It's simple: London can't get enough of 'the burger'. No longer restricted to fast-food joints, you can now find a burger on most menus in the capital. From high-end restaurants to street-food stalls, they're there in all shapes and sizes. Meaning you can get your burger-fix whether meeting friends, on-the-go on your lunch break or stumbling home after a late night. Food trends come and go, but the humble burger has made its mark and is here to stay. Your challenge? Use our guide below to discover the best that the capital has to offer, and then work your way through them all. Go on, we dare you...
At Patty & Bun, the décor is simple, the tables are communal, and the burgers get top billing. The classic Ari Gold burger, a beef patty topped off with ketchup, smoked mayo and pickled onions, is carefully calibrated to make your mouth water. If you're feeling adventuresome, the cheeky Lambshank Redemption burger combines chilli, coriander, cumin aioli, and feta for an explosion of flavour. Patty & Bun burgers are messy, scrumptiously so, but the soft brioche buns never fall apart mid-bite. With nine locations spanning west to east, you're sure to find a P&B within strolling distance. Or - more likely when the craving hits - sprinting distance.
Honest Burgers serves up the most unabashedly British burger in London. Their ingredients are all locally-inspired, from the Leicester cheese to the onion relish. Best of all, they source their meat from The Ginger Pig, a Yorkshire farm that specialises in high-quality aged beef. Sure, a burger's a burger, but an Honest Burger is transparent about their top-notch, no-filler ingredients, which means you can chow down guilt-free. Plus, whether you choose chicken, beef or veggie, these burgers are massive, so you'll always leave feeling satisfied. Don't forget to save room for a generous helping of hand-cut salted rosemary chips. They're an Honest Burgers specialty, and honestly? They're worth it.
If you've ever yearned for Manhattan-style burger that doesn't require a transatlantic plane ticket, look no further than Bleecker. Bleecker models its burgers off the very best New York City has to offer, then elevates them to meet London's high standards. The no-fuss cheeseburger is at the top of our list thanks to the comforting, extra-melty American cheese, but cheese aficionados might go for the blue burger, which features sharp blue cheese and tastes like a party in your mouth. Toasted sesame seed buns provide an extra savoury crunch that pairs nicely with the tender patty. Word to the wise: these burgers may be big in American flavour, but they aren't supersized, so if you're hungry, order a double.
This underground cocktail bar is one of London's best-kept burger secrets. Beneath Hawksmoor lies Spitalfields Bar, a hidden speakeasy that serves some of the tastiest burgers in town. The menu is short and full of surprises, many of which go well with the bar's specialty cocktails. We recommend trying something that perhaps you haven't had before: the Kimchi Burger. The tangy kimchi is an unexpectedly perfect partner to the juicy patty, and the gooey melted cheese mellows out the intense flavours just enough. The triple cooked chips make for a mouthwatering side order and might just turn you into a chip elitist. We dare you to keep this spot a secret after taking your first bite.
Housed in a former pool hall and lined with restored school desks, Stokey Bears makes cheeseburgers with a sense of humour. Every burger has a mascot and a personality, from the Angry Bear (explosively spicy) to the Greedy Bear (double-stacked patties). Despite the quirky theme, the trendy Stoke Newington high street joint takes its food seriously, cooking up fresh, flavourful burgers in an unpretentious atmosphere. The juicy patties are freshly ground every day, and the beloved Grizzly Bear, a cheeseburger patty topped with crispy smoked bacon and slathered in bacon jam, can win over even the grizzliest critics. If the phrase "bacon jam" just made your mouth water, it's time to plan take a field trip to East London to visit Stokey Bears.
If your date says "fancy night out" but your taste buds say "comfort food", Haché has you covered. The elegant interior, complete with mirrored walls and chandeliers, feels nothing like a fast food joint, and the succulent burgers taste like Maccy D's grew up and got a plum job in the City. Allow yourself to lust after the extensive menu. Will you choose the highbrow Steak Truffle, brimming with truffle shavings, caramelised onions and Gruyère cheese? Or perhaps you'll try the Cajun spiced, jalapeño-pepper-filled Steak Mexicain? Haché has a long list of lamb, chicken, and veggie burgers, too, and you can even substitute your bun for a green salad - a classy, low-carb touch from this ritzy spot.
Cattle & Co, one of London's best barbecue joints, prides itself on its devotion to "low and slow cooking." You really can taste that dedication in their tender, succulent, smoky burgers. Oh, and they're enormous, too. Picture buns as big as your head and chips thicker than your finger and you might have a sense of Cattle & Co's portion sizes. If you've got a cheat day coming up, plan to order the 9.1.1. burger, a spicy chicken-and-beef combo patty topped with deep-fried bacon. Meat lovers with tight schedules, thank your lucky stars. Cattle & Co is tucked between Euston and King's Cross stations, making it one of the most convenient places for London commuters to get their carnivore on.
Adventurous eaters are welcome at The Greedy Cow. This Mile End spot will serve you a killer traditional burger on a plush sourdough bun, but The Greedy Cow is best known for its exotic meat, including camel, kangaroo, wild boar, and wagyu beef. If you're new to the exotic meat game, we recommend giving everything a taste by ordering the slider platter. The meat is high quality and flavourful, and the friendly wait staff is happy to provide menu advice. Those with more experienced taste buds can amp up their exotic burgers by choosing from a huge array of additional toppings, including halloumi cheese, fried egg, and Parma ham. Who knows - maybe you'll invent the next best kangaroo burger to add to the menu.
Five Guys might not be the first place you'd expect to find London's best burger, but tipsy Leicester Square club-goers flock there for a reason. The American chain cooks up a classic burger straight out of an old-school diner, served on fluffy, slightly sweet buns that practically melt in your mouth. The toppings are unlimited, so you can pack on as many onions, mushrooms, and jalapeños as you can handle. If you're a bit of a meathead, we recommend wolfing down the unbearably delicious bacon cheeseburger. With sixteen restaurants around central and outer London and four more on the way, you can't miss out on Five Guys. Just don't forget to order extra fries...and share some with us.
Dirty Burger's veggie option, the Dirty Cop Out, is frankly anything but a cop out. On a menu with only three items, the veggie burger stands out and seduces even the staunchest meat eaters. The Portobello mushroom patty is juicy and satisfying, but it's the creamy smoked Applewood cheddar, the tarragon mayonnaise with a bit of bite, and the generous heap of wild rocket that carry the Dirty Cop Out to our number one veggie burger slot. In the world of London veggie burgers, this one is a welcome surprise. In fact, Dirty Burger is like a bad boy who turns out to be refreshingly tasteful and sensitive. Vegheads, we think he's the perfect burger for you.