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Good burgers in London.

Withnail42 Apr 8, 2008 09:41 AM

A great as the food scene is sometimes you just want a burger. I have never really found a satisfactory burger in London. I stopped looking back in the nineties and am thinking that I might give it another try.

So any suggestion out there about where to get a good American style hamburger in London?

  1. y
    YummaYum Jul 13, 2010 08:18 AM

    I'm a big fan of Byron burgers, however I think the Gloucester Road location is better than the Canary Wharf location. Also a fan of the Cholula hot sauce on the table, perfect for burgers + onion rings.

    I'm not overly impressed with GBK, I think there burgers are over cooked and can be greasy, but there are so many GBKs around that it will vary hugely location to location.

    1. limster Jul 10, 2010 11:25 AM

      The Bountiful Cow is my favourite so far. There's been strong recs for Bar Boulud's burger as well.

      1 Reply
      1. re: limster
        katieparla Jul 11, 2010 11:42 AM

        confirmed. bar boulud's burgers are amazing.

      2. katieparla Jul 10, 2010 11:15 AM

        I eat quite a lot of burgers in London and so far, The Greenwich Union‘s homemade 28 day aged Angus burger is the star so far. The meat and bun both hit high marks for quality, texture, and harmony and the accompanying chips were are outstanding. Wash it all down with a Meantime Helles and prepare to be dazzled.

        The Hawksmoor‘s famous £15 cheeseburger is made from 100% Longhorn meat, including bits of bone marrow and clod and sticking (neck and shoulder pieces). It is all topped with melted Ogleshield or Stichelton. The quality of the meat was undeniably high, but I found the burger too oily and very heavy.

        Lucky Seven‘s single estate prime Aberdeen Angus chuck burgers are pure comfort food: just the right amount of grease, plenty of flavor, and nothing fancy. The ambience of this 1950s American style diner only adds to the great burger experience. If only every meal that cost £7.50 tasted this good.

        And now for Haché: Ciabatta buns annoy me, “chicken burgers” are not burgers, and why the hell would a Sicilian burger have Parma ham on it? That said, their 100% prime Scotch beef steak patties are very tasty if you can overlook that rocket has replaced lettuce. Their whole concept of innovation is heavy handed and annoying, but if you stick to the classics, you can find solace in their very good burgers.

        Diner (several locations), like Lucky Seven, offers an American greasy spoon feel and the burgers are pretty good and very cheap. This certainly isn’t a gourmet burger it is compact and flavorful, the bun is alright, and its about the best you can do for a fiver.

        Byron serves grass fed Scottish beef on large, soft buns. The service is terrific and the burgers are adequate, though not mind-blowing.

        Goodman also does an excellent burger for around 15 pounds. I think they use USDA beef.

        GBK is disgusting. Apologies but there is just no other way to put it.

        2 Replies
        1. re: katieparla
          greedygirl Jul 11, 2010 01:10 AM

          I'd say The Meatwagon is the best you can do for a fiver. It was a very good burger.

          1. re: greedygirl
            n
            Nii Jul 11, 2010 11:52 AM

            I loved my burger from The Meatwagon and agree it was by far and aay the best birger I've had in London. The beef was just beautiful.

            The Florence seemed unbelieveably busy last Thursday. I wonder why!

        2. f
          foreignmuck Apr 3, 2010 02:52 AM

          http://bloggett.com/2010/03/burger-re...

          3 Replies
          1. re: foreignmuck
            c
            cathodetube Apr 6, 2010 12:14 AM

            The Meatwagon was mentioned above by me and Skut in July and August last year. He was back there last week for a day. Will be back more days this summer in SE15/SE22 as he is looking for a weekend pitch.

            1. re: cathodetube
              greedygirl Jul 7, 2010 08:17 AM

              The Meatwagon will be at the Florence pub near me in Herne Hill tomorrow night (8th July). I intend to be there.

              1. re: greedygirl
                n
                Nii Jul 7, 2010 09:32 AM

                Indeed GG. I can't wait. Since moving to Peckham, I've been on the look out for them, but they seem to be quite elusive; so tomorrow night it is!

          2. sloe eyed Apr 2, 2010 02:54 PM

            As a native NYer (and married to one), I wasn't that impressed with GBK or Byron, despite high hopes. Just had a pub lunch at the Albion in Islington and my husband declared the burger to be the best he's had in London, but I haven't tried it myself.

            I agree that it's a difference in meat that makes finding an American-style burger (or steak, for that matter) so difficult. Nothing tastes quite like a cow full of hormones!

            3 Replies
            1. re: sloe eyed
              zuriga1 Apr 3, 2010 12:44 AM

              >Nothing tastes quite like a cow full of hormones!<

              LOL!

              Thanks for the tip about the Albion. I'll put it on my list for the hamburger taste test. I resort to Byron if I'm in the mood and shopping in Kingston... but rarely. Didn't you ask for a bite of your husband's burger?!? :-)

              1. re: sloe eyed
                FarleyFlavors Apr 12, 2010 04:03 AM

                I always assumed that the difference in taste was due to the fact that British beef is grass fed and American beef is grain fed.

