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.

Related pages:
Best Fried Chicken in Sydney

Mary’s Newtown

Bar

Even after all these years, Mary's still makes one of the city's best burgers. The OG Mary’s ‘burg with “trashcan bacon” is nigh unbeatable, but no visit to Mary’s is complete without a side of finger-licking fried chook or mash and gravy. Not to mention, a glass of skinsy vino to wash it all down with.

6 Mary Street, Newtown

Butter

Restaurant

The combination of fried chicken, champagne and sneakers was always destined to be a winner. The hip Sydney chain is among the first in Australia to embrace Impossible Meat, the world’s plant-based patty du jour. You can try it on a classic cheeseburger, but there’s also no shame in sticking with the real thing.

6 Hunt Street, Surry Hills
Book a Table

Ume Burger

Restaurant

While Bar Ume is sadly shut now, its inimitable Japanese-inspired burgers are still going strong at the Barangaroo burger outpost. Fill-out your order with sides such as Koji fried chicken, house-made kimchi and those signature Lotus root crisps.

Walugul Walk, Barangaroo

Bar Luca

Restaurant

Infamous for the Blame Canada burger, a beef-y number jammed with maple-glazed bacon, maple aioli and silky poutine. But you can Blame Australia, too. It’s a similar story, except with beetroot relish and “meat-pie poutine”. Strewth.

52 Phillip Street, Sydney

Mister Gee Burger Truck

Restaurant

A cult food truck that gained fame from serving a truffle burger. Whether you’re pulling up to the Haberfield or North Strathfield locations, you can expect the same stacked menu of gut-busting two-handers. Plus Oreo shakes, “bacon boy” fries, and piping-hot cinnamon doughnuts.

Soul Burger

Restaurant

Vegans shouldn't be denied a good burger, and Soul’s plant-based crowd-pleasers tick all the boxes. When you order through the restaurant’s app, you’ll receive 5 per cent of your first purchase, plus competitive pricing and loyalty points. Download here. Happy days.

49 Perouse Road, Randwick

Mary's Circular Quay

Restaurant

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

Baby Rey's Burgers

Restaurant

This popular food truck now has its own permanent spot. You no longer have to wait for it to pop up to get your hands on the popular American-style burgers, mac’n’cheese balls and cheeseburger spring rolls.

4/129 Marrickville Road, Marrickville

Pub Life Kitchen

Restaurant

When Pub Life Kitchen, the Lord Wolseley’s in-house bistro, closed five years ago, it left a vacuum in Sydney’s burger scene. We’re glad it’s back. PLK is still run by original owner Jovan Curic. Ping the bistro hotline (0467 644 434) to order ahead for pickup. But if you live out of the area and are dying to try the OG burger, you can order the grill-at-home version from natural wine retailer DRNKS and have it delivered to your place.

Lord Wolseley Hotel 265 Bulwara Road, Ultimo

BL Burgers Darlinghurst

Restaurant

The Darlinghurst outpost for the burger maestros at Bar Luca. You'll find the Blame Canada burger here, as well as loaded fries, fried chicken wings and craft beer.

1/151 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Happy Ending

Restaurant

Concord’s finest experimental burgers come from the same guy behind the popular Mister Gee food truck. Go experimental with choice items such as the “psychedelics” burger: a dry-aged beef patty or deep-fried chicken thigh; topped with American cheese, jalapeno and pineapple relish, maple bacon and truffle mayo.

55 Majors Bay Road, Concord

Burgerhood

Restaurant

Burgerhood is from the gun team behind Grandma’s, Wild Rover and Wilhelmina’s next door. And In-N-Out is the inspiration for these burgs, which feature thin, house-ground patties composed of chuck steak, brisket and streaky skeins of bacon.

Shop 1 332 Darling Street, Balmain

Smoky Sue’s

Restaurant

A game-changing Maroubra smokehouse with some pretty mean burgers. Southern comforts such as platters of brisket, pulled pork slathered in sticky sauce, and Southern-fried buttermilk chicken are also a big thing here. Our highlight? The Ribby McRibface – get it, if only for the name.

737 Anzac Parade, Maroubra

Superior Burger

Restaurant

The ‘burgs at this neon-lit Mortlake spot are aptly-named indeed. They’re by Jovan Curic, the man behind Pub Life Kitchen, so you can expect a level of sophistication between the bun: dry-aged beef Hunter Valley beef patties, organic vegetables and house-made barbeque sauce.

1 Bertram Street, Mortlake

Burger Head

Restaurant

Three young ex fine-dining chefs took Penrith by storm when they opened Burger Head. If you’ve ever wondered what a cheeseburger made by Quay and Momofuku Seiobo alumni tastes like, put in an order on the snazzy Burger Head website. Or keep an eye on Instagram for upcoming food truck locations.

Shop 17/98 Henry St, Penrith

Vic’s Meat Market Butcher

Shop

Trust a butcher to make a top-notch burger. Vic’s smokehouse serves burgers piled high with either Wagyu brisket, 12-hour Boston Butt pulled pork, southern fried chicken or a classic Wagyu patty.

Sydney Fish Market Bank Street, Pyrmont

Five Points Burgers

Restaurant

This joint does a burger inspired by each of New York City’s five boroughs. A beef burger with double cheese; chipotle and gherkin mayo; jalapenos and iceberg lettuce sounds like something a Brooklynite would devour in a heartbeat.

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

Paul's Famous Hamburgers

Restaurant

Paul’s hasn’t changed its recipe since 1957. That means you won’t find fancy burgers here – just classic, homemade burgers and chips. That famous works burger with the lot is absolutely worth travelling for.

12 Princess Highway, Sylvania

Burgers Anonymous

Restaurant

It may have made forays into tacos of late, but this Breaking Bad-inspired chain deals in outstanding burgers at every one of its locations. No matter where you live, there’s probably an Anonymous close by – which means you’ll be hoeing into a Heisenburger in no time.

80 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

The Tuckshop Glenhaven

Cafe

This suburban cafe and takeaway spot is an unlikely burger hero. The classics are backed up by some solid vegan options, including a tofu number slathered with fermented peri peri sauce; and a convincing vegan cheeseburger starring the Beyond Meat patty.

Shop 1/78 Glenhaven Road, Glenhaven

The General Eatery & Supplies

Cafe

Many cafes attempt the burger, but few pull it off quite like this handsome Dully mainstay. It’s trading 8am until 2pm daily, which means you can pick up the bacon-cheese burger or chicken royale for lunch any day of the week. Pop-up burger nights do happen often, so check The General’s Instagram for updates.

514 Marrickville Road, Dulwich Hill

One Penny Red

Restaurant

There’s a seriously on-point burger at this neighbourhood fine-diner, housed inside a historic post office building. It’s a grass-fed beef patty number with gruyere and pickles on a milk bun.

2 Moonbie Street, Summer Hill

The Oxford Tavern

Bar

It’s changed hands a few times now, but the one thing that’s never changed at The Ox is its strong Texas-style barbeque and burger game.

1 New Canterbury Road, Petersham, Petersham

Bonditony's

Restaurant

Bondi’s original rock’n’roll burger joint is now serving up on Deliveroo. If you’re ordering on Deliveroo, you can also add a side of love to your order. Go on, it’s free.

144-148 Glenayr Avenue, Bondi