-$5.

Patty:

The patties are not cooked Maccas-thin, but aren’t quite at the level of gourmet burgers either. Thus, a double was in order.

Belfields was one of the remaining few burgers I had to eat for this post. At this point, most beef patties began “averaging out” in terms of flavour and texture. Belfields falls squarely into that range – it’s good, slightly above average, but not exceptional in relation to the rest we’ve got going.

The beef is cooked with a decent amount of charring that was quite acceptable by my standards. With this however, is what appears to be a medium-well inside, which meant that juiciness is not this patty’s forte.

6/10

Condiments + Cheese:

This is where Belfields really shines – Vegemite mayo. At this point, you’ve already decided whether there is a future with this burger. For me? It was love at first bite. There’s the right amount of Vegemite flavour in the mayo that brings out an earthy umami which, paired with the creaminess of the mayonnaise itself, is one of the best condiments I could wish for on a burg. This pretty much rivals Mister Gee in terms of sauce, and with that, I’ll say no more.

The only reason this section doesn’t score a perfect 8 is due to the lack of a second slice of cheese between the two patties. That was somewhat disappointing. One patty = one slice.

Oh, and rocket? While not the first green I’d think of putting in my burger, I didn’t mind it at all – its tartness was actually a nice foil to the sweetness of the Vegemite mayo.

7/8

Bun:

An unobtrusive, tasty soft bun handles the goods with the Belfield Burger. It could use more toasting, and is a little bit sweet given the sauce it encloses, but other than that – all good!

4/6

Construction:

Zero issues.

3/3

Miscellany:

Vegemite mayo combined with rocket + beef is a wicked combination. I can’t believe it took me so long to discover it!

3/3

Total score: 23/30

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Mary’s – Various (CBD)

Ah, the infamous Mary’s. Probably the most loved and hated burger in Sydney – its polarising effect is so strong you could probably apply some of it to your next pair of sunnies and get better results.

But in the end, a burger is a burger is a burger. Let’s put Mary’s through its paces like any other.

Mary's Burgers

Double Mary’s burger – Mary’s sauce, tomato, lettuce, onion, 2x cheese, 2x beef ($16)

Patty:

Mary’s uses fairly small patties. Thus, if you’re going to order a single-patty burger, single-handedly ditch that idea and go double. It’s where it’s at.

A blend of chuck, brisket and rump form the basis of the patties, and uh…I was definitely able to taste the “toughness”. That was actually my first thought upon biting into the burg: “whoa, this beef is pretty chewy for a patty”. Unfortunately, I don’t mean it in a good way.

It’s quite odd, actually, as the patties are visibly medium on the inside (yay!), but just didn’t taste as such (aww man). The flavour is there – a tantalising smokiness to the beef, however the texture wasn’t quite up to scratch with its grit. Not the way I like my patties.

5/10

Condiments + Cheese:

While the beef may not be pushing the right buttons, Mary’s condiments mix certainly does. Creamy Mary’s sauce is just about the right balance of sweetness and creaminess, and they are generous with it. The cheese is bloody good as well, lovingly melted over the patties, with quite an intense cheesy flavour.

Tomato I have no issues with, however the lettuce was a bit problematic – very leafy (instead of crunchy), and thus hard to actually bite through, which resulted in a few awkward mouthfuls where I was pretty much only eating lettuce as the whole leaf wants to get out in one go.

6/8

Bun:

Mary’s has quite possibly the best bun in the game. Soft, smooth, fluffy but doesn’t fall apart even when soaked in sauce. Additionally, the buns are toasted and while the effect is minimised due to sauce, that lovely char was definitely detected.

Buns are sourced from Breadtop, which probably explains it – continue doing what you’re doing!

5/6

Construction:

High levels of sauciness and lettuce that refuses to be subdivided make for a bit of an awkward eat, however construction is solid for the most part. A few minutes more (say, takeaway) and I’m sure the bottom bun would have completely fallen apart. Consume quickly!

2/3

Miscellany:

It’s a classic burger with no frills that gets the job done. One downside – $16 for a double is quite pricey (given the size of the patties).

1/3

Mary’s gets way more bad rap than it deserves. Here is a perfectly decent burger that’s still a lot better than most in the area (whether you’re in the CBD or Newtown). Sometimes, you just gotta have a Mary’s.

Total score: 19/30

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Archie’s Flame Grille – Sylvania Waters

The ubiquity of quality burger joints in Sydney is such that Southerners need not travel far for one, when a place like Archie’s Flame Grille exists. For what it’s worth, this tucked-away eatery in Sylvania Waters also does a host of grilled chook & salad dishes, for those times when you’re not feeling like a burger.

Not quite sure what that feels like.

Archie's Flame Grille

The Big Nash: double beef, double bacon, double cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, caramelised onion, BBQ sauce & Archie’s sauce ($14)

There is actually a burger on the menu called Archie’s Signature, however when I noted that their patties are thin-type, I opted for the Big Nash instead. This burger is a bit of a crowd favourite amongst male patrons, and so I believe I’m targeting the right crowd with the right burger.

Patty:

The thing about thin-type patties is that generally speaking, there is a tradeoff between a satisfying browning, versus a sense of “meatiness”. There’s more crustiness from surface char, that’s for sure, so lovers of this kind of patty will be pleased. That said, a diminished sensation of “juiciness” from a thicker patty is apparent. Personal preference will dictate more than anything else, however by including two patties, the effect is somewhat mitigated.

In the end, the patties at Archie’s sport a predominantly crusty texture profile; and got repetitive with each new bite. In terms of flavour, there wasn’t much seasoning, nor was it beefy enough. Worst of all, it was overcooked on the inside, which exacerbates a thin patty’s inherent weakness.

4/10

Condiments + Cheese:

Double cheese goes a long way to rescue an average patty, however the kitchen hands at Archie’s would have done a great service by actually melting the cheese substantially before serving. I have never found myself in a circumstance where I thought unmelted trumped melted, and that holds true here. If I can still taste the cheese’s chewy texture to a significant degree, then it hasn’t melted enough.

As for sauces, it’s a mixture of BBQ and that “secret sauce”, resulting in a prevailing sweet & sour combo, with a slight hint of smokiness. It’s personally not my kind of sauce for a burger, and perhaps could go well with BBQ’d meats instead. Again, personal preference, but the sauce didn’t really work well with my palate.

While burger enthusiasts seem to have a fairly hardline preference on whether salad vegetables are allowed or not in a burger, my view is that they’re okay – as long as they have some value to add, or at the very least, don’t detract from the experience.

Considering how sauce-heavy the Big Nash is, I’m actually glad for the presence of salad. Not only does the green & purple enliven the burger’s looks, but provide a modicum of refreshing crunch as one plows through the sandwich. It certainly didn’t hurt, that’s for sure.

4/8

Bun:

A standard sesame seed bun features on Archie’s burgers. My issue with these kinds of buns is that they’re significantly more “bready” than a milk bun or a lightly sweetened brioche. As such, the bun over-contributed to the texture of the burger, and thus doesn’t do well here. However, kudos to Archie’s for not using oversized buns, so the severity of this issue is somewhat alleviated.

4/6

Construction:

The burger is very well-constructed, despite the swathe of ingredients within. It holds up well, and sure, there’s a fair bit of dripping sauce, but all in all I had no particular qualms.

3/3

Miscellany:

Despite my personal issues with individual elements of the Big Nash, the burger does come together quite well and tastes nice for what it is.

2/3

A decent burger that I wouldn’t have trouble recommending if you’re in the area. If you’re on a burger pilgrimage and are willing to travel, there are certainly better options out there.

Total score: 18/30

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Rockpool Bar & Grill – Sydney CBD

I’m probably going to cop a lot of flak for this, especially from people who take a “wanker view” of gourmet/fine dining.

That’s okay, it just means that there’ll be less of a wait for a seat at Rockpool’s bar that serves one of my favourite burgers in Sydney.

Rockpool Bar & Grill

Full-blood Blackmore wagyu burger – beef patty, gruyere cheese, zuni pickles, brioche bun ($24)

Say what you like about Neil Perry’s Burger Project, but his true signature burger is the David Blackmore wagyu burger. Note that this isn’t the 3-hatter fine diner also by the name of Rockpool (probably re-christened to Eleven Bridge by the time you read this). This is specifically the bar restaurant on Hunter Street.

So what makes this burger one of my favourites? As Maccas would say in their ads (am I double-sinning here?) – it’s a little bit fancy.

Patty:

The beef is absolutely where it’s at with this one. For those who don’t know, David Blackmore is a small scale cattle farmer renowned for producing what is arguably the best beef to come out of Australia. Given that Australian beef is pretty darn excellent all around, this is quite an achievement. Top-of-the-line Blackmore wagyu can sell for over $200/kg.

Putting this kind of beef into a burger would seem completely nonsensical, as the difference would be minimal when minced up and served as a burger, masked by sauce and cheese and the rest of a burger’s goodies.

Or is it?

I can taste the difference. This is an incredible patty in almost every way – a marvellously crusty exterior, a pink and juicy centre, and enough interspersed fattiness such that there’s a most heady sense of “beefiness”, that all too often I don’t taste in other patties.

The only downside? Well, after having eaten this burger more than 15 times (no joke), I do occasionally notice consistency issues where the patty isn’t as pink as it could be, or slightly haphazard in shape. However, it’s great even on a bad day, standing tall amongst Sydney’s other burger legends.

9/10

Condiments + Cheese:

With Gruyere & Zuni pickles, Rockpool is not above adding a little dash of class to its signature burger. Gotta justify that $24 price tag somehow, right?

Personally, I’m not going to pretend I can taste a massive difference in using gruyere over more traditional burger cheeses, other than that it is just as good, and works well with the decadent patty. The pickles are a bit of a special recipe (see the link) that Perry appropriated from a cafe in San Francisco, and deliver wholesome, satisfyingly juicy crunch and a high concentration of acidic tang.

Actually, it’s a bit too tart for me, so I would ask for fewer pickles personally.

There’s also a restrained spread of something akin to a spicy tomato jam that ties it all together. It’s fresh and tangy, with a bit of a kick.

Fancy ingredients for a standard result; I would say costs can be reduced by using more standard condiments, but that might take away from the “gourmet” feel of the burger. Take that as a positive or a negative.

6/8

Bun:

Brioche gets a bad rap with burgers because it’s often just a tad too sweet, thus unbalancing the flavours for the rest of the burger.

However, when a brioche’s sweetness is reigned in, it becomes an invaluable companion. The specimen in the David Blackmore burger is indeed a tad sweet, but not to the point where I felt its other qualities aren’t worth it. It was fluffy, held the burger’s ingredients together extremely well, and always complemented, rather than detracted from the patty and the cheese. Just that little bit sweet.

I do sometimes feel that the bun is perhaps just a little too big for the burger within, in terms of bread-to-meat ratio, a slightly more compact bun would do nicely.

4/6

Construction:

Essentially perfect. No, it’s not Neil Perry magic, it’s simply solid construction from not overcrowding the burger, and laying out the ingredients in the right order.

I’ve never had a construction issue with the Blackmore burger, full stop.

3/3

Miscellany:

Crispy bacon by default? Extra points! Also, serving the burger with lettuce and tomato on the side is a smart move – completely killing the “salad in a burger?” argument.

I do take issue with a burger that costs over $20, but clearly I don’t listen to myself, given how many times I’ve visited, specifically for the burger. Still, I can see how it can be a turnoff for some.

3/3

Simply one of my favourite burgers in Sydney.