                1. re: FarleyFlavors
                  steve h. Apr 12, 2010 02:04 PM

                  Plenty of hormone-free beef available stateside. Plenty of grass-fed beef, too. The difference in flavor between a burger in London and a burger stateside is both fat and the need to compete. Competition is the 800-pound gorilla in the London burger scene. Without it, don't expect the bar to rise.

              2. c
                cathodetube Mar 30, 2010 01:12 PM

                Finally went to Byron in Kings Road. Really liked the burger, although not the price, and didn't order any extra sauce with it. Just had it with cheese and the French's mustard on the table. Fries were good although thought the portion was small. Had the hand-cut ones. The bun was OK although slightly gluey as it seemed to melt onto the burger. Burger cooked just the way I wanted it - medium rare which is unusual as someone else said due to 'elf and safety. Also had a proper milkshake. Will definitely go there again.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cathodetube
                  s
                  syalcink Mar 31, 2010 06:55 AM

                  A few more suggestions from someone who likes the burgers at Lucky 7 and Automat, and who has tried quite a few of the others mentioned above. The burgers at the Waterway pub in Little Venice are pretty good although not as thick as I would like and are served with good thick chips - perhaps not worth a special trip but if you are already in the hood kind of thing. if you are on an expense account or don't mind paying a whopping £17, try the burger at the American Bar at the Stafford Hotel in St. James's. It is one of the best burgers I've had in London.

                2. c
                  cathodetube Aug 11, 2009 03:19 AM

                  I tried Hache in the Fulham Road the other week and was disappointed. The burger was adequate nothing special, but the bun was just strange. It was supposed to be ciabatta but it tasted either uncooked or stale. I use M&S ciabatta rolls at home often for my burgers and cook them in the oven for 8 minutes of so to crisp them up. I must now say I prefer GBK. Am looking foward to trying Byrons now.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: cathodetube
                    b
                    brokentelephone Dec 8, 2009 09:18 AM

                    Byron's is OK! I live around the corner from the South Ken outpost (well, Gloucester Road), and eat there semi-regularly. Certainly better than GBK, but nothing fantastic either.

                    I am of North American extraction, and certainly agree that hamburgers here are vastly inferior. There is something overly perfect about most burgers here, as if the patties are formed by machine and cooked in a shaped ring! I love the idea of an upscale burger restaurant (a la byron, hache, gbk, etc), but they really don't make as good a product as a midwestern formica-tabled diner. Fact.

                  2. s
                    salb Jul 7, 2009 04:02 AM

                    Had a cheeseburger & fries at The Meatwagon last weekend. It's a burger van outside a pub on the Kennington Road in South London. Best USA-style burger I've had outside of the states. He makes the burgers from scratch while you wait and the cheese is properly melted, too. Fries were also triple cooked & tasted great. Not bad for a fiver. We also tried their philly cheesesteak which was messy but very tasty (although I don't know if this is a regular as it was on the specials board).
                    PS think they're only open Friday to Sunday but not sure

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: salb
                      s
                      skut Jul 7, 2009 11:16 AM

                      where is this exactly?

                      1. re: skut
                        t
                        t_g Jul 7, 2009 01:16 PM

                        171 kennington rd

                        1. re: t_g
                          s
                          skut Jul 7, 2009 06:35 PM

                          nice, outside the ship eh? will check this guy asap.

                          1. re: skut
                            c
                            cathodetube Aug 11, 2009 03:19 AM

                            Meatwagon isn't there any more. I went there and it was delicious. He started doing some days in SE15 though.

                    2. c
                      cheersevans Jul 6, 2009 03:10 AM

                      I lived in NYC for five years and really got into the top quality burgers you would get at just regular bars and dinners. The closest one I have found is the cheese burger at Harrisons in Balham, they cook it to specification, the bun is toasted, and the cheese is melted right through.

                      Enjoy......

                      1. p
                        pcltlon Jul 4, 2009 10:49 AM

                        Try The Well on St John Street in Clerkenwell, a good solid burger, and decent chips to boot.

                        The reason the burgers dont taste the same is corn fed beef vs. grass fed beef.....I think.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: pcltlon
                          n
                          Nii Jul 5, 2009 01:42 PM

                          I would have to second Ground in Chiswick.

                        2. l
                          LotsC May 8, 2009 06:15 AM

                          Gourmet Burger Kitchen over Hache anytime. Chips are excellent there as are the Jalapeno mayonnaise....

                          1. s
                            Shivaun Apr 14, 2009 08:19 AM

                            We don't rate GBK or Fine Burger Co, but we are very excited by the Byrons in Westfield.

                            Really delicious beef patties, excellent fries & onion rings (although a teensy bit greasy at the bottom), and milk shakes that appear to be comprised of solid chocolate ice cream left to thaw for 5 minutes.

                            Only drawback - closes very early, won't seat you within an hour of the shopping centre closing! So their other locations might be preferable.

