Finding the best burger in any city has turned into a competitive sport. For people as picky with their food as Melburnians, it’s no surprise that the game has been amped up a level.
Scouting for the best burgers Melbourne has to offer is an arduous task (as is choosing between the best restaurants). There are so many of these spots dotted all over the city that if you stopped any 10 locals and simply asked, “Hey, who is doing the best burgers in Melbourne,” you’ll get 10 different answers.
And yet, there must be a way to curate it down to a foodie hitlist, which is exactly what we’ve done for you here. Below you’ll find the best burger places in Melbourne; ones that have consistently passed the state’s famously high standards for one of the most recognisable and beloved comfort foods in the world.
Anthony Bourdain once said that in a perfect world, you should be able to eat a burger with one hand. He also mused that there’s a certain “tectonic slide” that occurs when you start to add other products and overcomplicate things, breaking the structural integrity.
Both things are true, which is why a good, classic burger is largely preferred over the modern trend of adding everything from deep-fried mozzarella patties and onion rings to a perfectly good hamburger.
And yet, we find that the two approaches can be just as enjoyable as the other. It depends on your mood (and what kind of calories you want in your day). So we’ve considered all shapes and sizes when it comes to finding the best burger in Melbourne, from simple American burgers to Australian burgers (you know, the ones with beetroot and/or pineapple) and the more modern over-the-top burger mostly engineered for the Instagram crowd.
1. Butchers Diner, CBD
Why we rate it: Classic American diner burger that’s perfect for a late-night feed.
Open until midnight Tuesday through Thursday (and 1am on Fridays and Saturdays), Butchers Diner is the kind of place you go when you want something other than kebabs and pizza after a night out in the CBD.
Con Christopoulos, who also operates the excellent French Saloon, takes the American diner concept and runs with it. Inside red and grey tiles and orange benches help push the gimmick while the menu is anything but ordinary.
Think blood sausage and devilled egg rolls, a hotdog with slow-cooked octopus and house-made lap cheong, and the humble cheeseburger; the showstopper keeps things classic with a 160g beef patty, aged cheddar, pickles, lettuce, tomato, onion, sauce and mayo for just under $18. The cheapest hamburger is just $12 if you’re on a budget.
Grab a classic burger at Butcher’s Diner after a night out in the CBD. (Image: Visit Victoria)
Address: 10 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
2. Gimlet at Cavendish House, CBD
Why we rate it: Elegant, produce-forward burger in one of Melbourne’s flashiest dining rooms.
While Gimlet is typically a scene of lavish dinners splashed with Southern Rock lobsters and perfectly cooked steaks, the kitchen’s supper menu (served only past 10pm) takes a different turn.
Andrew McConnell’s glitzy old-world bar is hyper-specific about its $28 gourmet cheeseburger. This beauty is served simply with the perfect build of dill pickles, white onions, butter lettuce, house-made sauce, and two slices of American cheese.
Dine in Gimlet, one of Melbourne’s flashiest dining rooms. (Image: Visit Victoria)
All those fresh ingredients are stacked with a thick, juicy patty combining chuck and brisket sourced from O’Connor Beef in Gippsland, sitting pretty in a fluffy, slightly chewy potato bun. It’s one of those classic restaurant burgers Melbourne locals will be loving for years to come.
You simply can’t have a conversation about the best burgers in Melbourne CBD without a mention of Gimlet.
Dive into Gimlet’s deliciously indulgent burger. (Image: Visit Victoria)
Address: 33 Russell St, Melbourne VIC 3000
3. Bar Margaux, CBD
Why we rate it: Juicy double burgers with rich bone marrow sauce served with a stylish ambience.
Bar Margaux feels like after-hours at a busy French bistro in Manhattan no matter the time of day. Those classy dishes like steak tartare and escargot are excellent whether for dinner or lunch, but burger aficionados will want to show up past 10pm for the Golden Hour supper menu.
