Ten Of London’s Best Burgers

By Londonist Staff Last edited 8 months ago
Ten Of London’s Best Burgers
Bleecker Black, anyone? Damn right.

If the 60s were all about Beatlemania, then this decade will surely go down in history as the time of Burgermania. Londoners just can’t enough of meat-in-a-bun meals, with everywhere from high-end restaurants to backstreet food carts peddling patties like they’re going out of fashion.

We’ve picked our top 10 burger boom must-tries, from the classic to the creative and the cheesey to the chicken. Take a look and let us know which other brilliant baps and marvellous meatcakes you think are top rate in the comments below.

The burger at Elliot's.

Elliot’s Cheeseburger: Elliot’s Café

£15.00, with chips


One for those in the know (and who can get to Borough Market of a daytime), this lunch-only burger is rarely shouted about but worth seeking out. The patty is made from 40-day-aged Ginger Pig beef and cooked to the rarer side of medium rare, topped with lightly caramelised beer-braised onions and smothered in a full-flavoured comté cheese. It’s simple but effective.

The casing is where a lot of the magic happens, though. It comes presented in a rather unique brioche-style bun that’s made with olive oil in place of butter, producing a light, sweet and fluffy-textured dough that has a taste reminiscent of foccacia. It’s also brushed with dill butter for an added layer of flavour and even more juiciness. It's served with chunky skin-on chips and pickles.


Elliot’s Café, 12 Stoney Street, SE1 9AD

Photo by Liam @bleeckerburger

The Bleecker Black: Bleecker St. Burger

£10

Ahhh, the Bleecker Black, quite simply one of the greatest burgers the world has ever seen. This burger is packing a patty so beefy the smell hits you as soon as the burger gets anywhere near, its crust smashed, charred and crisp, its inner depths juicy. The cheese is bright yellow and slappy, providing just enough ooze but no overwhelming flavour - exactly as burger cheese should be.

The real killer here though is the layer of black pudding, which makes this burger a meaty depth charge. The crumbly texture, the richness, the savoury whack around the chops... it's a masterpiece. Bleecker St. Burger, we salute you.

Bleecker St. Burger, see website for locations

Hawksmoor Hamburger: Hawksmoor

£16, with chips or salad


It’s no surprise that the beef masters at Hawksmoor can whip up a bloody good burger. They have a few on the menu, including one topped with kimchi that’s worth a try, but this simplest one is also the best. A plump, rare-served patty is the natural star, made using a carefully selected array of cuts from Longhorn cattle, all well-aged and all from Ginger Pig.

The Hawksmoor Burger is a London classic.

It’s also studded with nuggets of bone marrow, which are secreted like precious gems and melt seductively away as you bite into them, spreading rich, creamy flavour throughout. We don’t really need anything else, but a blanketing of powerful yet creamy melted Ogleshield cheese is no bad thing. The fluffy lightly-brioched bun can barely contain the ooziness of this creation, but we’re more than happy to get a little bit sloppy. Note that the burgers are found at the Hawksmoor bars in Seven Dials and Spitalfields, not at the other restaurants.


Hawksmoor Spitalfields, 157A Commercial Street, E1 6BJ


Hawksmoor Seven Dials, 11 Langley Street, WC2H 9JG

This is just a Tribute.

The Tribute: Honest Burgers

£10.50, with chips


Simplicity is the key at Honest, and even the most complex of its short selection of regular beef burgers keeps extraneous toppings to a minimum. The patties themselves are made from dry-aged Ginger Pig beef, with cuts chosen for their high level of marbling, meaning the rich flavour contained in the beef’s fat works its way into the mince, creating a juicy and rich patty that’s hard to rival.

The idea of this burger is that its a tribute to classic American burgers so although you'll find some very British bacon inside, there's also American cheese, pickles, French's mustard, onion and lettuce. Despite tasting authentically American, there's still something  very British about this burger, which is what we love so much about Honest. Don't go changin' now.


Honest Burgers, see website for locations

The off-menu burger at Joe Allen

Secret Burger: Joe Allen

£11.50


There’s no burger on the menu at Americana-drenched Covent Garden long-termer Joe Allen, but that doesn’t mean you can’t order one. Almost since the restaurant opened in 1977, the off-menu burger here has been one of London’s worst kept secrets, and one of its best burgers.

