on a train.
on a roof.
Ever wanted to eat a burger washed down with Melbourne Bitter on tap while watching YouTube videos in a train carriage on the roof of a five-storey building? Easey’s is the place for you. This multi-level, public transport-inspired diner comes courtesy of Jeremy Gaschk and Jimmy Hurlston, the latter a burger expert after eating over 3,000 of ‘em, documenting it all on Instagram and subsequently releasing The Burger Book – Victoria. Strangely enough, the guy’s pretty lean.
When I swung by to try out a burger at 10am (you can get burgers from 9am Wednesday to Sunday), the place was empty. We snuck up to the top level to check out the train carriage on the roof, which technically doesn’t open to the public until 11am. Boy, what a view. It doesn’t get much more ‘Melbourne’ than this.
We made our way back down to the bottom level to eat, past the takeaway area and dining room with train-route tabletops. It's easy to get lost at Easey's (at one point I accidentally ended up in a storeroom), where levels are separated into zones and menu prices mimic timetables. A quick look at the menu indicates that the $6 Easey Cheesy I ate is now $8; the basic burger with American pickles, cheese, mustard and ketchup smothered on a ground-beef patty. Vegetarians are encouraged to swap the patty for a potato cake, but you won’t any find salad here.
Most people BYOB (build your own burger) by adding extras to the Easey Cheesy (I saw one Facebook photo of a 15-patty beast), but there are recommended burgers, too. The most expensive is the Melbourne Madness at $18. It’s a hefty number with two patties, triple cheese, bacon, a potato cake, a dim sim, jalapeños, pickles, onions, ketchup and mayo.
There are other artery-clogging, OTT dishes too, such as doughnuts filled with milkshake-flavoured custard and deep-fried, frosties-coated strawberry Pop Tarts served with Southern-style fried chicken with bacon maple sauce. My teeth were aching after it.
If that sounds a bit much there’s also Fare cafe on the bottom level. Here you can remain guilt-free (and somewhat self-righteous) when ordering spiced apple maple buckwheat granola that’s been dehydrated for precisely 18 hours at 48 degrees, a parfait made from chia and almond milk or a bagel filled with leftover pulp from cold-pressed juice. The contrast between Fare and Easey’s is almost ironic.
Whether you’re planning on inducing a heart attack or looking for a post-yoga bite to Instagram with the ‘praising hands’ emoji, you can eat anywhere in the Easey Street building, train carriage included. Graffiti covers the walls from the bottom level through the stairwells and up to the outside of the train. There are plans to feature different artists – a tribute to the subway, if you will.
But before you visit Easey’s it’s worth talking a little more about the burgers. Don’t go expecting the best you’ve ever had. These are no-bullshit burgers that taste like McDonald’s (in a good way). They’re not the best; they’re not the worst, but whether or not you think they’re better at Hungry Jack’s is irrelevant – you won’t get an experience like this anywhere else. Check out all the levels but be sure to sit up top on the train. A word to the wise: there are only 37 seats in the carriage, so avoid visiting during peak hour.
48 Easey Street, Collingwood
(03) 9079 5940
Monday to Tuesday 5pm - 10pm
Wednesday to Thursday & Sunday 9am - 11pm
Friday to Saturday 9am to 1am