By Tim Welsh
If you know me, you know that I’m a burger enthusiast. I don’t say burger snob because I believe that great burgers come in many forms. Example given: I once ate a turkey burger at a place called The Foundry in Kansas City with an apple chutney that blew my mind. A traditional burger snob would have dismissed the turkey burger on account of the meat used and not have had an awesome mind explosion.
When it comes to getting a great burger, there are a few factors. You have to have a unique ambiance, solid choices on sides, good meat, a delicious bun, and killer toppings. Uniqueness always scores bonus points in each category. After 4 months of touring around Sydney, I’ve come up with a few burgers that you have to eat.
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1. Burger Project (World Square)
This one is an easy win. If you’re a Sydney local, you probably expected this one to make the list. The reason that it beats out many of the others though is that the quality of beef is really good. They are very proud of that too. If you look at the screens, you’ll see images of cows that they take pride in raising before slaughtering them into something delicious. I’ve never listened to the broadcast but I feel like I got the jist of what was going on there.
Overall, it’s a really clean atmosphere and the chips and shakes offered complement their burger situation nicely. I recommend going with the double burger with chipotle chilli chips and a strawberry shake. It creates a great experience that will not disappoint.
Address: Next to Din Tai Fung, on Level 1 644 George St, Sydney 2000
2. Reuben and Moore (Pitt Street Mall)
When it comes to surprising venues to make the list, Reuben & Moore was an unexpected delight. Residing on the 5th floor of the iconic Pitt Street Mall in Sydney’s CBD, this is just about the last place that you would expect to find a good burger. I went on a lark though and that’s exactly what I found.
This is the meatlover’s delight in my books. The picture that you see in this article is of a Double Wagyu Cheese Burger and yes, that is pastrami as the top layer. I never put this mammoth down for two reasons. One, it was delicious. Two, if I put it down, I don’t know that I would have ever regained control over it. I had a side salad with it to lie to myself about making up for my dietary sins. My advice though, go for a double and leave the sides at home. This will fill you up.
Address: Pitt St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
When it comes to cool venues with good burgers, I had to give a nod to The Rook. I went on a particularly hot day in Sydney but even with sweat coming down all of our brows, not a single person that I was at lunch with regretted coming out for our Fat Friday burger fest at The Rook. This picture is of my Wagyu BLT but I had bites of the Uncle Sam and Banditos. They were all good choices. I might say that the Bandito is the one I’d recommend most.
The Rook wins bonus points for it’s cocktails and sides. The Rook is a bar first and you won’t forget that when you have any of their well-crafted cocktails. Their truffle fries are awesome but I can never finish a whole batch of them. I have a truffle cap.
Address: 7, 56-58 York St, Sydney NSW 2000
4. Mary’s (CBD and Newtown)
This is another one that you’ll find on almost every list. I’m not going to lie. The burgers are pretty good but not as good as any other on this list. I find the texture of their beef unique and flavorful.
Where Mary’s kills it though is in the ambiance. Whether you make it to the Mary’s in Newtown or just grab a burger at the CBD location, you’ll notice an edge to everything they do. From awesomely simply menus to tip jars with overly detailed phallic art on them, Mary’s does not mess around. If you don’t come get your order in a reasonable amount of time, your burger goes bye bye. Enjoy the atmosphere and order a Mary’s burger with a Maple Syrup Shake. Thank me later.
Address: 154 Castlereagh St, Sydney NSW 2000 (shown here); & 6 Mary St, Newtown NSW 2042
5. Gowings Bar & Grill (CBD)
Disclaimer, I actually work with the company that owns Gowings. If I didn’t go to Gowings regularly for business though, I probably wouldn’t have made it to the healthiest burger that made the list. The “Umami” Tuna Burger is hidden in the bottom-left of the menu. Good thing I like to read and played a lot of Where’s Waldo as a child.
The patty is great but it’s the bun that really makes this burger something special. Order it with a side of greens if you’re feeling healthy or chips if you’re not. I’ve had both and neither disappointed me.
All in all, Sydney is a great town for food. I’ve listed some of my favorite burger joints here. I’m going to give an honorable mention shout out to Five Points in North Sydney. I’m keeping my list to 5 but they certainly would and should make other lists. Cheers to you all and always be sure to tweet or Instagram me with any of your favorite burgers! I crave such knowledge....literally.
Address: 1/49 Market St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia