10 burgers, five venues, two people, one city – all in a day
Melbourne is often referred to as the burger capital of Australia, so where better for The GAB to go on its first ever burger safari. We visited five of the city’s best burger joints in one gloriously calorific day.
1st stop: Three One 2 One, Richmond
We set out at about lunchtime. Hopeful, hungry, and full of excitement as we began what was to be an epic adventure into Melbourne’s Burger sub-culture. First up was Three One 2 One in Richmond, which is an intimate café-style restaurant designed to bring in the hipster crowd with the cunning use of exposed brickwork, Edison bulbs and menu items with totally ridiculous names.
The friendly staff ushered us to a table in this bustling restaurant on Bridge Road, and with absolute disregard for the rest of the day’s activities, we ordered up two shakes, the signature ‘Kick Ass Mac ‘n’ Cheese’ burger and a ‘Korean Chicken Burger’.
Everything here is an Instagrammer’s dream – whipped cream, Oreos, chocolate sauce and strawberries spill out of the gratifyingly decadent shakes, while the mac ‘n’ cheese burger oozes perfectly melted cheese onto the plate and proves utterly impossible to eat without cutlery or a jaw like a python.
Verdict: Great presentation, seriously tasty burgers and the most varied menu of any of the places we visited… Not for the faint-hearted with burgers this size and shakes this creamy!
2nd up: 1090 Burger, Richmond
In order to give some semblance of a shout out to our digestive systems, The GAB team decided to try and walk between as many of the venues as possible, making 1090 Burger, also located in Richmond, the obvious choice for our second stop.
One could easily miss this unassuming venue walking past, but it’s well worth finding in order to try what was one of, if not the tastiest burger of the day.
The menu here is simple, with five different burgers, a veggie burger, three sides and a selection of three different shakes to choose from. If you crave variety this may not be the place for you, but if it’s a delicious burger made from grass-fed Angus beef you’re looking for then you’ve hit the bullseye.
At 1090 the buns are soft, the patties are delectably meaty and the cheese is impossibly gooey. One thing to be aware of is that the patties aren’t that huge, so if hungry you could easily opt to double up your patty.
All the options here are winners but we can highly recommend the ‘Thunderburger’ for the perfectly balanced sandwich.
Verdict: Great tasting burgers with seriously moreish gooey cheese – loved it!
3rd on the list: Grand Trailer Park Taverna, CBD
Although we had to cheat and tram it a little bit to get to Grand Trailer Park Taverna (located on Bourke Street), we still made it there with enough space left to check out their shakes and munch a couple of huge hamburgers.
The interior design here is uber-cool with great attention to detail, a huge amount of retro diner fittings, and lots of Americana on display. For big groups there are plenty of booths large enough to accommodate a decent-sized party.
The burgers here are large in both size and taste. We sampled ‘The Chunk – Double Double’ which was basically a mammoth burger with jalapeños, caramelised onions and plenty of tasty cheese, and the ‘Francis Underwood’, which includes a large mac ‘n’ cheese croquette in the mix.
We washed these down with super thick milkshakes: the ‘Kinder Surprise’ and a ‘Salted Caramel’, which came perfectly presented with maple bacon.
Verdict: Beautiful venue, beautiful food and beautiful drinks – great for groups.
4th base: Easeys, Collingwood
Immediately winning an award for most inventive venue, Easeys is located in an amazing four-storey building in Collingwood that is topped with three tram cars converted into the best seating in the house. We recommend booking early for these to avoid disappointment, although there are also tables available on the other floors of the building.
Easeys use only choice cuts of meat to make their patties, which come perfectly pink in the middle and bursting with boisterously beefy flavour. The buns are super-soft here, the sides leave nothing to be desired and you can choose from a variety of optional extras if you want to create your very own epic burger experience, which obviously we did!
Adding in fried chicken and wickedly tasty mac ‘n’ cheese to a ‘Rowdy Double Cheeseburger’ was an awesomely extravagant and downright delicious plan! This monster creation was more than a touch difficult to tackle, especially given the amount we’d eaten previously, but in the end we powered through and thoroughly enjoyed every minute.
Verdict: The building alone would be worth a visit but the quality of the food, excellent service and top quality beverages on offer make this stop a must for all burger enthusiasts!
Last but not least: Huxtaburger, Collingwood
Having just dined at Easeys, it was about a 10-minute walk to our final destination, Huxtaburger.
Huxtaburger has repeatedly won prizes for the Best Burger in Melbourne, and Chef Daniel Wilson, the man behind Huxtaburger (and numerous other culinary ventures) has even written a book on the subject, so we expected great things.
We weren’t disappointed. The homemade milkshakes are amazing and the burgers, named after Cosby Show characters, were served up by friendly and attentive staff in a very cool setting with mellow music and a great atmosphere.
There’s a varied selection on offer here and don’t be shy to try the ‘Theo’ – with two patties, double cheese and barbecue sauce, it’s a classic meat lover’s dream. The patties aren’t so big that a double is impossible, even if it is your 5th burger of the day!
Verdict: Famous burgers designed by a not-so-unknown chef. A must-visit on your Melbourne burger safari.
By Jeremy Briggs