                            1. p
                              Plantie Apr 14, 2009 02:57 AM

                              This place winds hands down for me, they do a great burger & cheesy chips but the malted milkshakes are to die for! Its also really nicely themed as a 1950's American diner

                              http://www.edseasydiner.co.uk/

                              1. t
                                tiggerb Apr 9, 2009 10:51 PM

                                Hey people..this is all interesting reading but why no mention of Byron? I eat at this place the whole time and the burgers are outstanding. Amercian style, soft bun, basically just hamburgers, cheese burgers but really good. Also they cook them pink which is unusual in London. www.byronhamburgers.com

                                8 Replies
                                1. re: tiggerb
                                  zuriga1 Apr 9, 2009 11:08 PM

                                  I think someone, somewhere *did* mention Byron - Kensington location. I was happy to find they are now also in Surrey... Kingston and Guildford, and I tried one about a month ago. It is definitely not a bad hamburger, but it can't hold a candle to a really, delicious American burger. I still maintain it's the beef - different texture and taste than American beef. So far, it's one of the better burgers I've had here and next I'm trying Gourmet Kitchen's burger to compare the two.

                                  I also thought their special sauce wasn't very special and silly to pay extra for.

                                  1. re: zuriga1
                                    h
                                    Harters Apr 10, 2009 02:55 AM

                                    "I'm trying Gourmet Kitchen's burger to compare the two."

                                    You'll be disapppointed - and I havnt even tried the other place!

                                    I rarely feel ripped off when eating (and it doesnt matter if it's the local greasy spoon or a Michelin 2*) but I'll make an exception for GBK. Overpriced and, IMO, definately poor value for money.

                                    1. re: zuriga1
                                      i
                                      Ibrahim.Salha Apr 10, 2009 02:55 AM

                                      Agreed about the sauce. Didn't enjoy the taste of it.

                                      Byron is good, but not as good as Ground in Chiswick.

                                      1. re: Ibrahim.Salha
                                        zuriga1 Apr 10, 2009 06:49 AM

                                        I wish I lived closer to Chiswick!

                                      2. re: zuriga1
                                        nanette Apr 10, 2009 03:29 AM

                                        I'm eager to know what you draw from comparison. The Byron in Guildford is really close for me, might give it a try this weekend.

                                        If you go to GBK, don't forget your coupon, there is a 2 for 1 offer if you register on their website, and another for free fries and a dip here:

                                        http://images2.moneysavingexpert.com/...

                                        1. re: nanette
                                          zuriga1 Apr 10, 2009 06:48 AM

                                          Thanks Nanette - that sounds like something not to pass up. I'll have to take a friend as my husband doesn't eat burgers very often if at all. I take it the Guildford Byron is where Joe Schmo used to be... same in Kingston. Let us know what you think if you get there. I thought you had moved up towards London.

                                          1. re: zuriga1
                                            nanette Jun 9, 2009 12:56 AM

                                            Hi June, finally got around to trying Byron and I would give it the edge over GBK and FBC.

                                            The meat was more flavourful, and the bun quite tender and toothsome and not oversized or overly bready. I thought it could have done with more onion, but the fries and hearty slab of melted cheese made up for this. The oreo milkshake was really good. I liked that the burger wasn't so huge I had to cut it in half, and they had French's mustard.

                                            I would say this is much closer to an "American" burger than the other two, simply because of the bun and more basic approach to burgers. The fries are far superior to the chips at the other two.

                                            1. re: nanette
                                              zuriga1 Jun 9, 2009 02:14 AM

                                              Thanks for the follow-up, Nanette. I'm glad you finally got to the Byron burger. I think it was a pretty darn, good burger, and a good size as you mentioned. I've yet to try the GBK but might just skip it if you think this is better. The milkshake sounds so good, but I try to stay away from those now that I'm in my dotage.

                                              Which Byron's did you eat in?

                                    2. f
                                      fifi Mar 27, 2009 07:11 AM

                                      The Regent in Kensal Rise serves v good burgers.

                                      1. s
                                        stationearth Feb 25, 2009 05:24 AM

                                        I recently had a burger at Founders Arms Pub near Blackfriars. Not sure how it compares to the rest of the suggestions here. It was one of the best I've had so far (used to be in Canada before).

                                        They also had a double burger on the menu but that's about it as burgers go.

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: stationearth
                                          b
                                          batfink23 Feb 25, 2009 07:28 AM

                                          as a founders regular, there is next to no chance that their burger did not come directly from Brake Bros.

                                          1. re: batfink23
                                            s
                                            stationearth Feb 26, 2009 04:50 AM

                                            :) Just goes to show I have a lot to learn about burgers and such stuff.

                                        2. m
                                          medorand Feb 6, 2009 05:06 AM

                                          The best burger in London is at a pub in Belsize Park called The Washington. Apparently the new owner knows his burgers! You can order it with vintage cheddar, back bacon, barbeque sauce, a combination, or plain. It comes with chips and bloody mary sauce (spicy ketchup). The meat is quite peppery, but it's no frills, and you aren't allowed to order it cooked to specification. I've had a half-dozen since moving to the neighborhood. Bonus: they serve Sierra Nevada on tap!

                                          If you can't make it to the NW area though, I recommend Byron. There are a couple locations now and they have french fries (in addition to chips), onion rings, Brooklyn Lager or Sierra Nevada on the menu. I like the Byron Burger for its special sauce, but the cheeseburger is hard to beat as well.

