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Primo burger at Burgers by Josh
Photograph: Robert Polmear

Burgers by Josh

Folks are calling it the best burger in Sydney. Here’s our verdict

Written by
Freya Herring

Word is that this is the best burger in Sydney. Cult Facebook page Fatties Appreciation Society rates it as one of their top dogs, and the queues to get one have taken on a reputation all their own. But are they worth the wait?

Burgers by Josh pops up in all sorts of places. Chef Josh Arthurs started off at Danno’s Café in Dee Why, where his double-decker-scaling burgers first gained celebrity. Then he branched off on his own, popping up at various joints in the city before heading to North Sydney’s Upper Deck. Now he’s out in the Inner West, moonlighting at the Annandale Hotel.

We go on a Friday lunch and it’s rammed. But the queue isn’t going to be your problem; getting a seat is. We wait for around 10 minutes to order, and find one of the last tables in the joint at 12.30pm.

If you’ve come all this way, order up big, because that’s what BBJ is all about. We go ‘The Infamous Primo’, which features two 160g-wagyu patties; double melted American cheese (the same brand that In-N-Out use); chipotle mayo; a layer each of super-crisp bacon and beer battered onion rings, a pile of spicy pickled jalapeños and few token leaves of iceberg lettuce. It’s a freaking monster. It’s so big in fact that it’s almost impossible to eat – like a game of Jenga, but played with your mouth. It is however, pretty damn delicious: the seasoning spot on, the burgers just pink and smoky from the grill, sauce dripping down your wrist as you eat. I mean, what’s not to love about all your favourite things stuffed into a milk bun? It’s hard to argue.

If beef ain’t your bag, check out ‘The Scorpio’. It is crisp-edged, mildly spiced Southern-fried chicken (free range, we’re told) stuffed into a bun with pickled jalapeños, cabbage slaw and a super creamy jalapeño aioli. And whatever you do, do not miss the ‘Jurassic fries’ – shoestring fries layered up with liquid cheese reminiscent of Cheez Whiz and more of that chipotle-spiked 'Primo' sauce. They’re pretty much In-N-Out’s Animal Fries, but Aussief(r)ied.

They have boozy milkshakes too if you still haven’t met that calorie count (yeah right). The ‘Pick-Me-Up-Shake’ is a combo of Kahlúa, espresso, ice cream, chocolate syrup and crushed-up Oreos. It’s a beast too, but is thinner than we would have liked.

This is the age of extreme food, and Burgers by Josh are at the forefront of the trend. Other venues are doing it and falling on their faces on the flavour front, but these guys are not. These burgers taste great. Wherever these guys pop up next (Arthurs tells us it's set to be the CBD) you will find us there, fighting with the rest of Sydney for a table.

Burgers by Josh is now in between venues. Check back here to find out where he's opening up next.

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