It’s made from ground sirloin steak and served on a lightly toasted brioche bun with bacon, mild melted cheese, a fat ring of tomato and some token lettuce. Simple as that. For a long time, we’re told, this was the best burger in London by miles; although there’s now much much more competition out there, it has no problem holding its own.
Joe Allen, 13 Exeter Street, WC2E 7DT

The Kevin Bacon: Lucky Chip

£8.75


Lucky Chip can be found in Dalston, Islington and Camden. The burgers all boast moist, meaty patties which are considerably fatter than many, upping the meat-to-topping ratio. They’re incredibly juicy — almost too sloppy — but sturdy glazed buns that soak up some of the liquid and hold their shape throughout allow them to get away with it.

Lucky Chip burgers are some of the best in London.

The aptly named Kevin Bacon comes with a hefty slab of crisp, applewood-smoked bacon along with sharp pickled gherkins,a sprinkling of lettuce and cheese that is of the floppy, processed ilk but also has some actual flavour. We like the way the burger straddles dirty fast food and high-quality ingredients: it’s like Maccy D’s with attitude. In terms of sides, we urge you to try the chili cheese fries topped with slow-cooked beef and pork.


Lucky Chip 25 Ridley Road, E8 2NP; 49 Chalk Farm Road NW1 8AN; The Old Queen's Head, 44 Essex Road, N1 8LN.

The Dead Hippie: MEATmission

£8.75 (Monkey Fingers £7.75)


This is a creation that dates back to the days when the Meat Wagon was still a nomadic burger revolutionary, kick-starting London’s insatiable appetite for meat in a bun. This sloppy signature consists of two thin patties fried in mustard and topped with gooey cheese, shredded raw onion, chunky pickled gherkins and a secret ‘hippie sauce’ that is something along the lines of a mustard mayo. It’s greasy, messy and trashy, but in all the right ways.

All the MeatLiquor burgers are fantastic, including our other favourite, the green chilli cheese.

Of the varying MEAT outlets (led by MEATliquor in Marylebone), this is our favourite. That’s partly because of the deeply atmospheric, church-like interior but also because it’s the only one that serves monkey fingers: battered chicken strips in a sticky, spicy buffalo sauce served with a blue cheese dip. Order some of these with your hippie burger and slot them inside for the ultimate in gratuitous feasting. Also, see our review from when MEATmission first opened.


MEATmission, 13-15 Hoxton Market, N1 6HG

Patty & Bun

The Ari Gold: Patty & Bun

£7.50 (bacon + £1)


35-day aged Aberdeen Angus beef patties are at the heart of a Patty & Bun burger, and the bolder beef flavour the ageing offers is one of the high points. The Ari Gold is the team’s answer to a cheeseburger, and it’s very hard to beat. Sloppy, bright-coloured American cheese is slathered over rings of red onion which have been steeped in vinegar (pickled onions, but not the kind that come in a jar), smoky-flavoured mayo and some light refreshment in the form of juicy tomato slices and crisp lettuce.

The bun that pulls everything together is a glazed brioche roll which is pleasantly sweet and just about sturdy enough to cope with the burger’s gooey, medium-rare patty and dripping cheese. Still prepare to get a bit messy, mind. A sprinkling of rosemary salt adds an addictive edge to the accompanying fries.


Patty & Bun James Street, 54 James Street, W1U 1HE


Patty & Bun Liverpool Street, 22-23 Liverpool Street, EC2M 7PD

Burgerac's Burger Shack

Cheeseburger: Burgerac's Burgershack

£8.50

We love Burgerac's Burgershack, because everything about the burgers says that this guy really knows his stuff. Long time burger blogger decides enough is enough and opens his own kitchen to show everyone else how it's done.

There's a lovely simplicity to the cheeseburger here which could only be made by someone who has eaten a shit tonne of burgers and then decided to strip everything back to basics. Those basics are very good indeed, by the way, with the softest of white buns, the beefiest beef and some classic condiments to finish things off.

Burgerac's Burgershack, see website for locations.  