Total score: 25/30

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Five Points – North Sydney

Five Points has established itself firmly as one of the best burgers in North Sydney. No big surprises when you find out that the head chef is big bloke Tomislav Martinovic, a fine dining chef-turned-burger flipper. I highly enjoyed my experience at his eponymous restaurant before it closed down. However, it took me far longer to actually get myself to Five Points.

It isn’t for lack of trying – you see, they’re only open on weekdays, and trade during lunch only (with the exception of Friday nights). For someone who’s a CBD worker, getting to Tomislav takes nothing short of taking a day off – all to have a burger.

Yep, I did exactly that.

Five Points

Double Bronx: 2x smash patties, triple cheese, bacon, onion relish, pickles & lettuce. ($15.5)

Patty:

A solid patty makes for a solid burger. Five Points utilises the “smash patty” method, which is exactly what it sounds like. By “smashing” the patty in grilling, there is greater contact between bits of meat and the pan, greatly improving that oh-so-desirable browning, or Maillard reaction. At Five Points, the patties are also thick enough such that tender innards remain a reality.

At Five Points, this results in decently beefy, medium-sized patties with MAXIMUM browning. While there is a bit of tenderness, I’d have preferred just a little bit extra, which would also enhance its juiciness.

While there’s very little “ooomph/beefiness” in the patty, it’s definitely extremely well-executed, technically speaking.

7/10

Condiments + Cheese:

The Double Bronx doesn’t hold back on the cheese – while it’s called the double, the cheese is assuredly on the triple, melted over the patties (and in between) for maximum, heart-clogging “awww yeah” goodness. I wouldn’t call the Bronx a cheeseburger per se, due to the salad items, but it’s not a stretch to say it out-cheeses most true cheeseburgers out there.

An onion relish brings a bit of smoky-sweeness to the burger, which is all well and good, until pickles come into the picture. See, these were a bit off to me, tasting far too watery and with a paucity of acidity. If you’re a fan of pickles you won’t be impressed, and if you don’t like pickles in the first place…well you can still do without these.

As for the sauce…it’s lacking something that gives the burger a profile that distinguishes itself from the competition. A certain potency, a certain uniqueness was lacking.

5/8

Bun:

Brasserie Bread makes plenty of showings in this post in also supplying the buns for Five Points. I wasn’t able to determine with confidence whether they were milk buns or brioche but if I had to guess, I’d say they leaned closer towards brioche. While they look fragile, they held well, and delivered just the right amount of breadiness such that there was a congenial balance between the buns and what they enclosed. They’re not overly malleable or soft, but definitely a far cry from sub-par, plain white rolls.

The most important thing? They’re not overly bready.

5/6

Construction:

There is some spillage of sauce, and bits of cheese will inevitably drop off, but overall the burger is well constructed, despite packing in so much goodness. Not much to say on this one.

2/3

Miscellany:

Overall, Five Points produce a solid burger in the form of the Double Bronx. Triple cheese is a bonus, and the smash patty technique is something that will appeal to many burger enthusiasts. The burger tasted quite nice overall, however lacked a bit of “x-factor” that could have been brought about by a more potent sauce.

2/3

I would definitely recommend Five Points in any burger pilgrimage.

Total score: 21/30

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Paul’s Famous Hamburgers – Sylvania

I’m guilty of sometimes using the word “institution” a little too liberally. Few restaurants truly deserve the term, but Paul’s deserves to be labelled as such more than any other venue on this list.

Operating since 1957, Paul’s is considered by many to be the “iconic Aussie burger”. Clearly the critics think so too – it’s won nearly as many awards as the number of years it’s been in business.

They do a slew of burger combinations, but the one to get? That’ll be The Works.

Paul's Famous Hamburgers

Paul’s Famous Works – egg, bacon, cheese & pineapple ($11.2)

Patty:

While many design choices set the burgers at Paul’s apart from the rest, their patties are perhaps the most unique aspect. Unlike almost every other char-broiled, beef-cuts patty in this post, Paul’s opts for a sausage mince patty.

This is a pretty divisive move, all things considered. Not even Vic’s is “that” different, but Paul’s clearly couldn’t care less. Here’s the deal – if you like the sausage in a McDonald’s sausage & egg McMuffin, you’ll definitely like what Paul’s has on offer. If not? Your loss.

Personally, I dig it. While I don’t believe it’s the best patty to put in a burger (it lacks the crucial textural aspects of a browned exterior and tends to be a bit chewy relative to the crumbliness & juiciness of a hand-crafted patty), it works well enough in The Works that I can say I quite enjoyed it. Though the texture of the sausage patty is suboptimal given the context of the burger, it is quite tasty – a front that quality sausage mince has always been pretty good at.

6/10

Condiments + Cheese:

Paul’s choice of additions and cheese is for me, the burger’s weakest link. The biggest offender is lettuce – nothing against the veg itself, but there’s just far too much of it. At times, I felt like I was eating bread and salad. Sigh.

The cheese unfortunately didn’t help either. Both my friend and I were wondering if we actually ended up eating any cheese, before reviewing photos and realising that indeed, there was a slice in there. It was that unnoticeable.

At least we could taste the pineapple! Though you might want to veto this if you have strong views about including fruit in burgers.

All in all, not a ingredients mix that floats my boat.

3/8

Bun:

Whilst bready-looking at the outset, the buns at Paul’s are actually quite soft. They’re not too thick, and thus stay out of the way of the internals.

On the other hand, they’re not particularly interesting buns either. Very little flavour from the bread is lent to the burger, and thus it’s a bun for the sake of being a bun, just not a particularly outstanding one.

3/6

Construction:

Well constructed, though I got some spillage from the liberal amount of shredded lettuce.

2/3

Miscellany:

Serving a burger with a sausage patty is pretty out there, and at just a tick over $10, this is probably the most value-oriented burger in this entire roundup. You get an awful lot for your dollar.

3/3

I don’t know about award-winning, but Paul’s continues to draw a crowd to this day. Frankly, that’s all that matters for them. As for me, I’ve yet to find my go-to burger down south.

Total score: 17/30

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Chur Burger – Surry Hills

Warren Turnbull’s had one hell of a ride over the last few years. From the ashes of his French restaurant Assiette, rose the phoenix of Albion Street Kitchen. Except not really, because the latter literally burned down, and so the real phoenix is Chur Burger. A fine dining chef turned to flipping burgers? Eh, it’s not the first time (see Five Points).

Chur made waves when it first landed; it was just so much better than what most burger joints were dishing up, truly worthy of praise. As the years went by, burger quality in Sydney went up across the board, and Chur’s significance waned. In fact, some would go so far to say that Chur is hardly competitive anymore due to a combination of improved competition, as well as Chur’s own quality taking a hit.

Only one way to find out.

Chur Burger

The Classic – grilled beef, cheese, tomato jam, mustard mayo, pickles ($12)

Patty:

While I’ve been to Chur many, many times in the past, there was a 1.5 year gap or so between my last visit and the one for the purposes of this post.

In all my visits I’ve not seen a smaller patty. You can clearly observe that it pales in size compared to the bun (which is of normal size, by the way). This is very disappointing, and an instant markdown in my books, especially as my friend’s spicy beef burger (same burg + spicy sauce) sported a similarly hobbit-sized patty.

It’s a shame, because they actually still taste as great as I remember them to be (that is – really bloody good). Truly medium-rare, pink on the inside, extremely juicy (not dry in the slightest), flavourful, and with toasty browning on the outside.

Yet, so small, and unfortunately my score must follow.

5/10

Condiments + Cheese:

It’s simple stuff here but it works a treat – arguably the best part of Chur’s Classic is the sauce. A simple, but highly effective tomato jam & mustard mayo that brings adequate amounts of both flavours, and doing so in a balanced manner. The pickles are some of the best yet, equal in stature to McClure’s as far as my palate is concerned, full of watery crunch and sharp acidity.

The cheese amply covers and flavours the patty (though given its size, that isn’t an achievement), and is well-melted.

My one negative comment about the condiments is that due to the patty’s uncharacteristically small size, there’s proportionally more sauce than required, and thus, it’s a very saucy burger at any point where I wasn’t taking a bite of patty…which was around 1/3 of the time. I love the gloop, but I want beef to go with it.

6/8

Bun:

A nice, but un-toasted brioche is the bun of choice at Chur, and holds together the burger without any yielding to the copious amount of sauce within. The bread is a bit spongy in nature, collapsing fairly easily, allowing for a good hold. In terms of taste, it’s pretty much your standard brioche – subtly sweet, somewhat buttery.

It’s good, I just wish it were toasted.

4/6

Construction:

No problems here, though I wonder how things would be different if the burger was “full-sized” the way it’s meant to be…

3/3

Miscellany:

No real points here, except that Chur has managed to make a simple beef & cheese burger taste really quite nice, in spite of an under-sized patty. Funnily enough, I find that worth commending.

1/3

If Chur fixes its patty size issue, it would still remain one of my top burgers in Sydney – it’s simple, it’s clean, and the fundamentals are down pat. Maybe they’ll do well in serving sliders…

Total score: 19/30

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BenBry Burgers – Manly

What is it with beaches and burgers? Something truly Australian, that’s what. Manly already has Papi Chulo, but other than that (and the inevitable Maccas), what else is there?

Enter BenBry Burgers. They have a shop in Dee Why, but Manly is it all began. It’s seemingly popular amongst footballers, given the number of signed posters and photographs of players from bygone days.

BenBry Burgers Manly

The Tappy – double beef (2x 150g) patties, cheddar cheese, streaky bacon & smokey BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onion & BenBry aioli ($14.5)

Well darn, fair enough – given the size of the burgers, it’s no wonder why these folks gave BenBry’s the seal of approval for a refuel.

Patty:

BenBry’s patties are cooked to a juicy medium, with perhaps a slight edge towards well. I quite like these, but there isn’t any single aspect that stands out – it’s just a well-rounded patty. There’s decent char, decent flavour, a decent level of beefiness and the portion size is – you guessed it – decent. No point using a bigger stock of adjectives here when decent really does cover it all.

If there were ever a “baseline” patty, this would be it. Not bad at all, just not exceptional at any particular metric. Still, I quite liked it!

6/10

Condiments + Cheese:

As you may have noticed, BenBry’s Tappy is a beast in size. Unfortunately, this meant that the token two included slices of cheese don’t end up doing enough to fully address the beef and more importantly, the bun. As a result, I didn’t really taste much cheesiness at all.

I can’t say the same for the smokey BBQ sauce & BenBry aioli though. This burger has perhaps the best implementation of BBQ sauce of any burger I’ve tried so far. Importantly – it’s not overly sweet or acidic, just about the right consistency (not too runny or creamy), and the smokiness is pronounced enough such that it causes a tangible, positive difference in taste. I really dig it. The aioli also leaves its creamy signature, though this was actually surprisingly drippy, so the BBQ sauce is where it’s at for me.

As for the lettuce and tomato – a welcome touch to soak up all that aioli. It however did make for a few very wet bites.

6/8

Bun:

I don’t like this bun. I really don’t. It’s huge, overly bready, incredibly tough (at times I was literally using teeth to pull the bread apart), and quite dry. The only positive I can think of is that it holds the burger together quite well. That’s all I have to say here.

2/6

Construction:

You’d expect it to be quite solid due to the oversized bun, but I still had bits of lettuce and a large volume of sauce falling out of the burger. A bit surprising, but manageable.

2/3

Miscellany:

It’s a big, big burger but other than that, it’s your classic combination of classic ingredients. Points to the BBQ sauce as standout.

