Some eateries in Melbourne have a reputation that supersedes them, with friends, co-workers and family members asking you repeatedly why you haven't been there. Huxtaburger, a simple retro burger diner in the heart of Collingwood, is just one of those places. They're dishing up tasty burgers, crinkle cut chips and a selection of beers to the trendy set in Smith Street in droves.
Huxtaburger’s mantra is ‘hot beef and cold beer’. Their point of difference from all the other burger joints in town is their old-school US style burgers that use 100% grass-fed Wagyu beef, soft burger buns served with classic, crinkle cut chips.
The owners Daniel Wilson, Dante Ruaine and Jeff Wong opened Huxtaburger as an offshoot to their first restaurant, Huxtable. After observing the habits of people on Smith Street and deciding there was a need for a decent burger place, they found a site almost exactly opposite their Huxtable restaurant.
In December 2011, Huxtaburger was born. They’ve been serving a massive numbers of burgers to the never-ending crowds ever since, their popularity expanding to the point that sometimes it’s a challenge to squeeze into the small shop.
The three partners met back in 1998 at Hairy Canary, where they forged a friendship that turned into a strong and well-oiled business partnership. Huxtable, their first venture, is a collection of practices, observations, beliefs and experiences accumulated over many years in the industry and squeezed into one business model. When the idea for Huxtaburger came around, the brief was simple: all the things that worked for Huxtable and none of the things that didn’t.
So far, it’s been a thriving success. Huxtable, and now Huxtaburger, are places where anyone can go and enjoy great tasting, uncomplicated food matched with wine and beverages that express consideration and experimentation, all delivered in an environment that is comfortable and easygoing.
The appeal is in the simplicity and quality of the burgers. Using local Moondarra Tajima beef, Chef Daniel Wilson offers just five burgers on the menu. The appeal is in their execution that makes them absolutely tasty. Their classic ‘Huxtaburger’ comes stuffed with a beef pattie, mustard, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, tomato, cheese, lettuce and pickles, whereas the ‘Bills’ burger is layered with bacon, egg, pineapple and beetroot.
The ‘Denise’ is for the spice lovers with jalapenos and sriracha mayo, whereas the ‘Theo’ is a heart-stopper with bacon, double pattie, double cheese and BBQ sauce. There’s even a ‘Rudy’ burger for the kids. Their crinkle cut chips are straight out of your childhood tuck-shop memories, served in those retro paper cups.
Perhaps the most appealing thing about Huxtaburger is the location in the densely populated ‘hipster’ hangouts and other popular drinking holes of Collingwood, catering to the mouths of ‘hungry young things’.
They also offer a product that, dissimilar to many other burger oriented venues, is just a humble burger shop. At Huxtaburger, you’ll find no gourmet this and that, nor a crazy contrived fit-out. Their aim is to just smash out simple, tasty burgers that they themselves would like to eat in an environment that is comfortable.