Arrive after 10pm to order the juicy double burgers from the Golden Hour supper menu. (Image: Visit Victoria)
This short and sweet list offers a burger, frites and a beer for cheap and is the most affordable way to get your hands around the kitchen’s glorious creation. The signature Bar Margaux burger comes with not one but two Wagyu patties, bacon, organic cheese and a mind-bending bordelaise sauce that’s made with bone marrow, shallots, port and pepper.
Slap all that on a milky brioche bun and you’ve got yourself what many consider the single best burger in Melbourne.
Address: Basement/111 Lonsdale St, Melbourne VIC 3000
4. Easey’s, Collingwood
Why we rate it: A multi-floor behemoth with train cars on the rooftop and perfectly formed American-style burgers.
Opened in 2015, Easey’s has since become a tried-and-true Collingwood institution and one of Melbourne’s foremost hubs of comfort food in all forms. Burgers, hotdogs, tater tots, deep-fried potatoes and even dim sum all feature on the extensive menu, which has evolved over the years to borrow ideas from all over the world.
Everything from the Louisiana fried chicken sandwich to the Oklahoma fried onion cheeseburger, which features onions smashed into two beef patties, reiterates a peerless knowledge of the ultimate “dude food”. After all, owner Jimmy Hurlston did write an actual book on burgers.
Hurlston forced Melbourne’s foremost burger kings and queens to step their game up when this ambitious multi-floor venue opened. Head up to the rooftop for the best experience, where you can eat in one of three different graffiti-laden train carriages that have been decommissioned and now call Easey’s home.
Address: 3/48 Easey St, Collingwood VIC 3066
5. Leonard’s House of Love, South Yarra
Why we rate it: A deeply atmospheric log cabin with rich brisket and short rib patties.
Don’t gorge yourself on poutine and popcorn chicken as soon as you walk into this slightly dislocating log cabin. Resist the tempting sides for those artful burgers, put together with a great sense of indulgence without the excess.
The signature cheeseburger comes loaded with rich beef brisket and a short rib patty which is then layered with melted American cheese, a secret burger sauce, pickles and lettuce.
It may not be a traditional American cheeseburger, but Leonard’s kitchen has landed on a style that could very well be the finest comfort meal in the city. There is stiff competition, of course, but no discerning local would disagree with you if you slapped this beast with your “best burger in Melbourne” stamp.
Address: 3 Wilson St, South Yarra VIC 3141
6. The Beast, Brunswick East
Why we rate it: Loud music, a grungy pub and classic sloppy burgers.
This pub-like burger joint on Lygon Street opened in 2012, coming from the same team behind popular bars Ferdydurke and Section 8. The difference with The Beast is that there’s a bigger focus on food while still retaining that throughline of raw, grungy design, relaxed service and loud music.
A regular schedule of live music ensures The Beast is almost always rowdy and full of energy, pitched as somewhat of Melbourne’s answer to Sydney’s legendarily grungy Mary’s. And the burgers are just as good, stacked on a menu that runs through the classics like a messy number with wagyu beef, jack cheddar, house-made chilli paste, pickles, lettuce, tomato, ketchup and jalapeno miso aioli.
The Beast serves up classic sloppy burgers in a vibrant atmosphere.
Address: 80 Lygon St, Brunswick East VIC 3057
7. Andrew’s Hamburgers, Albert Park
Why we rate it: Simple hamburgers done well in a classic Melbourne diner.
The original is still one of the best. Flipping meat sandwiches since 1939, Andrew’s Hamburgers is the oldest burger joint in Melbourne, unconcerned with modern trends and sticking to the honest dictum of simple, ugly and delicious.
Founder Andrew Georghiou has left his nephew George in charge of the grill, which handles simple chicken, steak or beef burgers which are all offered with numerous old-school add-ons. Think egg, bacon, tomato, cheese, pineapple and beetroot. You won’t find any deep-fired mozzarella patties or poutine to squash between those buns; just deliciously easy burgers delivered cheap and fast.
