Grease Monkey is an American burger joint located on the popular Lonsdale Street in Braddon. It got its name, not from the greasy burgers they flip, but because the building used to be the local mechanics when Lonsdale Street was the "auto hub" of the city. Today, just a small part of industry remains and the street has been transformed into a bustling attraction of restaurants, cafes and bars.
In the centre of the street is a rainbow-coloured roundabout (painted in celebration of the marriage equality "yes" vote in 2017) and nearby, in contrast, is the black and grungy facade of Grease Monkey. It opens between 11am to late every day, with beer and meal offers during the week, DJs on Friday and Saturday nights and the deal that we went for (and possibly the best deal in Canberra!) - Tight Ass Chewsday!
Grease Monkey - greasy by name, but not by burger!
We visited on Boxing Day evening, which happened to land on a Tuesday, so according to their Facebook their Tight Ass Chewsday deal was still on - which is a free drink with every burger purchase. Grease Monkey is always busy with a celebratory atmosphere, however the Boxing Day crowd was particularly festive. Couples, families and groups of mates all came together to get their own Boxing Day bargain - and arguably the best burgers in Canberra.
Sit inside and enjoy the busy interior. Image: Grease Monkey Facebook
If you ask a Canberra local where their favourite burger joint is, they will either say Grease Monkey or Brodburger (located in Kingston and Fyshwick). Although there are other enjoyable burger joints to try - it usually comes down to just two. For myself, it is not easy to compare them as they are both so different, however Grease Monkey delivers on the punch of flavour, amazing sauces that drip down your arm (hence the roll of paper towel on each table!), soft brioche buns and delicious sides of chips with a light chilli dusting. As the buns and burgers are so soft, they are incredibly easy to eat - and disappear too fast!
On our visit we ordered the Greasy Burger and the Steakout and cut them in half to try each others and they were both exceptional - with the Steakout perhaps the better of the two, with tender steak and a more substantial size. Both, however, had the perfect balance of flavours and extra sauce which you just wanted to bottle and take home. As it was Tight Ass Chewsday we each received a FREE tap beer on the side (normally $9!), which was the perfect match for the flavour-packed burgers. If you don't want beer, the offer also includes house wine, house spirit, soft drink or milkshake...although the beer really is the ultimate burger match.
As we looked around Grease Monkey, it was easy to see the regulars who came each Tuesday, as they settled in for a weekly catch-up with mates on the long communal tables. There were also a number of families coming out for dinner, with free milkshakes included in the deal and smiles all around. If you are taking kids however, check the menu for what they might order, as the chips may be too spicy, depending on your child's tastes. There were also couples, like us, enjoying the atmosphere of the leafy outdoor area and having a delicious dinner - cooked by someone else! Between the cheap deals, beautifully-cooked burgers, icy cold delicious beers, friendly staff and relaxed vibe, we were working out when we could come back again - before we'd even left!
Is it the best burger joint in town? We honestly couldn't pick it, as we also enjoy Brodburger at Capital Brewing Co. just as much - but why do we have to decide? Just go to both!