                                          10 Replies
                                          1. re: medorand
                                            b
                                            batfink23 Feb 24, 2009 02:17 PM

                                            the hawksmoor does a very good burger.

                                            but the US style of properly juicy burgers, with smoky deep flavours, ala 5 guys, Fatburger etc. just does not exist here.

                                            shame really, we have a lot of poncy try hard, £12 burgers and wannabe chains. the odd pub does a decent one, but not really.

                                            its about the meat quality and we don't allow enough aging, or fat in our mix imo.

                                            Hawksmoor or maybe Goodmans

                                            1. re: batfink23
                                              zuriga1 Feb 25, 2009 12:23 AM

                                              I think you are spot on when it comes to the differences in meat and fat content re hamburgers here and 'there.' One trick I read about years ago is to place an ice cube in the center of a hamburger before grilling (or frying) it. It's supposed to make the meat more juicy, and perhaps that would work for us in the UK. I can't say I ever tried it, as I don't cook them here at home. I'll have to try the Hawksmoor one day.

                                            2. re: medorand
                                              zuriga1 Feb 24, 2009 08:57 PM

                                              I had my first Byron hamburger last week... in Kingston. They have taken over a different chain and also opened a restaurant in Guildford. I'm going to comment more about the burger once I have compared it to a nearby Gourmet Kitchen Burger. To be brief, I wasn't overly impressed, but then I'm an American. The Byron sauce is not much more than mayonnaise mixed with something... hardly impressive at all, but that's just my opinion. The prices are also ridiculous, but that's a personal beef of mine.

                                              1. re: zuriga1
                                                t
                                                t_g Feb 24, 2009 11:38 PM

                                                no pun intended?

                                                1. re: zuriga1
                                                  b
                                                  batfink23 Feb 25, 2009 03:39 AM

                                                  a guilty secret of mine, is that I really love the burger at the ivy.

                                                  its not fat, overly juicy etc. but has a lovely smoky flavour. I don't think its a 'great' burger, but I love it nonetheless.

                                                  1. re: batfink23
                                                    zuriga1 Feb 25, 2009 04:33 AM

                                                    Your guilty secret isn't so secret any longer. :-) I'm beginning a private quest to try different hamburgers this year... but not too often as I'm elderly and the calories will finish me off. I'll definitely go to the Ivy as I haven't been there as yet. My guilty secret is onion rings. I never ate one I didn't like.

                                                    I wonder what they use to attain that smoky flavour. In the States, there's something one can buy to put on or in food, but I can't remember the name... something smoke? I don't think I've seen the equivalent in England.

                                                    You eat at some fine places batfink. I have a feeling you are more than an ordinary chowhound. :-)

                                                    1. re: zuriga1
                                                      a
                                                      amini1 Feb 25, 2009 05:23 AM

                                                      The smoky flavouring to put in food is called Liquid Smoke. It actually is just what it says, nothing artificial. Many BBQ sauce recipes call for it.

                                                      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liquid_s...

                                                      1. re: amini1
                                                        zuriga1 Feb 25, 2009 06:23 AM

                                                        Thanks. That's the one I couldn't remember. I never used it, but many do. I guess I've been away too long. I'm starting to forget the name of things in the States.

                                                      2. re: zuriga1
                                                        b
                                                        batfink23 Feb 25, 2009 07:29 AM

                                                        you can buy something called 'liquid smoke' which is a sauce cum seasoning. is that what you mean?

                                                        the IVY is really good, if you don't lose sight of what it really is: a diner.
                                                        good one too, but its about a lack of fuss, not more.

                                                        1. re: batfink23
                                                          zuriga1 Feb 25, 2009 08:43 AM

                                                          Yes, I meant liquid smoke (see response to amini1 above). I never used it as I had a very good outdoor barbecue that made enough of its own smoke.

                                                          It's nice the celebs enjoy a good diner - brings them down to earth a bit. :-) I sure could do with one down here in Surrey... or a real deli.

                                                2. b
                                                  bistrotheque Sep 30, 2008 07:01 AM

                                                  The nicest hamburgers I've had in London:

                                                  The Diner, 128-130 Curtain Road in Shoreditch. It is not a fancy pants kind of place but I go there every time I crave a burger. My favourites are the Cajun Chicken Burger (cajun spiced chicken breast) and the Mexican Burger (topped with hot chilli) and you can add your extras as you like (Several different cheeses, Mushrooms, Bacon, Jalapenos, Gherkins, Grilled Onions, Guacamole, Salsa, Mayo etc). They also have great Vanilla & Peanut Butter Milkshakes. Have not been to the Soho or Camden branches but as this one works for me I think I'll stick with it.

                                                  Good luck, b.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: bistrotheque
                                                    m
                                                    millsy574 Feb 3, 2009 11:52 AM

                                                    Just got back from Byron burger in Kensington - it was delicious! I got the regular Angus burger (6 oz) with french fries and a house salad. The burger came out pretty quickly, but I finished half of it before I could flag the waiter to ask for my fries and salad. When he brought them they were delicious. The burger did taste very American (I'm from NY, just here for work for a few weeks). It came with mayo which I don't like, but it wasn't a problem to take it off. The restaurant was busy, especially for 8PM in London! I walked along Kensington High Street for other potential restaurants, but none had more than 2 tables filled! Byron had only 2 tables empty.

