Sliders have inched their way, tiny patty by tiny patty, onto London menus in recent years. These mini burgers are transatlantic visitors, an American import, and cropping up on bar menus, starter lists and pop-up plaques around the capital.
It may seem counterintuitive to make a much-loved item such as the classic burger smaller, but the beauty is in its flexibility. Indulgent bar snack, more-ish appetiser, or go the whole hog and order multiple sliders to work your way through as a main. That means four burgers rather than one and ... well ... that can only be a good thing surely?
Absolutely nailing each of the four sliders on the menu, we recommend you take Spuntino up on their offer of all the sliders for £18. Find a spot, clamber up onto one of their 27 stools and work your way through the bite-sized meat, fish and veg offerings. The pulled pork and pickled apple is the crown wearer here - rich, succulent and oh so juicy.
And if those sliders only serve to whet your appetite, we heartily recommend the lobster mac & cheese main. With a side of eggplant chips. Followed by their classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And did we mention the pulled pork slider?!Deliveroo now from Soho
CUT at 45 Park Lane
Housed inside a prestigous 5 star hotel, CUT is the first European venture of American celebrity chef, Wolfgang Puck. It was also (allegedly) the first European outlet to serve the celebrated Snake River Farm's American Waygu beef. It's a beef-lovers' paradise and you can expect a slab of this prime-cut meat to set you back just short of £100 at dinner in the restaurant. Those with less cash to splash can opt for the Waygu Slider instead; same melt-in-the-mouth meat but at a fraction of the size and price.
Evans & Peel
Let's be honest, Evans & Peel is a bit of a gimmick. Arrive for your 'appointment' at this 'detective agency' and you'll be greeted by a 'detective' who talks you through your 'case' to be solved. But, lo and behold, behind a swinging book case a hidden speakeasy bar is revealed, filled with crackling ragtime tunes, candlelit tables and ... top-notch smokey sliders. All is forgiven! It's a pretty slick outfit and a definite crowd pleaser. Go for the tender pork slider, smoked onsite and just the snack you need to help blow that case wide open.
Pop into ME London Hotel on the Strand and you'll find STK - an utterly trendy steakhouse with prices to match. Bypass the eye-wateringly expensive mains menu and head straight to the bar - you're here for the soft shell crab sliders. The wasabi remoulade provides the perfect heat to these succulent, crunchy burgers with crab legs launching out from every angle of the brioche bun. An indulgent treat.
Well & Bucket
The Well & Bucket is one of the East End's oldest pubs and yet it continues to excel in the thoroughly modern fad of delicious sliders. More-ish bites range from jerk pork belly to chickpea and sweet potato rosti. Our personal favourite, the Korean chicken, comes on the spicy side and is an unfailingly smashing accompaniment to any of their great ales on offer.
Needless to say, it can get very busy. If you want to enjoy your sliders sitting down then either get there before 6pm, or grab a side of cheesey crab fries (they're divine) and get ready to dive for empty seats.
A real favourite of ours, Jinjuu is a flavour powerhouse and while expensive, it never lets us down in times we're craving a juicy, oozy, tender helping of bulgogi (Korean barbecued beef). The Bulgogi Burger slider packs the ideal flavour punch, but it's their fried chicken and tofu sliders that are a real masterclass in culinary balance: crispy and tender, hot and cooling, savoury and sweet. Our palate may feel conflicted but we're not. We'll be back.
Sliders are often synonymous with burgers (the term is American, go figure), so it's no surprise the veggie slider is an often overlooked phenomenon. But Indian restaurant Talli Joe gets it right in a big way. Their Desi Slider is a thing of absolute beauty. You'll need a knife and fork for this black chickpea and banana blossom patty, deep fried atop a toasted bun and fenugreek curry and saag salad. Aromatic and popping with flavour, it's a meat-free triumph that is testament to the wonders of veggie food.