As that old saying goes: the burgers are better at smaller, independent locales. And Sydney’s lockdown 2.0 (or 3.0 if you’re over Northern Beaches side, sorry guys) has yielded quite a few delicious take-away options. Lasagne was the hot menu item our first lockdown go round, but this time—we’re calling it—it’s all about the burg’.
When done well (but not necessarily well done, we always let chef decide that) burgers are the perfect meal. Not only is it your “meat and two veg” all wrapped up in a handy eat-it-one-handed package, it’s also a boon for sauce and condiment lovers. Infinitely customisable and deceptively difficult to get right, it’s the perfect canvas for any chef. To either flex some creativity or really show how nailing a simple approach can be more delicious than the sum of its parts.
Read on for our round-up of the best going this lockdown from yours truly and our pals across town, plus our suggestion of what plonk to pair it with from the BS Shop.
It’s not our usual style to toot our own horn, but we really do think it’s worth tooting the praises of our team in The Clare Bar kitchen, who’re all about elevating pub classics to new delicious heights. Quality, comfort and flavour are at front of mind always, all so we can bring you plates that feel both nostalgic AND exciting. Our burger is an ode to the classic beef, and it’s a no-nonsense affair that relies on super high quality ingredients cooked and prepped to perfection. Think: a juicy beef patty, crisp lettuce, melted cheddar, the pick of house-made pickles and a bouncy potato bun. It’s very good and available from outside The Clare bar weekdays from 11:30am – 2:00pm and weekends 11.30am – 4.00pm all lockdown long.
Fried chicken is a perilous affair. The potential pitfalls are plentiful: dry chicken, overtly oily, too crispy (roof of mouth scratches are not cool), uneven cooking. The list goes on. This is 100% not the case with Pub Life, whose fried chicken is perfection. Pubfection? A sandwich within a sandwich situation, the fried chick is nestled between two slices of cheese. Plus, a generous serving of pickles and a punchy green sriracha mayo are a foil to the fried here.
Little known fact: McDonald’s can thank Catholicism for its famed Filet O’Fish. Story goes that in 1962, local franchise owner Lou Groen noticed a fall in burger sales on Fridays in his predominantly Roman Catholic hood. So he wheeled out a fish based option to cater for those abstaining from meat end of week. From there seafood based burgs have really grown in popularity and Fish Shop’s take is a self proclaimed zinger. We tend to agree. This outfit has swifty become known for elevating the traditional fish’n’chips experience to new elegant, modern heights. Wouldn’t expect anything less from the gang that democratised poke bowls via their justifiably and incredibly popular Fishbowl enterprise. And this special is no different. A refined take on the fish burger, it features mayo, southern style buttermilk fried gurnard and lettuce all on a martins bun. Dive in.
When a three hatted restaurant throws theirs into the burger ring so to speak, you know it’s going to be damn delicious. This Stanmore fine dining fixture did glorious things, like layered carrot cakes and cheese-and-bacon scrolls, last lockdown go-round and they’re back at it with their General Store again. This time with added fish burger goodness. Golden breaded fish, perfectly crisp lettuce, cheese and their take on tartare—simple ingredients handled beautifully, a masterclass in less is more cooking.
Why not use some of your extra at home time to get crafty in the kitchen with some of the amazing ingredients Sydney has to offer. Build your own burger around a key element, e.g. we’re thinking a Colin Wood grilled jersey milk cheese affair (of Poly fame). Or up the ante on a classic via condiments and or pickles. We reckon Condimental has all the goods here or you could opt for Moon Mart for an Asian twist. Sydney is your burger, so to speak. Or if you don’t fancy a burger per se, but still want something in the same region, The Clare Bar is also serving our bacon & egg and halloumi & egg rolls 7 days a week. Roll on over!
Pair with: in the spirit of going rouge pair with some draft beer from our Clare Bar taps, served in a handy takeaway cup for optimal day/Zoom drinking reasons.