Grab some potato cakes on the side and a soft drink out of the fridge. This timeless diner has found the perfect formula and wisely sticks to it despite fierce competition.
Address: 144 Bridport St, Albert Park VIC 3206
8. Juanita Peaches, Brunswick
Why we rate it: Light, crispy fried chicken and rich beef patties stacked onto fresh ingredients.
The now closed Beatbox Kitchen, one of the most popular Melbourne food trucks, rested on a reputation for solid, well-made gourmet burgers that hit the spot at music festivals and various other events. While the nomadic burger joint is no more, its legacy lives on at Juanita Peaches in Brunswick.
Sharing space with the popular All Day Donuts, this bastion of deep-fried deliciousness pumps out some of the best fried chicken in Melbourne, as well as fries, burritos and various sandwiches. But it’s the simple cheeseburger that rightfully attracts all the hype.
This delicious burger stacks American cheese, dill pickles and mustard mayo with a 120-gram, coffee-rubbed and grass-fed beef patty which is given extra flavour from confit shallots. Slapped between a steamed potato bun, it’s an easy reminder that simple and fresh is always best.
The humble cheeseburger is the star of the show at Juanita Peaches. (Image: Chris Middleton)
Address: 12 Edward St, Brunswick VIC 3056
9. 300 Grams, various locations
Why we rate it: A consistent, affordable burger shop with four locations in Melbourne.
The best burgers in Northcote can be found on High Street at this small shopfront. 300 Grams, an easy pick for Melbourne’s best burgers, barely squeezes between the strip’s many boutiques, glowing with a distinctive orange hue with a few seats scattered in front.
There are eight burgers on the menu, tracking all the classics including the signature 300 Gs burger which weighs exactly 300 grams. The kitchen has struck a nice balance of flavours between those two buns, with a beef patty, Westmont pickles, cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato and signature house-made burger sauce.
And while the signature is a must-try, the best option here is the fried fish burger, the Scalable, with crumbed fish, tartare, cheese, lettuce and pickles served on a steamed and toasted bun from Port Melbourne’s best French cafe, Noisette.
Note that 300 Grams also has three other locations in Coburg, Richmond and Prahran.
313 High St, Northcote VIC 3070
91 Gaffney St, Coburg VIC 3058
184 Swan St, Richmond VIC 3121
203 High St, Prahran VIC 3181
10. 8Bit, Footscray
Why we rate it: Fun, video game-themed burgers loaded with flavour.
Themed on video games with options like the Golden Axe, Altered Beast and Zelda (a vegetarian burger with a chickpea, corn and quinoa patty), 8Bit is one of Melbourne’s most popular burger franchises.
Satisfy your burger cravings at 8Bit. (Image: Visit Victoria)
So popular that it was one of the first state-born burger chains to expand to other cities. Popularity has simmered since then, with only the original store in Footscray remaining. But you can still expect high-quality burgers at this pixelated Droop Street classic.
If you’ve worked up an appetite, grab some potato gems and chilli cheese fries on the side then take your pick from eight different burgers and various add-ons. The best? The Altered Beast with beef, bacon, cheese, grilled onion lettuce, special sauce and BBQ sauce.
Order one of those video game-themed burgers with fries on the side. (Image: Visit Victoria)
Address: 8 Droop St, Footscray VIC 3011
11. Huxtaburger, Various Locations
Why we rate it: Pioneering burger chain that’s a cut above the typical fast-food burger.
The first Huxtaburger opened as an extension of former Collingwood institution Huxtable in 2012, sparking a major push-back against mass-market burger chains and spurring an appetite for fast-casual burgers with quality ingredients. Since then, franchises like Royal Stacks and 8Bit have taken off but there’s no denying Huxtaburger’s influence.
Order the lot at Huxtaburger for a truly indulgent feast.
Now with outposts outside of Melbourne, Huxtaburger remains ferociously popular amongst locals. Simple burgers with grass-fed Wagyu patties and silky plant-based sesame seed buns are complemented by essentials like tomato, cheese, pickles, lettuce and bacon. Not much else.