2/3

The bun really let this burger down. It could have been great, but it is merely nice. If a massive, tough bun is your style, then BenBry’s is going to hit the nail on the head for you.

Total score: 18/30

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Bonarche Burgers – Leichardt

Along with Paul’s, Bonarche definitely qualifies for institution status. It’s almost scary reviewing a place like this, as those who swear by it, swear by it. Anyone else’s opinion is frankly invalid. Whelp, I’m going to give it a try anyway. Besides, it’s about time I got my burger-loving face to the Norton Street stalwart.

There is almost no chance you will find a burger you won’t like at Bonarche, as they have a seriously impressive range. They even do steak burgers, should you be into that.

As for me? Naturally we’re talking about the Bonarche Burger. A giant monster which pretty much has the works thrown in:

Bonarche Burgers

Bonarche Burger – streaky bacon, egg, cheese, fried onion, salad, beetroot, tomato ketchup & aioli ($17)

Let’s get to it.

Patty:

Bonarche’s strength is that the chefs have worked as butchers, and in the meat industry overall for decades. As such, one would expect that the produce, especially the patty, would be exemplary.

There’s no real surprise here – it’s bloody good. It’s well portioned, at around 1.5cm thick or so, and satisfies the diameter of the buns as well. There’s a real sense of beefy, fatty flavour which could only come from knowing your meat and your grind. Real authentic stuff.

The only downside? The patty wasn’t cooked to a nice pink within, and thus was over. I’m a little surprised at this, as word has it that Bonarche patties are cooked to a tender pink. Texture is very important to me, so alas this could have been a near-perfect patty, but fell short.

7/10

Condiments + Cheese:

This burger has literally everything under the sun. Bacon? Oink. Onion? For sure. Egg? Check. Salad? Yup. Cheese? There better be. Beetroot? Uh huh.

And they’re all tasty as heck. Yes, even beetroot – I actually don’t mind the stuff in my burgers, though under normal circumstances I do ask for it to be removed.

Despite obvious construction issues described later, I can’t fault the quality of the ingredients that go into the burger. It’s all very fresh, vibrant, and honestly would be quite a joy to eat, if I could get my mouth around it all. You could also say that it’s textures galore, with crunch and crisp to be found with every bite.

The only downside though is that flavours do tend to get lost with so much going on. Every bite tends to taste like “a bit of everything”, and even the cheese is somewhat lost in the cacophony.

5/8

Bun:

For me, the bun is actually my least favourite aspect of the burgers at Bonarche. It’s a plain white bun (though you do get an option of wholemeal), and it’s one of the “breadiest”, thickest burger buns I’ve ever had.

I’m sure there’s a large clientele of people who love this kind of bun, as Bonarche continues to use them, but it is about as far from ideal as far as my palate goes. Very dense, very thick, and doesn’t really add anything beneficial to the burger other than sapping its flavour.

About half of this bun was left uneaten…”It’s not you, it’s me”.

1/6

Construction:

You would think that all of this is a bit too much. You’d be right. For example, it was recommended that the burger be eaten with as much wrapper around it as possible, to prevent the internals from spilling out.

That’s quite telling. I do have to give points to the advice though – when wrapped up, the contents of the burger dutifully stay within the buns for the most part. After awhile though, things began to (literally) unravel.

It’s such a busy burger, this was inevitably going to happen.

1/3

Miscellany:

I’ll say this though – get a Bonarche Burger and you’re getting value for money. At $17 bucks, this thing feeds a family, or one of me.  The freshness and quality of the ingredients is also top notch, and for what it’s worth, it’s a unique proposition that’s unlike where most burgers in Sydney are headed for these days. The presence of all that salad means you don’t feel like you’re eating a heart attack, which is great.

2/3

It’s not a burger I would recommend without reservations, however it might suit you better to get another burger on their menu, such as the much tamer American cheeseburger.

Can’t escape the bun though.

Total score: 16/30

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Burgers Anonymous – Darlinghurst

“Honest burgers” is the motto of newly-opened Burgers Anonymous in Darlinghurst. No fancy toppings, no epic stacking or any other OTT, Instagram-fetching shenanigans here. The focus is on a high-quality patty – a relatively more expensive sirloin-based blend (as opposed to chuck), and of course, sauce.

The signature? A double angus beast called the Heisenburger. Say hello:

Burgers Anonymous

Heisenburger – double angus, double cheese, crack bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, BA sauce ($18)

Honest to their word, this looks like a delicious burger that doesn’t try too hard.

Patty:

Hey, how about that – the folks behind Burgers Anonymous do try and live up to their promise. These patties are quality specimens. Smash patty preparation technique yields a surface landscape of crunch and crispiness, redolent of burnt ends and smokiness. The insides manage to remain somewhere between a medium and well-done, being closer to medium. It could still be a bit more tender on the inside, though that’s a perpetual wish.

As for flavour, it’s a solid infusion of beefiness right onto the palate. Real fatty, real flavoursome. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was at least 30% fat in here. So bad, so good.

One of the better patties we’ve got going here.

7/10

Condiments + Cheese:

The cheese game is strong here, with more than enough of the melted goodness that reached every nook and cranny. It also provides a great deal of flavour, which is a bucket of win.

Inclusion of chewy, at times crunchy, and sweet-tasting bacon provides the second layer of flavour. Given the right quantity of it (just enough) no wrong can be done here.

The sauce is surprisingly the weak point, given Burgers Anonymous’ focus on this aspect. I personally found that there wasn’t enough on my burger, thus forcing the patty, cheese and bacon to do most of the heavy lifting in flavour delivery. Not that the effort was poor, however this prevents me from saying that the burger absolutely kills it on the condiments train.

6/8

Bun:

A really bloody good milk bun that’s greasy, soft and a joy to eat. This is the kind of bread you can compress to 1/5 its original size and just pop it in your mouth, making for an excellent snack. It isn’t toasted, but that almost doesn’t matter. It’s such a “dirty” bun that perfectly fits the greasy theme of the Heisenburger.

5/6

Construction:

Took a minute to get the right grip around the thing, but once hand positioning is solidified, it’s all roses going forward. No construction issues to report!

3/3

Miscellany:

One of the greasier burgers you’ll be eating. Bring wet wipes. Worth it? Absolutely

1/3

These days, good burgers are good because they go above and beyond with experimentation, or are simple recipes with exacting attention to detail in order to differentiate from the competition. Burgers Anonymous squarely falls into the latter camp. It is worth a stop on any burger pilgrim’s burger-smashing crusade.

Total score: 22/30

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The Burger Shed – Mosman

When a burger joint is featured in Broadsheet, Timeout and Gourmet Traveller, consider my interest piqued.

But then, as the burgers made their way to our table, my heart sank and withered away to a size not too dissimilar to the patties shown in the picture.

The Burger Shed

Double Shed Burger – 2x angus patties, 2x cheese, onions, lettuce, tomato & Shed sauce. ($16.5)

Patty:

Don’t get me wrong, I really tried to showcase the Double Shed burger in the best light possible, but the reality is that these patties are up to 30% smaller than the buns that enclose them. It was a similar faux pas to what Chur Burger did, and it can’t have been a coincidence as both me and my friend’s burgers sported these miniscule dabs of beef.

Visually, it’s very disappointing. To add salt to the wound, the patties don’t redeem themselves in taste – they’re cooked far too well-done, tasted dry, and quite noticeably burnt. I’ve made it evident that I love my patties browned, but this is next level – that of black char.

If there is any redeeming factor, it’s that they still had a bit of beefy flavour, which I caught every now and then when I wasn’t tasting the bitterness of over-grilled beef.

3/10

Condiments + Cheese:

2x cheese was promised, only 1x cheese was delivered – no 2nd slice in between the patties. I can forgive them on the basis that this could be a mix-up, however it nevertheless does drastically affect the burger even more than it is already ailing. The extra-dry beef could have used a cheese helping, but it just wasn’t there.

Shed sauce is pretty nice though – almost like a yoghurt-y aioli, and packs quite a punch of fattiness and flavour. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough of it, especially considering how dry the patties were.

5/8

Bun:

Also not helping are the buns. Not only are they visually unappealing, they tasted commensurate to supermarket burger buns, and potentially worse. Thick, dry and bready, this is bun faux pas #1 in my books. Add to that the miniaturised patties and it’s a bread sandwich with a side of meat.

2/6

Construction:

It does hold together well – no doubt about that.

3/3

Miscellany:

Nothing redeeming.

0/3

You win some, you lose some. Perhaps The Burger Shed was better in its heyday. Some will say that a second chance should be given – however given that there are faults in almost every category, it would definitely be a “most improved” situation for me to recommend The Burger Shed. I won’t chance it a second time, there are simply much better choices to be found in Sydney.

Total score: 13/30

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Batch Burgers – Kirribilli

The burgers are literally made in batches at Batch Burgers at Kirribilli. I don’t know why I led with that, but please bear with me.

Batch is a conveniently located American diner-style burger/cafe joint just two minutes from Milson’s Point. And yeah, they do burgers. While their most popular is the Brooklyn burger, the signature decidedly remains the namesake Batch Burger.

Batch Burgers

The Batch burger – hickory sauce, cheese, tomato, lettuce with root beer caramelised onion ($14)

Patty:

The patties size up in quite the gourmet fashion, easily equating to two patties from other burger joints like Mary’s or Archie’s. As such, one is the optimal configuration.

As the patty is quite large, you’d think there’s optimal provisioning for a nice, juicy medium to medium-rare patty. Unfortunately, that’s not what you get. Instead, I could, without a shadow of doubt, taste how well-done it was. It’s fairly dry as a result, and there wasn’t much flavour to back it up. At least, it’s meaty?

4/10

Condiments + Cheese:

The key player here is the sauce. Batch uses hickory BBQ sauce, which emphasises more on beer and vinegar as the foundation instead of tomatoes. At Batch, this results in a sweet, slightly astringent BBQ-tasting sauce with a tinge of sour (I couldn’t actually taste much vinegar – which is a good thing). That said, it’s still essentially BBQ sauce, which for me doesn’t quite stand up as well as mayo does.

As for the cheese, I felt that it was somewhat lost in the dryness of the beef patty. I was barely able to taste it, which is a shame as it would have definitely helped bring some life back into the patties.

The best part of the burger for me is the caramelised onion. While it’s not a preponderantly great example of it, the flavour is still unmistakably that sweet, browned char.

4/8

Bun:

A little bready for a brioche bun, but otherwise quite nice and never gets in the way of the rest of the burger. It’s also toasted which adds a little bit of sweetness and smokiness, which I always appreciate.

4/6

Construction:

The sauce is almost definitely going to drip – there’s heaps of the stuff and it likes to get everywhere. Thank goodness for buns with integrity!

2/3

Miscellany:

Fairly standard burger here, though the usage of hickory BBQ sauce is a unique selling point.

1/3

Total score: 15/30

In the grand scheme of things, given Sydney’s strong competition, Batch isn’t really acing the burger game. However, it still looks to be a local favourite given its audience, and I’ve had other burgers on the menu which actually do taste even better. Go with the flow of what you like, and you’re likely to find something up your alley.

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Jacks – Newtown

Still a relative newcomer in Sydney’s burger scene, Jacks in Newtown did not have an easy start (as exemplified in my early review). Unrealistic comparisons to Shake Shack led to inflated expectations which, when combined with teething issues ubiquitous to any new restaurant opening, could only lead to disappointment, mediocrity at best.

But now, a few months down the track, Jacks continues to fight on despite the initial negative reviews. It was a good burger to begin with (I would know – I visited shortly after opening), but a much more recent visit has led me to ask the question – can we give it the “most improved” award already?

Jack's Burgers

Double Bacon Cheeseburger ($17)

Patty:

With a custom blend from acclaimed butcher Vic’s Meat, you’d be hard-pressed to fault the patties at Jacks. The fundamentals are solid, with a high fat/lean ratio (probably around 25/75 – 30/70) that really allowed one to taste the beef. As the patties are somewhat thicker at a gourmet-level, there’s allowance for a lot of juiciness.

At the same time, still a fair bit of browning on the outside. Oh yum – one of the best patties in the game.

8/10

Condiments + Cheese:

It’s pretty jolly here as well. The standout addition is the bacon, which is unique amongst the burgers here in that it’s quite heavily smoked. While smoked bacon may not be for everyone, it worked quite well in giving another dimension of flavour to the beef – something I thoroughly enjoyed. It’s more along the chewy kind than the crispy kind, which is not quite my thing, but it’s not a major nitpick.

Jacks doesn’t hold back on the cheese either – two slices of the good stuff keeps everything very gooey, creamy and – for the lack of a better word – cheesy.

The sauce (aka “Jack sauce”) is akin to a sweet mayo. Nothing special here, but it does the job well. There is a lot of the stuff. A saucy burger this is!

6/8

Bun:

Jacks follows Shake Shack’s footsteps in using a potato bun which results in a good deal of starchiness. There’s also a particular sense of butteriness, which appeals on flavour but less so for heaviness.

While the overall feel of the bun is that it’s a bit heavier, at least it isn’t the tough bread that I dread.

4/6

Construction:

Pretty decent for the most part. A piece of bacon fell out due to its chewy nature, and there’s a lot of dripping sauce, but other than that no major mishaps. You will need napkins (plural) afterwards though.

2/3

Miscellany:

Smoked bacon & potato buns sets Jacks apart from the rest. Very satisfying.

3/3

Jacks makes a mean burger, for which on the whole is far greater than the sum of its parts. Everything is just very nice when put together; a burger that’s well worth the grease it’ll leave on your hands…and face. A real shame that they’ve been downvoted so much during their early days. It may be something they never recover from – but here’s hoping they do. They deserve true plaudits now.

Total score: 23/30

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Papi Chulo – Manly

Patrick Friesen is the larger-than-life pitmaster-cum-burger maestro behind Manly’s waterfront Papi Chulo. While this restaurant is worth visiting in general, burger fiends need not be disappointed with the eponymously named Papi Chulo Burger

Papi Chulo

Papi Chulo burger (double) – 2x grain fed beef, 2x bacon, 2x American cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles, soft bun ($26, $20 single)

This was determined, by public opinion, to be the best burger in Merivale’s entire lineup of chefs at its “Between Two Buns” event earlier this year. Wow, that’s a tall order, but how’s it stack up to the best of the rest?

Patty:

Matey, matey, matey – this is some meaty, meaty, meaty goodness going on here. Few could say Patrick Friesen lacks skill with beef, and I’m not about to join that particular niche. If you’re waiting for me to complain about the Papi Chulo burger, it won’t be in this section.

This is one of the rarer patties where there’s a solid amount of browned exterior, whilst maintaining a velvety pink inside. It’s a patty good enough to eat separately without sauce – good test in and of itself. They’re also quite sizable, so you don’t really have to go double here, but it is one heck of a popular option amongst blokes, including yours truly.

It’s not all medium-rare rosiness though – whilst the patty is pinkish on the inside, the overall mouthfeel is actually not all that juicy. It’s a bit drier than what I would have expected with a patty like this, especially given its size. It’s not a big deal, but it’s noticeable enough. That said, bloody great beef nonetheless.

8/10

Condiments + Cheese:

It’s a daring thing when Papi Chulo decides that you don’t really need a special sauce to go on your burger, sufficing on just cheese, bacons and salad veg.

Call me traditional, but I still think a “just right” amount of sauce needs to be applied to give a burger distinction. In this respect, by not featuring a sauce, Papi’s burger falls slightly short. In fact, this is likely why the beef patties tasted a bit less juicy.

There’s a decent amount of salad on the burger, about right for the double. I think that if the same amount were included for the single patty version, it would be just a little too much.

As for the pickles, they’re very watery and not particularly flavoursome. They tasted better when I took them out and ate them separately. The pickle on the side is a nice touch.

The best part on the condiments front? The cheese and bacon. The former is zealously melted over the patties, while the bacon is some of the crispiest I’ve had in a burger. It’s almost like guiltily nibbling away at a snack while eating a burger at the same time

5/8

Bun:

The sight of sesame seeds on the Papi burger’s buns might raise alarms but fret not, this ain’t a stock standard white bun. It’s texturally far closer to a brioche, and as a bonus, is toasted to boot. The fluffiness and crisp burnt edges are golden. That’s three boxes ticked!

5/6

Construction:

Due to the thickness of vegetables (Papi’s one of the few burgers in this post to include tomato inside the burger), the double Papi burger teeters on the edge of holdability. It did get easier the more of it I ate. It’s just a bit less than pleasant when lettuce assaults the face 😛

Note appropriate holding technique: hands cupping the back of the burger, so ingredients go towards your mouth, rather than falling out.

2/3

Miscellany:

The Papi burger is like a cheeseburger on steroids, and that’s mostly a good thing – except for the price. At $26, it’s the most expensive burger on this list. While I would pay for a good burger (cf. Rockpool), $26 for a double (and indeed even $20 for a single) patty burg without any unique/expensive ingredients is quite frankly, a difficult price to swallow.

1/3

$26 is not a lot of money in an absolute sense to most people, but contextually? It’s not an easy recommendation. However, that doesn’t excuse the fact that this is a great burger.

Total score: 21/30

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Vic’s Meat Market – Sydney Fish Markets

For a shop in the business of processing meat, the folks at Vic’s Meat Market would know a thing or three about cranking out some delicious meats.

But the key question is: can they burger? Let’s find out, with their smoked wagyu cheeseburger.

Vic's Meats

Smoked wagyu cheeseburger (double) ($15/$10 single).

Vic’s has kept it clean and simple, in true homage to a cheeseburger. No salad, no nothing – just beef and cheese.

Patty:

Upon first bite: whoa, these are different. Quite possibly, the most unique patty of all the burgers on this list in both taste and texture.

Dear reader, have you heard of nem? It’s a type of Vietnamese sausage and when cooked properly, it’s deeeeeeeelicious. For those who haven’t tried it, it’s like a heavily textured sausage – bumpy bits, chewy bits, and most of all – charred bits. On the flavour side, it’s richly meaty, sweet, and in some cases, with a bit of a spicy edge to it.

That’s essentially what the patties at Vic’s are like. Not the soft, friable kind like most other good beef patties. This is a fair bit chewier, but in a way that’s not stringy or gristly. Unique, and just so “meaty”. Totally fine in the context of this burger.

Same with flavour, though here, while quite beefy in its own right – especially with a double patty – the patty’s natural flavour is emphatically presented, and really, is a taste to behold. While perhaps not the perfect patty for a burger, Vic’s makes it work.

7/10

Condiments + Cheese:

It’s kept simple here – outside the natural seasoning of the patty, it’s a classic BBQ sauce + double cheese combination. It’s basic, but it’s basically great – well, outside of the fact that the BBQ sauce adds an element of sourness on top of already zingy patties. That wasn’t as good, but the cheese is A-ok. In fact, thanks to the simplicity of the other flavours in the burger, the cheese provides a very welcome boost of, well, cheesiness which does its darn best to cut through the rest of the burger’s flavour.

6/8

Bun:

The bun is great – a soft white roll that’s pliable, resilient and soaks up the sauciness of the burger. Some toasting would be great, but that’s a wishlist item.

Stock standard stuff, the bun does its job well without rearing its head above the rest of the burg’s components.

4/6

Construction:

Fully solid. It’s an oily burger, sure, but I can’t fault its construction. That’s the reward of keeping it simple.

3/3

Miscellany:

I’ll have to give points to Vic’s on two fronts. One: the use of unique patties. Two: one of the few burgers whose signature is to keep it simple. Restraint, it’s rare and it’s refreshing.

2/3

Ultimately, it’s a great burger, and it’s definitely above average in Sydney’s lineup. It may just be your thing!

Total score: 22/30

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Barrio Burgers/Barrio Cellar – Kings Cross/CBD

The folks at Chinese-Mexican fusion restaurant-bar Barrio Burgers (Kings Cross) and Barrio Cellar (Martin Place) whip up – amongst killer drinks & tacos – a burger that’s got a bit of a Mexican twist, and is easily one of the best out there.

Say hello to the Hamburguesa.

Barrio Cellar

Hamburguesa (double) – 2x patties, pickled jalapeno, chimichurri mayo, chipotle mustard, cheese, red onion ($15 +$2 bacon, +$5 double = $22)

Patty:

I’m not sure what it is, but Barrio’s patties are really, really beefy. I smelt it before I even saw it – the cows are truly coming home. They’re big, thick and juicy. Quite possibly one of the best textures in a patty.

You’ll love these. They’re not mind blowingly different or have some sort of secret seasoning, but they will absolutely satisfy with just how right they’ve been nailed.

8/10

Condiments + Cheese:

This is where Barrio differentiates itself and puts its own Mexican spin. Pickled jalapeno might be frightening to those with spice intolerance, but rest assured the kick is very minimal, not even halfway there to the jalapenos you would find on a pizza with the stuff. Besides, all that cheese and fatty beef will easily absorb any spiciness you do begin to feel. Once you get past this, you’ll be able to appreciate the zestiness of the pickled goodies, which pairs very nicely with the tangy chimichurri mayo. Of course it does – it’s Mexican, and it’s worked for thousands of years.

All this makes for a supremely creamy sauce set that’s bursting with flavour. Chuck on two slices of mandatory cheese (melted, yep), and that’s a doozy of a condiment spread that’s one of the best out there.

7/8

Bun:

The weak point would have to be the bun. It’s become softer and more malleable over the many times I’ve visited, and is indeed much better than when I first had it. That said, it’s still a fairly bready bun, without much flavour or outstanding texture. The rest of the burger is so good I could almost forgive this, but such is the nature of this edible enclosure. Not my type.

3/6

Construction:

Minor spillage issues, nothing you wouldn’t expect from a burger like this. You will have a messy finish – it’s a minimum two-napkin job.

2/3

Miscellany:

For being Sydney’s only Mexican-inspired burger, Barrio is a breath of something different. Furthermore, it’s something different that challenges the best of the rest.

3/3

Like all other burgers that score 20+, an absolute must-have.

Total score: 23/30

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Pub Life Kitchen – Ultimo

Pub Life Kitchen, or PLK, has a solid contender for some of Sydney’s best burgers for a number of years now. The focus is on quality of beef, and an in-house salt-curing & grinding process that leads to a burger that no other venue in Sydney is quite able to emulate. It’s no wonder that they’re now opening up a second venue in Rozelle.

While you could get some great results with PLK’s other burgers (e.g. the cheeseburger or TLC), first-timers will generally be recommended the Original Gangster – so this is where the journey starts.

Pub Life Kitchen

The O.G. – 200g beef patty, American cheese, McClures pickles, lettuce, tomato, PLK Aioli. ($15)

Patty:

I am going to be absolutely lynched for this, but I am not a fan of Pub Life’s patty. It’s flavourful and fatty, that’s all well and good. What’s a problem for me is that it’s the toughest patty I’ve had, almost rubber-like in texture.

