The humble burger lies at the heart of any city’s restaurant and café scene, with a whole host of patty-slingers serving up this quick and popular BBQ staple. From simple slices of cheese, lettuce and tomato to more avant-garde toppings and fillings, Brisbane’s burger scene is fast becoming a true demonstration of a chef’s culinary flair. We profile quite simply the best pulled pork, crabmeat and, yes, beef patties from around Brisbane city.
Sticking two fingers to the Golden Arches is Red Hook, a homage to a NYC street food stall. House specialities include Red Hook’s pride and joy, the Grandmaster Flash Burger (a BLT all coated in smoky mayo) and the Brooklyn Cheeseburger dressed with red onions, dill and special sauce. All dishes are topped with an almost-floral arranged pickle. Address: 3/88 Creek St, Brisbane QLD, Australia, +61 7 3220 0462
Restaurant, American, Fast Food, Australian, $$$
Pulled Pork Hot Dog | Image courtesy of Red Hook
The proprietors of Ben’s Burgers have a beef to grind (sorry). In this Fortitude Valley cow-barn, there are strictly no alterations allowed to any order, keeping the restaurant’s mandate of ‘the classics done right’ rigidly enforced. Draconian it may be, but Ben’s Burgers has established a loyal local following for its cheeseburgers, house-made cola and, for the early-birds, a selection of three breakfast burgers with bases such as, 1. bacon, egg, cheese and special sauce, 2. egg, cheese and Bourbon BBQ sauce, and 3. the artery-worrying ‘Elvis’, bacon, peanut butter, banana, and maple syrup.
Newly expanded from Sydney, Chur Burger has brought its moreish burgers to Brisbane alongside a full menu of salads, tacos, milkshakes and desserts, and positioned them in a graffitied space below the TRYP Hotel. Another feature that has survived the transition is, of course, the signature pulled pork fiasco. A brioche bun containing Chur’s own BBQ sauce, red slaw and fennel mayonnaise. Go all in and make sure to add sweet potato fries with lime salt on the side. Address: 20 Constance St, Fortitude Valley QLD, Australia,+61 7 3319 7890
A stir was created a few years ago when this red shipping container appeared out of nowhere on the corner of Mary and Albert Streets. But those expressions of confusion soon transformed to salivation when the container was opened up to reveal a build-your-own-menu gourmet burger bar. An endless array of flavour combos keep punters coming back every lunchtime, with options of six proteins, four types of cheese, and, believe it or not, 16 different sauces. For those who need a bit of direction, try the miso-smoked pork belly and Korean BBQ fillings.
A distinctly modern affair situated by the riverfront, Pony Dining takes full rein on the recent fish burger craze to offer their own take cooked in their trademark open coal pit. It’ll set you back some, but Pony Dining’s soft shell crab burger with wasabi mayo, pickled radish and betel leaves is simply a must-taste. The boutique wine list will help you find the perfect pairing to wash it down. Address: 8/45 Eagle Street, Brisbane QLD, Australia, +61 7 3181 3400
Restaurant, Gluten-free, American, Fast Food, Australian, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
DA'Burger in candlelight | Image courtesy of DA'Burger
In pursuit of the so-called ‘burger triangle’ (the harmonious trifecta of bread, salad and meat), DA’Burger goes above and beyond to craft the quintessential Brisbane burger. Meat comes from the local butcher, salad from local farmers, and the bread is baked a block away. The fillings are substantially haute-cuisine. Thai basil marinated chicken tenderloins and garlic field mushrooms, among others. The gluten-intolerant will be pleased to learn gluten-free buns come as standard.