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The best lobster rolls and crab burgers in Melbourne

Rethink your burger game by ditching the beef patty in favour of fried soft-shell crab and hunks of fresh lobster

By Sarah Gamboni

These days if you don't feel like a beef patty, you've got equally juicy options that don't involve a floppy fish burger. Since Andrew McConnell introduced his lobster rolls to the collective tastebuds of Melbourne, lobster rolls and soft shell crab burgers have been a staple on menus in eateries across the city. So next time you feel too guilty about having a burger for breakfast, order one of these bad boys.

Feel like a snack? Check out Melbourne's best cheese shops for some brie and a vino. If you're more of a sweet tooth, head to the city's best doughnut shops for some doughy goodness. 

A soft shell crab burger with sriracha mayonnaise and coleslaw a
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Hammer and Tong 412

Restaurants Fitzroy

An industrial-chic bolthole just off Brunswick Street, Hammer and Tong may be best known for its inventive breakfasts, served with a side of booze, but we’re all about the soft-shell crab burger: a crisp-battered Queensland crustacean housed in puffy brioche with squiggles of Sriracha mayonnaise and 'slaw. It's the fun dishes based on can't-fail combinations that will keep us coming back to this joint time and again.

The Kettle Black

Restaurants South Melbourne

Top Paddock’s  soft-shell crab burger is reimagined at sister café Kettle Black: pearly nubs of poached King Island crayfish, yuzu mayo and sorrel are bundled into ash-dusted brioche. It’s petite for its price, but it sure is photogenic – you might have spotted the bun on your Instagram feed.


The Rochester Hotel

Bars Fitzroy
We'll happily slip on a bib to get stuck into the garlicky hot mess that is Katie's Low Country crab boil, but for relatively less messy feasting session at this ramshackle boozer, zero in on soft shell crab sliders. Inspired by the North East coast of America, where chef Katie Marron's mum grew up, this  sandwich sports a blue swimmer crab cake laced with Old Bay seasoning, plus crunchy coleslaw, herb mayo and a dill pickle.


Restaurants Asian Melbourne

Admittedly it's a little posher than a burger joint, but Andrew McConnell's Supernormal gets a look-in thanks to its standout New England lobster roll. A transplant from the Golden Fields menu (the St Kilda restaurant has become wine bar Luxembourg), this fist-sized stunner features medallions of fresh crayfish, peppery watercress and a smear of mayonnaise, all packed into a toasted, buttery-sweet brioche bun. Worth the splurge.


Top Paddock

Restaurants Cremorne

In a city packed with top-notch cafés, it takes some serious commitment to queue for brunch – and yet the team at Top Paddock continues to draw the hordes each weekend. One of the standout dishes right from the start has been the crab roll – that’s a juicy, battered soft-shell Queensland muddy in a brioche bun with zippy lime mayonnaise and a refreshing fennel and dill salad. And no one looks askance if you order it before midday

More Melbourne burgers we love

Burger at Butchers Diner
Photograph: Butchers Diner

The best burgers in Melbourne

Restaurants Burgers

The best things you'll find between two buns. Although food trends will come and go, there will always be a place in our arteries for the humble hamburger. 

And for the home cook

Introducing Castello's new Burger Blue: this wonder of cheese technology has all the bold, umami-intensive blue-cheese taste you'd expect from Castello, but it comes pre-sliced with an easy-peel pack, that makes it perfect for melting over your beef or mushroom burger patty. A first for Australia, this is the end of awkward cheese crumbs and the beginning of a beautiful, blue, thinly sliced square future. Grab it from the dairy aisle of major supermarkets.


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