When you get a burger craving, there is little else that can satisfy it. If you’re someone who simply cannot make do with a sub-par patty, then you’re in good company and luckily for you, we’ve rounded up the best burgers to feast upon in London.
While we do tend to get these burger cravings more than we’d like to admit, we’ve actually selflessly gone out to test the best that this city has to offer – whether that’s at the OG spots we all know and love or to help you try something completely new. From beef and chicken options to plant-based patties, there’s something for everyone.
For example, indulge in a dirty burger from Five Guys, an OG classic from Bleecker or be of the opinion that sometimes the humble patty alone just isn’t enough – enter a 1kg tomahawk (yes, you read correctly). Whatever you’re feeling, this list should have you covered.
Burgers and Beats
A newcomer to the scene, Burgers and Beats has only been around since 2021. However, in that short space of time it’s fast cemented itself as one of London’s best burger offerings. You may have seen that iconic tomahawk burger making the rounds on Instagram – and we can confirm it’s not just a novelty. Every bit of it (complete with a fried egg, pico de gallo salsa, chimichurri and more) is absolutely delicious. However, the standard menu is also worth considering with the smashed double cheese and “east meets west” (with sweet chilli syrup and chimichurri mayo) being two of our all-time favourites in London. Also, do leave some room for the chicken tenders and loaded fries as they’re both excellent and worth stretching your stomach a little more for.
Burger and Beyond
Ah, we remember Burger and Beyond back in the days of the Camden Market stall… then its residency at the Camden Assembly. Well, it’s quite a different kettle of fish now, with four permanent sites up and running. Dining at the OG bricks and mortar spot in London’s Shoreditch, one bite of the “bougie” burger takes us straight back to those early days, but also proves just how far this place has come. Other standouts include the mushroom raclette burger (demonstrating that burgers most definitely do not have to be beef) and the vegan “chicken” entry with Korean sauce and gochujang mayo. We did love the krispie chicken, too, though we wished the miso butter was more prominent. If you’re not a burger fan (weird), we’d also recommend the trio of tacos, or the stellar dirty tots and bone marrow gravy fries.
Potentially London’s favourite burger joint, Bleecker is undeniably committed to its cause, with founder Zan Kaufman trying to recreate the moment of euphoria she experienced upon trying “the best burger she had ever eaten” in New York on this side of the pond. From a burger truck to its first kiosk in Spitalfields Market, then bricks and mortar restaurants, it’s been years but this burger joint is still going strong. Again, keeping things simple, the most adventurous it gets is adding blue cheese or Neil Rankin’s symplicity burger to the menu. Burgers can be at their best this way and at Bleecker, the double cheeseburger is more than enough to satisfy any craving.
You can find professional chef and TV presenter Scott Garthwaite’s food truck in East London’s Spitalfields Market, which not only serves mouthwatering burgers but also employs three members of staff from the deaf community. We got our hands (and mouths) on Punk Chef’s classic number “The Legend”, which is essentially a chicken parm burger (though plant-based escalopes are also available) with homemade bechamel sauce, melted cheese, gherkins and a special burger sauce. A standout among London’s already top burger offering.
Known for its chops and iconic Sunday roast, we’d also heard great things about the Blacklock burger. If you’re dining there but don’t fancy chops or steak, the burger offers so much more. Potentially more enjoyable, in our opinion, the double cheeseburger is packed full of onions that have been caramelised in “a healthy glug of vermouth”. Beautifully rich – but not overly so – and also a decent size. We have to say that while the rising trend of “the bigger, the better” may suit some, it might be overreaching for the humble burger. Bravo, Blacklock – we’ll be back for this one.
Another London burger staple and one whose market stall days we still remember, Black Bear proves it’s an oldie but a goldie. You can’t come here and not get the Black Bear with cheese, smoked bacon and onion jam. However, the brisket burger, with 12-hour braised meat, and the miso bacon burger, with miso honey butter mayo, are very good choices, too. Share two and take one home for later? Also indulge in the cheeseburger spring roll, one of the restaurant’s signature snacks.
Not that we run to every new opening in London that has a queue but the fact that new kid on the Soho block Supernova Burger was selling out before closing and announcing that the team was looking into opening more days a week certainly caught our attention. We got there around 12.30pm to avoid queues (they started around 1pm) and secured the goods: a cheeseburger and the same with house sauce – plus fries, of course. In a world where 'the bigger, the better' has become synonymous with burgers, it is refreshing to see more joints go back to the understated (and underrated) classic of a smashed double cheese. Every bite we took proved that countless toppings and even bacon (dare we blaspheme?) is not actually necessary for a burger to hit the spot. Worth the hype if you're looking for an upgraded version of your beloved McDonald's classic, just make sure to arrive early as you don't want to miss out when they've sold out. P.S. don't miss grabbing a half lemonade, half iced tea combination – known to all the Americans as an Arnold Palmer, this glass of sugary goodness is now our new favourite drink.
Yes, we know everyone is well aquainted with the New York burger chain, but Shake Shack has come a long way since its days of being a hot dog stand in Madison Square. Originally the class “roadside” burger, what we really love about Shake Shack is the size. Like we said earlier, bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better and whether you go for a single or double patty here, Shake Shack burgers tend to hit the spot every time. While our frontrunner remains the Shackmeister (with those perfectly crispy ale-marinated shallots), the vegan crispy shallot burger is another one of our favourites.
We’ve been pretty focused on beef burgers up until now – although still acknowledging the delicious vegan versions those burger brands have to offer – but here’s a spot that knows its stuff when it comes to fried chicken. It seemed only fitting that we tried the variety of sides on the menu, with the laksa butter wings and classic buffalo options taking centre stage. Don’t worry – we left room for the burgers, and thoroughly enjoyed devouring the iconic green chilli cheeseburger, featuring chipotle mayo and pickled green chilli. The honey ginger buffalo (what better string of words or ingredients is there?) is also a strong choice – but beware, it’s a messy one.
Stepping away from the classic burger joints, there are many standard restaurants in London that serve up burgers to rival those whose sole purpose is to cook them. The Beaumont is one of these spots, with Gatsby’s Room, situated in the centre of the hotel, offering the perfect escape from the buzz of central London. The Beaumont cheeseburger features a juicy patty on top of caramelised onions and is slathered with a rich and moreish secret sauce – proving that a good old fashioned favourite can still leave a lasting impression. Served with thick cut chips, it’s ideal for anyone who fancies a more decadent setting when devouring such a meal.
Another American food chain to make a long-lasting impression on the UK burger community, Five Guys is exactly where our brain goes when we think of the ultimate dirty burger. Things are kept simple, with a hamburger, cheeseburger, bacon burger and bacon cheeseburger on that side of the menu (the chain also includes hot dogs and various sandwiches, too) and if you ever have that intense craving, this may be the place to satisfy it. While a tricky one for anyone with a nut allergy (the chips are fried in peanut oil), the burgers come with two patties as standard and can be washed down with one of the many milkshake flavours on offer. New on the milkshake menu is a limited edition pistachio shake, with a creamy vanilla base blended with rich pistachio – you know, in case you needed more milkshake customisation possibilities. If you want to cement yourself as a firm fan, Five Guys has also released its own line of merchandise so you can fully embrace the burger brand.
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