The Best Burgers in Melbourne

Updated 4 months ago

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If you’re stuck for takeaway ideas – or if there are too many options to choose from – you can do a lot worse than a big old burger.

As well, most of these spots have crowd-pleasing menus – not to mention pretty much every side you could think of – making them a solid choice if you’re ordering for a fussy group. Plant-based burgers have also made huge strides in recent years, so vegos and vegans can get in on the action, too. These are our favourite spots to get two-handers across Melbourne, from finer establishments like Gimlet to low-key, nostalgic joints like Leonard’s House of Love and Danny’s Burgers.

  • Bar Margaux’s (in)famous burger consists of not two 120-gram Wagyu patties. There’s also bacon, sliced cheddar and bordelaise sauce made from bone marrow, red wine, shallots and a truckload of pepper. How the 50-50 milk-brioche bun keeps it all intact is anyone’s guess. This is the most decadent two-hander in Melbourne.

  • Ever wondered what a cheeseburger by one of the world’s best restaurants tastes like? For the princely sum of $26, you can find out. This beauty hinges on a house-made O’Connor beef pattie fired on the woodgrill for a wallop of smoky flavour. It’s only served on Gimlet’s late-night supper menu, from 10pm – and it’s well worth staying up for.

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  • From the mind of Raph Rashid (the chef behind the legendary, now-closed Beatbox Kitchen) this pastel-pink diner is all about fried chicken, burritos and a cheeseburger we can’t stop thinking about. The rotating weekly specials alone are worth hitting the place up for.

  • The greatest of Leonard’s hits is undeniably its Melbourne-famous fried chicken – and that brisket and short-rib cheeseburger is no afterthought. Leonard’s grill is firing till late on weekends, which means the party in your mouth needn’t start til later.

  • This compact burger joint does whopping beef and plant-based cheeseburgers, Southern fried chicken and Oreo thickshakes. The whole experience feels faintly reminiscent of American chain In-N-Out, and we’re here for it. Also serving in Coburg, Richmond and Prahran.

  • Burgers, booze and bands – that’s been the premise at the B.East since day dot. Years on, it's still delivering. Every ingredient in these burgers is made on-site (except the potato buns). There’s a big range to choose from too, including a very respectable plant-based selection.

  • If you find yourself in the CBD after many pints, hankering for a cheap lot of saturated fat and regret at 11pm, keep moving. But if you’re after a well-made hamburger comprising top-quality ingredients, find this retro late-night spot.

  • This west-side burger joint is a nostalgic ode to our favourite pixels past. Orders burgers made with beef, fried chicken and crumbed mushroom alongside fries, shakes, tater tots and more. Play on the arcade machine while you wait.

  • These Shake Shack-inspired burgers are franchise-worthy on their own. The double-stacker beef burger is the clear headliner, but don’t overlook the perfectly crisp fried chicken. Potato heads: get your fix in gem, shoestring or cheese-topped form.

  • No-nonsense burgers, served five storeys up, inside a train carriage. This is Melbourne, so of course that’s a thing. This singular rooftop diner in Collingwood’s backstreets doesn’t coast by on its looks though – these are some of the best burgers you’ll find anywhere in town.

  • Huxtaburger arguably kick-started the Melbourne burger renaissance when it opened in 2012, and it’s still a go-to for many. Better still, there are now multiple locations dotted around town, so there’s probably one nearby to satisfy your two-hander cravings.

  • This is the cult US burger chain’s debut location in Melbourne. So what’s with all the hype? For a start, you can add extra toppings to your burger for free. Five Guys also doesn’t use freezers or microwaves, the patties are handmade, and local bakeries bake the buns. Fries are cut by hand in-house daily.

  • Betty’s is inspired by a famous burger shack from Noosa, Queensland. And while it’s certainly not replicating that spot’s famously low prices, the no-frills burgers here are affordable and tasty. Don’t forget to order some hand-churned, frozen custard ice-cream.

  • The extensive menu at this American-style diner is packed with classic options, as well as a few zanier ones (we see you, El Gringo). Beef, fried chicken and plant-based patties are all represented, and there’s a killer line-up of sides and desserts.

  • This bakery is best known for its elaborate cakes, and excellent pies and sausage rolls. But locals also flock for its classic cheeseburger and fried-to-order chicken sandwich, which is essentially a burger. The latter ferries a fried chicken recipe that took 15 years to perfect.

  • From humble St Kilda beginnings Fat Jak’s is now spreading like wildfire, with plans to take its signature branded buns interstate. We can see why it’s got legs: Fat Jak’s very satisfying American-style cheeseburgers, Nashville hot chicken sandwiches and golden parmas are huge for the price.

  • Pulp Fiction fans will dig the name, but anyone can get around the wares at Pantry’s epic hole-in-the-wall side hustle. The ratio of filling to bun is on point, which means you’ll have belly space for thickshakes and ice-cream. (Probably. Only one way to find out.)

  • Sonny’s Fried Chicken and Burgers, the diner inside the Gem, has been quietly doing its thing for years now. The fried chicken is excellent – and the spicy option is very spicy, be warned – but the cheeseburgers have been steadily gaining traction among Melbourne’s burger circles as the standout.

  • Sonny’s Fried Chicken & Burgers is the formidable in-house kitchen here. Choose from all manner of American delights, think 24-hour buttermilk brined chicken to a house riff on a famous Minneapolis cheeseburger. Don’t miss the fried chicken burger – it’s the best of both worlds.

  • This good-times bar swapped out pizzas for burgers on the food menu a little while back – with excellent results. All of the burgers, fries and bar snacks at Lulie are well worth checking out, but special props must go to the Whopper: a Hungry Jacks-inspired masterpiece.

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  • Unlike lots of burger joints, which emphasise minimal seasoning or flavouring, 1090 uses a secret nine-ingredient marinade to bump up the umami profile of its Angus beef patties. The result is a simple and consistent classic.

  • You wouldn’t know it from the nondescript exterior, but the kitchen at Fat Bob’s churns out some of Bayside’s best burgers. Pillowy buns and smoky, pink-centered patties are the stars – backed by a roster of Southern diner sides.

  • Kustom is one of the best takes on the American diner genre around. The hot-rod-themed burger joint is the place to go to if you enjoy a tall, old-fashioned milkshake with your burger. Or if you’re just a big Grease fan.

  • If you like old-school fish’n’chip shop burgers, this is the one for you. We’re talking about lettuce, a fried egg, bacon, tomato, cheese, tommy sauce and the crucial addition of griddle-cooked onions. It’s nostalgia in a bun.

  • Danny’s is the second oldest burger shop in Melbourne, after Andrew’s. But it’s kept up with the times, plus you can nab one of these old-school fish’n’chipper-style burgs (and maybe a dim sim spiked with soy sauce) until midnight every night.

  • Lulu’s takes a straightforward approach all things deep-fried and crispy. Get your mitts around its eponymous burger: a fluffy milk bun stacked with a double Angus patty, double bacon, cheese and the usual trimmings.

  • You know the old-school, untouched-for-decades diners dotted all over the US? This CBD spot is a slick recreation of those retro relics. Go for loaded brekkie muffins, a suitably sloppy cheeseburger and filter coffee in classic diner mugs.