There are also a few vegetarian and plant-based burgers, the best of which takes a spicy bean and quinoa patty and loads it with flavour from jalapenos, sriracha, cheese, mustard, tomato sauce, tomato, lettuce and sweet fire pickles.
Note that there are three Huxtaburger locations in Melbourne in Collingwood, Hawthorn and Footscray.
Head here for fast-casual burgers made with quality ingredients.
106 Smith St, Collingwood VIC 3066
681 Glenferrie Rd, Hawthorn VIC 3122
1/32 Leeds St, Footscray VIC 3011
12. Betty’s Burgers, Various Locations
Why we rate it: One of the most consistent burger franchises in Australia.
Betty’s Burgers is another one of those ever-growing burger chains that has squashed the monopoly once retained by the unholy trinity of KFC, McDonald’s and Hungry Jacks. Born in Queensland, the concept has now spread to multiple locations across Melbourne and is now known as one of the most consistent burger shacks in Australia.
Betty’s Burgers was born in Noosa but has taken up residence all around Australia, including Melbourne.
You could get away with calling it the Down Under version of Shake Shake, given the burgers are bursting with fresh flavours and keep it simple with all the expected options. The most surprising is the vegan burger, with a crispy puff rice patty layered with tomato, lettuce, pickles, onion and spicy vegan mayo.
97 – 103 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
Tenancy 2, 222 Exhibition Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
261 Clarendon St, South Melbourne VIC 3205
13. Mabels, Toorak
Why we rate it: Classic cafe cheeseburger with a focus on quality ingredients.
It took 15 years to perfect the fried chicken recipe used at this homely bakery and cafe in Toorak. And while it may be better known for its elegant cakes and highly prized pies, the fried chicken burger is easily one of the best you’ll find in Melbourne.
Don’t be fooled by the cakes, this place whips up some of the most memorable burgers in Melbourne. (Image: Lumea Photo)
Owners Cassandra Hanna and Joshua Green stealthily slide onto this round-up of Melbourne’s best burgers simply because of that fried chicken sandwich.
But the all-day cafe menu also offers a beautiful classic cheeseburger for $15 and a vegetarian cheeseburger for $16 – both are just as good and fit the bill when you’re looking for an under-the-radar burger that rivals the likes of Andrew’s and Danny’s.
Mabel’s fried chicken burger has been 15 years in the making.
Address: 525 Malvern Rd, Toorak VIC 3142
14. Fat Jaks, St Kilda
Why we rate it: St Kilda hotspot with many different styles of burgers.
You’ll find Fat Jaks in Acland Street Plaza in St Kilda, presenting a more on-the-go alternative to the area’s restaurants and cafes. While most American-inspired burger bars echo the streets of Manhattan and Chicago, this kitchen proudly represents the South with Nashville hot chicken sandwiches and a long list of meaty numbers using 100 per cent Australian grass-fed beef.
For anyone who wants something a bit more interesting, the Arabian Nights is a sure-fire palate-pleaser with a beef patty stacked with American cheese, sujuk, egg, diced onion, shredded lettuce, chipotle ketchup, pickles and chipotle mayo.
While Fat Jaks is opened for lunch or dinner, this beloved burger joint is best experienced at lunchtime right after a dip at St Kilda Beach.
Address: 205 Barkly St, St Kilda VIC 3182
15. Royale Brothers, Brighton
Why we rate it: Sunny spot not far from Brighton Beach with excellent American burgers.
If you’re feeling like something a bit heavier after a swim at Brighton Beach, slide on up to Church Street where you’ll find the pop culture-loving Royale Brothers. Owners Daniel Vaughan, Guy Mainwaring and Tim Purton-Smith added this burger bar to their popular cafe, Pantry, after two decades of serving the community and it’s been packed ever since.
