8bit.

Fast food at its best in Melbourne's CBD.

Remember when you used to play video games in 8bit? Well now you can eat delicious fast food and pretend you're in one. In the heart of Melbourne's CBD lies 8bit - a fast food joint whose quality puts it above the rest. 8bit is a reminiscence to video games of days gone by. The interior is fun and playful with a bold blue and yellow colour scheme. On the walls you'll see 8bit artwork of your favourite Nintendo games. Even the tiles are pixelated. At the front of the store, you can get your 8bit fix while you wait with the old school Arcade Classics game machine.

The menu has all of the varieties of burgers and hot dogs you could ever want (and they are all named after old school video games, of course). Grab the 'Double Dragon' for double everything, the '1 Up Mushroom' for all of your veggie needs, or the 'After Burner' if you think chilli sauce and jalapeños should coexist. But sometimes you've just got to go for the classics. The '8bit with Cheese' comprises of a juicy beef patty with tomato, lettuce, onion, pickles, mustard, cheese, ketchup and 8bit sauce all squeezed into a soft sesame seed bun. While the '8bit Dog' consists of a huge smoked frankfurter topped with grilled onions, pickle, relish, ketchup, mustard and spring onions. 

For those who say it isn't over until they've had dessert, don't you worry, salted caramel, peanut butter, and strawberry cheesecake milkshakes are available. And there's even a changing weekly chocolate bar milkshake.

Classic 8bit, classic food.

www.eat8bit.com.au

231 Swanston Street, Melbourne, VIC, 3000

 

Patty & Bun

Simple and juicy burgers with the tastiest skin-on chips.

Top of every burger lovers bucket list has to be Patty and Bun. With their newest spot in London Fields situated in a railway arch, the folks at P&B are bringing simple spaces and mouthwatering food together in true London fashion.

With six different burgers to chose from, decision making is hard, but the Smokey Robinson comes out on top: beef patty is teamed with bacon, cheese, tomato, lettuce, lashings of their secret smokey P&B mayo and caramelized onions for a generous, juicy burger.

A trip to Patty and Bun wouldn’t be complete without a serving of their skin-on fries, which come with chicken skin salt and a moreish roast chicken mayo.

If you’re going to pay them a visit definitely try their London Fields branch, but if that’s a little out your way, they’ve got a fourth eatery coming to Soho’s Old Compton Street this year, leaving you spoilt for choice.

www.pattyandbun.co.uk

397 Mentmore Terrace, London Fields, Hackney, E8 3PH

 

Rude Boy Burger

In a city with an abundance of burgers to choose from, Rude Boy Burger proves to be one of the best.

With the same name as one of my favourite shops in Banff, naturally I was drawn to this burger joint in Brunswick West. Located at the bottom of an apartment complex, Rude Boy Burger's interior is equally industrious yet refined. Reclaimed door frames, wooden pallet tables, metal stools, and an illuminous neon sign are balanced by a clean spacious finish.

Owners, Karen Ascui-Rodriguez and Franco Caruso (also owners of the café next door - Lolo & Wren), pride Rude Boy Burger on its quality meat sourced locally from Clover Valley.  The menu is simple yet covers all of the burger bases. Go for 'The Rude Boy' if you want a classic Australian wagyu patty with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and the special 'rude' sauce in a soft sesame seed bun. 'DBC' if you want double the cheese and double bacon. Or the 'Big Popper' if you're a Biggie fan and like all things spicy as it comes stuffed with jalapeño poppers and heaps of chimichurri sauce. Follow your inner gangster further and try the ghetto fries served with enough cheese, jalapeños, avocado and chipotle relish to have you swimming in the stuff.

www.facebook.com/rudeboyburger

482 Albion Street, Brunswick West, Melbourne, VIC, 3055

 

Stokey Bears

I had been waiting a very long time (a year and a month to be exact) to go to this burger joint. As soon as I arrived back in England, my mouth was frothing with excitement at the thought of a juicy and beefy Stokey Bears' burger. The brains behind this heavenly burger restaurant is Tom Reaney, also known as 'Burger Bear Tom'. Tom began his burger venture with 'Burger Bear' pop-ups in and around London, in which he quickly found a more permanent spot at The Old Nun's Head pub in Peckham several days of the week. Tom's next venture was a restaurant of his own, and thus Stokey Bears was born - a collaboration between Burger Bear and Big Hug Brewing Company which offers the best burgers, beats and booze all in one place.

Situated along the up-and-coming Stoke Newington High Street, Stokey Bears stands out from the rest of the crowd with its reclaimed stripped back wooden exterior, luminous signs and enticing blue neon lights above the entrance. Inside, there is a DJ booth on the left in which resident DJs (some of which include Strawberry K, The London Disco Society and Horton Jupiter) deliver up some funky disco, house and techno whilst you eat and drink. Live streams can be heard at Hoxton Radio. The recycled wooden theme is carried on inside with a number of spacious booths and tables to get your beef on. Skateboards can be found atop of benches and on the walls alongside t-shirts from a local Stoke Newington skate shop (Tom's). Most of the artwork is bear-themed except for the Homer and Bart Simpson portraits (much appreciated) and a large totem pole by the bar created by Hatch. Slowly changing disco lights accompanied by disco music create a nice chilled ambience in the restaurant. 

The wait was over. I finally got to tuck into one of these heavenly burgers. Stokey Bears’ burger menu options are named with their appropriate bear – greedy (everything twice, double stack), angry (cheeseburger with holy fuck sauce), and triple threat (triple stack), to name a few. After a year in Canada and still not being able to get enough of that place, obviously I chose the Grizzly - somewhat of a signature burger from the bears. Service was pretty fast and before I knew it a toasted sesame seed brioche bun, well stacked with a beef patty (sourced locally from Flock & Herd), oak smoked bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion and Burger Bear’s signature Bacon Jam was in front of me. (This 12-ingredient secret sauce can be bought by the jar in various Burger Bear pop-up locations, if you're lucky - they sell out quickly!) The Grizzly burger was on point - tender and juicy patty, crispy bacon, molten cheese and drizzled in bacon jam which oozed from the sides with every bite. I'm already eagerly anticipating my next Grizzly burger...

This summer, with the help of a £36,000 Kickstarter campaign, Burger Bear collaborated with Prawnography and Relax to create The Magic Roundabout - a unique food and drinking hotspot full of mouth-watering street food, delicious coffee, craft beer, fresh cocktails and party beats in the middle of the iconic Old Street roundabout. Go and check this disco diner out! I'll be adding it to the top of my go-to list when I'm back in London!

www.stokeybears.com

129 Stoke Newington High St, London N16 0PH