5 Must-Try Burgers in Sydney

Eat, Restaurants, Sydney / 14 November 2016

Up your burger game and add these to your Sydney burger bucket-list

Australia’s love affair with burgers has never been stronger. But, come summer, the thought of eating burgers, and drinking wine and cocktails feels a little naughty. No one likes counting calories this time of year when there’s lots of fun to be had so try we’ve got a solution. Pair your burgers with beer. No, we’re not tricking you and yes you read that correctly. Hear us out… Beers like James Squire One Fifty Lashes on average is 99.9% sugar free. It’s also not packed with carbs, like a lot of people think. So pairing burgers and beer actually makes a lot of sense – not just from a taste perspective. By consuming less sugar with these beers, you won’t feel as guilty about eating all the burgers around town.

So, what burger and beer pairings are a must-try in Sydney right now? Here are our top five.


1. Burgers By Josh, The Infamous Primo

Burgers by Josh or BBJs is one of the most talked about burger joints in Sydney. So is the hype really worth it? Just ask the hundreds of burger fans that have followed chef and founder Josh Arthurs from hotel takeover to pop ups from all around Sydney. He’s now settled into a permanent location in the Annandale Hotel. A formally trained chef with more than ten years experience has given Josh the competitive edge in a saturated market. The Infamous Primo burger ($19) is a signature creation with a heavy American influence. It comes with a double serve of their signature wagyu patty, double American cheese, crispy AF bacon, iceberg lettuce, Westmont pickled jalepenos and twice fried beer battered onion rings all filled between two soft milk buns $19. They use three cuts of meat for their patties, all minced fresh daily. What should you pair with a deliciously messy burger like this? For us it’s a simple Tooheys NewIt’s a really easy drinking lager found in most great pubs and doesn’t distract from the burgers like a lot of heavier craft beers can. It’s quite light and refreshing but still has the strength of flavour to hold it’s own again the Infamous Primo.
17 Parramatta Rd, Annandale NSW 2038, http://www.burgersbyjosh.com/

2. BL Burgers, Blame Canada

Earlier this year owners of popular restaurant Bar Luca, James and Sarah Robbins, opened a takeaway burger shop on Oxford Street, Darlinghurst. Hundreds of people have queued for their infamous burgers and they’ve since opened a second BL Burger bar on level one of the Beach Road Hotel in Bondi. But whether you’re dining in at Bar Luca, grabbing takeaway from BL on Oxford Street or drinking beers at the Beachie, you can’t go past their signature Blame Canada burger ($16). It’s not quite the monstrous construction of the BBJs Primo burger but where it lacks in height it makes up in rich flavour. Inside two milky American style buns is the delicious combination of a thick wagyu beef patty, maple-glazed bacon, poutine, maple aioli and a double serving of American cheese. In 2015 it was voted the best burger in Sydney by The Fatties Burger Appreciation Society. For a strong flavoured burger like the Blame Canada you need to strong beer. The James Squire Nine Tales Amber Ale is a full-bodied, malty beer with a toffee-caramel sweetness and nutty finish balanced against citrus hop notes. Take a bite of your burger, then a sip of the beer and you’ll totally get it- this is a delicious match. The sweet but bitterness of the ale cuts through the richness of the candied bacon with a clean, refreshing finish to complement the burger.
1st floor of Beach Road Hotel, 71 Beach Road, Bondi 2026 http://blburgers.com.au/

3. BL Burgers, Chicken Karaage Burger

Two burgers in one sitting might be a big overkill but once you’ve tried the Blame Canada burger at BL Burgers and scratched that itch resist the temptation to order it every single time. The Chicken Karaage Burger ($15) from BL Burgers is just as good, but totally different. A generous portion of perfectly cooked, chicken karaage is the star of this burger show. Crispy on the outside and soft yet tender on the inside it’s topped with a wasabi aioli giving it a little zesty kick. Pickled veg, coriander and coral lettuce give this Korean style burger a complex flavour profile. A really obvious beer pairing for us is the XXXX Summer Bright Lager. Like the burger, this lager is light and refreshing. It cuts through the fried chicken and is a great choice on a hot summers day. Take a seat in the Beach Road beer garden with a group of friends and enjoy this delicious combo. XXXX Summer Bright Lager is an essential summer accessory. Add a wedge of lime if you’re ordering by the bottle, it will go really well with the pickled veg.
1st floor of Beach Road Hotel, 71 Beach Road, Bondi 2026 http://blburgers.com.au/

4. Pub Life Kitchen, The O.G

Located inside the Lord Wolseley pub in the backstreets of Ultimo is Pub Life Kitchen (PLK). You can’t miss this place, just look for the crowds of merry people drinking schooners outside on a sunny day. At the back of the pub is where you’ll find the burgers that have everyone talking. The menu consists of only four burger options. The classic cheeseburger with pickles, red onion, mustard, PLK’s tomato sauce, a double serving of jack cheese and medium cooked patty is a big hit. But for us it’s all about The O.G. (Original Gangster) ($17) which comes with a 200g beef patty, American cheese, McClures pickles, lettuce, tomato and PLK aioli. The best part of The O.G is definitely the patty. It’s not as thick and juicy as a lot of others (in fact hardly any juice leaves the burger when you eat it making it much cleaner to consume). But it’s by no means dry! PLK have a full-time butcher who spends days salting, curing and dry-ageing the meat for these burger patties. They’re incredible and if we were handing out points for the patty alone- PLK would take the cake (or the burger). Pair The O.G with a refreshingly crisp dry lager like Hahn Super Dry which works well with the burger.
265 Bulwara Rd, Ultimo, http://publifekitchen.com/

5. Ume Burger, The Ebi

Kerby Craig made the decision earlier this year to close his popular one-hat restaurant, Ume in Surry Hills, to focus on the overwhelming demand for his Japanese style burgers. He’s since turned the Surry Hills restaurant into a burger bar and opened a second venue at Barangaroo serving premium quality burgers at a picturesque waterfront location. Here the menu is short with only four different burgers to choose from, all served in the same Hokkaido milk buns. They include The Ume (a Japanese take on a traditional cheeseburger), the Menchi (a handmade pork katsu patty), the Kakiage Burger (a vegetarian option) and our favourite – the Ebi (a handmade prawn katsu patty). The Ebi burger ($15.50) is a clear winner. Light, crispy prawn katsu, shredded cabbage and a Japanese tartare sauce are beautifully presented between two light burger buns. There is no greasy after finish or post burger regrets with this creation. Kirin Megumi is a no-brainer when it comes to a perfect beer pairing. Owner Kerby agrees. You’ll find Kirin on tap and available in cans for diners at both the Surry Hills and Barangaroo venues. Kirin is a really smooth, easy drinking beer. It has some floral, fruity characteristics that go really well with seafood and helps bring out the flavour of the prawn katsu in this burger. If you’re dining with friends at Ume Burger we suggest you grab a table by the water, order a round of cold Kirin cans, some Ebi burgers, hot chips with umami salt and a serving of their famous marinated, lightly fried Koji Karaage chicken.
Wulugul WalkBarangaroo NSW 2000, http://www.umeburger.com
For more information on the different beers, jump onto www.beerthebeautifultruth.com.au and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ46EnY3xbA

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