Pulp Fiction fans will want to go straight for the Royale With Cheese, for the gimmick if nothing else, but the menu is packed with quality burgers as well as double and triple-stack options. The range, which includes various beef, chicken, pulled pork, fish and pinto bean burgers, is given consistency by soft, sweet milk buns.
And in true American diner style, the menu also lists various slushies, thick shakes and loaded fries. Those on a diet need not enter.
Address: 1 Church St, Brighton VIC 3186
16. The John Curtin Hotel, Carlton
Why we rate it: Greasy American burgers with a side of live music.
Beloved for its stacked program of live music, The John Curtin Hotel is one of Lygon Street’s most endearing venues. You know the deal – old gig posters half peeled off the walls, a questionably sticky band room, and authentically greasy American-style pub food to go down beautifully on any given day.
Bond over juicy American burgers at The John Curtin Hotel.
Instead of having its own kitchen, the pub welcomes Sonny’s Fried Chicken, which also has a location at The Gem in Collingwood. The menu here is powered by an expensive important pressure-fryer that pumps out perfect buttermilk fried chicken not dissimilar to what you’d get at Juanita Peaches (also on this list of Melbourne’s best burgers).
As such, deliciously cheap fried chicken burgers are the order of the day, best enjoyed right before you sweat it out on the dance floor to Melbourne’s best up-and-coming bands.
The fried chicken burger makes for a great cheap eat.
Address: 29 Lygon St, Carlton VIC 3053
17. Fat Bob’s Bar & Grill, Moorabbin
Why we rate it: Authentic American-style diner with a big burger menu.
Anyone seeking American burgers in Melbourne would usually stick to the CBD, but it’s worth the trek out to Moorabbin for this highly indulgent kitchen. Fat Bob’s Bar & Grill is a greasy spoon unconcerned with being anything but a classic hamburger spot.
Squashed into an industrial area, the venue is like a brightly-coloured beacon of fatty, fried foods. And those classic foil-wrapped burgers are the best of them, peaking with the Jack-O which comes with a 180g beef patty smashed with tomato, red onion, fontina cheese, mustard, cos lettuce and house-made sauce.
There are 13 handcrafted burgers on the menu, including a brilliant 24-hour pulled pork number with crisp slaw, grilled pineapple and Carolina BBQ sauce.
Address: 80A Cochranes Rd, Moorabbin VIC 3189
18. Lulie Tavern, Abbotsford
Why we rate it: Californian vibes, a fun rooftop bar and large American burgers.
Free pool, loud rock ‘n’ roll and big American-style burgers. Lulie Tavern is a deeply atmospheric bar that’s crowned by the incredibly relaxed Half Moon Fever rooftop bar, postured as one of Abbotsford’s greatest hits.
Sink your teeth into this juicy, saucy treat at Lulie Tavern. (Image: Jake Roden)
If you want to pop by for a quick burger, don’t worry about trying to fight the crowd for a spot on the top floor. Pull up a seat downstairs and order classic diner-style comfort food like buffalo wings and fish tacos before dipping into the main act.
Those burgers are consistently some of the best you’ll find in the area. Just authentic, well-made American burgers like the Whopper which comes with beef, cheddar, pickles, ketchup, house-made sauce, lettuce, tomato and more onions than you could ask for.
The signature chicken burger washed down with a cocktail is the ultimate indulgence.
Address: 225 Johnston St, Abbotsford VIC 3067
19. 1090 Burger, Richmond
Why we rate it: The very specific way of making burgers gives the kitchen more control over flavours with unique options patties and fresh ingredients.
Grass-fed Black Angus from Mt Beauty gives 1090 Burger a competitive edge in Richmond. The light, well-balanced meat helps Son Nguyen smash together these perfect hand-formed patties that are then complemented with just a few fresh ingredients for some of the best burgers in Melbourne.
Nguyen’s very specific process gives his burgers a very sharp flavour, assisted by a nine-ingredient marinade that goes big on the umami profile to balance the freshness. He treats burgers like art and diners benefit from the consistency, best illustrated by the signature 1090burger that can be ordered as a single or double with just lettuce and red onion.
