The round-up: sink your teeth into the Gold Coast’s best burgers
There is something deeply satisfying about sinking your teeth into a delicious, juicy burger. Whether you prefer a humble American cheeseburger with pickles, or you like to live on the edge with pulled meats and some sort of fancy sauce, we’ve got you covered with this handy list of where to get a darn-good burger on the Gold Coast … you can thank us later.
Two Yolks, Burleigh Heads: Two words for you – smashed patties. If you’re yet to experience the perfect, crisp, maillard crust that comes from the smashed-patty technique, then get your toosh over to Two Yolks quick smart. The burger slingers have gone to great lengths to source the best ingredients and hone the best techniques to craft their juicy burgers, ensuring satisfaction in every bite. The menu features seven breakfast burgers and eight lunch-to-dinner burgers – our pick is the Sausage, Egg and Cheese Burger in the AM and the classic Meat Cheese Bun in the PM, stacked with double smashed patties, double ‘merican cheese, house pickles and Two Yolks Special Sauce.
Easy Street Diner, Mermaid Beach: If you appreciate simplicity when it comes to your burgers, ESDs Royale is about as simple and delicious as a burger can get. Throw in a serve of pork-belly nugs and deep-fried pickle poppers, and you have yourself a mighty fine feast.
Eddie’s Grub House, Coolangatta: Blues, booze and burgers – yep, Eddie’s is the ultimate. While it’s common to see towering burgers full of fried goodness here, the foundation of it all is the double cheeseburger. With the perfect cheese-bun-sauce ratio – the charred 120-gram brisket-and-chuck patties are blanketed in cheese, drenched with ketchup and special sauce, before being rounded out by slices of vinegar pickles. Don’t get us started on the melt-in-your-mouth buns.
Rita’s Burgers, Cabarita: Okay so we know ‘technically’ Caba isn’t the Gold Coast, but to be frank, some things are worth breaking the rules for. If you’re willing to drive for a damn good burger, make haste to Rita’s and wrap your mitts around The CFC (Caba Fried Chicken, in case that wasn’t clear). If you can handle the heat, The Hottie is where it’s at.
Burgster, Palm Beach: These guys know how to craft a seriously eye-popping burger. Get your paws on the go-to grass-fed beef burger topped with Burgster’s special sauce, or if you like to do it low and slow, opt for the smoked brisket burger, which is smothered with BBQ sauce and topped with pickles, red onion and chili jam. The marinated deep-fried bug-tail burger with lemon mayo is also a pretty wild ride.
Freddy’s Chicken Shop, Burleigh Heads: As the name might suggest, chicken is the hero at Freddy’s. The corner eatery is an ode to the old-school milk bars of the 1970s, serving up good old fashioned, wholesome, no-frills eats (crafted with the utmost care and quality, however). There are five chicken burgers on the Freddy’s menu (alongside chargrilled chooks, handmade hot chicken rolls, salads and carvery-style sides) – our favourite is The Double Cheese with grilled and crumbed chicken breast, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion, cheddar, aioli and Freddy’s comeback sauce.
Last Night On Earth, Southport: If it really was our last night on Earth, spending it sipping beers and devouring epic burgers at this much-loved Southport institution sounds like a pretty solid action plan. The Apocalypse Cow is a simple-yet-delicious choice with housemade beef patty, lettuce, tomato, cheese and sauce, but if you really want to go all out (it is your last night on Earth, after all) go for the Total Annihilation (aka the Vinnies burger) with a hefty stack of beer-braised pork, streaky bacon, pickles, pineapple and slaw. It’s a food coma of the best kind.
Longboards, Surfers Paradise: If you’ve got a big appetite, Longboards is here to fill the gap. With 16 or so different burgers on offer, you’re guaranteed to find something to make your mouth water. The Cheezus of Nazareth is a vibe with a wagyu beef patty, crispy bacon, crumbed cheese patty (um, hello!) lettuce, tomato, pickles and the venue’s own secret sauce. Those up for the challenge can go for the hefty 1.8-kilogram monstrosity known as The Phat Bastard – featuring 600-grams of wagyu beef with literally all of the trimmings and comes in at a round sum of $69.
Ze Pickle, Burleigh Heads: When it comes to epic burgers on the Goldie, it’s hard to go past Ze Pickle, which was undoubtedly one of the pioneers in this space. Keep it simple with the Chee-zee burger or prepare thyself for a mouth bang with the Pablo featuring beef, cheese, guacamole, queso, smoked jalapenos and corn chips. Alternatively, go all out and order the STFU burger – quadruple everything, served between two grilled cheese sambos – good grief.
Paloma, Burleigh Heads: Ok, so we know this isn’t at all a burger joint, but Alex Munoz Labart’s famous La Burger definitely deserves a mention. What started as a Restaurant Labart lunch special has now become a permanent fixture on Paloma’s menu, and boy, are we glad about it. This succulent beauty features a wagyu beef patty, La Pickles, smoked American cheese, Labart’s Mac Sauce and a side of seasoned fries, which can be delightfully paired with a juicy wine from Paloma’s impressive list.
