Food: Venice Burger, LAX Burger, Compton Burger, Double Cheese Burger, Fries.
California Burgers is kind of the burger equivalent of those hidden laneway bars in Melbourne. Glance from the street, or when you’re passing on the tram and it just looks like any old, late night opening take away joint, that serves up any old cheap as chips food to keep those drunk customers happy. Then people tell you, they do really great burgers – and you’re like “this place, right here?” – the same way you do when someone tells you to walk down a dark alleyway and knock on a random door three times.
Once you walk inside and see the number of sit in tables they have, and the soft neon lights, you start to realise that you might be in something more than your average take-away. It’s still an order at the counter from menus on a board place but the burgers are something pretty special.
They rebranded in 2014, but have had the same owners for quite some time and they have been going out to California since 2002 to gain authentic inspiration for their burgers. Everything about the venue is influenced by these visits and the California lifestyle: the late night opening, the laid back atmosphere and most importantly the menu.
As well as the burgers, they offer tacos and souvas – but we focused on their star dish. With 8 great burgers to choose from, they’re giving you a bit more variety that the traditional Cali places would, but you’ll definitely want to try them all, from the huge 4 patty Muscle Beach Burger, to the spicy chicken Compton burger (the burgers are named after Californian suburbs).
We tried the Compton, Double Cheese Burger, LAX and Venice burgers. The double cheese burger was M.B.’s dream, he got all of the burger without any of the salad! I loved the Venice burger. I actually hadn’t noticed since moving to Melbourne that you guys don’t put fresh onion on your burgers and the memories of home that the crunchy onion and pineapple (which wasn’t crunchy) brought back were wonderful. I liked the variety the Compton burger brought, but if it’s your first visit the beef burgers are definitely the way to go. The patties are made in house daily, and you can tell: they have so much flavour and so little grease. The buns are also delivered fresh daily too, sauce is made in house – in fact the only thing frozen is the chips – but they taste like slightly sweet Maccas fries so you won’t be too concerned!
They do imported drinks from the US too! Don’t fall in love with anything as it all dependent on what they can get from the supplier but there’s Mexican Coca Cola, Dr Pepper and Leninade (an orange coloured, lemon flavoured drink) to name a few. Great burgers, great story, worth a visit (or two)!
Address: 42 Chapel Street, Windsor
Mon 5pm to 2am
Tue 5pm to 2am
Wed 5pm to 2am
Thu 5pm to 2am
Fri 5pm to 4am
Sat 5pm to 4am
Sun 5pm to 2am
Parking: There’s paid parking in Windsor Carpark almost directly behind California Burgers, or you may find a park on the street if you’re lucky – probably easier on public transport.
Getting here on PT: Take the Sandringham Line to Windsor station, California Burgers is almost directly across the road. Alternatively take the 78 tram and alight at Windsor Station.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of California Burgers, Windsor. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a restaurant won’t change (including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting)