*Takes deep breath* There is literally no topic more controversial, no subject more sensitive, and no argument more outrageous, than the conversation about the best burgers in Sydney. Whether you’re an old-school beetroot and pineapple with the lot purist, or a new-wave American cheese with ketchup and aioli on a milk bun type, everyone has an opinion on who serves up the best meat-between-bread in Sydney.
So, *takes another deep breath* after great debate, a few tears and a lot of cheese, we narrowed down our list of the best burgers in Sydney in 2015, in no particular order. Don’t like it? Feel free to send us a glitter bomb or a bunch of gerberas. #hatersgonnahate
Pub Life Kitchen
No one was happier than the entire Urban List office when this burger heaven opened up in Ultimo in late 2014. The O.G. keeps it incredibly real, with beef, cheese pickles, tomato, iceberg and aioli. If you’re going the chip route, be sure to grab yourself some bone marrow gravy. It’s like crack… artery hardening crack. On the non-meaty side, PLK’s vego delight finally gives our herbivore friends something to drool over. Be warned, it is nothing short of a heart attack, with a panko fried cheese patty, cranberry jam, slaw, and pickles. Is it worth it? You bet your behind it is. Be sure to head in on a Wednesday for the weekly burger experiment; it will inspire you to live.
The Lord Gladstone
A top contender for the best burger in the whole of Sydney, the guys at the recently revamped Lord Gladstone in Chippendale have mastered the art of the simple yet so-good-I-might-cry burger. What makes it so special? It’s so hard to put your finger on (but super easy to sink your teeth into). Perhaps it’s the perfectly balanced blend of milk bun, juicy meat, melty cheese and a fusion of ketchup and mustard, but it would probably take a team of rocket scientists to figure it out. The chicken burger is also hands down one of the best we’ve ever had: super crunchy with just the right amount of sriracha mayo. Let’s just leave it with this: this burger may get you pregnant, even if you are a dude. Just let it happen.
Five Points Burgers
A word of advice: get to this North Sydney burger joint early on to avoid the queue, but if you can’t get there before the line hits, it’s absolutely worth the wait. They like to keep things simple at Five Points, with a short and sweet menu full of mouth-watering classics, namely the Bronx, which you’ve no doubt seen all over your Instagram feed for the past few months. The Bronx burger is loaded with grilled beef, American cheese, bacon, and a playful medley of aioli and onion jam. Grab some beer battered chips and a vanilla bean milkshake and bask in the food coma you so wholeheartedly deserve.
This is the reigning champion of every single list of Sydney’s best burgers, and for good reason. The guys behind Mary’s get that blend of juicy, meaty goodness and melty cheese bang-on every time. And that super soft bun? Unbelievable. If chicken is more your thing or you’re looking to spread your wings beyond your usual Mary’s burger, go for the juicy, crunchy, fried chicken burger, it has the power to take any day from meh to woo! in about 30 seconds flat.
Another member of the keep-it-simple-stupid fan club, Cheekyburger on Oxford Street know just how people like their burgers: cheesy, easy, and made with love. There are three levels of cheeseburgery goodness: starting with one patty and moving up to three. Although you could probably stack a few more on if that’s your style, the cheeky folk won’t mind. There’s also a shroom burger (not those kind, kiddies), a cheeky porker, or a sloppy joe, if you want to work your way through the menu.
From the guys behind Bondi’s The Stuffed Beaver and the dearly departed Flying Squirrel comes Surly’s, a bar that makes you feel like you’ve stepped off the streets of New York City and into a bar where everybody knows your name. But you’re still in Surry Hills, and don’t worry, the burgers are epic. Cheese, meat, tomato, lettuce, red onion and Surly sauce. What’s in it? Well, that’s a secret—just know it’s awesome and you should get down there ASAP if you haven’t already. Wash it down with Blue Moon because, like, when in Rome!
I can already hear the cries of disdain. Cool your jets, honeybadgers, the teething problems have subsided and there is nothing stopping you from going in and getting your Neil Perry burger on. The big chief and his team only use the finest Cape Grim grass-fed beef, so it’s juicy goodness all the way, with a side of sustainability for the feels. There are over seven burger varietals on offer, so choosing will be difficult, but there really isn’t a wrong choice up in Burger Project. Go for the bacon project if pig is your thing: it’s packed with bar fridge smoked bacon–and whatever that is, it’s damn delicious.
Remember thefirst time you went to The Fish Shop (or Lotus, if you’re old school) and sank your teeth into Dan Hong’s now-infamous cheeseburger? Get ready to relive that experience with the Coogee diner burger. Stacked with American cheese, salad, and their very own burger sauce, it’s the perfect accompaniment to a beachside beer or cocktail at Coogee Pavilion.
Oh hi, pickles. Where have you been all my life? The placing of a pickle on a burger is nothing short of an art form, case in point: the classic cheese burger from The Hayberry. It’s super messy, saucy, cheesy and and all-around a privilege to eat. It also comes with a side of impossibly moreish and perfectly crunchy waffle fries, so… y’know.
BondiTony’s Burger Joint
The menu at BondiTony’s is short, but oh so incredibly sweet. Named after the bands that manager (and all-around legend) Tony has managed and toured with over the years, the burgers are all made with quality ingredients and served with a big old smile. The burgers here are a veritable party in your mouth—there’s something about the fusion of top-quality meat, a layer of cheese, a lick of Claudia’s tomato relish sandwiched between a Nelson Road Tuckshop Bakery bun that makes getting out of bed each day worthwhile.
Mister Gee Burger Truck
A roving food truck flipping some of the best burgers in Sydney? We’re totally down for that. The burgers at Mister Gee Burger Truck are truly a thing to behold. With melted cheese oozing from its core, and a double patty if you’re really serious, we suggest ordering it with a side of chilli cheese fries and a shake to complete the holy trinity of burgering. They’re well worth the extra hours you’ll need to put in at the gym. Well worth it indeed.
Image credits: Federica Portentoso for The Lord Gladstone, Pub Life Kitchen, Lisa Brooke for The Hayberry.