                                                    1. re: millsy574
                                                      zuriga1 Feb 3, 2009 01:14 PM

                                                      Thanks for the tip....sounds inviting. Giles Coren (UK food critic) said this on london-eating.co.uk...

                                                      Saturday, May 03, 2008 - I didn’t take much notice of the menu. Just ordered the Byron burger: “dry cure bacon, mature cheddar, Byron BBQ sauce” – my three favourite burger toppings all in one – and then ate it, and thought: “That’s about the best burger I’ve ever had.”

                                                      1. re: zuriga1
                                                        c
                                                        cathodetube Feb 3, 2009 10:59 PM

                                                        Sounds really good. Did you read the article Coren wrote recently about his trip to the West Coast and his visit to In-N--Out burgers? Mmmm, really feel like one of those now. Re making your own, I use either Marks and Spencer Aberdeen Angus mince and have also found Tesco's mince to be quite good. No seasoning except salt and pepper. I melt strong cheddar on top and add onion rings and pickles. If I can't find any good buns then I use individual ciabatta rolls which I keep in the freezer. The M&S ones are good.

                                                        1. re: cathodetube
                                                          zuriga1 Feb 4, 2009 01:43 AM

                                                          No, I didn't read about Coren's West Coast trip - guess I should. My brother lives there, and I really have a good time when I get to visit - concentrating on old favourites that are just better there. My special place is the Katella Deli.

                                                          One of my problems is that Mr. Zuriga does not eat beef. I think I'll pick up some of that M&S beef and have a treat this weekend. M&S really do make good rolls. I often buy the cheese-topped ones and keep those in the freezer.

                                                          1. re: zuriga1
                                                            n
                                                            Nii Feb 5, 2009 02:33 AM

                                                            I tried Cheeky Pete's on Petticoat Lane market the other day. I had a chicken escalope burger with beetroot, red onion and lettuce with a swetcorn relish - it was pretty good. The fries were great.

                                                            1. re: Nii
                                                              p
                                                              pj26 Mar 27, 2009 03:17 AM

                                                              Went to Cheeky Pete's last night and it was really disappointing. The beef pattie was so thin they may as well not have bothered, and the bread bun was just to big and bready - if they made the bun smaller and the pattie thicker then it would have been a pretty good burger. Nice beer though...

                                                  2. s
                                                    scooby99 Aug 4, 2008 06:03 AM

                                                    I would also recommend the Ultimate Burger Company who branches in Central London.

                                                    Tootsies are good too and are all over the place

                                                    Lastly, a place called Ground on Chiswick High Road does good burgers and shakes.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: scooby99
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                                                      Will125 Aug 4, 2008 10:21 AM

                                                      I like GBK and Hache a lot, but the best burger place in my mind is Automat on Dover Street in Mayfair. It is definitely an "American-style" burger, as the restaurant is a New York bistro. Mac and cheese also quite good.

                                                      1. re: Will125
                                                        zuriga1 Aug 4, 2008 11:04 AM

                                                        I thought the Mac and cheese at Automat was terrible. It's not American-style at all... maybe what they think it is, but they've missed the mark. That is not to say there isn't great Mac and cheese in the UK because I've had some I liked even better than the American style. Come to think of it, can one really generalize about something like this. But I didn't think the version at Automat was at all tasty.

                                                      2. re: scooby99
                                                        k
                                                        kschnepp Jul 12, 2010 12:14 PM

                                                        Alas, Ground in Chiswick is now closed. No clue why, it was always very busy!

                                                      3. steve h. Jul 27, 2008 07:51 PM

                                                        the thomas cubitt (belgravia) makes a decent burger. it's a popular place so time things accordingly.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: steve h.
                                                          steve h. Jul 27, 2008 08:12 PM

                                                          i noticed plumbers arms on some of the food blogs. the pints are fairly priced there but the burgers are a meatloaf concoction baked in the oven and later sliced (my opinion). still, who can argue with cheap beer?

                                                        2. c
                                                          cathodetube Jul 27, 2008 07:26 PM

                                                          GBK is quite good but I always ask for the burger without the tomato relish they put on everything. Tried a Hamburger Union in Tottenham Court Road a few months back and found it very tasty. Lucky 7 is a fun place to visit but don't remember anything special about the burgers. The Bishop pub on Lordship Lane in East Dulwich, SE22 makes a delicious burger, IMO, made from ground steak. Also found the burgers in the Liquorice restaurant, also on Lordship Lane, SE22 to be extremely tasty.

                                                          1. p
                                                            ponyclub Apr 22, 2008 03:37 AM

                                                            I had a great burger at a place called Fox and Hound or Dog and Fox (the pubs all start to sound the same!) in Wimbledon Village. Heavily seasoned to liven it up, but still fresh and tasty all the same. I've heard good things about Byron's on Kensington High Street near Holland Park. Anyone tried it?

