Where To Go When You Just Want A Burger
Pub burgers, smash burgers, and cheeky double patty numbers, these 12 are our favourites.
Years of excessive exposure to meat, gherkin, and cheese has meant we’ve earned the very official title of Expert Burger Eaters. Yes, it’s 100% legit, please don’t look it up. And as expert burger eaters, we’re going to tell you about some of the best burgers we’ve eaten in London recently. Trust us when we say that you’ll want to know what every single one of these tastes like.
THE BURGER SPOTS
££££Castlehaven Road Hawley Wharf 1st floor Waterside Hall East, London NW1 8JZ, United Kingdom, London
The smash burger is a special thing. Especially to those who have never been big fans of the ultra thick beef patty, it means finally having all the right ratios. And BUK’s special burger has some seriously outstanding ratios. A thin but substantial, flattened beef patty, a double portion of melted American cheese, plenty of that creamy, chilli house sauce oozing over the patty, and sweet caramelised onion to top it all off. This burger laughs in the face of the Big Mac. And we laugh in the face of anyone who hasn’t been to this laid-back Camden spot and tried it. Oh, and all the meat is halal at this casual, stool-filled spot on Ferdinand Street.
Four Legs made their name at The Compton Arms where they helped create and nurture a delicious and fun kind of pub eating. At The Plimsoll, their boozer in Finsbury Park, they’ve taken their winning combination of one of London’s best burgers and floral crockery to the next level. The Dexter burger is an outstanding piece of beefy, buttery craftsmanship. It’s all meat, cheese, sauce, and gherkins. No lettuce. And that’s just how we like it. If you’re not into McDonald’s-style burgers, you may not like this. But the odds are, you will.
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Arcade, a food hall near Tottenham Court Road station, is from the people behind Brigadiers and Hoppers, and where you’ll find Manna and its perfectly formed smash burgers. Yes, the Nashville hot chicken is delicious, but when you’re in the mood for a dressed-up quarter pounder, their smash burger is an excellent move. Heavy on the cheese, it’s also got plenty of pickles and some diced onion for good measure. Get a side of waffle fries as well, because…waffle fries.
Beer + Burger
We’d love to tell you how often we order Beer + Burger, but our doctor might be reading this and at our last check-up we said we’d try this thing called ‘moderation’. But we can tell you that, err, it’s a lot. Like, a lot. Our go-to order is the cheeseburger. It’s slightly charred, a little moist, and sloppy in a deeply satisfying way. Honestly, we might just order one now from one of its four locations across north east London.
photo credit: Giulia Verdinelli
Why settle for one burger when you can have two? Hint: don’t. The best part about this British Afghan BBQ spot in Walworth, is that if you’re in the mood for a classic beef patty, they’ve got a smash burger. But if you’re in the mood for 16-hour smoked brisket, you can opt for the brisket bun. And if you’re dedicated to eating beef in as many forms as humanly possible, you can add a beef patty to the brisket bun for the best of both worlds. There’s no wrong answer, but just know that their brisket is some of the best in London.
Let’s talk gravy. It’s the under-appreciated food spouse of our nation. Nanny Bill’s in London Bridge understands this, and for that we salute them. Their Dalston Dip burger comes with a pot of thick signature gravy to smother your burger in. It's a mess, just ask any t-shirt we’ve ever worn while eating it. But it’s also such a stellar change from your average double cheeseburger. Plus, the soft, seeded buns might be our favourite in London. Viva la gravy burger revolution.
photo credit: Aleksandra Boruch
Red Iron Burgers
This American diner on the High Street in Uxbridge isn’t for those times when you ‘could have’ a burger. It’s for those times when you want a burger that will result in unbuttoned jeans. Don’t let the hefty menu distract you. You want their signature Red Iron Burger. It’s got layers—yes, layers—of melted cheese, a juicy beef patty, house burger sauce, jalapeños, and it comes with a generous side of thick cut chips. Count us in.
Right, bear with us because you’re about to get a glimpse into our deeply indecisive nature. Decisions? Very, very tricky. Especially when we’re asked to choose between Meatliquor’s cheeseburger and their Dead Hippie burger. One, a classic of the genre—super cheesy with plenty of red onion, just the way we like it. The other—spicy, with two beef patties fried in mustard. We love them. We cannot choose. And neither should you—try them both at the diner/dive bar spot near Oxford Circus.
The burger at Soho’s Blacklock was—whisper it—a secret. Although, like most secrets in secondary school or on reality TV, this one made the rounds pretty quick, and now it's a permanent menu fixture. Why? Because this burger is fantastic. Experts in all things meaty, Blacklock’s big burger is an obvious winner, and the seeded bun is especially good. We’re also very pro the gherkin ratio which leans towards heavy, but isn’t overwhelming.
Burger And Beyond
Burger & Beyond in Camden makes deceptive little buns. They’re palm-sized and filled with charred, but juicy, smash patties. You’ll look at one and think, I can put away two. Au contraire our bun-loving friend, these little fellas are rich, smeared with smoky or burnt butter mayo, and dripping in American cheese. Of course you could just get a single patty, but where’s the fun in that?
What Kingly Court’s Stax Diner lacks in square feet, it makes up for in great food. The classic cheeseburger is everything you want from a burger. Toasted brioche bun? Yes. Not one, but two beef patties? Sure. American cheese, gherkins, crispy onions, and chips on the side? Tick, tick, tick.
Patty & Bun
Do not let Patty & Bun’s success and spread across London fool you into thinking that these guys do not make London’s most reliably delicious burgers. Seriously. Aside from having the greatest burger name, well, ever, the Ari Gold is an always 8/10 cheeseburger. The Smokey Robinson, with a pile of caramelised onion and bacon—no lettuce—is surefire way to our heart.