This Collingwood institution is not only a great burger joint, but somehow crosses the territories of bar, pub and club with its credibility well and truly intact. There are several different spaces for patrons to sit back and enjoy their burger, including a beer garden, perfect for when the sun is out. There are always good beats playing too, so it’s ideal for Friday drinks and kicking off the weekend. We love the classic beef burger with Mr Scruff’s special sauce. For a meal that is kind to the hip pocket, head in on a Wednesday when the food is half price.
Video gamers rejoice! 8bit not only serves up a mean burger but is also decked out in funky, classic gaming-style accents. The pixelated theme provides an element of fun that is sure to keep the kids happy, as will the menu that also references classic gaming characters. Try out the ever popular Golden Axe burger, with crispy fried chicken, cheese, sriracha mayo and slaw. Prefer your burger without meat? The One Up Mushroom Burger is an excellent choice; it comes with crumbed mushroom, cheese, salad, green tomato relish and 8bit’s special sauce.
If you take all the great things about an American burger and pair it with all the great things about fresh Aussie ingredients, you have Royal Stacks. Here, you’ll find only Australian, pasture fed, GMO-free beef in your patty. Love bacon? Try the Bacon Bacon burger. It comes with double patties, double bacon, American cheddar, mustard, tomato sauce and pickles. Double deliciousness!
Is there anything more Melbourne than a restaurant in a repurposed train carriage on top of a five-storey building? Easey’s in Collingwood is exactly that. This burger joint can get busy, so if you don’t manage to get a seat in the coveted carriages, never fear — the train theme continues throughout, with menus that read like a train schedule, tabletops made from train-route signs and street-art–emblazoned walls. Take a trip down the Burger Line section of the menu and test out the Melbourne Madness burger, featuring double beef patties, cheddar, bacon, jalapenos, pickles and — wait for it — a potato cake and dim sim.
Situated beneath one of Melbourne’s longstanding icons, the Skipping Girl sign, you’ll find the aptly named Skipping Girl Takeaway. Offering delicious thrice-cooked chips and a massive condiment wall that leads perfectly to the main event, it’s little wonder this eatery has become a hit with locals. The impressive burger menu has something for everyone, from burgers with stacks of beef patties to multiple veggie options. If you’re game, try out the Of Wolf and Man burger. It comes with a wagyu beef patty and 48-hour brined fried chicken, plus cheese, salad and aioli. Top it off with one of the freak shakes and the cheat day of your diet is sorted!
If you love all things American, this restaurant is a must. With booths inside vintage caravans, crazy floral wallpaper and a chandelier hanging from the centre of the ceiling, it’s kitschy-cool charm will win you over before you’ve even had the chance to take a peek at the menu. When you do, be sure to have a read through the wacky names of each dish. Our pick is the burger named after the House of Cards character, Francis Underwood, that comes with a beef patty, cheese, tomato, lettuce, mac and cheese croquette and mustard. Mac and cheese in a burger? It doesn’t come any more American than that!
Take a trip back to the 1950s at Betty’s Burgers & Concrete Co. Conveniently located on Elizabeth Street, not too far from Flinders Street Station and the Bourke Street Mall, Betty’s is the epitome of a cool retro diner. With its neon sign, brightly coloured furniture and pot plants hanging from the ceiling, it’s an Instagrammers dining dream. We recommend the Crispy Chicken burger, with fried chicken, lettuce, tomato and Betty’s special sauce. It’s simple, reliable and perfect for refuelling during a day of retail therapy in Melbourne. If, like most of us, you have a second stomach just for dessert, try something from the Concretes menu like the Peanut Butter Brittle — chocolate custard, peanut brittle, hot fudge and vanilla cream. Yum!
Topping many a Melbourne burger list is the Merrywell at Crown. Split across two levels — the upper level for a fancier affair and the lower level for a more casual dining experience — it has all bases covered. The burgers here are consistently juicy and are served in buttery soft buns. The Oz Burger is a crowd favourite, with a beef patty, cheese, pineapple, beetroot, fried egg, grilled onions, plus barbecue sauce and mayo. Order it with a side of the legendary onion rings and a Merrywell spider, and you've set yourself up for a meal that will leave a smile on your face.