It was a really rugged, chewy slab of meat that didn’t gel with the rest of the burger. It was difficult for me to fathom just how the mouthfeel of PLK’s patty could be like this, since even while I was eating it I could observe the medium-rare pink of the interior. How a pink patty could taste so chewy I do not know. However, I can’t help but wonder if this is how it is by default, as this was not my first visit to PLK and a previous occasion yielded similar results.

5/10

Condiments + Cheese:

While American cheese attracts bad rap as easily as it melts, I personally have no issues with its signature gooey texture and flavour. I did wish that there would be an extra slice, in order to more fully deal with the extra-large (…and tough) patty.

The aioli’s flavour is spot-on with sweetness, and is creamy enough to be an excellent tie-in with the elements in the burger. It’s good that there’s as much as there was, given that the OG features salad vegetables which need some serious flavour loving. I didn’t mind the lettuce/tomato at all, being appreciative of their refreshing nature. It did make the burger ever so slightly more difficult to eat, but you could do far worse.

5/8

Bun:

Hurrah for milk buns and every burger joint that uses them! If you’ve been reading this post in order, you’ll know I love it when the bun is soft, fluffy and almost cloud-like. Extra points when they’re still resilient and can stand up to the wear and tear of cheese, patties & sauce.

PLK’s easily lives up to all of that. I only wish the bun were toasted, but other than that I am quite happy.

5/6

Construction:

Nothing gave – not even sauce drip. Great stuff!

3/3

Miscellaney:

A traditional burger that doesn’t go for the frills. The patty is something special however. It’s definitely not my grind, but plenty of others love it, more power to them 🙂

1/3

Total score: 19/30

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Parlour Burger – Sydney CBD

The Morrison’s Bar & Oyster room is known for two things: a New York vibe, and oysters. What they’re not known for are their burgers. This is something that they want changed, but the fight’s not going to come easy.

The contender? Parlour Burger – an attachment to The Morrison’s that’s all about the burger. While the usual burger suspects are there, there is a distinct signature that’s also popular with locals.

Parlour Burger

The Black Widow charcoal bun, ground beef, chipotle mayo, jalapeno chilli, ground beef ($13)

Now that’s eye-catching.

Patty:

The patty in the Black Widow is seasoned a bit more than the average amongst burgers in this post. Even without much sauce, I was able to taste a distinct, spicy aroma. It’s a bit refreshing to get a burger whose patty isn’t just a beefy explosion every now and then, so this would cater well.

What I didn’t quite like about it is that it’s cooked no less than medium-well, if not well-done level. As a result, it’s fairly dry. To be fair, it could be worse, as there’s a particular sponginess to the patty that made it taste almost like meat loaf. I’m not saying that this is a good thing (it’s not), but it does mitigate the dryness somewhat.

All in all, a bit of an odd patty that’s got a fair bit of flavour, but I’ve got beef with its texture.

One last thing: it’s a fairly small patty compared to the buns it comes in. Minus a point for that.

5/10

Condiments + Cheese:

Chipotle mayo & jalapenos are right up my alley in pretty much every way, so I’m totally for the decision to include them in the Black Widow. It’s spicy, it’s creamy, it’s sweet and did I mention it’s spicy?

The cheese takes a back seat, which is a shame as I really could have used a bit more of the stuff. And as for the pickles…they’re a bit watery, and not all that intense in flavour. It was like eating slightly salted cucumber slices.

4/8

Bun:

Okay, you’re obviously wondering what’s up with a charcoal bun. But the reality is, there’s essentially no difference between that and a regular bun. Put a blindfold on me and I wouldn’t be able to tell.

It’s okay, on the whole of it. Not overly bready, resilient enough to hold the burger together, doing what it’s meant to do. It just didn’t really taste like anything, but I will give it credit for “cool factor”. It’s also said that limited quantities of charcoal is good for you so uh…healthy eating!

3/6

Construction:

Rock solid, though a small patty tends to help with that. No drip, nadda.

3/3

Miscellany:

Okay, it’s a black-bun burger with chipotle mayo. That’s pretty nice and worthy of a solid misc score.

2/3

Total score: 17/30

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The Lord Gladstone – Chippendale

Cleverly located right outside Sydney’s lockout region, The Lord Gladstone has more drawcards than just good burgers. They’ve always been known for the latter, and so there I was, ready to smash one and maybe a pint or two.

I had a rather protracted discussion with the bartender on what burger is the right one to get – it seems like every burger is a signature as far as he was concerned. As I didn’t receive too much direction, I opted for the “safety net” option of a cheeseburger…

…and made it a double.

The Lord Gladstone

Double cheeseburger – 2x beef, triple cheese, onion, pickle, ketchup, mustard, burger sauce on a NYC soft style bun ($20)

Patty:

A double really is the right way to go for those with a substantial appetite. The patties at The Lord Gladstone are not quite gourmet-big, but neither are they thin either. Something like 130-150g each seems about right.

And oh boy, are they good. I especially dig just how soft and “crumbly” the patties are, making for easy chewing, allowing the release of tons of fattiness with each and every bite. There’s more than enough juiciness to boot, and a small amount of char on the outside.

They’re not as “beefy” as patties from Rockpool or Mister Gee, but they’re up there.

7/10

Condiments + Cheese:

Triple cheese, a liquid waterfall. Enough said?

And, to add to that, smoky-sweet onion, actually decent pickles (crunchy, flavourful and punchy), a good amount of mustard kick – it’s all there. In fact, the only fault for me here is the domineering ketchup flavour which was a bit too much, throwing off the flavour balance somewhat. Other than that, excellente, ranking among Sydney’s best.

7/8

Bun:

From what I can gather from this sample size of one, an NYC style bun seems to be akin to a milk bun but with less integrity. The result is a bun that was on the cusp of falling apart – though that had a lot to do with the burger’s greasiness as well.

That aside, it’s a good bun – slightly sweet, and yes, its very soft.

4/6

Construction:

This is a messy one alright. Sauce & cheese, everywhere. So bad, but so good.

1/3

Miscellany:

Triple cheese even in single patty form? That’s awesome.

2/3

One of the best cheeseburgers in Sydney!

Total score: 21/30

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The Tuckshop – Glenhaven

Tucked away in a haven of a town on the route up north is The Tuckshop, a hip cafe/burger eatery that’s reputed for its coffee – and yes – all day burgers.

I can verify that the coffee is good; as for the burgers…read on!

The Tuckshop Glenhaven

The Cheesy – beef patty, pickles, cheese, onions, sweet mustard, ketchup ($13)

Patty:

Make no mistake, while the cheesy isn’t a looker, it’s truly an example of what’s on the inside that counts. The sizable (180g+) patty is visibly medium-well done, however tastes a lot juicier than its looks would suggest. There’s also a good deal of crusting on the outside, with all this resulting in a texturally excellent patty.

Flavour is kept minimal, with the bulk of seasoning coming from the sauce. All in all, it’s a good patty, squarely positioned at slightly above-average. It would score a bit better if it were bigger (it doesn’t quite cover the edges), but I guess we can’t have everything.

6/10

Condiments + Cheese:

Now here is where The Tuckshop really shines. This is a balls-to-the-wall condiment mix – unapologetically strong tomato sauce, sweet, sour & crunchy pickles, and a good deal of mustard that would slap out any misconception about what you’re eating. The proportion, quantity and quality of sauces is totally the money, even if it doesn’t look it in the photo.

And of course, there’s cheese – it’s a cheeseburger. Melty goodness, I swear cheese and tomato sauce affect my brain the same way drugs do (not that I’d know what that’s like…) when whacked together between two buns.

So simple, but this is one of Sydney’s best cheeseburgers – no doubt thanks to the sauces. Satisfying to a fault!

6/8

Bun:

The second strong point of the cheesy. This is at its basics, an excellent brioche. Not too thin or thick, structurally sound and – my favourite part – it’s toasted! The sweet smokiness of charred brioche is just heaven, and while the effect in the burger is subtle overall, things wouldn’t be the same without it.

5/6

Construction:

Absolutely no issues whatsoever.

3/3

Miscellaney:

Taken together, the burger was on the money with every bite. When the ingredients are taken together, they absolutely shine!

3/3

I can’t believe a cheeseburger can taste so good. In some ways, The Tuckshop just reminds me how such a basic burger can sell so well, and indeed, proudly be touted as a signature. Simple things done right.

Total score: 23/30

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Goodtime Burgers – Bondi

As far as naming conventions go, it doesn’t get simpler than this – want a good time? Go have a burger. Oh so very appropriate.

Bondi has its fair share of burger joints that I could have visited (shoutouts to Milky Lane, Bondi Tony’s and the Stuffed Beaver – I’ll visit y’all soon enough), but Goodtime won out due to its presence on FBAS.

Goodtime Burgers

The Good Ol’ Time – grass fed beef patty w/cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles, GTB chutney, roast garlic dijon aioli ($11)

Patty:

The patty is, for the lack of a better word, decent. There’s a great deal of charring on the outside, and contrary to the photo, it’s actually not overcooked or burnt. In fact, there’s still a good deal of juiciness internally, which is a big tick. This is definitely one of those rare specimens where there’s a good level of browning on the outside that manages to maintain moisture within.

The only downside is that in the greater context of the burger, the patty loses some “presence” – this is primarily because it’s a little undersized relative to the bun. Not a good look (literally), and it definitely affected the burger’s taste as a whole.

6/10

Condiments + Cheese:

The condiment mix is quite simple – a sweet tomato-based chutney, a slice of cheese, heaps of lettuce & tomato and pickles. The chutney does a good job of seasoning the patty, however was perhaps lacking a bit in volume to address the vegetables in the burger. The pickles were somewhat disappointing – flat, no juicy crunch. The cheese is actually quite nice, melted over the patty.

There is something else – that deep-fried macaroni popper on top. While more gimmicky than anything else (I don’t really count it towards evaluating the burger), I’ll give credit to its richness, cheesiness and gooey-ness. That it’s deep-fried is a bonus.

5/8

Bun:

A decidedly average bun – not bad, but not a stellar example. It’s not toasted, it’s a bit dry, but on the other hand it’s not too thick, chewy or doughy. I would definitely have preferred a softer bun, especially as the rest of the burger isn’t particularly saucy.

3/6

Construction:

No issues here.

3/3

Miscellany:

Using chutney as a condiment adds an interesting textural element to the sauce, but otherwise nothing worthy of misc recognition.

1/3

A standard burger with standard fixings that won’t disappoint if you’re around the area. However, better options can be had with just a tiny bit of travel. Or alternatively, try out one of their monster specials that regularly come out.

Total score: 18/30

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Burgers by Josh – TBC

Whoops. I said I pop-ups and temporary gigs wouldn’t be included in this post, but here I am doing it anyway. Laws are meant to be broken, right? In any case, I would be publicly flogged if I didn’t cover what is arguably the biggest name in burgers right now other than Bar Luca. Besides, while Burgers By Josh is currently in hiatus, expect him to announce a permanent dig soon.

And so I will do my thing – specifically, eating this thing:

Burgers By Josh

Infamous Primo: double wagyu patty, double cheese, secret sauce, crispy AF bacon, beer battered onion rings ($19)

It took forever, but I finally got to sink my teeth into The Primo.