                                                            1. b
                                                              barlyn Apr 15, 2008 04:47 AM

                                                              lucky 7 on westbourne park road near notting hill is the best in my opinion, otherwise i think the burgers at giraffe ( a chain) are great

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: barlyn
                                                                FatEddy Apr 15, 2008 04:37 PM

                                                                i'll second Wolfe's. went with the family a while back and had great kobe burger. place is more than just burgers and was great value - only downside a major lack of atmosphere.

                                                              2. oonth Apr 11, 2008 02:31 AM

                                                                I had a fine burger yesterday lunchtime at the Wells Tavern, Hampstead Village. Nice juicy piece of meat cooked medium rare as requested, good soft seeded bun, simple choice of toppings (I chose cheddar, others were gorgonzola or smoky bacon), very good crisp, non-greasy wedge style chips with delicious herbed tomato sauce/relish, a crisp well-dressed green salad and a small serving of tasty creamy slaw with some sliced gherkins. And a good bottle of Chilean Cab Sauv to wash it down.

                                                                Judging by a very good lunch special a few days ago, this institution of a Hampstead pub is back on culinary form. Great setting, laden with charm.

                                                                The Wells
                                                                30 Well Walk
                                                                London NW3
                                                                020 7794 3785

                                                                3 Replies
                                                                1. re: oonth
                                                                  condimentqueen Aug 5, 2008 07:05 AM

                                                                  I know this was ages ago but I have to second it - We were at the Wells last week and my husband and father both said it was the best burger they had had in years. And we even lived in America in the 70s...
                                                                  Ditto on Lucky7 - the fries there are fantastic as well as are the myriad 'other' burgers, i particularly like the tuna option.
                                                                  Ed's diner in soho should be avoided at all costs.
                                                                  I think FBK is the best of the chains with Hamburger Union a reluctant no 2 and GBK in third, unless you are aussie/kiwi in which case it wins hands down on account of the beetroot/egg/pineapple options for nostalgia. But they aren't great...

                                                                  1. re: condimentqueen
                                                                    t
                                                                    t_g Sep 24, 2008 07:48 AM

                                                                    i've just come back from new york + i'm craving some sort of shake shack/burger joint type burger - can anyone help me? does anywhere in london do this kind of thing??? it seems like a big gap in the market

                                                                    1. re: t_g
                                                                      n
                                                                      NYLONDave Sep 24, 2008 08:46 AM

                                                                      Luck 7 mentioned a few times in this thread is a shake/burger joint of the American variety and they provide fine examples of each, they even do root beer for those jonesing for some American nostalgia.

                                                                      Automat I believe does shakes as well and is sort of modelled on a NYC style burger place/diner (the bathroom tiles are pretty close) though I prefer Lucky 7.

                                                                      Dave

                                                                2. l
                                                                  Londoner27 Apr 10, 2008 09:53 AM

                                                                  I've had good burgers at Dollar Grills and Martinis, Exmouth Market (not a place for a quiet evening but great fun with a lot of mates and some nice cocktails) and Hugo's on Exhibition Road near South Ken tube station (nice organic food, friendly service, reasonable prices for the neighbourhood).

                                                                  1. w
                                                                    WTBD Apr 10, 2008 04:51 AM

                                                                    Try Tootsies in Wimbledon Village. Good burgers, good shakes! As close to the burgers I'm used to from the SF Bay Area in London. Apparently they're a chain but I don't know where their other shops are. Google to the rescue?

                                                                    6 Replies
                                                                    1. re: WTBD
                                                                      n
                                                                      Nii Apr 10, 2008 09:03 AM

                                                                      I like Hamburger Union as well - they're more 'Amercian in style' as opposed to GBK and they use very fresh ingredients. Their malt shakes are sublime.

                                                                      I've just back from NYC and ate at a couple of traditional burger joints. I prefer the burgers here - more inventive. The burgers in the states are more traditional, what with having lettuce, tomatoes and cheese etc.

                                                                      1. re: WTBD
                                                                        greedygirl Apr 10, 2008 09:27 AM

                                                                        There's one in Clapham on Abbeville Road. The OH always has a burger there if we go to the farmer's market on a Sunday.

                                                                        1. re: WTBD
                                                                          zuriga1 Apr 10, 2008 02:28 PM

                                                                          Apparently, there are Tootsie's all over the London area.. I found their website. They are called Dexters in some places (exact same menu). One of the latter is in a town not too far from me, so maybe we'll take a drive over one day if I need a hamburger fix.

                                                                          1. re: zuriga1
                                                                            h
                                                                            Harters Apr 10, 2008 03:13 PM

                                                                            No, No, NOOO. Don't do it, June

                                                                            There is a Dexter's in our local mall. It is vile. It is consistently given lousy reviews on every local website. One of them refused to publish mine as they felt it might be libellous. By way of comparison as to what a local site is prepared to publish....http://www.manchester-eating.com/43.htm. They are, indeed, moderate in comparision to what I had to say.

