Are these the best burgers in Brisbane?
Take any preconceived ideas you may have of what a cheeseburger looks like and throw them out the window! Abandon those steam-rolled patties, dispose of that tasteless, flattened bun and scrap the artificial cheese that drips like plastic down the side of your intensely unappealing fast food.
In the last year there’s been a storm of eclectic, fresh, boutique-style burger bars opening up around Brisbane that have taken B-grade burgers and washed them down the drain in a torrent of their own secret special sauce.
These burger saviours lovingly create patties from select cuts of gourmet meat, present them in buns made from the finest French recipes and lather them in all manner of chilli, onion and mustard jams.
Tasked with the challenge of finding five of the best new burgers in Brisbane in five days, I set out with a healthy appetite and a GoPro and this is what I found.
Owner and head chef Warren Turnbull has taken the same formula that won his Sydney restaurant ‘Best Burger’ (Urban List, Sydney) earlier this year, and unleashed it on Brisbane. Say hello to Chur Burger.
I’m a sucker for any variation on the standard patty and the new buzzword for serving meat appears to be ‘pulled’ – the art of taking a slow-cooked cut of meat and gently teasing it apart. Eying through the menu I stopped at Chur’s signature dish, it was game on.
Sumptuous pulled-pork shoulder nestled atop homemade red slaw with Chur BBQ sauce and fennel mayonnaise fills the freshly-baked bun to capacity. The result? A divine assault on the senses to enjoy as you kick back and soak up the atmosphere in their beautifully-graffitied laneway.
Extra bonus? All burgers are $10.
Where: 20 Constance St, Fortitude Valley
Open: Sun – Thurs 7am – 10pm, Fri – Sat 7am – midnight
Standing out like a… well, red shipping container against the grey, concrete, city backdrop, Miel Container (the French word meaning honey and pronounced meal) is an obvious favourite amongst city workers and students – this place is in high demand!
Opened in July 2013 and run by Johnny Na, a Korean chef who sharpened his knives at the Sofitel for ten years, their focus is on divine brioche buns, towering portions and a range of classic burgers with ample sides.
I arrived here after a long run earlier that morning with a monstrous hunger. What would satisfy the gremlins? Johnny suggested the Miel Homemade Au Grass Fed Hot Beef Pattie was the only answer. A gigantic patty topped with bacon, egg and melted cheese, speared with a skewer to hold it all together. Juices ran down my chin, cheese dripped from my fingers and my stomach bulged but I left Miel feeling heavily content.
Where: 96 Albert St, Brisbane
Open: Mon – Thu 11am – 10pm, Fri – Sat: 11am – midnight
Tucked away at the end of Brunswick Street, next to the butcher who supplies their meat, is Da Burger – aptly named after co-owner James D’Ath.
Their range of burgers starts small, with the entry level Da’Burger (which is anything but small) and jacks up in size to The Duke – Black Angus scotch fillet lathered in cheese encircled by every type of salad imaginable.
After two days of red meat I needed something lighter, so it was time to sample some poultry! The ‘Nelson Nasty’ with its chicken breast, bacon, jalapenos and chili jam was exactly what I needed – oozing fresh flavours with enough bite to fire up my tastebuds. I was back on track.
Where: 876 Brunswick Street, New Farm
Open: Sun – Thurs 11.30am – 9pm, Fri – Sat 11.30am – 10pm
One of Brisbane’s most famous restaurants, E’cco, sits atop Howzat Burger looking down at the lunchtime queue that regularly wraps around the corner.
The owner of both, Philip Johnson, decided it was time to try something different when he opened the doors of this cricket-themed burger café.
With this in mind I couldn’t go past one of Australia’s legendary cricketers (Shane Warne) who’s made his way onto the menu in the shape of a burger – The Warnie; a fat beef patty, real melted cheese and crispy bacon all wrapped up in a freshly-baked bun accompanied by some of the best onion rings I’ve ever tasted. I was back in the land of overindulgence.
Orders are delivered quicker than a Mitchell Johnson fast ball but the choice on the menu could leave you stumped. Sorry, enough of the cricket jokes.
Where: 510 Adelaide Street, Brisbane and Eat Street Markets, Hamilton
Open: Tues – Fri 11am – 2:30pm, Eat Street stall Fri 4-10pm, Sat 4-10pm, Sun 11am – 7pm
The very trendy Winn Street in Fortitude Valley has a new icon. Ben’s Burgers serves up American style burgers all day long – that means breakfast, too.
Their brioche-style buns are made especially for them, having three of Australia’s best ales chilled and on tap is a sure-fire winner, and prices are fixed across the board.
After four days of munching my way through some of the best burgers in the city, I had to go out on a high. No point in mincing my way through a half-portion! I decided to aim high, add all the extras and devour.
Ben’s Classic Burger is a sumptuous stack of beef, cheese, pickles (a forgotten essential in my mind) with extra candied bacon and jalapenos. The combination of savoury and sweet flavours washed down with a cold ale were the perfect way to round off the week.
Where: 5 Winn Lane, Fortitude Valley
Open: Mon 7am – 2pm, Tue – Thur 7am – 10pm, Fri 7am – 11:30pm, Sat 8am – 11:30pm, Sun 8am – 9pm
It’s far too tough to pick a firm favourite, they all stand a chance at being Brisbane’s best! They’ve taken the tired burger, destroyed by fast food chains around the world, and reinvigorated it. Get out there and try them for yourself… except maybe not five in five days.