Anyone who’s spent any time in London in the past several years will have picked up on something different in the air… like the fragrant aroma of melted cheese, or the far-off sizzle of meat on the grill. Yes, Britain’s burger revolution is upon us, and the best burgers in London bear no resemblance to limp fast food specimens and charred-beyond-recognition pub items.
Fact is, if you’re a burger-lover in London, you’re living in something of a golden age. There are now dozens of restaurants, chains, and pop-ups that are catering to the capital’s new taste for meat-and-bun alchemy, and what they’re slinging couldn’t be farther from the dried-out buns, flavourless patties and skimpy condiments of yore.
A burger, fries, and fried onion sticks at Dirty Burger © Dirty Burger
These burgers take the American burger bar, diner, and casual shack as their inspiration. Picture: soft potato bread rolls, seared and perfectly salted meat, a sloppy cascade of melted cheese, oozing ketchup and brilliant yellow mustard, and the vinegary snap of gherkin slices and raw onions. Together, it’s a symphony of sweet-salty-umami flavours.
No one owns the title of best burgers in London better than the inimitable MEATliquor. Founded by Yianni Papoutsis and Scott Collins, the concept underwent some intensive R&D (including multiple trips to the States) before seeing the light of day. Their research has paid off: the MEATliquor dead hippie burger is certainly one of the city’s best. Consisting of two patties, American cheese, special sauce, shredded lettuce, and gherkins, it’s the juiciest and sloppiest affair this side of the Atlantic. It’s even finer when served alongside MEATliquor’s Monkey Fingers (crispy battered chicken with delectable dipping sauces) and a bourbon-based cocktail or two.
Of course, the Marylebone restaurant isn’t the first MEAT enterprise. Papoutsis and Collins have also overseen MEATwagon
, a mobile burger base, MEATmarket
in Covent Garden, and MEATmission
, situated in a former Christian mission in Shoreditch (MEATliquor has also moved outside of London for the first time, with a newly opened Brighton outlet), so there are plenty of options to get your burger fix.
Lucky Chip’s burgers are famous for their thick, juicy patties © Annie and Andrew
Foodies looking to embark on a London burger crawl also have an array of other options to fill out their itineraries. While favourite US chains Shake Shack
and Five Guys
are both recent additions to the city’s dining scene, stick with the British burger boom at Dirty Burger
, in Kentish Town and Vauxhall. Styled as a dingy burger shack, complete with aluminium siding and a very casual environment, the eatery specialises in straight-from-the-grill molten burgers. Those after a diner-style burger can head to Notting Hill’s Electric Diner
, meanwhile, for a knife-speared, two-patty tower of meat and cheese.
The Double Candy Bacon Flipper from Mother Flipper © Ewan Munro
London’s food trucks are also an excellent resource for top-notch burgers on-the-go. Based in Brockley Market and also commonly found at Camden Brewery and Street Feast, Mother Flipper
serves superbly hearty, bacon-laced specimens (try the Double Candy Bacon Flipper). Lucky Chip
is another winner. Found at Bethnal Green’s Sebright Arms and on Netil Market, the burger’s thick and meaty patty makes it a standout.
London’s burger revolution is now one of the city’s most exciting culinary trends. Get started at MEATliquor and explore from there – you’re sure to discover some truly inspired burgers.
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What do you think of the London burger revolution? Have you tried any of these top burgers?
Written by Claire Bullen