Sydney's best burgers

Sydney's best burgers

Gone are the days when burgers meant a trip to McDonald's or the deep-fryer on the corner. A scribe with an appetite orders a burger at the city's boutique burger bars
The Almighty at Grill'd.
The Almighty at Grill'd isn't the best: a choice for the health conscious but not the traditional burger lover.

In the last few years, Sydney's burgers have turned from staple fast-food to an artisan’s masterpiece.

I vowed to investigate: I would dine at the city’s boutique burger bars and gourmet grills, challenging them to put their patty where their mouth is.

Acknowledging Sydney’s many outstanding pub burgers, I restricted my search to burger eateries.

The burger battle was on. I would find Sydney’s best burger bar. Or perish in the attempt.

Grill’d

Coming to a suburb near you, Grill’d offers a hip combination of tunes, decor and beer.

The “Almighty” sounded promising: an informal salute to Australia’s take-away "works" burger with bacon, egg and beetroot.

Grill’d, however, delights in the fact theirs is healthier than traditional versions. And that’s where the "Almighty" with Grill’d’s virtuous intentions, comes unstuck. There’s just not enough fat to make this burger succulent.

A Grill’d burger is like a supermodel: it looks good and it’s slimming but there’s not a lot of substance to it –- this is doubly so for the herbed chips. Nice idea but it doesn’t translate.

Mind you, as the food settled, there was no bloating or eater’s remorse -- a trait Grill’d sought to achieve from the outset. So in a way, job done.

Almighty -- $12.50

Bombay Bliss (veggie) -- $10.50

57 Willoughby Road, Crows Nest, +61 (0)2 9436 0699

10 Darling Drive, Harbourside Shopping Centre, Darling Harbour, +61 (0)2 9281 5121

241 Crown St., Darlinghurst, +61 (0)2 9380 4800

314 Victoria St., Darlinghurst, +61 (0)2 9331 6562

www.grilld.com.au

Moo Burger

Moo's Salmon BurgerThe Salmon Burger: easier than catching one and better than the carnivorous choice at Moo.I’d been warned Moo Burgers were too big. After a light lunch and a coastal walk to Bondi, I'd fired up a dinnertime hunger.

With a skewer for support, my Beef Avocado & Bacon Burger was more burger-on-a-spit. I almost dislocated my jaw trying to encompass its height in one bite. I resorted to eating the top, then the bottom. Afterwards, I was full and bordering on eater’s remorse.

Perhaps the Salmon Burger -- a thick filet with the tried-and-true aioli and rocket with pesto, is a better beachside choice.

Beef Avocado & Bacon Burger -– $14.50

Fish burger –- $16.50

70A Campbell Parade, Bondi Beach, +61 (0)2 9300 8898

242 Coogee Bay Road, Coogee Beach, +61 (02) 9664 4300

232 King St., Newtown, +61 (0)2 9565 4001

www.moogourmetburgers.com.au

Burgerlicious

The Jalepaso at BurgerliciousThe Jalepaso at Burgerlicious is a good hangover cure.A hangover go-to meal, the Jalepaso -- with generous dollops of guacamole and sour cream added to bacon, jalepeno relish and salsa -- cures the booze blues.

A good patty is crucial to the whole burger experience and, sadly, this one tasted too pre-prepared. However, the loss of succulence was rescued by those generous dollops, the chips were thick and crisped to perfection and the meal deal made it all affordable.

Atmosphere-wise, there’s not much: a simple fit-out and commercial radio over the speakers.

Will the upcoming beer and wine menu rescue Burgerlicious or will it go down fast food alley?

Jalepaso meal -- $13.50

130 Liverpool St., Sydney City, +61 (0)2 9264 4446

48 Bronte Road, Bondi Junction, +61 (0)) 9389 0655

215 King St., Newtown, +61 (0)2 9519 7401

www.burgerlicious.com.au

Burgerfuel

The Bastard at Burgerfuel.The Bastard at Burgerfuel: a serious contender.Jumping the Tasman, New Zealand’s Burgerfuel arrived in Newtown like an All Black ready for a challenge with excellent kumara (sweet potato) chips and the Doofer: a cup-like device to keep the big burger in shape.

Its prime burger is The Bastard -- a whopping lump of ground beef with bacon. Built with melted cheddar, beetroot, mango (adding a sweetness that shouldn’t be a deterrent), avocado, salad, relish and aioli makes this burger a serious contender.

Or try the hippy Beetnik, a gourmet lightweight veg burger sure to please Newtown locals.

The Bastard –- $12.50

Beetnik –- $7.90

172 King St., Newtown, +61 (0)2 9519 4700

www.burgerfuel.com/au

The Burger Joint

A Burger Joint creation.Burger Joint creations are rarely the same twice.A hole-in-the-wall between Victoria Street and Darlinghurst Road, The Burger Joint offers an extensive menu made larger with the build-your-own option (the carb-conscious can wrap them instead).

I played it relatively safe. Building on beef, I added tasty cheese, pineapple, avocado slices, bacon and a mix of tomato and barbecue sauce.

Gratifying beef-pineapple-bacon juice ran to my plate for the golden chips to soak up. A soda went down nicely.

No beer is a strike but they deliver locally, even to the Green Park or Darlo Bar –- order at their bar and your burgers come to you.

Build your own -- $7.00 + $2.50 of extras.

393 Liverpool St., Darlinghurst, +61 (0)2 9380 2575

www.theburgerjoint.com.au

(And the winner is) Burgerman

Burgerman is hidden down a Darlinghurst side street.

Offering both local and imported beer and wine with table service to boot, it could even be a relaxed first date (as long as he, she or it eats burgers).

The Super has beetroot, gherkin, bacon, cheese and onions. This was the only patty of the burger-battle served medium rare, with the cheese melted onto the patty.

Paired with a Coopers and skinny fries, and boasting hormone-free patties, the juice drippings still ran down my hand onto my plate, mopped up with my last bite. A near perfect meal.

I declared it the best burger bar in Sydney.

The Super at Burgerman.The Super at Burgerman: arguably the city's best burger.

Super -- $11.95

Vegertarian -- $10.95

116 Surrey St., Darlinghurst, +61 (0)2 93610268

www.burgerman.com.au

So the winner is Burgerman. Are there any I missed?

Colin Delaney is a Sydney-based freelance travel and arts journalist. He hasn't a dog, nor a cat, just a bike that keeps breaking down.

Read more about Colin Delaney
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