Up until a few years ago the Lounge was synonymous as one of Melbourne’s main university hangouts. With a 10min walk from RMIT University, pool table, pub grub and a balcony right over Swanston Street it’s easy to understand how the conditions were right for students to graze. Earlier this year Lounge received a much needed refurbishment and established Gloria Swanston’s Kitchen with a menu possessing some of the most mouth watering American style comfort food going around in Melbourne. As part of the relaunch of Gloria Swanston’s kitchen and as an aid to bring in new clientele they now offer one of it’s marquee meals, the Kick Ass burger, every Tuesday for $8 (normally $16). After hiking up the stairs, picking one of the few well lit corners to sit in, we ordered the Kick Ass beef burger that came with 200grams of ground beef, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, bacon, double cheese served and with crinkle cut fries.
When the burger wave hit Barcelona, it hit pretty hard. In a large way, one Australian is at fault. In 2006, Brad Ainsworth, a Brisbane-born, Rockpool-trained chef opened Wushu: Wok restaurant and Noodle Bar. It was so successful that people couldn’t even get a table. This is normally a good thing for a venue, but in order to appease the crowds Ainsworth decided to move his Thai restaurant to a bigger venue. During the move and whilst trying to sell the former Wushu shop, Ainsworth decided that he didn’t want space to go to waste, so he opened up a temporary burger joint with hope to attract new buyers. Sure enough, in no time at all there were queues forming around the block. The bastard love-child, Bacoa, was such a hit that he closed down the new Wushu and opened up Kiosko, sister venue to Bacoa, where burgers reigned supreme. Little Bacoa as it is now called (to differentiate it from their 2nd venue Bacoa Universitat) is located right next to the Santa Caterina Market, so produce is always super fresh. Their menu consists of different hamburger options from a traditional option to a Japanese burger that uses a teriyaki sauce. I went for their signature Bacoa burger that came with two 150g beef patties, bacon, Manchego cheese, caramelized onions, tomato, lettuce and special house sauce.
When you’ve been out all night and drank one too many Moritzs, the last thing you’re going to want is many tiny Spanish plates. Thanks to the festive Catalan and tourists-alike, a late night burger joint is always going to flourish. Pim Pam (English translation: “Pim Pam”) has been overwhelmed with customers ever since opening their doors in 2006. In fact, their parent restaurant, Pim Pam Plats, who were known for serving deli style eats as well as their trademark hamburger, had to create a dedicated burger restaurant to cope with the demand. Calling themselves the benchmark of Barcelona, the guys pride themselves on their version of slow-cooked fast food, calling it Fast Good, using only the freshest ingredients from local markets. They offer a range of burger options that either come with a beef and pork, veal, chicken or veggie pattie. I decided to try their Pim Pam Completa burger that came on a traditional burger bun with a 150g beef and pork pattie (you can upgrade to 200g if the mood should strike you), lettuce, tomato, onion, gherkin, cheese, egg, bacon and special sauce.
Since 2011 this place has been known as The Woods of Windsor and has had a reputation on Chapel St for its whisky menu and knowledgeable bartending staff. In recent months they’ve tweaked their agenda slightly, untucked their shirts and gone a little more casual. They’re still producing great food to compliment the smoky/woody characteristics of whisky (you can’t argue that meatballs and burgers don’t go with whisky), but they now call themselves The Woods Bar & Kitchen. Co-owned by the same people that brought you Yellowbird just down the road, these whisky and music connoisseurs know when a good thing is working. As if we needed an excuse to go to a bar we sat down and ordered some drinks and the Gippsland Beef Burger that came with a BLT garnish, tomato relish, tasty cheese and hand cut fries.
New York has Times Square, Gold Coast has Cavill Avenue and Warsaw has Nowy Swiat. It’s the place you’ll most likely end up as a tourist roaming the streets of Poland’s capital. No one would dare call it trashy because of it’s rich history that dates back to the late 1600’s, but it is the place to find tourists ready to spend. This means you’re rather spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to grab a bite, a beer or a babe. Lucky for the burger inclined folk Brooklyn Burgers and Wings provides them all (except babes, you’ll have to try and sweet talk the waitresses for that). Run by ex-pat American Alan Bohinski, BB&W serves up their signature recipes until the wee hours on a weekend and proudly notes that their patties are all minced on site and that their sauces are all Alan’s secret concoctions. After ordering at the bar I took a seat out front, watched the tourists and Polaks walk by and waited for my Brooklyn BBQ burger to arrive. It was served on a sesame seed bun with a 200g beef pattie, BBQ sauce, sweet-n-spicy grilled onions, crispy bacon, Mimolette cheese, lettuce, mayo and a side of coleslaw.
With lots of room for activities and beautiful taps pouring lushes golden ale, the locals of Port Melbourne have been visiting The Exchange Hotel since 1916. With a classic formal dining area and a barn-like wooden ceiling that contains that sweet roast smell from the kitchen, this place will surely entice you for a Sunday sesh. As we always do, we went for the burger: the Exchange Beef Burger came with bacon, cheddar, caramelised onions, tomato, iceberg lettuce, pickled beetroot, garlic mayo and triple cooked house cut wedges.