The burger. Whether it be for lunch, dinner or after a night out – let’s be honest we’d probably eat one for breakfast – the humble bread and patty is by far one of the most popular meals amongst Australians. So it’s not surprising that Deliveroo has sold over five million of them. From Newtown hero, Mary’s to CBD favourite, Betty’s, you could say we’re spoiled for choice here in Sydney.
But like any seasoned burger fanatic, we know a lot separates a good burger from a food-coma-inducing-masterpiece so to put it to the test, ICON have rated what is considered Sydney’s best burgers. And trust us when we say they’re worth the calories. For the 30 minutes that ensued after each delivery, there were copious amounts of “mmmmm”, “oh my god” and inaudible opinions and conversations as the office gathered ’round for a lunchtime special.
If you know, you know… Hailing from a hole in wall, down the lane of an unassuming Newtown street, Mary’s Burgers has made a name for itself with no frills burger. Calling on our curiosity of American plastic cheese, Mary’s seemed to have the right ratio of a soft bun, beef, pickles, onion, ketchup, mustard and the aforementioned yellow stuff. But although its take on the O.G. will never grow old, being at the top is one thing, staying there is another. A Mary’s burger today is just as you experienced all those years back – but dare we say its lack of evolution has meant some other competitors have surpassed the Newtown classic. The vegetarian option comes with mushroom – which while might be nice for non-meat lovers – anyone used to beef will actually feel like they are chomping down on slimy eel.
With award-winning head chef, Kerby Craig at the forefront of UME, these are the burgers you love but with a Japanese twist. We had a go at its signature – a classic beef pattie, wagyu mince sauce, along with tomato, onion and mayo – and don’t get us wrong, it was good, but it wasn’t the Japanese experience we were looking for. We wouldn’t recommend trying the ‘UME Burger’ if you’re looking for the cultural twist they’re known for, but if we’re commenting on the mayo, we’ll have a whole bottle thank you.
Created by prolific Australian chef Neil Perry, Burger Project prides itself to deliver the best Australian burger using locally produced, grass-fed beef. Amongst eastern suburbians, the Burger Project has always been held in high prestige and while its beef iterations boast Tasmanian grass-fed beef, we can’t help but go past its take on the fried chicken burger. A little something for the sweet tooth, while the office remained divided, its ‘Fried Chicken Katsu’ was a winner for its curious sauce – another of which we request a bottle of.
DOWN N’ OUT
The mantra for Down N’ Out is, “Good Booze, Good Burgers, No Bullsh*t”. What they lack in table manners, they make up in hearty, greasy food. We won’t lie, it was clear frontrunner from the beginning and if you want a classic done well this is surely a go-to amongst CBD dwellers. An incredibly generous portion size – enough to force us into a mid-afternoon coma – we may have found our next Friday evening haunt. Our Creative Director described it as an “elevated big mac” and in a harmonious chorus, we all agreed.
BETTy’S BURGERS & CONCRETE CO.
But after an onset carb-headache and food coma slowly inducing, we have a winner.
Considering Sydney never really had a burger scene until recent years, it’s hard to believe one chain has got it as right as our American godfathers (you know, the ones who coined the perfect meat-cheese-and-two-bun formula). Enter Betty’s Burgers. Just like In-N-Out stateside, the buns are soft, the meat is juicy and the cheese gooey. But the difference when compared to every other burger on this list is Betty’s secret sauce; a slightly-sweet, off-piste concoction that will implore a collective “Oh my god” from colleagues upon first bite. Trust us, this happened to four of us at ICON. For the Betty’s virgins among us, keep it simple and order up on Betty’s Classic. Go forth, the imitators – and the Youtube breakdowns of what exactly is in this sauce.