Where To Go For Burgers in London
Sinking your teeth into a delicious burger is one of life’s greatest pleasures – but what makes it perfect? A question likely to trigger debate. Is a brioche bun crucial? How well-cooked should the beef be? Are pickles mandatory? Much of it is down to personal preference, of course, but there are some titans in the food sphere who have nailed the fundamentals. Here we highlight the C&TH pick of the best spots for burgers in London – from street food stalls to trendy US imports. They’ve spent years perfecting their recipes: crafting secret sauces, finding the best producers, and creating mouth-watering flavour combinations. Whether you’re on the hunt for the perfect vegan burger, fancy something really decadent (mac ‘n’ cheese burger anyone?) or are simply after a tasty hangover cure, there’s something for all cravings in our pick of the city’s top burger joints.
Where To Go For Burgers in London
Patty & Bun
With branches dotted all over the city, you’ll never be too far from a Patty & Bun. The first one opened on James St back in 2012, based around an ethos of simplicity: offering just a few things, but doing them well – which makes sense when it comes to burgers. Fresh, good quality ingredients are crucial though: at Patty & Bun, meat is sourced from H.G. Walter, a premium, ethical butcher, alongside cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy. Brioche buns are filled with indulgent flavour combinations: carnivores will love the ‘Hot Chic’ Chicken Burger, which features marinated buttermilk fried chicken, coleslaw and smoked garlic aioli. Veggies, meanwhile, can sink their teeth into a tasty portobello mushroom burger, flavoured with garlic parsley butter, tarragon mayo and cheese sauce. Watch out for monthly specials too – this month is ‘Oooh Mami’, an aged beef patty with sticky onions, bacon and double cheese (with a plant-based alternative also up for grabs).
Various locations, pattyandbun.co.uk
Cut + Grind
The USP for this King’s Cross restaurant is that it cuts and grinds its prime beef in-house every day, ensuring ultimate freshness and top tier taste. This beef is then paired with other ingredients: from the classic cheddar, pickles and lettuce combination to a Surf + Turf burger, which comes with lobster and crayfish mayo and breaded scampi. It’s not all about the beef though – there’s also an impressive plant-based menu which includes a miso aubergine number, plus a halloumi burger with rocket, sweet chilli and tzatziki.
Canal Reach, London N1C 4BD, cutandgrindburgers.com
Throwing out the rulebook with its plant-based, colourful patties is Flower Burger, which came to London in 2012 after making waves in Milan. It’s the brainchild of Matteo Toto, who set out to merge the worlds of burger culture and vegan cuisine and create somewhere with a positive, joyful feel. That certainly comes across – both in the food itself and in the décor of the restaurants. You’ll find the London branch in Fitzrovia, a vibrant space featuring kaleidoscopic graphics and a large mural of The Beatles’ yellow submarine, with brightly coloured burgers in hues ranging from pink to green. It’s not all style over substance though: all feature nutritious and delicious vegan patties, with highlights including the Avo Truffle, a mushroom burger with guacamole and truffle mayo, and the Spicy Chickpea, a yellow bun filled with a chickpea patty, spicy sauce and jalapenos.
43 Charlotte St., London W1T 1RS, flowerburger.co.uk
Founder Zan Kaufman was inspired to set up his own food stall after trying the best burger he’d ever eaten in New York. Two years later, he moved to London, bought an old van and converted it into a burger food truck – which quickly became a hit. In 2015, Bleecker opened its first bricks-and-mortar kiosk in Old Spitalfields Market, and two more venues followed: a 20-seater takeout joint in Victoria, and a 30-seater in the Bloomberg building. So what’s Zan’s secret? Look away vegans: he believes burgers are all about the beef – rare-breed, grass-fed beef sourced from small farms in the UK. It’s nothing fancy, but definitely delicious – the double cheeseburger is a long-standing favourite, best enjoyed alongside a portion of sweet potato fries.
Various locations, bleecker.co.uk
Part of the uber-cool Standard hotel in King’s Cross, Double Standard hails from across the pond, and brings with it a fun American vibe. That extends to the menu, which features elevated takes on comfort food – including a couple of very good burgers. Choose between The Standard Burger, a dry aged beef patty with bacon, blue cheese and spinach; and The Plant-Based Burger, a meatless patty with smoked applewood cheese, lettuce and pickles – both served with a side of fries. You can dine in the 70’s-inspired bar space inside, or on the terrace, which is particularly popular come summertime.
Ground Floor, The Standard, 10 Argyle St, London WC1H 8EG, standardhotels.com
The Dirty Bones story started – like so many great stories do – in New York, where two friends began to develop an idea for a Big Apple-inspired food and cocktail concept. They opened the first Dirty Bones on High Street Kensington in 2013, with branches to follow in Carnaby, Shoreditch, Soho and Oxford. Creative comfort food is the focus, so naturally burgers feature. There’s a dedicated buns section offering decadent dishes like The Mac Daddy: a double aged steak burger topped with pulled beef short rib, mac & cheese and espresso-soaked BBQ sauce. Better still, throughout January you can get a burger for just £5 if you visit from Monday to Wednesday.
Various locations, dirty-bones.com
As the name suggests, this started out as a chippy – but really the burgers are the star of the show. Founded by Ben Denner, Lucky Chip began its life as a stall in Kensal Green, progressing to a permanent venue a few years ago – with two London outposts in Islington and London Fields. So what’s on the menu? The El Chappo is a firm fan favourite: a spicy Mexican-inspired number featuring aged beef patty with smoked bacon, American cheese, roasted jalapenos and aioli – but you can’t go wrong here. There are two vegan options too, alongside some punchy sides: think spicy mayo cheese fries, lobster mac ‘n’ cheese, and buffalo hot wings.
44 Essex Rd, London N1 8LN and 13-23 Westgate St, London E8 3RL, luckychip.co.uk
You’re truly spoilt for choice at Arcade Food Hall, Culinary Point’s culinary mecca featuring endless restaurants, bars and stalls. But if it’s a burger you’re craving, Manna is sure to satisfy. Dreamed up by Bake Street’s Feroz Gajia, it’s a fried chicken and burger joint inspired by US diner culture. The menu is concise, with just three burgers to choose from, but all are executed to perfection. Keep it classic with the famed Smash Burger, a smashed patty topped with American cheese, mustard, ketchup mayo, pickles and onions, or up the spice with the Hot One, a fiery burger featuring Manna’s hot sauce. Extra hungry? The waffle fries will go down a treat.
103-105 New Oxford St, London WC1A 1DB, arcadefoodhall.com
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