$25 at Carvers & Co
Don’t get it twisted: there’s nothing pedestrian about this burger. A hundred and eighty grams of freshly ground beef - with a secret ratio of cuts, and meat to fat – is served medium-rare with sharp New Zealand cheddar, caramelised onions, tomatoes, pickles and lettuce between two dark, glossy Bakery Artisan Original buns. And give chef-owner Sarah Lin a salute fit for a general between all that mouth-stretching – that clever crisped weave of bacon in the middle of it all ensures each bite hits fatty gold.
$26 at Wildfire
'Making burgers with wagyu is a waste,' we swore. Until we tore into Wildfire’s patties. INKA oven-cooked, full-blooded wagyu from Aussie Blackmore farms gives Wildfire’s signature a kind of gamey, primal quality to each bite of the coarsely ground 150g puck.
This sturdily built burger with beer-softened onions, cheddar, tomatoes, lettuce and the made-for-Wildfire deep brown buns is the kind of indulgence you want to steal away solo and carry on a really messy affair with.
$22 at MEATliquor
So what if MEATliquor's Dead Hippie takes its references from the Big Mac? You still can’t beat the mustard-embedded beef patties and stretchy cheese that get their zingy balance from a secret sauce and chopped onions. Plus, there are few other joints around town where you can hold a burger in one hand and a deadly cocktail in the other.
$20 at Potato Head Folk
Of the many feature-packed burgers at Three Buns, our heart still belongs to the Baby Huey. Visually, it's more compact than most of its competition – the meat puck is just 120g after all. Still, we like that there's the option to upsize rather than gorge on a big meal. Burger architect Adam Penney's got that tangy-spicy-savoury balance nailed with the secret Notorious TOM sauce, chilli mayo and pickles.
$29 at BoCHINche
This stack with an Argentinean slant sends flavour in waves. A juicy rib-eye and bone marrow mince makes up the patty, while elements like sundried tomatoes, provolone, caramelised onions and crispy shallots take turns to dominate in each chow. And bonus points for the parsley-oregano-olive oil chimichurri paste.
$28 at OverEasy
Holy truffle, this OverEasy favourite is loaded thick with the scent of the pungent mushroom. Truffle oil and bits go into the housemade mayo between two 160g Aussie wagyu patties, and there are added caps of browned shiitake and hon-shimeiji, plus onions under fluffy potato buns baked in-house. Oh, and don’t forget the $2 upgrade for truffle fries to take the experience the full hog.
$20 at The Butchers Club Burger
The Butchers Club Burger is proof that dry-ageing isn’t just an empty buzzword. Black Angus chuck, rump and brisket are minced to order, contributing to the beefy, concentrated flavour that holds its own against strips of maple-glazed bacon, white cheddar, browned onions, pickles and tomatoes. Pillowy Scottish breakfast rolls, and duck fat fries (an $8 upgrade – bummer) take care of the carb food group.
Burger hacks (all your burger dreams come true)
McDonald’s McDouble + McDonald’s McChicken
Burger King Whopper + McDonald’s chicken nuggets + McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish
Burger King Whopper + Burger King onion rings
McDonald’s McSpicy + KFC Zinger
McDonald’s milkshake + McDonald’s strawberry sundae + McDonald’s corn cup + McDonald’s apple pie