Anyone who knows us will know how much we both love to eat. There’s pretty much not an hour (maybe even a minute!) that goes by that one of us doesn’t think about where we can get our next meal, what’s for breakfast/lunch/dinner, or just food in general.
So it’s not surprising that as Melbourne has such a great food scene, we thought we’d write a few blogs on our favourite restaurants here. First up is the best burger restaurants. Natalie has never been a massive fan of burgers, particularly beef burgers. But after living in Melbourne, how could she not convert into a burger addict.
We’ve made a list of our top 5 burger places with delicious, mouth-watering burgers to sink your teeth into.
Hands down our best and most favourite burger place. The restaurant is on Bourke Street so really central, and the entrance is kind of hidden so you could easily walk past it and not know it’s there. The stairs take you up to an amazingly decorated restaurant that brings the outside in. The room is decked out with a variety of funky and brightly coloured trailers with picnic benches to enjoy your food on.
“OK that’s enough about the decor” you’re thinking…”What about the burgers!?” They are a whole other level! The burgers are all beef patties with the exception of one veggie option - they’ve changed their menu now but Natalie had the mushroom one a few times and it was honestly insane - she didn’t miss the meat at all! And they are all served on a toasted brioche bun. The burgers are loaded with so many different fillings - cheese, onion, bacon, tomato, beetroot, peppers (or if you’re Aussie, capsicum), pickles, jalapenos - (one even comes with a mac and cheese croquette!) - so you always feel like you are getting your money’s worth. They’re all named after TV/movie characters, and for those of you who are House of Cards fans, the Francis Underwood is a must! (It’s also Jordan’s favourite). Oh, and the chips are beer battered….need we’d say more?
The thing that makes Grand Trailer Park stand above the rest isn’t just the combination of incredibly tasty burgers and great decor, it’s also their uber indulgent desserts. If you’re not full to the brim after one of their burgers and a side of chips, the dessert menu will undoubtedly tempt you. The waffle stack is a definite winner, covered in Nutella or caramel sauce, whipped cream and strawberries. It’s probably your daily calorie allowance in one hit. Don’t miss their shakes either - they are another sweet treat you can’t resist. Spiked or not spiked, they are all delicious and maybe not quite as filling if you’ve got a sweet tooth but can’t manage the waffles.
2. Mammy’s Boy
Mammy’s Boy in St Kilda is known as a “Chip Shop” that does “Chip Shop Chips”. So obviously being British, we had to try it out. Jordan is almost obsessed with their chips - covering them in salt and vinegar they are probably the closest thing we have tasted to proper British chip shop chips outside of England. You can’t help but be reminded of cold summer days on the beach with your paper bag of chips and wooden spork to eat them with. The only downside is that the vinegar is quite diluted so not as strong as a Brit would hope. Claiming themselves as Melbourne’s first authentic take away chip shop, priding themselves in offering the best and most traditional chip shop experience Melbourne has to offer, Mammy’s of course offers chips and gravy or chips and curry sauce too.
Now for the burgers. The one thing that Mammy’s has over Grand Trailer Park is that it does chicken burgers as well as beef. All burgers are crammed full of toppings - again, you always feel like you’re getting your money’s worth with fillings like cheese, jalapenos, red onion and tomato. But the pièce de résistance is the special Mammy’s sauce in every burger. Who knows what’s in it but there’s no question that it tastes delicious! It can get pretty messy when you sink your teeth into one of their juicy burgers but honestly you won’t be worried about the state of your face. You will be consumed with how much you are enjoying your burger and “chip shop chips”!
Mammy’s is very popular so is often quite busy, and with limited seating both inside and outside of the restaurant, be prepared to wait a while for your order, whether it’s take away or not. The location means you are entertained while you wait with Luna Park opposite so you can people watch. If you’re luck enough to get a seat inside (there are six!) you can enjoy the atmosphere of the restaurant with its white subway tiles and black open plan kitchen so you can see the team at work. Definitely a must if you’re living in Melbourne or visiting St Kilda for the day.