Foghorn Leghorn: Street Kitchen

£7.50


Friday night is burger night at Street Kitchen’s Battersea base The Hatch (next to Doodle Bar), and this masterpiece — the only non-beef burger on our list — is the star of the show. It’s made with slow-cooked chicken that’s been steamed so as to be fantastically moist and tender, and then grilled to gain crunchy, crackling-style skin.

The Foghorn Leghorn.

A generous heap of crisp apple coleslaw adds juicy freshness to proceedings, while a slab of smoky bacon, lightly pickled slices of red onion, lettuce and some cheesy mayo also feature in the burger’s toasted brioche bun. It’s not only a taste sensation, but it’s genuinely completely different to other burgers you’ll find around town.


Street Kitchen at The Hatch, 33 Parkgate Road, SW11 4NP

Hit us up with more perfect patties in the comments below...

Last Updated 13 February 2017

Jennifer

Wow, no Bleecker? That's the best I've tried.

James Fletcher

I agree. I've had most of these but Bleecker Burger is the best in London.

Fred Smith

I've been out of London a few years and only just returned, but I'm sure the burger at the Gaucho Grill still stands up to e best of them. It's hard to beat Argentinian beef.

I

Dirtyburger, Tommy's Burger Joint

Harry

Greedy Cow, Mile end??

Nate

Cask Pub and Kitchen, Pimlico. Heat Burger with bacon dust.

Nick Soapdish

No Burger Craft? This list is bogus. Also, I didn't not rate Patty and Bun. Only tried their original joint behind Oxford St, don't know if their new site is better

VelvetRingpiece

Distinctly lacking reference to Haché.

Edward

Woow no Electricity Showrooms? They have the most amazing burgers. Hoxton Square 39A

Lindsey Berthoud

I am feeling sad that I've not found a veggie burger to match any of the above. Suggestions please!

Neil Evans

Have to add to the outcry of 'wot no Bleecker?' - Genuinely one of the best burgers in town...

Liz Cookman

And the veggie burger...?

Jon R Wagner

Burgers should be cooked to at least medium , Burgers on the rare side lack flavor IMO . Steak yes, Burgers No

Lars Von Panzerbjørn

It's a shame that Big Dirty Burger doesn't operate outside of private events anymore. I would put their burgers up against any on this list (No, I haven't tried them all yet)...

DJ Paul Coals

Whyte & Brown in Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, should be in this top ten. Their Burgers are amazing!!

melirra

The honest burger is a bit overrated really. It's ok and they add some mixed herbs to the chips so they taste sort of bitter. Wouldn't say is one of the top ten tho.

Peter Young

Bleecker is by far the best burger but if meat in a bun qualifies it then the fabulous Rib Man of Sclater Street (West Ham) must be up there!

Steve Trice

Blecker is definitely the best street burger, whith Honest a good second - especially if you need to rest your feet

Gabriel

I've been to Ember Yard yesterday and I have to say that their burger is a real crap, too small, has a poor quality and a huge price for, again, its dimensions. If I'm putting my dick in ice, it will be bigger than their burger, which it is just a figure of speech of course. So, stop fooling around and provide a real top of the London's best burgers. Not to mention the fact that I overpaid for a cheap burger, 1% optional but billed for charity and 12,50% optional gratuity for a lousy service. I'll never ever try Ember fecking Yard again. Honestly guys, so far Patty&Bun should be put on the top of the list.

Vixxy P

Errrr Bleecker is the best!!

Stefania Bellini

I love Byron, the one in Beak Street.

Stefano

The Honest. Number One.

George

"Whiskey Ginger", a nice cocktail bar close to the Borough market!!! Here is the best

Hadley Stirrup

Recharge Cafe, 140 Roman Road, Bethnal Green. Trust me.

João Paulo Ferreira

Would really like to have some Veggie burger recommendations! The Vurger Co. is Great and I recommend it! But a big list of recommendations would be great for those times where you just want to grab a quick burger wherever you are in London.

Dustin Moris Gorski

This is probably one of the best lists of London's best burgers, however I agree that Bleecker should really be on that list. Check out https://top10.london/best-b... for an alternative top 10 list of London's best burgers.