Milky Lane, Surfers Paradise: There are burgers, then there are Milky Lane burgers. The Sydney-born burger joint opened its first Queensland venue in the heart of Surfers Paradise, with locals quickly clamouring for a taste of the drool-worthy big-as-your-head creations. Those who prefer beef with their burg will love the Lil Weezy with a double smashed patty, double cheese, diced onions, pickles, garlic aioli, Americal mustard, ketchup and cheese gravy, whilst meat-free mates can chow down The Drake.
Pattysmiths, various locations: Just like metalsmiths are master craftsmen of metal, Pattysmiths believes it has perfected the art of hand-crafted burger patties – the chefs (known as Patty Smashers) use a signature blend of wagyu and Angus beef that is ‘hand-smashed’ on a custom-built iron plate to create a distinctive golden crust, which forms the core component of its eye-popping burgers. Opt for the classic cheeseburger, or go hard with the Mac & Cheese Royale – a beef patty with a mac’n’cheese katsu patty.
Pretty Handsome, Burleigh Heads: As a general rule, anywhere that slings a quality burger and fries for $12 has our complete and undivided attention. Even more so if it happens to serve bloody Marys topped with crispy bacon and have posters of Biggie Smalls sitting pretty next to Nirvana and Slayer. Cheap eat hero Pretty Handsome is that place.
2 Bros, Southport: The SoPo locals 2 Bros reckon they sling the best-fried chicken in Australia, and we’re not going to lie – it’s dang delicious. With a range of burgers including The Original (crispy chicken, lettuce, American cheese, pickles and lashings of special sauce), through the food-coma-inducing Triple Double.
Lovechild Kitchen + Bar, Mermaid Beach: Plant-based pals, rejoice – we’ve discovered a vegan eatery dishing up bites that are a little bit naughty but oh-so-good. With five stacked-up burgers to tempt your tastebuds including the Chicki Chiki Slaw (loaded with ridiculously crispy fried tenders, creamy house slaw and pickles on a toasted brioche bun), there’s something for pretty much everyone at Lovechild.
Crafty’s, Harbour Town: If you’re yet to experience this reimagined sports bar, then let its burgers lure you there. You’ll find a range of well-made burgers here, from the classic Angus beef to crispy fried chicken with cheese with hot-sauce mayo – and there’s even a chickpea and corn burger for the plant-based eaters. All of the burgs come with French fries dusted with spiced salt, and are best enjoyed with a schooner on the side.
Brooklyn Depot, Surfers Paradise: Situated at The 4217 in Surfers Paradise, this hub spins out a hefty collective of handmade burgers on the daily. Mix it up with Fuhgeddaboudit (beef patty, onion rings, American cheese, beef chilli, chilli relish and hot sauce), or get yo’self acquainted with the The Depot Burger with two grass-fed beef patties, double cheese, hickory-smoked bacon, grilled pineapple, crisp lettuce, fresh tomato and Depot special (secret) sauce. Throw some haloumi cheese sticks on the side too, cheers.
Greenhouse Canteen + Bar, Miami: Meat-free mates have been raving about Greenhouse for years but the Miami locale doesn’t dish out your stereotypical tofu and lettuce. We’re talking a burger piled high with drool-inducing toppings (including a hefty pickle) and wedged between a tempura mushroom bun, before being served up alongside a tower of crispy sweet potato fries. Hot tip: head in at happy hour for a $10 cocktail to boot.
Cubby Bake House, Chinderah: There may only be one burger on the menu here, but it is ahhh-mazing. The Chinny Cheeseburger features a free-range beef patty, shredded iceberg lettuce, red onion, Swiss cheese, house chipotle and barbecue sauce on a toasted milk bun. Add Polish pickles if you’re that way inclined (definitely do) and you’ve got yourself a fine feast.
Palm Springs, Burleigh Heads: The pastel-hued wonderland that is Palm Springs is also a top-notch burger joint, with crowd favourites including the honey-fried hot chicken burger and the haloumi and egg burger piled high with rocket, red pepper, avocado and tomato jam. Sounds like a hangover cure if we ever heard one – plus, Palm Springs is licensed so you can team it with a bloody Mary or just dive right in with three different kinds of margarita (chilli, coconut and original).
Betty’s Burgers, various locations: A juicy Angus beef patty, lettuce, tomato, onion cheese and Betty’s special sauce – so simple, but so damn tasty. If you’ve experienced the deliciousness that is Betty’s Burgers, you’ll know what we’re harping on about here. If you haven’t, you’ve got four locations to get yourself acquainted with Betty – Surfers Paradise, The Kitchens, Coomera and Pacific Fair. Betty’s also has plenty to suit vegetarian, pescatarian and gluten-free eaters – plus, there’s a brand-new plant-based spicy vegan burger that’s well worth your time.
Did we forget your fav? Feel free to shoot us a line at [email protected] and give us a hot tip!
The Stumble Guide is our comprehensive Gold Coast dining guide with more than 870 places to eat, drink, shop and play.