                                                                            1. re: Harters
                                                                              zuriga1 Apr 11, 2008 01:24 AM

                                                                              OK, OK. <g> Maybe the Tootsie's in WImbledon is better as suggested above. We're not too far from that either. Your link didn't work for me, but I read the reviews on the page by just doing a search. It doesn't sound very appealing. Can I hope that chains differ location by location?

                                                                              1. re: Harters
                                                                                w
                                                                                WTBD Apr 14, 2008 04:08 AM

                                                                                Yikes - didn't mean to spark a commentroversy! I can't speak for Tootsies elsewhere, or Dexters (never heard of them before now), but the one in Wimbledon has never struck me as being particularly vile... On the contrary, I think it is quite pleasant - not amazing, but decent, and in a lovely area. Sorry to hear about Dexters, though. Thanks for the warning!

                                                                          2. n
                                                                            NYLONDave Apr 9, 2008 06:35 AM

                                                                            I can vouche for Hache in Camden. One of the best burgers I've had in London and I would rate ahead of GBK (where I find the Burgers are often a bit dry). The burgers at
                                                                            Hache when I've gone have been of high quality, juicy (key) , well cooked and the quality of bread and other toppings was also good. A colleague recently went to the one in Fulham and said they were comparable. I also rate Luck Seven in NH.

                                                                            Though I wouldn't call most of the options at Hache American style as they serve them on Ciabatta and they go all creative on the toppings (though not as varied as GBH). I believe the toppings are a Kiwi thing - though Brits love their relish. I stick to cheese burgers w/ the occasional bacon thrown in w Lettuce, tomato and sliced onions if they have them

                                                                            Just for definitions sake I would consider an American style burger as 1/3 of a pound or so of good quality high fat content meat served simply w lettuce, tomato and sliced onions w/ some cheese and bacon as an option (just like you would make at a BBQ). Roll should be fresh and soft and act as a sponge for the meat juices. In NYC you can get a perfect burger at Corner Bistro

                                                                            JMHO

                                                                            Dave

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: NYLONDave
                                                                              j
                                                                              J J Apr 9, 2008 12:53 PM

                                                                              Completely forgot - I had a burger at a place called Wolfe's in covent garden (about 18months ago!) They had Kobe beef burgers which were really tasty and juicy (probably due to the natural fat content of the beef) but on the pricey side (£14?). The restaurant was very quiet, almost too quiet, but we sat outside in the sunshine (almost as ahrd to come by as a good burger in London).

                                                                              1. re: J J
                                                                                d
                                                                                D Hound Apr 10, 2008 04:18 AM

                                                                                We quite liked Hache in Camden. Hamburger patty was flavorful and cooked like we asked (medium rare). Chips were also good.

                                                                            2. oonth Apr 9, 2008 04:53 AM

                                                                              I've heard good things about Hache in Camden Town (and now also Fulham I believe). Anyone been?

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: oonth
                                                                                zuriga1 Apr 9, 2008 05:16 AM

                                                                                I haven't been but do remember that name. Someone liked it.

                                                                                1. re: zuriga1
                                                                                  a
                                                                                  ali patts Apr 9, 2008 09:56 AM

                                                                                  I'm pretty sure it was Simon Majumdar who went to Hache, but haven't got the time right now to find the post here or on the dos hermanos site. I seem to recall that the burger was pretty big though!

                                                                                  1. re: ali patts
                                                                                    zuriga1 Apr 9, 2008 12:28 PM

                                                                                    You are spot on.. good memory! Here's the link to Simon's blog and many photos of the burgers.

                                                                                    http://www.doshermanos.co.uk/2007/02/...

                                                                                    How did I live before Google? :-)

                                                                                2. re: oonth
                                                                                  q
                                                                                  queencru Apr 14, 2008 09:52 AM

                                                                                  Hache is okay, but like the other poster said, not really what I'd consider an American-style hamburger. The burgers are good, but the toppings are pretty creative and I recall the size was huge (as was the price). That said, it's still leagues above anything else I've had in London so far.

                                                                                3. greedygirl Apr 9, 2008 04:49 AM

                                                                                  The Gourmet Burger Kitchen isn't bad, but I prefer the ones at my local gastropub.

                                                                                  I haven't been there yet, but Time Out really rates The Diner on Ganton Street.

                                                                                  http://www.timeout.com/london/restaur...

                                                                                  1. m
                                                                                    Missmoo Apr 8, 2008 10:51 AM

                                                                                    I was taken to Black and Blue last year and enjoyed my hamburger there. It's next to the Borough Market on the side with the chorizo seller.

                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                    1. re: Missmoo
                                                                                      d
                                                                                      DollyDagger Apr 9, 2008 05:17 AM

                                                                                      My vote goes to GBK, though I go for the chicken satay burger so can't really comment on the beef. Their milkshakes and garlic mayo are delicious.
                                                                                      http://www.gbkinfo.com/index.php

                                                                                      I went to the Fine Burger Company in Muswell Hill years ago and it was easily as good as GBK. I'd like to try the one near Oxford St.

                                                                                      There's Hache in Camden - http://www.hacheburgers.com/ - though I think it's had some mixed reviews.

                                                                                      The London Food blog's best burger hunt makes good reading:
                                                                                      http://londonfood.typepad.com/stuff/b...

