The brief guest appearance of Sydney burger joint Mary’s at Belle’s Hot Chicken on Sunday was a reminder Melbourne is still crazy about the burger. Mary's sold out after serving 250 burgers in a few hours, but as a city, we’re still hungry for more.
With several new burger joints popping up over the past few weeks, we’re pretty spoilt for choice in these parts. Here are a handful we can recommend.
Brother Burger and The Marvellous Brew
Brother Burger 2.0 in South Yarra has a large burger menu that proudly features pure, full-blood Wagyu beef patties. Aside from the classic burger, The Jane, there are also some contemporary creations, such as The Donald (pulled, slow-roasted, five-spice duck, cucumber, lettuce, coriander, spring onion, house-made pickled carrot and house dressing). With 800 antique meat mincers decorating the space and rock’n’roll tunes creating a real diner-like vibe, Brother Burger is a great place to celebrate the art of the burger.
Sure, it’s five-storey-high train carriages, graffitied walls and sweeping city views are getting people talking, but do the burgers at Easey’s make the cut? Yes, but you need a strong stomach for it. For $8 you can get the signature Easey Cheesy (secret cuts beef patty, American cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, ketchup, mustard and mayo). This the only burger with salad – its basically banned in any other burger on offer here. The closest thing to a vegetable in any of the other burgers is the Detroit-imported pickle. Heads up to vegetarians: you get a deep-fried potato cake as your patty. If you’re up for a challenge, tackle the Melbourne Madness: double-beef patty, triple American cheddar, bacon, a potato cake, a dim sim, jalapenos, pickles, onions, ketchup and mustard.
Since rolling into Thornbury in early May, Kustom has had a bit of a rocky start with an early chef-change and some minor teething problems. When in stride though, this place is too fun – it’s worth a visit almost solely for the slot-car race track. The menu features grass-fed beef, chicken and mushroom burgers with names such as the F150, F350 and FJ Holden. While the popular brioche bun is available, you can opt for a plain bun if sweet bread isn’t your thing. Chilli lovers should go for the Hot Rod burger, which contains a special habanero and chipotle sauce, which will get the sweats going. Owner of Kustom Paul Hendrie says, “A couple of drops of this stuff, it’ll almost burn a hole through the table.”
Not quite a new burger – just a new location, this time in Hawthorn. The fourth permanent Huxtaburger store has only eight types of burgers and two styles of chips (plain or chipotle), but everything, from the buttery, sugary brioche bun to the grass-fed Wagyu patties is done well. The portions are controlled (no triple patty, quadruple cheese here) so you won’t be curled over with meat sweats, damning the burger gods when you’re done. It’s been three years since the first Smith Street store opened and lines were still out the door and down the street at the Hawthorn opening last week. It’s clear these guys are doing something right.
8bit celebrated its first birthday this month. To mark the occasion, a number of limited-edition burgers from the last year are back on the menu. Thursday will mark the last day of the Zelda burger (chickpea, corn and quinoa patty, American cheese, beetroot relish, grilled haloumi, avocado, lettuce and 8bit sauce) before the Twin Cobra (double beef, double cheese, double crumbed jalapeno poppers, Sriracha chilli, American mustard, green habanera mayonnaise and lettuce) pops in on May 29 until June 4. The last edition of the birthday series is the California Games (beef patty, American cheese, smashed avocado, grilled pineapple, smokey bacon, chilli relish, lettuce), which will provide a little taste of summer to get you through these cold wintery nights (from June 5 to 11).