Patty:

Josh uses a purportedly secret blend of different cuts to create a signature textured patty, with the result resembling a cross between sausage and that of a smash patty. Thus, there’s ever slightly a bit of chewiness and elasticity in mouthfeel, and less browning and charring than I would have preferred. As such, they don’t really carry much of a smokiness in flavour.

One good point is that they are cooked juicy pink in the middle – a big bonus in an otherwise good, slight-above average patty. In a world where patties may not be pink for much longer, this will eventually be sorely missed.

6/10

Condiments + Cheese:

The secret sauce used in The Primo is most like a chilli mayo – a glorious mass of gloopy, spicy kick that’s right up my alley. I totally digged this – and to me, it was a part of what made The Primo a great burger. Further to this is the “crispy AF bacon”, and I have to say – it lived up to it. This bacon ranks up there as one of the crispiest examples I’ve had, greatly enhancing the texture of the burger (in some ways, making up for the shortcomings of the patty).

The cheese is very much melted and about as yellow as Simpsons characters – good stuff.

As for the onion rings, they were decent but not great – the batter was good but the onions tended to be still a bit undercooked, and thus had a mind of their own in choosing to leave their crunchy shells and mess with my chewing.

6/8

Bun:

Josh claims that these are Sydney’s softest milk buns, and while that is definitely not the case, they are well-proportioned in thickness so they never got in the way. Only the bottom bun was toasted, and lightly at that – some more browning would have gone well here. What I am impressed at is how despite the size of the burger, the buns never showed the slightest inclination to disintegrate. Strong!

4/6

Construction:

You’d expect construction issues, and yes you do get them. They are however not egregious – some moderate sauce and cheese flow (even with good holding technique), but otherwise not too bad all things considered. One flagrant aspect I noticed was that the slice of cheese that was supposed to be between the two patties (i.e. the 2nd slice) was pushed way back such that it fell out pretty much on pick-up.

I know you’re busy Josh, but that does affect the experience in a non-trivial way.

2/3

Miscellany:

Overall, a solid burger that mostly deserves its reputation! Not 100% my kind of burger (due mainly to the sausage-like nature of the patty), but I can see why it’s beloved. I definitely wouldn’t mind trying out his other creations.

2/3

Total score: 20/30

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Guilty – Darlinghurst

Sometimes, you just have to sin. Melbourne local Jimmy Hurlston clearly knows this, aptly naming his entry into the Sydney burger market Guilty. Let’s be honest, burgers are worth the guilt.

Guilty’s got a range of burgers to suit most palates, with the Kecksburger being the default crowd favourite. However, I learned that the patties Guilty uses are thin-type, and thus my focus shifts to the following beauty:

Guilty Burgers Darlinghurst

Rowdy Double Jeopardy – 2x medium beef patties, 2x cheese, onion, jalapenos, crispy bacon, brioche bun, ketchup & mustard ($17)

Patty:

As far as thin patties go, Guilty’s cracked the code. These are probably the best thin-type patties I’ve had in a burger. Texturally speaking, there’s a perfectly crusty number on the outside. And, while the inside could always be a bit juicier, it was possibly as tender as a thin patty could be whilst maintaining a crumbled outer layer. Flavours are also fairly beefy, and kept that way throughout.

You can’t complain too much about a patty that gets all the simple stuff right. In essence, that’s what makes it special.

7/10

Condiments + Cheese:

Again, simple does it here – no vegetables, just loads of cheese, house sauce, and a fiery kicker of jalapenos. The cheese is classically Kraft melty, oozing all over the burgers in a most mouthwatering manner. It’s the perfect pairing with the patties. Props for including two slices – one for each patty.

As for the house sauce, it’s a no-fuss mustard ketchup that hits the spot. Again, real simple but it just works with the canvas of beef and cheese. The flavour train has no trackwork here.

The jalapenos are the biggest deviation from the norm. Obviously, if you can’t take the heat, ask for them to be removed. Otherwise, they add a very nice touch of character to an otherwise standard (but very tasty) burger.

Best part of all? That crispy bacon. Oh my goodness, so crunchy, so delicious. Some of the best bacon around!

6/8

Bun:

A strong bun that Hurlston describes as a trade secret. Fair enough – it’s a darn good brioche. Toasted to boot, it holds together everything quite well and sports a buttery sweetness that’s on the mark with brioche. I found it to be just a tad thick in the vertical dimension, but that’s a minor quibble.

5/6

Construction:

It’s a smaller than usual burger, and the layout of ingredients means that there were no issues in this department.

3/3

Miscellany:

A simple, no-frills burger that nails everything on the head. Extra crispy points to that crispy bacon and the much-welcomed inclusion of jalapenos.

2/3

Guilty is all about simplicity, something that Hurlston has feared Sydneysiders would not “get”. After all, these days, burgers like Bar Luca’s blame Canada and Burgers By Josh’s insane towers get all the attention. But you know what? I definitely get it. It’s a small, unassuming burger, but is easily one of the best because everything just works. I sure as heck want this place to stick around – if they close due to lack of interest, we’ll all be guilty for it.

Total score: 23/30

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Belly Bao – Sydney CBD

Street food, but not as grandma remembers. Belly Bao is a quirkly little joint hidden away underground at Plan B Small Club, and it specialises in gua bao, a type of Chinese-style steamed bread. Bao is characterised as extremely fluffy, pillowy and soft – more so than Western-style bread.

While gua bao are strictly speaking not burgers, Belly Bao does produce a killer burger – aptly known as the baoger. It’s only available on Thursdays, but by God, expect the trade that day to be roaring.

Belly Bao

Baoger (double) – charred Angus beef patty, melted cheese, crisp lettuce, onion, pickled radish and Baoger sauce inside Belly Bao’s hand-crafted Bao burger bun. ($15)

Say hi to something a little different.

Patty:

The patty game is very strong at Belly Bao. The staff wouldn’t divulge what cuts or their lean/fat ratios are (clever ones…), but you just know when eating them that there’s a solid amount of fat in their patty for that delicious flavour. These guys may specialise in Asian flavour, but they definitely know their way around a handsome slab of meat.

It’s up there with the best, and charring gives it extra points.

8/10

Condiments + Cheese:

A generous slathering of Baoger sauce and two slices of well-melted cheese bestow upon the burger a baus-level of flavour. It’s best described as a sweet, creamy mayo, and it’s tasty enough such that the act of breathing alone will suffice your nostrils with its aroma.

As for that cheese, it’s golden, it’s melted, and it gives that extra fattiness that defines a beef burger. No qualms here.

Where there’s a bit of a twist is the inclusion of pickled radish and some lettuce to cut through all that juicy fat. As an Asian, I’m predisposed to this kind of garnishing, so I’m going to go ahead and rate this quite positively. Your mileage may differ, but you read the T&Cs, right?

7/8

Bun:

When I was eating my way across Sydney for this post, I didn’t really expect much innovation or differentiation when it comes to the bun – it’s mostly going to be either milk, brioche, or standard white buns.

But that won’t do for Belly Bao. It’s in their name. Chinese-style steamed bao is more pillowy than normal, and the result is a extremely soft, yet solid mouthfeel that’s very satisfying. People in China can literally eat bao with nothing else and be happy – as long as the bao itself is high quality. At Belly Bao, it is.

Naturally, there is a downside – and that’s detected when you try and pick up the thing. All that sauce and all that cheese does not a solid bun make. You’d better be a quick eater – it’s a race against the integrity clock.

5/6

Construction:

Whelp, here’s where things get tricky. With a creation like the baoger, it’s quite difficult to eat the whole thing without making a mess. Sure, Bar Luca is messier, but your bun is more likely to fall apart at Belly Bao, especially the bottom one.

This is the price for buns so tender you could sleep on them. It’s a price I’ve willingly paid again and again.

1/3

Miscellany:

Sydney’s only baoger, ’nuff said. Thursdays only? That sucks.

3/3

Total score: 24/30

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Dee Why Hotel – Dee Why

The hour-long drive to Dee Why proves that no journey is too far when it comes to good burgers. A burger temple in this part of town, they are considered by their loyalists to be some of, if not the best, Sydney has to offer.

In fact, they are so famous, you probably already know the name of the burger that’s about to come up:

Dee Why Hotel

The Trufflenator – double wagyu beef pattie, truffle mayo, truffle butter, truffle-infused Havarti cheese, truffle maple syrup, bacon, American cheddar, onion rings ($20)

Whoa damn.

Patty:

You could scroll down and see the score for this burger, but I’ll just spoil it right now and say that the Trufflenator is one of the best burgers I’ve had the pleasure of eating in Sydney – and that starts with the patty.

These slabs of beef are excellent. They are excellently charred for maximum exterior crunch, however retaining an excellent, juicy pink centre (I regret not taking a cross-section photo to demonstrate this), but most uniquely of all, possess an unreal smoky mouthfeel that perhaps only Mary’s gets close to replicating.

Tip top!

8/10

Condiments + Cheese:

This is where sh*t gets real. The trufflenator is truffle everything, but you’d be surprised to know that the overall truffle flavour isn’t overwhelming, nor does it dominate the burger. It’s predominantly found in the truffle mayo, but is supposedly in every other component of the burger as well. I personally love the heady aroma of truffle, so I would have actually preferred even more truffle intensity (the smokiness of the beef patties subsumed the truffle flavour somewhat). That said, this is the only reason why this doesn’t score an 8/8.

As for the cheese – there’s oodles of it, all melted, all giving the beef patties the cheesy love they deserve. Zero issues here.

As for the onion rings, they’re very crunchy and surprisingly sweet in flavour. In a rare case – these are a nice addition to the burg.

One of the best condiment mixes with which I’ve had the pleasure of stuffing myself.

7/8

Bun:

The Trufflenator continues to shine even through to the bun. It’s semi-soft, it’s not too thick and yes, it’s even toasted. Boy, it’s hard to find a good bun (to my liking at least), but here is one brilliant example right here.

5/6

Construction:

It’s a big burger, and thus a sauce waterfall may ensue. Luckily, it was only the occasional trickle here and there – use good burger-holding technique and you’ll be alright.

2/3

Miscellany:

All the components of this burger combine together to make for one of the most satisfying burgers I’ve had the pleasure of eating in recent times. Worth the drive!

3/3

The Trufflenator is definitely the newest great burger I’ve come across after the current legends of Rockpool, Bar Luca & Mister Gee. Welcome to the 25s club!

Total score: 25/30

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The Milk Bar By Cafe Ish – Redfern

In its heyday, the humble milk bar was the venue of choice to knock back a dirty burger (or two), plus an all-too-large glass of milkshake (or two).

These days, milk bars are rarer than a dime a dozen – but Milk Bar by Cafe Ish has kept to its roots, peddling – you guessed it, the meatwich. With some fairly crazy looking concoctions spotted on social media, it was time to see if they have the fundamentals right.

Milk Bar By Cafe Ish

Milk bar original – 120g basted house blend beef patty, double american cheddar, onion, BBQ sauce, pickles, aioli, onion rings ($9.5)

Let’s get into it.

Patty:

The patty is best described as “a whisker off well done”. Not a great start, though as far as well-done patties go, this one was okay to eat, especially as it was well-charred. Loooot of crunch and burnt bits.

Its flavour is a bit lacking, requiring the BBQ sauce to bring it to life. There’s not much sense of “beefines” either, and thus the patty is ultimately mediocre.

5/10

Condiments + Cheese:

The included slice of cheese is very welcome and, oh yes, comes melted. It packs quite a cheesy kick – whenever I ended up biting into a piece. I feel that the burger, given its ingredients required a second slice.

