There was a time in Melbourne when the best burgers came from your local fish and chip place, usually with a slice of beetroot and a couple of extra dim sims. Actually, now we think about it, those are still pretty bloody good.
But burgers have evolved over the last decade or so. North, south, east and west, Melbourne has embraced the burger to its dark and fickle heart. Milk buns were big for a while, then came the Brioche juggernaut. We've had squid ink buns, doughnut buns, double stacks, triple stacks, fried chicken and waffle burgers, sushi burgers and burgers cross-bred with meat pies.
So here you go, we present the best burgers in the city.
Three One 2 One
One of the originators of over-the-top burgers and shakes, Three One 2 One has been keeping the Richmond locals happy for a while now. The cafe is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so if you're ever in need a burger fix, this is your spot.
Try the Ramen Burger for something a little wild.
Leonard's House Of Love
Regularly at the top of the list of Melbourne's best burgers, Leonard's House of Love is your home away from home.
Set up in a house off Chapel Street, Leonard's is just like your friend's parents house if you grew up in the 70s, wood panelling, exposed brick, and a bunch of beards behind the bar.
The double cheeseburger is your go-to, but they've got great vegan and chicken options as well for you to tear into.
Sonny's Fried Chicken & Burgers
On a usual trip to Lygon Street you'll find a plethora of Italian restaurants, so Sonny's might stand out like the proverbial.
It's in the name, so you'd expect to find great fried chicken, and great burgers at Sonny's Fried Chicken and Burgers. Their 24-hour brined fried chicken is a big winner, and you can get it by itself or wedged inside a burger bun. The choice is yours, and you can't lose.
Sure, the usual burgers from Gorilla Grill are amazing, but what you're going to want to get your hands on is the Chicken & Waffle. It's a piece of their excellent 'Krusty' fried chicken placed between two perfectly cooked round waffles with bacon and cheese.
Definitely worth ordering the Kimcheese Fries as well, you won't regret it.
F.A.T Fried & Tasty
Brunswick East & Fitzroy
You know what you're going to get at F.A.T when you read the sign. Fried and tasty food, and done well.
F.A.T Fried & Tasty specialises in fried chicken made with a spin on the classic southern American recipe. At F.A.T you can get everything from buckets of chicken, waffles, salads, sides, and sensational burgers stacked with their special fried chicken.
Give 'The Brunswick' a try with its fried chicken breast, beetroot, lettuce, cheese, BBQ sauce, and mayo.
Smoke & Pickles
Formerly known as Changz Canteen, Smoke & Pickles may have a new name and ethos, but the burgers are just as good as you remember.
The new addition of the Chipotle Chicken is a masterstroke, it's probably the best new chicken burger in Melbourne. There's also a Reuben Burger on the menu if you've got a hankering for some pastrami, and you can also order a heap of their southern-American style tapas items from either the smoked, or pickled section of the menu.
This venue is Attica owner Ben Shewry's favourite burger joint in Melbourne, and there's good reason for it. All ingredients are prepared daily in-house, and once they run out, you're fresh out of luck. Sometimes selling out before 7:30pm, Tuckshop is a destination for any local in Caulfield North.
Burger choices include the Minor, and the Major, along with a vegetarian option, and it's definitely worth grabbing some hand cut chips and a milkshake to make a meal out of it all.
A couple of doors down Hawthorn Road you'll find the team's ice cream shop, Sundae School Ice Creamery. Also worth a visit to check out their amazing rotating list of ice creams.
Everyone knows Easey's, it's the burger joint in Collingwood that has three old Melbourne trains on the roof, pretty iconic really.
Their menu features a line of burgers, sides, hot dogs, and desserts. On the burger front you're going to want to order something along the lines of the Double Bacon BBQ Cheeseburger, because when you're eating a burger on a rooftop inside a train, you may as well go all in.
CBD & Albert Park
An institution of Melbourne, not just the burger scene, Andrew's Hamburgers has been dishing out great burgers from their Albert Park store since 1930, and in the last couple of years they finally opened a second location in the city.
You can't go past the classic Andrew's Burger with the lot, as many Melburnians have sampled over the years. In it you can choose from beef, chicken, or steak and you'll get lettuce, cooked onions, egg, bacon, tomato, double cheese, and tomato sauce.
Fat Bob's Bar & Grill
Moorabbin isn't the first location you'd think of when looking for a burger, but once you happen upon Fat Bob's your opinion will change straight away.
Inspired by U.S diners and set in an industrial area, Fat Bob's Bar & Grill is serving up their classic foil-wrapped burgers to hungry crowds from all around. Try the Jack-O with a 180gm beef pattie, tomato, red onion, fontina cheese, cos lettuce, mustard, and a slathering of Fat Bob's sauce.
The burgers from Laurie Dee's are oft-awarded, but it's probably one of the best hidden secrets on Melbourne's burger scene.
Their namesake burger, the Laurie Dee is stacked with a fresh minced pattie, melted cheddar, crispy bacon, Special 'D' sauce, tomato, lettuce, and diced pickles. And like all other burgers on the menu, you can choose to order it as either a single or a double. Just depends on how hungry you are.
If you're still hungry the fries menu has everything from the basics to chilli cheese fries, and also chicken nuggets served with a dipping sauce.
After starting out life as a food truck, Beatbox Kitchen these days also dish out their amazing burgers from their shop on Gertrude Street in Fitzroy.
Beatbox Kitchen does all the basics right, the Cheeseburger is top notch, their Shroom Burger is also a great option for vegetarians, and they nail the Chicken Sandwich.
There's also a healthy range of sides and salads to take your meal to the next level.
You'll find Ron's Handburger at various markets around Melbourne, because Ron operates exclusively from his food truck.
The Ron's Handburger menu keeps it fairly simple, so it won't take you long to order once you track down the truck. From a kids option to Classic Beef, Veg, Notorious Chicken, Cheesy Bacon, Double Stacker, Aussie BBQ, and the Mini Monster.
They also dish out a great range of fries and milkshakes as well, just to keep you nice and full.
Rude Boy Burgers
The first thing you'll notice about Rude Boy Burgers is how comprehensive their menu is.
While the meat options are amazing, and definitely worth your while, it's their vegetarian options that really take the cake. Not many burger joints in Melbourne have a properly fleshed out vegetarian burger menu, but at Rude Boy you can get options that include a fried mozzarella fritter, chilli and spring onion fried potato cake, chickpea pattie, and even pulled jackfruit,
Their shakes are also worth a mention, don't go past the Tim Tam Slam.
Grand Trailer Park Taverna
We've covered the suburbs, now let's take a look inside the CBD, and if you're after a burger in the city it's hard to go past Grand Trailer Park Taverna.
Their burgers are piled high—and I mean high—with fresh ingredients in burger combinations you're unlikely to find anywhere else around Melbourne. The David Chang burger pokes fun at comments from the famous chef and goes big with a beef patty, bacon, egg, sliced beetroot, American cheddar, tomato, butter lettuce, special burger sauce, and American mustard on a toasted brioche bun. If David were to have a bite of this one, I reckon he'd change his mind.
Looking to have a more refined meal? Here are the best restaurants in Melbourne's CBD.
Image credit: Fat Jak's | Griffin Simm