Varsity Bar is quite the popular burger joint. The American themed bar, with huge mural of the “stars and stripes”, was heaving on a Sunday lunchtime. Tables full of punters devouring burgers, $5 pint cans of PBR American beer and Pyrex jugs filled to the brim with creamy milkshakes.
The bar is found on the ground level of Broadway Shopping Centre, a hop skip and jump from UWA, giving Varsity a student bar feel, though there were plenty of “cough” older people chowing down on their burgers there too.
The crowd at Varsity is pretty lively. It’s not a quiet bar. There’s sports on big screens, pool tables, ping pong and more.
With Little Chef being an only child, we tend to think of where we’d like to go to eat and hope that there’s a kids menu, rather than take him somewhere geared at kids with an indoor playground and average food. Varsity isn’t a bar you’d immediately think of taking kids to, though there were quite a few families when we visited. I think its fine for older kids, like 8 year old Little Chef. There’s a kids menu so it ticked that box for us.
Little Chef picked the cheeseburger and fries ($10), which he devoured in next to no time.
Chef chose the double cheese deluxe ($14), packed with meaty patties, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles and Varsity’s special mayo. The serves of chips are really generous too.
Named after a rapper, I chose the “NOTORIOUS P.I.G” ($15), and it was B.I.G! Overflowing with moist pulled pork, a “durty” slaw, and Carolina BBQ sauce. Recently, I’d had my first gluten free burger bun at Grill’d, expecting it to be terrible, then realising it was not so bad. I’m on a FODMAP diet, so avoiding many foods, including some gluten. Their beer battered fries contain gluten, so I picked a salad, which was much better than your usual token side salad. Unfortunately the GF bun was really quite dry. I gave up halfway through and just ate the tasty filling. It made me feel so sad that I couldn’t eat the brioche buns and I started to secretly plot another visit to Varsity to eat a proper burger and to hell with my low gluten diet.
There are some interesting burgers on the menu, none more so than the “PRESLEY”, double cheeseburger, bacon, crunchy peanut butter and smashed banana. Elvis would be proud! You can really customise your burger too, with many weird and wonderful add ons – jalapeños, pickles, peanut butter, durty slaw, cheese, pineapple, tobacco onions, mushroom, smashed banana, pimento cheese, bacon, extra chicken or even an extra patty.
All in all, we liked Varsity Bar Nedlands a lot, it has a fantastic atmosphere. The boys loved their burgers and I know I would have too, if I’d eaten it how their burgers are intended to be, on a buttery brioche. Next time, I might treat myself!