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

Bistrot 916

Restaurant

This Pott Point diner’s burgers were a massive lockdown success story. There have been double cheeseburgers (with optional foie gras), and a hugely popular duck-and-cheese number. After a brief break, all of the burgs are back. Check out the range. Is $40 too much for a cheeseburger meal? Even if it’s the best you’ve ever had? Maybe. But then again, it’s week six of lockdown. We say go for it.

22 Challis Avenue, Potts Point
Order on Providoor

Mary’s Newtown

Bar

Even after all these years, Mary's still makes one of the city's best burgers. You can still get a your fix of trashcan bacon and shoestring fries, as well as finger-licking fried chook, mash and gravy, and even a bottle or two of natty wine to takeaway. Rock up to the OG Newtown site from 5pm to 10pm Monday through Thursday, or 12pm to 10pm Friday through Sunday (text 0435 469 421 to order). Also slinging to the inner west via Deliveroo.

6 Mary Street, Newtown

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

Nameless Bar

Restaurant

The short menu here focuses on American-style burgers inspired by a certain Californian burger chain. There’s also hot wings, jalapeno poppers and more. Sauces include the sinus-clearing “death sauce.” It won’t kill Covid, but it will chase those winter blues away. Available for pickup and delivery via Menulog.

77 Liverpool Street, Sydney

Fish Butchery

Shop

Josh Niland's peerless seafood shop continues to deliver the lockdown goods. At the moment, we can't stop thinking about the double tuna cheeseburger (the swordfish bacon and prawn hot dog is a close second, though).

388 Oxford Street, Paddington

Sixpenny

Restaurant

Ordinarily, Sixpenny is a fantastic fine-diner. At the moment though, it's a lockdown-perfect general store. There are cakes, bread, sandwiches and one stunner of a fish burger. It's just like a fancy filet-o-fish, cheap cheese slice included. Be prepared to line up for this one.

83 Percival Road, Stanmore

Mary's Circular Quay

Restaurant

Just like its older Newtown sibling, Mary’s CBD is keeping the griddle smoking hot through lockdown. Same menu, same attitude. Text 0482 860 445 for pickup, or drop an order with Deliveroo for burgers to your door. Don’t forget get to check out the monthly burger special. Open every day from 12pm to 9pm.

7 Macquarie Place, Circular Quay, Sydney

Happy Ending

Restaurant

Concord’s finest experimental burgers come from the same guy behind the popular Mister Gee food truck. And now you can get experimental at home 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. Available now on Uber Eats.

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. If you’re down to try one, you can order from the restaurant directly.

Shop 1 332 Darling Street, Balmain

Baby Rey's Burgers

Restaurant

Marrickville’s home of racy, over-the-top burgers is paring back its hours for a little bit. But you can still drop by for takeaway Friday to Sunday. We’ll be going for the Cheesegasm burger some truffle fries and a shake. Order here.

4/129 Marrickville Road, Marrickville

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. It’s all available for pickup and delivery.

737 Anzac Parade, Maroubra

Ume Burger

Restaurant

While Bar Ume sadly shut earlier this year, 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. Open for lunchtime pickup, Monday to Friday. Order here.

Walugul Walk, Barangaroo

BL Burgers Darlinghurst

Restaurant

Bar Luca may be closed for this lockdown, but its smaller takeaway joint is delivering via Deliveroo. That means, you can polish-off the legendary Blame Canada burger (beef patty, American cheese, maple-glazed streaky bacon, maple aiolo and poutine) in the privacy of your own home. Which is a good thing – these bad boys can get messy. The Parramatta location is open through lockdown, too.

1/151 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

Superior Burger

Restaurant

This burger house is charging into lockdown with all of the burgers, hot wings and fries from its regular menu. And yes, the burgers are aptly named. Call ahead to place an order for pickup, or have one delivered via Uber Eats. Grilling Thursday through Sunday.

Shop 5 30 Bulls Road, Wakeley

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 topnotch burger. Vic’s smokehouse is now open for takeaway Wednesday through Sunday, serving burgers piled high with either Wagyu brisket, 12-hour Boston Butt pulled pork, southern fried chicken or a classic Wagyu patty. Hefty platters of smoked meat and sides are also on the hob. From 10am until 3pm unless sold out. Vic's also sells excellent DIY burger packs online.

Sydney Fish Market Bank Street, Pyrmont

Sunset Diner

Restaurant

This pastel-pink Avalon diner is doing takeaway Wednesday to Sunday. From midday, you can snag Sunset signatures such as the Luxe, chicken katsu, and Magic Mushroom burgers. But for a cool $30, the burger and fries combo with a four pack of Balter is an absolute steal. Order that one here.

41 Barrenjoey Road, Avalon

Five Points Burgers

Restaurant

This North Sydney joint does a burger inspired by each of New York City’s five boroughs. Work your way down the list by ordering direct through the major delivery apps or from the restaurant directly. Open from 11am every day except Sunday.

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

Restaurant Hubert

Restaurant

The moody French diner's beloved bar burger is now available to takeaway via Providoor, alongside a host of greatest hits from the menu. It's a great opportunity to enjoy the Normandy Burger in its full glory at home.

15 Bligh Street, Sydney
Order on Providoor

Mister Gee Burger Truck

Restaurant

A cult food truck that gained fame from serving a truffle burger. You can still walk up and order these gut-busters from the truck’s North Strathfield location, or via Uber Eats and Menulog in a pinch. Plus Oreo shakes, “bacon boy” fries, and piping-hot cinnamon doughnuts. Fridays and Saturdays from 7pm until 10pm.

315 Parramatta Road, Haberfield

Soul Burger

Restaurant

Vegans shouldn't be denied a good burger, Soul’s plant-based crowd-pleasers are available for takeaway and delivery all week long. Order through the restaurant’s own app to receive $5 of your first purchase, plus competitive pricing and loyalty points. Download here.

49 Perouse Road, Randwick

The Hold

Bar

Manly’s galleon of good times is doing a roaring lockdown burger trade. You can get everything from a classic cheese to a formidable special known as the “Diet Destroyer”, loaded with everything required to derail your health kick. The whole menu can be made vegan via the magic of mock meat. Pickup available Thursday to Sunday. Order here.

Shop 4 Sydney Road Plaza, Manly

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 available on Deliveroo and Uber Eats, but you can still rock up to Paul’s place for a spot of takeaway, Wednesday to Sunday.

12 Princess Highway, Sylvania

Burgers Anonymous

Restaurant

It may have made forays into tacos of late, but this Breaking Bad-inspired chain is still running the goods across all five of its burger locations. Trading hours vary, so keep an eye on Instagram for the changes and you’ll be hoeing into a Heisenburger in no time. Order here.

80 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst

The Tuckshop Glenhaven

Cafe

This Glenhaven destination is staying open for essential lockdown provisions (aka wine) and, of course, its bloody good burgers served with a side of old bay fries. They’re always available during the day, but the Tuck does an occasional burger-pop up for dinner. Give them a follow on Instagram to catch the next one and pre-order here.

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. 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. And it’s just 15 dollars. And for a few extra bucks, you can upsize and make it a double. Pre-order for pickup and delivery, Monday to Saturday. From 5pm

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. This Petersham boozer is a doing a burger of the week throughout lockdown, and a bafflingly good Beyond Meat vegan burger. Available for pickup and delivery all week. Pre-order here.

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