6 Mary Street
Newtown NSW 2042
+61 2 4995 9550
When I’m in Sydney, there’s only one place I go when the burger craving hits – and no, it’s not McDonalds, not even when I’m desperate. I go to Mary’s, one of Newtown’s favourite eateries and by that, I mean one that’s often frequented by hipsters and food bloggers.
Blending into its grungy Newtown surrounds, Mary’s is befittingly dingy, dark and, let’s face it, uninviting from the outside. It’s pretty much the same story inside but with constant loud Angry White Boy music blaring from the speakers – not exactly a place I’d take my conservative Asian parents to.
That said, the former sexual health clinic-cum-burger joint is strangely cosy and inviting once your ears get used to the thumping music. The team are friendly, attentive and full of energy, even on a Saturday afternoon before 1pm.
Mary’s keeps its menu simple by offering only three burgers, including a mushroom one for the vegos. I usually go the cheeseburger ($15), though in the past I’ve sometimes gone for the namesake Mary’s burger with trashcan bacon (essentially bacon that’s been cooked in a trashcan, $15). All burgers come with a generous serving of crispy shoestring fries.
Irrespective of what burger ends up being ordered, they’re always consistently damn good. The bun is simple, soft and white (none of this overly sweet and buttery fancy brioche stuff if that ain’t your thing), the meat is well-seasoned and juicy and the whole thing is held together by salad and a squirt of ketchup. It’s simple stuff, done very very well and sometimes that’s really all you need.
I also make sure the mash and gravy is ordered. Ladies and gents, you really haven’t lived unless you’ve tried Mary’s mash and gravy. The potato was so soft and so silky that it was almost like eating a carb version of velvet. Meanwhile, the gravy was full of flavour, thanks to the generous amount of rendered chicken fat that was used to boost the flavour profile. Give me a spoon and I can eat this stuff all day long, baby.
The perfect beverage choice to match the burgers would be, of course, be a Bloody Mary’s. If you’re more into beers, however, Mary’s has a decent selection of pilsners and craft beers. The cocktail list is also worth pursuing – they even have a drink called the ‘Noble C*nt’ if you’re feeling particularly bold. In all seriousness though, just give me a beer, a burger and gravy and I’m a happy camper.