I remember when a good burger in London was one that did not give you food poisoning. That was about 2007 years ago when the scene started to cotton on to the fact that a burger could be more than an overcooked frozen patty with some fried onions and melted cheese in a sugary over-processed white bun. Places like Hamburger Union (RIP), Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Byron started to blaze the way on the high streets. It was not until 2008 when The Meat Wagon rolled onto the scene that burgers got really interesting in London.
It's safe to say that I have had a fair few burgers since 2008, some have been amazing, some rubbish and a majority forgettable.
So here is my updated 2019 List of Londons Best Burgers (According to me)
Burger and Beyond have been around for a couple of years. They started out doing festivals from their orange H-Van before smashing it on the London Burger Scene. Their beef is top notch (45 dry-aged beef) and its cooked perfectly pink in the middle. What makes them stand apart from the rest of the pact is their sauces and toppings. The guys and B&B are really alchemists when it comes to sauces and topping that boost the umami and packs flavour punches. All the sauces are all house-made and exciting like brown butter mayo, beer braised onions, bone marrow mayo. They also sell tater-tots which are impossible to find in the UK.
After years of kitchen residencies and slogging it on the streets, they finally have a permanent home in Shoreditch. Burgers are the focus, but they also get to showcase all the 'Beyond' of their name. Think black pudding croquettes and chicken skin.
Pull up a seat at the swish counter at their Shoreditch restaurant.
Hank's started off focusing on all things Southern American. Think Cajun Fried Shrimp Po Boy's and Dirty South Fries and you hit the spot. About 2 years ago they started turning their focus to another American Institution... The BURGER!
All of their patties are from aged beef cooked perfectly pink and served with house-made sauce in glazed potato buns. I think this was the burger that I ate the most of in 2018, Yep its that good.... and they are right across the street from my flat.
They have packed away their street food marquees for the moment, but you can find them from their home in Deptford Market Yard.
Mother Flipper has really upped their game as of late, there burgers were always good, but now they are fliping great. They are seriously well crafted burgers. My go to MF Burger is the Swiss Bacon Flipper. It is their perfectly cooked patty with swiss cheese, canddied bacon, candy onions, BBQ sauce & ranch mayo. I mean anything with ranch may is a winner to me!
If you are early enough at Brockley Market you can get their epic Breakfast muffin. I wont wax to much of the lyrical about that as its on a Top list of its own.
Launched in 2011 in Brixton, Honest Burgers really lives up to their namesake. They keep it simple with no tricks, no gimmicks, no hidden costs, just quality dry aged meat, homemade chips with every burger as standard.
In 2018 they moved to an in-house butchery and a new patty specification. I really did not think that I could have any more love for honest, that was until the release of the new burger.
The every changing specials are where it's at for me. They are on for 3 weeks at a time which means you have to visit at least twice a month. They do loads of guest collaborations and spend some serious time developing their specials.
My favourite special is the Deli... Their in house butchered Beef, bacon, emmenthal cheese, pickles, red onion, garlic mayo and baby spinach
They have a massive 30 locations across London and the UK, making this one of the best neighbourhood burgers around. Each branch has a local special. It's a brilliant way to make them all a bit more local whilst remembering that they are a chain.
I often have a hindering prejudges against gimmick when it comes to burgers. I think that is why it took me so long to try Baggio Burger. Baggio burger has been turning out his Italo burgers for a little while. I fell for the Classic Roberto with its perfectly cooked pink centre patty, topped with mozzarella, crispy Parma ham, sun-dried tomato relish, pickles and rocket in a seeded brioche bun.
Black Bear Burger are probably the newest burger on my list. As of my typing i thing they have been slinging them for about 18 months. They serve up solid straight up burger that reminded me of my first Bleecker Burger. Aged beef patty, beef trimming glaze, cheese, roasted tomato and onion jam, pancetta & smoked garlic mayo. Simple. Meaty. Well executed
They are at Boxpark Shoreditch 7 days a week for your burger cravings
With the exception of Shake shack, there are no burgers that really nail that fresh sunshine California feel. So, what a ray of light these burgers are from Zephyr. Their DOUBLE DOUBLE burger patty made with Ginger Pig beef, its griddle smashed and mustard fried. They add in lettuce tomato crispy red onion and pickled chilies for a touch of heat. Yeah, they are easy on the eyes, but they are a joy to eat. Love the simplicity of this burger where the ingredients just shine.
Catch them mainly in the South East of London. They have a home at Peckham Levels and from Deliveroo.
Starting out as a popup Patty & Bun launched as a brick and morter in 2012. Their Patties are thick and juicy and are loaded with toppings nestled in perfectly glazed brioche buns. The Ari Gold is where its at for me, Onions, Ketchup, Smokey P&B Mayo, Brioche. Simple and Delicious every time.
They have 9 locations around London.
Shake Shack was one of the first to launch the U.S Burgers invasion in 2013. Its still one of my favourites. I love the standard menu at ShakeShack.... but what I really love are their specials.
They are really killing it with their specials. One of my favourites was the crispy pickle burger. They take a pair of their beef patty and melt some creamy provolone cheese on them. Stack some sweet white onions, deep fried pickles and garlic mayo and sandwich it between potato buns... you have one epic burger.
Now that special is gone, but that does not mean that I stay away... I can't get enough of that Shroom burger!
Shake Shack have 8 locations in London and one in Cardiff.
This is the only burger on my list from a restraint that does not focus mainly on burgers.
When Ichibuns first opened I felt like it really missed the mark on what it was intending to be…. Fast-forward 18 months and they have had a new chef and a menu revamp… and bow its good!
The Ichibun Signature Burger. It's as luxurious and decadent as a straight up burger can be.
When I say straight up burger I mean bun, burger patty, cheese, a sauce and maybe onion or pickle. Just the basics. But this burger is far from basic. 30 day aged British wagyu beef, cheese, caramelised onion, burger sauce in brioche.
The cheeseburger spring rolls are amazing as well as the udon!
Ichibuns is located in the heart of China Town.
The Meat Liquor is really the Daddy of the London burger scene. Starting out in 2008 from a catering van popping up around south east London, The Meat Wagon went viral pretty much overnight via twitter. My first experience with getting my chops around a burger was not successful, queuing 90 minutes to place my order, then waiting a further three hours before i left hungry with a refund. It did not deter me though.
Fast forward to the #MeatEasy pop-up in a disused New Cross Pub where you still queued, but you got service. Burgers were great then and they are now. Not much has changed, except burgers come as a double as standard.
The Dead Hippy is my go to burger... it messy so grab an extra paper towel off the roll on the table. Don't overlook the sides they are all ace!
There are 9 locations in London and 2 others in the UK.
There are loads of other burgers in London. This burger list is by no means comprehensive, just an edited list of burgers that I'd go out of my way to eat. There are so many more burgers that I like, but did not get my cut.
There are some obvious major players omitted from this list. I operate on a three strikes policy, I can accept inconsistencies once or twice, but three times and you are DTM.
Is there a burger that you love and i've missed out? Email me, tweet me or slide it into my dm.