in the press


It’s a pretty simple idea. Bread, spreads, pickles, two slices of tomato, lettuce, an onion ring, smashed patty, cheese. Melburnians are going crazy for American-style burger joints, and Greek-Australian Theo Tzavaras, founder of California Burgers in Windsor, is the craziest of them all.

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It’s 3am on Saturday morning in Windsor. You’ve just spent the night doing awful dance moves at Revs or Poof Doof and you’re craving something fried and unhealthy and utterly delicious. Where do you go?

If you’re smart, you’ll make a bee-line for California Burgers at the top end of Chapel St, just opposite Windsor station.

California is an old souvlaki joint that’s been around for nearly 10 years (they still have the smoky charcoal souva pit, glowing coals sizzling lamb and all). In 2015 they revamped as an LA-style burger bar, and they’ve been slinging late-late-night burgers to the Chapel St faithful ever since.

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Founder Theo Tzavaras started California Burgers in 2009, taking inspiration from LA’s cult-like burger bars such as In-N-Out Burger, food trucks and the vibrant food cultures.

After many years of trial and error, planning, recipe development and perfecting the menu, California Burgers was launched in 2009 as a secret menu in Theo’s souvlaki shop.

The next step was in 2012 when the California Burgers released its menu to an online ordering service. Although it was criticised by the operator for having a small menu, the mystery burger bar was a massive success.

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California dreamin’ no more – get a taste of L.A right on Chapel Street as California Burgers serves up burgers fit for an A-lister.

You might recall this Chapel Street store as a souvlaki joint and you’d be right – in fact, their tasty souvas are still on the menu. But when owner Theo Tzavaras and his wife fell in love with the food scene of LA back in 2002, they knew that they had to bring their beloved California burgers home to Melbourne. See full article here


Chances are, you wrapped your mouth around one of Theo Tzavaras' California Burgers creations long before they found their current home on Chapel Street. After all, the USA-inspired eats have been winning fans since way back in 2009, when they first starred on a secret menu at Tzavaras' souvlaki shop. But now — with proper digs to its name — the California Burgers concept remains the same: fresh LA-style burgers that you'll remember long after the last bite.

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A totally Instagrammable burger joint (you’ll be hashtagging #californiaburgersmelb from the moment your food arrives), California Burgers has brought the West Coast of America to the south coast of Australia and we are forever grateful. Cooking up some California-inspired burgers set to make your mouth water, you’ll find the likes of beef, fried chicken and turkey burgers in the form of The Malibu Burger, The Calabasas and The L.A.X Burger.

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Founder Theo Tzavaras has travelled extensively through California. Hence, the name, and the west coast-inspired menu. It’s all about quality here, with most things made in-house. The buns are fresh, the beef patties are hand smashed, and the special Pink Mayo is homemade. We like the spicy chicken Compton Burger and the epic Muscle Beach Burger with quadruple beef and cheese. Complete your meal with a serve of cheesy American fries, and a soft taco or two if you’re super hungry.

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Ever since burger makers cottoned on to the quality and popularity of the iconic In-N-Out Burger in the US, they’ve been trying to replicate it. And this trend isn’t restricted to Australia – many on the East Coast of the US will know Shake Shack, whose own take on the In-N-Out style burger has made them one of America’s most popular burger spots. Not bad for a brand that started as a little more than a food cart in Madison Square Garden 13 years ago. 

Down-N-Out in Sydney has been one of the more recent entries in the Australian market, offering “Tiger Style” in lieu of In-N-Out’s “Animal Style” across two locations, as well as a similar approach to their burgers. 

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For foodies who have been fortunate enough to travel to LA, you know that the first meal will usually be something typically American and fried like a burger and fries.

For those who are yet to travel to LA for either, look no further than Chapel St’s very own California Burgers for the hit you’re looking for of burger goodness.

California Burgees is not your usual ‘hole-in-the-wall’ burger joint, but rather something you would only see in LA. In Melbourne.

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