It may seem odd now but once upon a time, Sydney didn't really have a burger scene. Then came Dan Hong's Lotus cheeseburger, followed by Mary's and Chur Burger. Not long after there were countless imitators and even more innovators.

Now burgers are everywhere. They're on cafe menus, at the bar in fine diners, and in just about every second food truck that's ever rolled onto a Sydney street. Style-wise it may look all over the place with wild specials, attention seeking ingredients and even more ridiculous names but all the basics are classic American. Beetroot, eggs, defrosted patties and sesame buns are relics now, now it's all about milk buns, American cheese, house-ground patties and special sauce.

Whether they're classically American, stacked like fatty Jenga towers or filled with experiments, here's where to find the best in town.

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Mary's Circular Quay

Burgers, craft beer, minimal intervention wine, thumping rock music and a fern-filled outdoor dining space with 30 seats. And the whole menu can be ordered vegan.

7 Macquarie Place, Circular Quay, Sydney

Down N' Out

This short-order menu focuses on American-style burgers inspired by a certain Californian burger chain.

77 Liverpool Street, Sydney

Lotus 2.0

The burger that started it all is back in town. But not for long. Get in while you still can.

22 Challis Avenue, Potts Point

Mary’s Newtown

Get your fix of trashcan bacon and rock 'n' roll tunes here, or at the second location in the CBD. Even after all these years, Mary's still makes one of the city's best.

6 Mary Street, Newtown

Bar Luca

Famous for the Blame Canada: Wagyu patty, maple-glazed bacon, American cheese, maple aioli and poutine in a milk bun.

52 Phillip Street, Sydney

Happy Ending

Experimental burgers from the same guy behind the popular Mister Gee food truck.

55 Majors Bay Road, Concord


Five Guys and In-N-Out are the inspiration for these burgers, which feature relatively thin, house-ground patties.

Shop 1 332 Darling Street, Balmain

Ume Burger

Japanese-inspired burgers and soft serve from chef Kirby Craig. Also in Surry Hills, at Bar Ume.

Walugul Walk, Barangaroo

BL Burgers Darlinghurst

Bar Luca's smaller takeaway joint. Also available in Parramatta.

1/151 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Superior Burger

A Western outpost from Pub Life Kitchen's Jovan Curic.

Shop 5 30 Bulls Road, Wakeley

Burger Head

Three young, fine-dining chefs serving burgers in Penrith.

Shop 17/98 Henry St, Penrith

Vic’s Meat Market Butcher

Trust a butcher to make a top-notch burger.

Sydney Fish Market Bank Street, Pyrmont

Sunset Diner

Grab a seat under the palm trees for burgers, milkshakes, sundaes and a side of neon.

41 Barrenjoey Road, Avalon

Restaurant Hubert

Little known fact: the moody French diner serves a mean burger at the bar.

15 Bligh Street, Sydney

Ze Pickle

A Gold Coast crew matching it with Sydney's best.

6 17-51 Foveaux Street, Surry Hills
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Five Points Burgers

Do it like the New Yorkers do with the help of Tomislav Martinovic.

124 Walker Street (enter via Berry Street), North Sydney


A one-two punch of burgers and American barbeque. Come hungry.

182 Campbell Street, Surry Hills
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Rockpool Bar & Grill

One of the few non-American style cheeseburgers on the list.

66 Hunter Street, Sydney
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The Lord Gladstone

$10 cheeseburgers on Monday. Don't mind if we do.

115 Regent Street, Chippendale

Soul Burger

Because even vegans shouldn't be denied a good burger. Now in Newtown and Glebe too.

49 Perouse Road, Randwick

The Hold

Everything on the menu can be made vegan via the magic of mock meat.

Shop 4 Sydney Road Plaza, Manly

Eat Burgers

A cult burger joint down South.

43 Gerrale Street, Cronulla

Paul's Famous Hamburgers

An institution in Sylvania, more nostalgic than excellent.

12 Princess Highway, Sylvania

Excelsior Jones

Probably the first Sydney cafe to put cheeseburgers on the menu.

139A Queen Steet, Ashfield

Burgers Anonymous

Classic cheeseburgers in a Breaking Bad themed diner.

80 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

The Tuckshop Glenhaven

Once known as an all day cafe, now known one of the best burgers in the north west.

Shop 1/78 Glenhaven Road, Glenhaven