Legit question: are burgers the ultimate food? They cover all the major food groups; they’re a medley of delicious textures: crunchiness, creaminess, and juiciness; they can be piled high with all your favourite fillings; and (once you figure out how to navigate your mouth around it) you don’t even need cutlery. Winning! No wonder burgers are so close to our hearts, and happily, the Brisbane burger scene just keeps getting better and better.
Since Westfield Chermside launched its impressive new outdoor dining precinct, the amount of burger options all in one place is truly staggering. We’ve put together some of our faves, and challenge you to the pleasant task of knocking ‘em all off. Go on, we dare you.
Tapworks lives up to its name, with 30 taps of craft beer offering thirst-quenchers for those on the quest for the perfect burg. And the Mac Daddy comes close: the piece de resistance being a big ol’ piece of fried and crumbed mac n cheese, accompanied by either wagyu beef, pulled pork or chilli con carne (veggos should not have to miss out on this), along with cheddar, lettuce, tomato and pickle. Honourable mention also goes to their American Cheeseburger, because they’ll even beer-match your cheese (cheddar = IPA; Monterey jack = pale ale or pilsener; or blue = IPA or pale ale) for the perfect burger experience.
If the beachy, 50s retro-diner vibe of Betty’s doesn’t instill an immediate craving for a juicy burger and shake (or beer), please reassess your life. And juicy they are: there’s a reason the legendary Betty’s Burgers has perpetual (yet pleasingly fast-moving—they’re a well-oiled machine) queues out the door. There’s just something about the combination of their custom-blend patties, sauces, fillings and buns that make Betty’s Burgers a must-tick off your burger bucket list. Our pick from their concise, but perfectly formed menu is the Classic with added bacon and pickles, or for the truly ravenous, get the Classic Stack that features a hearty mushroom patty too.
The folks at all-American smokehouse and grill Bootlegger definitely know their meat, and how better to enjoy it than on a bun alongside a well-stocked bar? Our choice, the Brisket Sandwich, gets us all hot under the collar with its oh-so-meaty mix of shredded brisket, Bootlegger BBQ sauce, caramelised onion, diced sausage link, Jack cheese and pickles. Top marks also to the Hillbilly Burger, with its crunchy buttermilk fried chicken breast melded with cheese and chipotle slaw.
Locally sourced, free-range produce gets a big tick from us every time, so Burger Urge is off to a roaring start. To start, we suggest choosing between the house specials: the Donald Trump (juicy pulled beef, maple bacon, fries, melted cheese, pickles, hickory BBQ sauce, ranch, aioli, and tomato) or the Mrs Clinton's Chipotle Chicken (house fried buttermilk chicken, maple bacon, melted American style cheddar, slaw, jalapenos and chipotle mayo). We're down for burger politics, especially in this case when it's basically win-win.
Perfectly positioned at the entrance of Westfield Chermside’s luxe outdoor precinct amidst tropical greenery and tinkling water features, The Bavarian’s certainly not a bad spot to relax and enjoy that all-time Bavarian fave, the legendary schnittie, in burger form. The Chicken Schnitzel burger pairs crunchy seasoned chook with pickled cucumbers, sesame, aioli, and jalapenos for something that’s full of flavour and never fails to hit the spot.
Grill’d always get our vote with their community initiatives, RSPCA-approved produce and extensive menu. If you haven’t got around their succulent wagyu varieties we 100% recommend you do; but right now we’re honing in on their new (free range, natch) pork belly flavours, in particular the Pork & Pine: slow cooked, marinated pork belly with avocado, charred pineapple, salad and smoky chipotle mayo. Side note: it’s a crime not to get their fries, too (that herby seasoning… what is IN that?).
The Sporting Globe
This huge space has it all: live sport, booth seating (where you can pour your own beers), and bloody excellent burgers. Your first must-try’s got to be the Buffalo Chicken, which is nothing short of insanely delicious: crispy seasoned chicken fillet slathered in smoky buffalo sauce, with smoked cheddar, slaw, sliced pickles, crispy battered onion rings and ranch dressing on a black brioche bun for extra dramatic effect. Our tip? Head into The Sporting Globe for your burger fix on a Thursday, when burgers are only $14.90 with fries, and thank us later.
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Image credit: Hayley Williamson