For anyone after a great vegetarian burger, he also does a unique taro-and-potato patty that’s a step up from the usual chickpea and quinoa burger. Wash it all down with a salted caramel shake or some local brews for something a bit different to your usual burger cravings.
It’s the nine-ingredient marinade that gives the burgers at 1090 their competitive edge.
Address: 181A Swan St, Richmond VIC 3121
20. Kustom Burgers, Thornbury
Why we rate it: Fun car theme and classic American burgers in Thornbury.
If you can peel yourself away from the eternal temptation of the Welcome to Thornbury food truck park, walk further up High Street and park yourself at Kustom Burgers.
Now that Truck Stop Deluxe is sadly closed, Kustom Burgers founder Paul Hendrie keeps the mechanic theme alive with an American-style diner designed after his love of cars. Inside you’ll find an entire pick-up truck and the burgers themselves have names like FJ Holden, F150 and Hot Rod.
The latter, the Hot Rod, is the pick of the litter for those who like things hot. Squashed between a bun of your choice is a 100% grass-fed patty, bacon, American cheese, onion, jalapenos and your choice of hot sauce. The hottest: hero chilli sauce with habanero and chipotle with a rating of 120,000 Scoville Heat Units.
Address: 861 High St, Thornbury VIC 3071
21. Hello Harry, various locations
Why we rate it: Rich smashed beef patties stacked with simple, fresh ingredients.
Although the smash burger trend has mysteriously died down in Melbourne, Hello Harry is keeping the tradition alive with its signature smashed beef patties. The franchise, which has locations all over Australia, is highly underrated when it comes to discussions about Melbourne’s best burgers.
Dig into Hello Harrys’ hectic burgers.
That’s mostly due to the simplicity. Again, when it comes to burgers, minimalism always works best so this St Kilda kitchen is a great choice when you want something nice and refreshing like the Big Kahuna with smashed beef, mayo, grilled pineapple, tomato, crispy bacon, cos lettuce and BBQ glaze.
Chow down on a delicious chicken burger.
Note that Hello Harry is also located in Lilydale.
107 Acland Street, St Kilda VIC 3182
245 Main St, Lilydale VIC 3140
22. College Dropout Burgers, Ivanhoe
Why we rate it: A locally owned business that survived a global controversy and bounced back better than ever.
The most controversial burger shop in Australia award goes to College Dropout Burgers. Musician and fashion designer Kanye West and his team attempted to sue founder Mark Elkhouri for using West’s likelihood and song names for the menu. The case has since been thrown out and College Dropout Burgers is benefitting from the buzz.
Find modern spins on the classics at College Dropout Burgers.
The buzz goes far beyond the news headlines as well. The burgers here are some of the best in Melbourne right now, showing off Elkhouri’s creativity with modern spins on classics like a Big Mac-adjacent beast, the signature Graduation smash burger and the heart-pounding College Dropout with a double beef patty and fried chicken.
Address: 91 Upper Heidelberg Rd, Ivanhoe VIC 3079
23. Danny’s Burgers, Fitzroy
Why we rate it: Classic diner burgers that are best enjoyed closer to midnight.
If it weren’t for Andrew’s Hamburgers in Albert Park, Danny’s would be the oldest burger shop in Melbourne. Since 1945, this Fitzroy North joint has been pumping out classic late-night burgers until 3am. Although recently, Danny’s opening hours have been capped at midnight each day.
You can still get a plain hamburger for less than $10 at this St Georges Road institution, delivered plain with an old-school seeded bun, fresh ingredients and a very rich beef patty. Use the money you’ve saved to add on a few steamed dim sum and tuck into a true Melbourne tradition.
Address: 360 St Georges Rd, Fitzroy North VIC 3068
For more of Melbourne’s best eats, read our guide to the city and get stuck into all Melbourne has to offer.