3. Charlie & Co
Charlie & Co is pretty special too, and as it is the closest to our flat in Elizabeth Street, it is quickly becoming a favourite of ours. The only one in the CBD is in Melbourne Emporium so again a really central location and great for grabbing a bite to eat after all that shopping (or in our case, window shopping as we’re on a budget!). The atmosphere is always buzzing the the busy food court on Level 3 of the Emporium, and you still feel like you’re dining in a sophisticated burger restaurant with the decor matching the tables and chairs. Simply order at the till then get handed a buzzer. The killer is waiting for that buzzer to go off to tell you your food is ready!
Charlie & Co do incredible beef, chicken, fish and vegetarian burgers so there is something for everyone and they all look mouthwatering. Crammed full of some more sophisticated toppings such as blue or brie cheese, caramelised onions, pineapple, smoked middle bacon and olive tapenade, the combinations of flavours are endless. And of course you can personalise your burger a bit by ordering extra toppings of your choice.
The only thing that’s left to mention is the fries. You may think that the parmesan & truffle fries sound delicious - and you would be right - but they don’t compare to their sweet potato fries at all. Hands down the best sweet potato fries we have ever tasted. But don’t take our word for it, try them for yourself!
4. 8 Bit
There is no doubt that 8 Bit is a super popular burger restaurant in Melbourne. The one down the road from us is constantly heaving no matter what time of day. They claim to be serving Melbourne’s best burgers, fries, hot dogs and shakes, and it seems as though man Melbournites agree. Although it’s not our favourite burger restaurant, it is still pretty good so we thought it should get a mention.
The burger menu is pretty straight forward with your standard burger choices on a beef, chicken or mushroom patty. The toppings are pretty standard too, with old favourites like tomato, cheese and grilled onions. But the thing to watch out for is their yummy chipotle and Sriracha Mayo sauces - delicious! You can add as many toppings as you like and they also offer a gluten free option which is great.
After the burger menu comes the Hotdog menu, but we’ve never tried these so we can’t comment. However, we can comment on how tasty the Potato Gems are from the Sides Menu. They’re like mini hash browns and so yummy! Definitely order these next time you visit. They do other great sides too like crispy onion rings and cheese and bacon fries!
Last but not least is their sickly milkshakes for those with a sweet tooth. The classics are salted caramel, peanut butter and strawberry cheesecake, with a special chocolate bar shake that changes weekly. 8 Bit may not be our ultimate favourite, but it’s definitely worth a try if you’re in the Footscray area.
Finally we have the famous burger chain, Grill’d. To us, Grill’d is somewhere you go if you fancy a healthier burger. We’re not saying it’s uber healthy, but a lot of the burgers don’t have as much sauce or toppings and they actually do a gluten free bun as well as a super low carb bun which has less than 9g of carbs per bun and is gluten, grain and dairy free.
The burgers range from beef patties to chicken schnitzel, grilled chicken breast to lamb patties and vegetarian patties made with mushroom or beetroot and sweet potato, so again there’s something for everyone. The delicious fillings are more sophisticated than 8 Bit and include basil pesto, avocado, Dijon mustard, thick cranberry sauce, beetroot and dill pickle. You can also make your own, as well as choosing from their steak sandwich or super sliders menus.
Of course we can’t forget their chips - or as they say in Australia; “Hot Chips”. Unfortunately, this is where we feel Grill’d is let down. The chips really aren’t that great - they are all too heavily covered in rock salt which takes away from the flavour of the chip and has even made us cough it’s been so salty, and the chunky sweet potato chips are often burnt. The courgette (or “zucchini”) chips sound nice but again they are far too covered in salt to eat. Their traditional chips which have rosemary sprinkled over them are probably best but they’re nothing to write home about.
There is another reason why we like going to Grill’d - they give back to their local community. Every time you order a meal, you are given a little bottle cap - or token - to put into one of the three large jars they have on display. Each jar will tell you a little about the charity or support group in order for you to make a decision as to which jar to put your token into. The community jar with the most tokens in at the end of the month gets a donation from Grill’d of $300, and the next two get $100 each. So you feel as though you’re giving back a little every time you have one of their yummy burgers.
These are just a few burger places in Melbourne that we have tried during our stay here. If you have any tips on where to go next for an insane burger, please drop us a note on email@example.com or contact us via our Facebook page.
* Images taken from Instagram - click on images for individual burger restaurant accounts.