                                                                                      Happy hunting!

                                                                                    2. zuriga1 Apr 8, 2008 09:51 AM

                                                                                      I remember there being a discussion about this some time back. In four years, I have never eaten a burger in the UK that tasted right to me. I think it's the difference in the meat. Recently, I tried one... again... at a very good gastropub near our town. It was awful. Someone recommended the Gourmet Burger chain and said they're good. I keep meaning to try the one in Kingston, but I never get around to it. I hope someone else has a better suggestion.

                                                                                      11 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: zuriga1
                                                                                        h
                                                                                        Harters Apr 8, 2008 10:05 AM

                                                                                        June

                                                                                        Will this be "Gourmet Burger Kitchen"? Reason I ask is that they've recently opened a branch in Wilmslow (North Cheshire) where I was last night. Menu looked good and varied.

                                                                                        Although I did rather like the fact that they feel the need to explain what GBK Fries" are."Freshly prepared chips", apparently. Which is reassuring.......

                                                                                        Might still be a meat problem for you Yanks, though. 100% Aberdeen Angus.

                                                                                        1. re: Harters
                                                                                          j
                                                                                          J J Apr 8, 2008 11:03 AM

                                                                                          GBK does a reliable burger and as already noted, has good selection, although I have found the service to be very poor in some branches (fortunately they also do take-out!). "Freshly prepared chips" are nothing to write home about - basically frozen chips (and not skinny 'french fries', which I am told is more appropriate for burgers!).

                                                                                          Also worth considering is Hamburger Union which claims all beef is grass-fed, and chargrill makes for tasty burgers, although haven't been to one since they changed management.....
                                                                                          http://www.hamburgerunion.com/

                                                                                          Finally, haven't tried Fine Burger Co. (but suspect its much like same as CBK/HU) although they do claim their chips are hand cut! http://www.fineburger.co.uk/

                                                                                          good luck!

                                                                                          1. re: Harters
                                                                                            zuriga1 Apr 8, 2008 11:37 AM

                                                                                            Yes, that sounds like the same chain, John. I'll be brave and try my local one if you will. :-) I'm not sure what it is about the taste of British-made hamburgers. They seem less moist, and I do ask for them cooked 'medium' but they rarely show up that way. Maybe it's just what one is used to. Smothering with ketchup does help at times.. or loading up the onions. :-)

                                                                                            1. re: zuriga1
                                                                                              h
                                                                                              Harters Apr 8, 2008 12:29 PM

                                                                                              OK. I'll make mine a soonish lunch.

                                                                                              I also think you're right that Brit burgers tend to be less moist than US ones. Is it a thickness thing?

                                                                                              1. re: Harters
                                                                                                zuriga1 Apr 8, 2008 02:12 PM

                                                                                                No, I don't think it's the thickness. Some American burgers can be huge but still moist. Maybe there's more fat content in some 'over there.' To be honest, my husband doesn't eat much beef, so I rarely have steak, hamburgers or such at home. I haven't got much to go on as a comparison here but will try to get to the Gourmet Burger place one of these days.

                                                                                          2. re: zuriga1
                                                                                            w
                                                                                            wgall07 Apr 15, 2008 02:29 AM

                                                                                            I think the reason burgers in the UK taste so different is that every restaurant I've tried over here adds tons of spices and flavors to the meat instead of just letting the natural taste of the meat take centerstage. I moved to London one year ago from New York City and have been in search of good burger since.

                                                                                            1. re: wgall07
                                                                                              e
                                                                                              elance May 2, 2009 07:13 AM

                                                                                              I'm an American who moved to the UK five years ago and I absolutely agree with this. I've started making burgers with just meat for myself and my husband, who was very pleasantly surprised to have a burger without all the spices and vaguely oniony taste.

                                                                                              1. re: elance
                                                                                                n
                                                                                                Nii May 2, 2009 08:05 AM

                                                                                                I don't think U.S style burgers are necessarily superior; it's just simply a difference in preparation and method. I much prefer U.K gourmet burgers - more interesting and more flavour.

                                                                                                1. re: Nii
                                                                                                  b
                                                                                                  batfink23 May 3, 2009 03:20 PM

                                                                                                  Really? I don't think there has ever been much dispute that a good US burger is clearly superior.

                                                                                                  that said, I don't think the spices have much or rather anything to do with it at all. aging and fat content of the beef seem to make the most difference to me.

                                                                                                  what I would give for a 5 guys in south london!

                                                                                                  1. re: batfink23
                                                                                                    zuriga1 May 3, 2009 11:00 PM

                                                                                                    I've often written that it's the meat that makes the difference. British mince just does NOT taste like what's found in the U.S. Many have never eaten a hamburger over 'there,' so they can't really make a valid comparison, but I've rarely met a Yank like myself who doesn't feel like I do.

                                                                                                    We have better lamb and pork here - no one ever said life is fair. :-)

                                                                                            2. re: zuriga1
                                                                                              nanette Apr 15, 2008 04:50 AM

                                                                                              It might also be that often people here put grated cheese on a burger and then don't melt it. Gets me every time, a serious chowing pet peeve of mine.

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