Mark and Donnie Wahlberg's Wahlburgers is the latest US burger chain to open in Sydney

US burger chain Wahlburgers has opened at Opera Quays, complete with signature burgers and fries.
US burger chain Wahlburgers has opened at Opera Quays, complete with signature burgers and fries.  Photo: Supplied
Half a century after McDonald's first planted its Golden Arches in Australia, the newest arrival from Generation Next of US burger chains has hit Sydney. The Hollywood-scented Wahlburgers opened its doors this week at Circular Quay.

Started by Boston-born singer-actor brothers Mark and Donnie Wahlberg with their chef sibling, Paul, Wahlburgers joins a growing posse of US chains headed to our shores. Last year, cult burger brand Five Guys opened its first Sydney store. 

Where McDonald's started its Australian story on a busy street in Yagoona, Wahlburgers has chosen a site down by Sydney's prized Golden Pond, at Opera Quays. And the casual restaurant and bar has cocktails on the menu.

More than burgers: There are cocktails on the menu at Wahlburgers, too.

More than burgers and fries: There are cocktails on the menu at Wahlburgers, too. Photo: Supplied

The Walhburgers chain has been brought to Australia with local partners, the Mustaca family who built the United Cinema chain. Sam Mustaca tells Good Food getting Wahlburgers off the ground in the middle of a pandemic wasn't easy.

"Lots of Zoom," Mustaca says of communication with his US-based partners. But he credits the brothers for embracing the Australian consumer with some niche inclusions on the opening menu.

"Paul [Wahlberg] came up with the Vegemite aioli. And I remember the look on his face (via Zoom) when he tried his first Aussie burger with beetroot," Mustaca says.

As well as signature burgers and potato gems (pictured), there'll be an Aussie Chicken Schnitty burger and Vegemite aioli.

As well as signature burgers and potato gems (pictured), there'll be an Aussie Chicken Schnitty burger and Vegemite aioli. Photo: Supplied

An Aussie Chicken Schnitty burger made the opening menu, alongside some of the chain's signatures.

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Mustaca revealed Byron Bay, Surfers Paradise and Warriewood are all slated for openings, with a mix of standalone and Wahlburgers built alongside the family's cinemas.

Wahlburgers has steadily grown over the years, spawning a spin-off reality TV show and even opened an outlet at an air base in Germany. It did experience a hiccup with its UK plans, Wahlburgers closing at Covent Garden last year, citing the impact of the pandemic.

Open daily 7am-late

Opera Quays 18/7 Macquarie Street, wahlburgers.com