In a bid to be a bit different, Milk Bar includes crunchy onion rings within, as well as above the burger. The rings within pack a very addictive crunch that you can hear a mile away, though for some reason the rings on top were more or less devoid of flavour – the batter tasted particularly neutral, and even doughy.

As for the sauce? It was a bit of a letdown – it really is just BBQ sauce. Sure, It is a stalwart and there’s nothing wrong with using it. However, when stacking up against the best burgers in Sydney, chefs are going to do more than just use smoky BBQ. In this sense, it’s a decent condiment but that is very dull, relatively speaking.

5/8

Bun:

On the plus side, there isn’t much bun, so the ingredients shine through more. On the minus side, it’s quite a bready bun for what it is. Relatively tougher than most buns in this post, getting through the Milk Bar Original really works the teeth. Not that I’m saying it’ll tire your jaw (it won’t get close), but it’s not the easiest chewing experience due to the bun’s toughness – as well as the beef patty’s overcooked nature.

3/6

Construction:

Practically perfect – no leakage, buns contain the burger well, you can (barely) eat it with your two hands. The onion rings do however need to go off.

3/3

Miscellany:

Onion rings? I’ll pay that. It’s also one of the cheaper burgers on this list for what you get. That deserves credit.

2/3

The Milk Bar Original is a burger with a difference. It’s dizzyingly Australian, and isn’t afraid to be that way. While it’s not my idea of an incredible burger, it clearly has its audience.

Total score: 18/30

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Mister Gee Burger Truck – Haberfield

Ah, Mister Gee, proving once and for all that a food truck can compete with the best of them. Currently located in Haberfield from Thursdays-Saturday nights, getting there for me takes no less than a 45-minute drive. It’s a drive I’m very, very familiar with.

No point keeping up the suspense act – this humble little truck produces one of my top 3 burgers in Sydney.

And what is that burger, you ask? Why it’s The Truffe, of course.

Mister Gee Burger Truck

The Truffe (double w/bacon) – The Truffe – beef, American cheese, caramelised onions, pickles and secret sauce ($15)

Pronounced as in “truth”, the Truffe is wordplay – the truth can be found in truffle. In Mister Gee’s case, you won’t find chunks of actual truffle in their burgers (otherwise they’d cost a ton), but rather a truffle-infused sauce. Bacon is also an option, but not by default.

Patty:

Mister Gee’s patties average out at around 150-180g, and are marvellous. They are the best practitioner of the smash patty method that I’ve come across, and the result is a piece of meat that’s practically breathable in terms of its tenderness. They are a joy to eat, full of bovine flavour, and truly full on in fattiness, utterly satisfying. Pretty much one of my favourites when it comes to beef done right.

I had to think really hard for a downside, and I suppose it comes back to char. I could use a little more, for a texture boost. However this is a minor quibble.

Cows will not die in vain for this burger.

8/10

Condiments + Cheese:

Perfection. One of the only burgers to receive a perfect score in this category, it’s all down to that truffle aioli – or “secret sauce”, as it were. I understand that the aroma of truffle is acquired, so for those who aren’t there yet, the score here may as well be a 4/8. For the rest of you, it’s pure heaven.

The aroma is heady, the flavour is powerful, and texturally it’s a creamy sauce that finds its way into every nook and cranny of the burger. Words can’t really describe truffle, but “earthy” is a good start. In the end, you just have to try it to believe it. It’s irresistible.

To this day, I still have no idea what “American cheese” is, but I suspect its reputation isn’t great as it’s often referred to as those sickly-yellow squares of “I’m pretty sure this isn’t even cheese”. Regardless, whatever Mister Gee is putting in there is absolutely fine as it is. It’s cheese, it’s melted, it’s gooey, it’s good.

Caramelised onions and pickles round out the rest, but I’ve spent enough words here – let the score do the rest of the talking.

8/8

Bun:

Brioche buns feature as Gee’s weapon of choice. They’re not too sweet, a little denser than average, but sized such that a double patty will ensure a satisfactory ratio. Indeed, I’ve found that a single patty Mister Gee burger is a little too heavy on the bun, but a double completely mitigates this issue. It’s how most people order it, and you should too.

Other than that, I really wish the bun would be toasted more, but alas, it’s not often that this happens. Thus, a point of preference & improvement.

4/6

Construction:

Even with optional bacon, The Truffe will hold up in construction. There’s some spillage, but the patties don’t slip, and the buns maintain strong control over the innards.

2/3

Miscellany:

That this burger is a godsend without having to resort to insanely over-the-top gimmicks is laudable. There are truffle burgers, and then there is the Truffe. Can you handle it?

Also, there’s something to be said about slaying burgers at the side of Parramatta Road, in a car wash. It makes the burgers taste just that little bit better. So romantic.

3/3

Total score: 25/30

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Bar Luca – Sydney CBD

Philosophers often like to say that the only certainty in this universe is that “I perceive”. But you know what comes close? That any serious dissertation on “burgering” is certainly invalid unless it includes discourse on Bar Luca.While these guys may be known for their rotating weekly burger specials (see here for some past examples), their crown achievement, that has since been immortalised in the Fatties’ Hall of Fame (this doesn’t exist yet but it so should) is the Blame Canada. I’m pretty sure I don’t even need to describe this burger as you, dear reader are likely already aware of it. But here’s a picture anyway:

Bar Luca

Blame Canada 200g beef pattie, maple glazed streaky bacon, American cheese, poutine & maple aioli ($16)

Yeah, the Canadians were onto something alright.

Patty:

Bar Luca’s patties are big. Not stupidly so, but they top the scales as far as the burgers in this post go. At 200g apiece, you may want to think real hard if you want a second one. Just so you know, it’s recommended that you only start out with a single if this is your first time – there’s already enough going on with this burger.

As for the patty itself, a 200g mish-mash of beef lends itself to one heck of a juicy, pink interior. While quality does tend to vary (inevitable when you’ve had the Blame Canada as often as I have), more often or not I’ve received a patty that’s most luscious. As a personal preference, I would prefer a little extra charring/browning on the outside.

One particular downside that’s unique to Bar Luca is that its patties often exhibit an element of gristle. It’s not much, and it’s not a dealbreaker, but it’s notable because it’s one of the few burger patties in this post that displays it.

Not a perfect patty, but still a really meaty and delicious one. A great sponge for the Blame Canada’s true strength, down below.

7/10

Condiments + Cheese:

Nowhere is the statement “the condiments makes the burger” more true than it is for the Blame Canda. This. Is. King: maple aioli, maple bacon, cheese curds, poutine fries.

It is quite simply, a heavenly combination. Everything works – the sweetness that’s never overpowering, the candied bacon that’s like candy for adults. Pungent, aromatic cheese curds, and crispy fries because why not. This is the Blame Canada’s identity. Take any of them away, and it’s no more.

Props to Bar Luca for churning out one of the most innovative condiment sets I’ve ever encountered. And the key point is: it WORKS. No gimmicks, just pure flavour. It’s a handful, but absolutely worth it. I should point this out, even though it might be obvious: if you’re not a fan of a sweetness in your savoury, you may not be as much of a fan. Duh.

As for me, the only downside that I find here is that the bacon is often quite chewy and stringy, which means I end up pulling out an entire piece when I really just wanted to chew off bits as I make my way through the burger. Occasionally, this has led to the accidental dismantling of the entire thing. Not ideal, but it won’t stop me from ordering another.

8/8

Bun:

Bar Luca uses stock standard milk buns which do a decent job at enclosing the beast within. They aren’t as good as other milk buns featured in this post, mainly due to a somewhat leathery texture on the outside of the bun, which makes it slightly chewier than most. They also aren’t toasted, which would have been nice for a bit of that charred, smoky feel. All in all, not a pain point and you’ll likely forget about it thanks to all that’s going on within. Sometimes, that can be a good thing.

3/6

Construction:

If you’re going to order a Blame Canada, don’t blame yourself if you get burger juice all over your hands. A unfortunate, yet mostly unavoidable downside is that you’re going to get sauce, cheese and chips everywhere. If your bacon is chewy, then your whole burger may come apart.

Comes with the territory; it’s a tradeoff between deliciousness and build. But just know this – it’s probably the messiest burger you’ll eat in this post. And that’s before you crazies add a second patty.

1/3

Miscellany:

Honestly, who else does a burger that’s even remotely similar?

3/3

If you don’t eat a Blame Canada, don’t blame us if we don’t consider you a true burger breather 😛

But jokes aside, in all honestly this is definitely one to try.

Total score: 22/30

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Ze Pickle – Surry Hills

Better man the watch towers – there’s a slow but steady invasion from the north. First, it was Doughnut Time’s whacky holey-cakes, and it was a smashing success. But where doughnuts are fair game, can Ze Pickle really make a difference in Sydney’s burger scene, given how entrenched and revered its incumbents are?

Only one way to find out.

Ze Pickle’s menu features a wide array of burgers that aren’t different just for show – each and every one is a particularly unique piece. As such, a signature was quite difficult to choose, but the staff were most helpful in singling out this bad boy as the choice pick:

Ze Pickle

3AM – hand pressed wagyu beef patty, maple smoked bacon, Kanye’s fried cheeze sticks, guacamole & ZP sauce ($18)

Whoa dang.

Patty:

As far as wow-factor goes, Ze Pickle’s patties are a solid average in the spectrum of things. That’s not a bad thing – since this is a relative comparison. A medium-sized slab of pressed beef, cooked to a tender medium on the inside, delivers on beefiness and flavour.

The one item on my wishlist? A greater level of juiciness. It’s perhaps just not quite as fatty as I’d have liked it to be. The story usually ends this way – texture is my one and only fixture.

6/10

Condiments + Cheese:

Would you like some burger with your cheese? That seems to be the 3am’s philosophy on the yellow narcotic. Indeed, 3AM is perhaps the most apt name for the burger, given the hangover-crushing power it possesses.

I like the look, even if it does look far too unwieldy to eat. All I had to do was press down hard, and use proper burger-holding technique (pinch from the back). Once I broke through the crunchy and sweetly battered exterior (rave-worthy in its own right), a volcanic eruption of thick, gooey yellow mozzarella was my reward. There’s almost no doubt that this cheese has been through processing city, but the last time I ate a burger for health reasons was…

…you’re still here?

Seriously though, you might think these cheese sticks are gimmicky, and yes that is technically true. However, the extra level of deep-fried crunch they bring to the burger is undeniably enslaving of the tastebuds. I love it.

As for the sauce, I’m a little more mixed. It’s a kind of sweet guac with a bit of a sweet-acidic kick to it, which I liked, but isn’t my kind of flavour combination for this burger. Sweet and creamy would suffice, but it was also just a bit too runny. Otherwise, it’s all good.

Then there’s bacon. Oh my, so much maple goodness. No stringiness, pure chewy bacon. I dig.

7/8

Bun:

Ze Pickle’s buns are a cross between a classic sesame seed bun and a brioche. The result is something that’s got a bit more density and heft, and less fluffiness – thus giving the burger a look of “integrity”.

It’s a really good bun for the burger at hand – the only improvement I would suggest is to toast it a little bit more. I sure do love charred ends! While I usually do prefer fluffier buns, a tougher one is what’s needed to reign in all that cheese.

4/6

Construction:

It’s not perfect, but it holds together remarkably well, given its CHEESE STICKS. Don’t worry, you won’t need a knife and fork for this, but you will look ridiculous as you wipe the cheese off of your cheesy, grinning face.

As for the sauce, given that it’s runnier than normal, expect dripping.

