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Apr 8, 2008 09:41 AM

Good burgers in London.

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?

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  1. 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


      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

        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.....

        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!

        good luck!

        1. re: Harters

          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

            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

              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

          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

            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

              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

                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

                  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

            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.

          3. 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

              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.

              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 - - though I think it's had some mixed reviews.

              The London Food blog's best burger hunt makes good reading:

              Happy hunting!

            2. 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.


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

                4 Replies
                1. re: oonth

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

                  1. re: zuriga1

                    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

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


                      How did I live before Google? :-)

                  2. re: oonth

                    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. 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



                    2 Replies
                    1. re: NYLONDave

                      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

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