In honour of National Burger Day yesterday, which I celebrated in gluttonous style at Street Feast‘s fab event, here are five burgers you should most definitely try in this here London.
I am so new to this place (see: I tried my first one yesterday at Hawker House), but I may well already be their biggest fan. Roast meat sandwiches with homemade gravy. HELLO! Choose the main attraction: Cheeseburger with Sliced Roast Beef or Lamb, Ketchup, Mustard, Pickle and Slaw and know it’s gonna taste even better once dragged through a super meaty, rich and salty jus. It reminds me of Sunday dinners as a kid, where we’d have cauliflower cheese and against my parents’ best wishes, I’d pour vats of gravy over it. YUM.
There’s much debate as to whether burgers should be served rare and if you’re on the no-rare-for-this-guy side of the fence, try Bleecker St and expect to have your mind changed. I love that you can really taste the quality of the 50-day aged beef, which is made just up the road from our flat at The Butchery in Forest Hill, and also their faff-free and simple approach to a bloody brilliant burger. Try the Bleecker Black Burger (Bleecker burger sauce, American cheese, Clonakilty beef black pudding, and white onion), and have it outside their Southbank food truck for a real London-y experience.
Another newbie for me but one I will wholeheartedly recommend already after having sampled The Candy Bacon Flipper at Street Feast yesterday. If you’re a burger lover, which I assume you are reading this post, check out the National Burger Day event they hold at Hawker House, Canada Water next year. It’s burger bloody heaven. This particular beef and bread parcel was made up of a beef patty (obvs), mustard, red onion, pickle, American cheese and maple syrup-fried bacon. And you can really taste the sweetness of that maple syrup – delicious.
It is a chain, but it is also really really good. They don’t mess around too much when it comes to the options at Honest Burger but the whole meal is spot on. I go for their trademark number which is joined by mature cheddar, red onion relish, smoked bacon, pickled cucumber and lettuce, with their infamous rosemary chips and a bottle of their house red wine when I go with my burger-loving pals and I can tell you, a tasty evening is a guarantee. I particularly like their Oxford St restaurant where you can sit outside and people watch late night shoppers frantically getting their wares before everything closes.
Situated in amongst the hustle and bustle and wobbly chairs of Brixton Market, The Joint is a no frills burger joint with damn tasty (and messy) burger options. My personal favourite is the Beef Brisket, Smoked Aiolo, Bacon Relish and Salad in a Potato Bun. I’d skip the chips and opt for Sweetcorn with BBQ Butter or Chilli Riblets for your side. Oh, and get there early if you don’t want to queue for three years, and remember to bring cash.
At Street Feast they’d teamed up with Burger Gang to create The Big Lew, which I am gutted I didn’t try because the queue was about an hour long and I needed burger stat. But I’m including it anyway because.. well, just look at what it consisted of: 90-day aged prime beef patty with ribeye, brisket, chuck and featherblade, pancetta, cold-smoked American cheese and marrownaise. BRISKET!? MARROW-NAISE? *drools*
I mostly love Byron for the milkshakes (hello Peanut Butter / Salted Caramel / Oreo) but the burgers are just right for a pre-cinema / theatre / whatever bite. I’m a big fan of the chilli one but the special often takes my fancy too. Last time I had guacamole in mine, which is always a winner. Get your dining buddy to get the sweet potato fries and order some courgette fries too, ’cause you’ll want to try both.
If you like options slash everything in your burger with your burger, head to Gourmet Burger Kitchen. The meat is pretty straightforward (and free range / dry aged) but you won’t notice it all that much with the sheer weight of everything else on top of it (in a good way!). It’s our go-to for a post-work Friday night fix. I like The Don and The Camemburger, but again, their special is always really good and you can have a milkshake or a fruity cocktail with it for a pretty reasonable price. The London Bridge restaurant has a really nice vibe too.
Whenever I see Smokstak at a food festival I find it very difficult to not immediately bypass the burger and go for the pork ribs. They are out of this world amazing (see here). BUT, if you can hold out (or have a friend willing to share both with you ‘for the good of the blog’…) the brisket burger is basically perfection. Soft, juicy, meaty and all round excellent, this burger is unlike any other. I’ve heard a rumour that they use marrow butter also.
For shmancy burgers, look no further than Le Bun. Accompaniments to your bun include black truffle burger sauce, veal jus, Champagne sauce and goats cheese. I shall say no more.
What’s your favourite burger in London?