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September 27, 2016

Just one thing… at Burger Theory

A guide to Adelaide's lesser-known, must-try menu items.

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  • Guide: Amelia Radman
  • Story by: Joshua Fanning

Welcome back to Just One Thing – a WikiEats for Adelaide – where CityMag lends you our friend as a guide to all the random, lesser-known-but-crazy-delicious things to try on your next food adventure.

Today we’re heading to Union Street to visit our good friends Burger Theory.


Burger Theory
8-10 Union Street,
Adelaide, SA 5000
Open 7 Days:
11:00AM – 9:00PM
Fri & Sat:
11:00AM – 10:00PM


Good things come in small packages

Hopefully by now CityMag readers are well-aware of the Burger Theory Genesis story.

In our frequent tellings you might hear us claim to have helped orchestrate their first guerrilla service adjacent Coffee Branch on Leigh Street, which we did, but really… Rob Dean and Dan Mendelson had already done one (if not two) sneaky services on Peel Street in front of Format (which is now Bread & Bone and ironically serves burgers) by that time.

Six years later and we’re reporting on their potential expansion into China, with no less than a thousand stores on the cards.

But that’s beside the point because today we focus on just one thing, not a thousand.

And that is the most surprising and delicious and exciting thing on the Burger Theory menu.

No, it’s not the number one. It’s not the number two beef burger either. Our one, must-try item before you die is their (original) chicken sandwich.

Everyone knows about the high-grade steak they famously grind into fresh beef patties, but not everyone knows the story behind the BT chicken sarnie.


To pickle or not to pickle? Definitely pickle!

Essentially it’s a giant chicken nugget. But it is, in our esteem, THE BEST chicken nugget you’ll ever try.

The secret is Burger Theory grind the free range chicken with the skin so there’s an even distribution of fat throughout. The patties are then hand-shaped and snap-frozen.

When the order is up, the chicken patty is pulled out of the freezer, dipped in batter and fried-to-order.

The result is a hot and tender chicken patty with crunchy, slightly peppery batter. And beyond the feature meat the whole sandwich is a sample of perfection.

Biting into this joy-filled experience you’ll be delighted by not only the world’s greatest chicken nugget, but its perfect pairing with the crunch of sweet and sour pickles (as good as McClure’s if not McClure’s themselves) and the creamy, tangy and smooth aftertaste of the burger’s special mayonnaise. It really is a party in your mouth.

And that’s it – Three ingredients: Chicken, pickle and mayo. Of course we like to add cheese because, cheese! But really the beauty of this menu item is its simplicity and that’s one of the most important questions we ask ourselves while conducting this scientific analysis of Adelaide’s food scene. The simple question: Is it delicious?


Rob and Dan aren’t the type of business owners to make a fuss of what they do and this chicken sandwich is proof of that. Hiding in plain sight – there’s no need for ‘secret menu’ gimmicks here, just a simple theory: if you use high-quality ingredients and treat them with respect while maintaining attention to the details, you’ll make something delicious every time.


Vacuum-packed high-grade beef ready for the daily grind


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