2/3

Miscellany:

Deep fried cheese sticks. Just saying. The flavour combination overall works very well and the mouthfeel of every bite thanks to those fried sticks of gold is beautiful to behold.

3/3

I think it’s great that a newcomer can churn out burgers that rival dedicated burger restaurants, and competition is always a boon for us burger lovers. This is a great showing for Queensland. Who said a new dog can’t crash the party?

Total score: 22/30

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The Best Burgers In Sydney

The damage:

Burger Chart

Patty Conds Bun Construction Misc Total
Rockpool Bar & Grill 9 6 4 3 3 25
Dee Why Hotel 8 7 5 2 3 25
Mister Gee 8 8 4 2 3 25
Belly Bao 8 7 5 1 3 24
Belfields 6 7 4 3 3 23
Jacks Newtown 8 6 4 2 3 23
Barrio Burgers 8 7 3 2 3 23
The Tuckshop 6 7 5 2 3 23
Guilty 7 6 5 3 2 23
Bare Grill 7 6 4 2 3 22
Burgers Anonymous 7 6 5 3 1 22
Vic’s Meat Market 7 6 4 3 2 22
Bar Luca 7 8 3 1 3 22
Ze Pickle 6 7 4 2 3 22
Five Points 7 5 5 2 2 21
Papi Chulo 8 5 5 2 1 21
The Lord Gladstone 7 7 4 1 2 21
Burgers by Josh 6 6 4 2 2 20
Mary’s 5 6 5 2 1 19
Chur Burger 5 6 4 3 1 19
Pub Life Kitchen 5 5 5 3 1 19
Archie’s Flame Grille 4 4 4 3 3 18
BenBry Burgers 6 6 2 2 2 18
Goodtime 6 5 3 3 1 18
The Milk Bar By Café Ish 5 5 3 3 2 18
Paul’s Famous Hamburgers 6 3 3 2 3 17
Parlour Burger 5 4 3 3 2 17
Bonarche Burgers 7 5 1 1 2 16
Batch Burgers 4 4 4 2 1 15
The Burger Shed 3 5 2 3 0 13

The truth is that there is no best, but that there is a burger for what is hopefully every predilection out there. For me? That is Mister Gee, Rockpool, Dee Why Hotel. Thing is – most of everything else? They ain’t far behind and a simple mood swing could even put those at the top. Anything 20+ has my wholehearted recommendation.As much as I’d love to say “there was no contest”, the truth is, Sydney’s got burger so strong, dieticians had better start working on a new campaign to stop us fatties from totally ruining ourselves – deliciously.

In the end, I find I make the most visits to Mister Gee, Bar Luca and Rockpool. The latter two because of their quality and proximity, and Mister Gee simply because it’s a bloody delicious and unique experience – you haven’t had a burger until you’ve driven nearly an hour for it and eat it on milk crates by a loud AF arterial road. So I suppose that makes Mister Gee my favourite, huh. Well then, I guess that makes it my favourite…for now!

And that’s it folks! For my ramen post I said I’d now have to sleep off the 15000 calories of ramen I ate. This time round? I might not wake up from the coma.

All visits in this post are independently paid for.

Got a suggestion? A burger joint to include? An improvement? Let me know in the comments below!

Appendix

For me, burgers can be distilled into several key components:

  • Patty

The patty is almost the be all and end all. A top-quality patty with the right meat mix, the right lean-to-fat ratio, the right seasoning, proper consistency and quantity, and the right method of cooking (med-rare, please) is absolutely paramount. I could eat a perfect patty between lettuce leaves and would still be happier than if it were a mediocre patty sandwiched between the most heavenly pair of buns to grace our land. Yes, it is that important.

Over the years, I’ve found that a patty that is roughly 2cm thick (120-200gm depending on burger style), medium-rare, lightly seasoned, 75-80% lean beef and ideally mostly chuck is the best for a burger patty. When it comes to gourmet burgers, I definitely would not wank on wagyu and more premium blends of meat – I can actually taste the difference, and it’s in these cases that I would happily pay in excess of $20 to partake in the experience.

  • Condiments + Cheese

Of course, I mentioned that the patty is almost the alpha and omega, but these two little things are often what makes two otherwise identical burgers drastically different. For example, cheese alone has many areas of variation – its melt profile, creaminess, fattiness, flavour contribution & balance relative to the rest of the burger, quantity, and so on. I really notice it when beef burgers come without cheese – you simply need this delicious, edible glue to tie everything together.

Besides, studies have shown that cheese is almost like a drug – a bad thing in the best possible way. Don’t stuff up cheese – it’ll cost a good burger.

Similar story with sauce – it has to deliver enough flavour to give the burger a unique taste profile, whilst not being overly fatty or overpowering. It definitely can’t take away from the flavour (the “meatiness”) of the beef patty itself.

  • Buns

In the end, all that is important about a burger is between two buns, and they are not unimportant. Preferences here vary wildly, however all burgers should be blessed with buns that do not easily tear (they hold the burger together), are correctly portioned such that it doesn’t taste like a bread sandwich, and carry a slight hint of sweetness to balance out the likely highly-savoury ingredients in between.

For me personally, a bun scores extra points if it’s toasted (this makes a huge difference), and if it’s a milk bun or a light (less sweet) brioche. To date, the best burgers I’ve had have always, whether it be coincidence or not, featured these types of buns. Tough, large buns just don’t do it for me – they always end up tasting too bready.

  • Construction

In the end, everything needs to hold together. The rule is simple: if I have to use cutlery, something’s wrong.

Pro-tip for eating bigger burgers: use your ring fingers & pinkys to keep the back of the burger squeezed fairly tight, so that when you eat it from the front, the ingredients can only go in one direction – your mouth. It’s a sad, sad day when this isn’t done and you’re left with a deconstructed meat sandwich.

Nobody likes that.

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62 comments on “The Best Burgers in Sydney”

  1. Jag Reply

    Big Daddy’s in Darlinghurst isn’t on the list. They make a damn good burger. You should check them out.

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Will do. Though honestly hadn’t come across them in my research – there are too many places; however, that is definitely a good problem to have. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Chris Waghorn Reply

    This is a post I’ll be referring back to for some time yet as I’ve recently taken it upon myself to sample ever burger place I can find 😉

    I thought I’d found the best when I went to Holy Heffa in Western Sydney but I’m starting to wonder… I stand by my call that it’s the best I’ve eaten, but maybe I should add “so far” onto the end of that… at least for now.

    http://chriswaghorn.com/best-burger-ive-ever-eaten-holy-heffa-burger-truck-edensor-park-sydney/

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Thanks Chris, glad I could be of help!

      I think with burgers or any food in general, it always pays to mentally add “so far” to any superlative. That way, life continues to be worth living as there’s always something better around the corner 😉

    • JT Reply

      I went to Dee Why Hotel yesterday for the famous Troufflenator…..what a let down. The bun was cold and stale, the patty was overcooked and dry, and there was only one tiny onion ring on the burger. I read in another review that the main burger chef has left this place which would explain my experience. Does anyone know if he is cooking burgers somewhere else now?

      • Michael Shen Reply

        Oh darn it! I had heard that the head chef left but didn’t realise the impact could be so great. That’s a real shame – I had the trufflenator when it was at its best, so I guess all I have is now a memory…

  3. elie Reply

    Have you tried Pony’s , at The Rocks? Probably the best burger i’ve had. A wagyu chef made gourmet burger that looks like a standard cheeseburger but taste amazing. Nice thick juicy patty. Also at the Rocks is the fine food store, make a simple wagyu burger but up there with the best i’ve had due to the taste and texture of the wagyu.

    • Michael Shen Reply

      I’ve heard a lot about Chef’s Kitchen, was quite unfortunate I never managed to get up there. Will definitely consider down the track.

  4. Mick Jonson Reply

    Jack’s in Newtown is way overrated. They don’t grill their burgers on flame but instead cook them on the flat metal at low heat and the meat comes out more boiled than fried. And texture wise the meat is more like big mac cardboard style meat. I’s give it 15.

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Hi Mick, we will have to agree to disagree. While their burgers what I would call “average”, my second visit in recent months has shown vast improvement. They are firmly one of my favourites in Sydney at the moment. I will actually be revisiting this week; I will be keen to see if your comments are reflected in my sample. Thank you for your feedback!

  5. anthotam Reply

    So many entries, and so many other establishments that missed out!
    Strangly, the ones I’ve tried are not on the list (Cheeky, Burger Project).
    Round two?

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Indeed you could say there is unfinished business here. Unfortunately, there’s no way to get them all. Do I stop at 20, 30, 40, 50?

      Missing out on Cheeky was definitely a shame, however various constraints prevented its inclusion. As for Burger Project, I mentioned in the reviewing methodology that I would not include franchise businesses.

      Thanks for reading!

      • anthotam Reply

        Wow, such a prompt response. Thank you. I found your blog by searching ‘Gumshara’, and having just been to America, I started my quest to find some good burgers. This list is a great start!

  6. Andrew Prior Reply

    What an amazing review and next time I’m in Sydney I will have to check some of them out. If you are ever in Paris let me know and I will have to show you a few places here that could match up maybe with these burgers.

  7. natalieser Reply

    This is one of the most comprehensive and detailed food review lists I’ve read – I’m awed by the dedication put into this! never been to Australia but would love to one day. great job 🙂

  8. Andrew Reply

    Moo Gourmet Burgers? Been around for many years and still one of the best.

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Hi Andrew, as mentioned in the rules of the post, I excluded chains/franchises for consistency reasons (and also I would prefer to give independent businesses some extra coverage).

      Thanks for reading!

  9. kuponut Reply

    Great review, love your style of writing! Only disappointment with these lists the west never get mentioned. If you’re ever in the area you should definitely try Tornadoes in Bonnyrigg (south west of Sydney). I recommend the moo cow burger 🙂

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Thank you! Unfortunately, it was definitely a challenge to choose what places to review. While I tried to cover some areas less-known (e.g. Glenhaven), it’s difficult to make sure every direction on the compass gets representation. Will try to do better next time 🙂

  10. Jamie Reply

    For burgers in south Sydney, I recommend benchmark in Cronulla or Jake chalmers. Give em a whirl 👍🏼

  11. Danica Reply

    Awesome burger reviews, though I’m super surprised that burger project didn’t make the list

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Thanks Danica! As mentioned in one of the dot points in the methodology, I don’t review franchises as there will be quality consistency differences. I also didn’t feel the need to represent Neil Perry twice given that Rockpool is already among the included.

    • Michael Shen Reply

      Unfortunately, Cheeky Burger isn’t the only burger joint I missed. But of course, how does one decide the 30 to include? There are just far too many to do them all…

  12. forfoodssake Reply

    Superb, fantastic post Mistergee buddy!!! You are the king of detail! I’ve always had in my mind to do a Sydney burger crawl but there’s always that old saying of “not pi*&%g where you live…” Imagine if I was banned from my favourite burger shop!!
    Shame you didn’t enjoy Bonarche, I agree that they are ‘bready’, I always go wholemeal. But they were one of the first places I went to and thought “Wow these guys are really doing something special”. Plus I always go a cheeseburger.
    Have to catch you for a burger soon Michael 🙂

    B

    • Michael Shen Reply

      A Sydney burger post coming from you would pretty much be the real deal Bianca!

      Between you and me (and I suppose everybody else that reads this comment), I actually had the cheeseburger as well on that visit. It was actually a bit worse as there was just the patty, cheese and pickles – which makes sense for a cheeseburger, but since the buns were so thick and bready, it arguably threw off ratios even more :S

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