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The freshest, tastiest burgers in London

Sometimes I crave a juicy, burger. A "milk bar" burger, as we say in Australia, with lettuce, tomato, fried onions and cheese! Or in other terms, a classic American burger where the taste of the charred meat and its juices are compliments by the sponge of bread and soft melting cheese. The only requirement I have is that the meat is not frozen, is of reasonably good quality, and is 100% beef, as I find burgers with quantities breadcrumbs and egg to be reminiscent of rissoles and meatloaf. I suppose my biggest wish is that the meat not be frozen.

Most of the chains, even hipster ones use frozen patties. To this end, I have stumbled starving into some highly lauded Kiwi owned chains in various countries and have been disappointed. All of the chorizo blends, fancy spices, sharp cheddar and secret mode made sauces do little if the meat, grass-fed though it may be, is grey and chewy, Though as far as "frozen burgers" go, I am partial to the odd veggie burger, so that I can accept :)

Any suggestions? I'd love some ideas, as I am in London fora week and won't be able to splurge on a quality steak.

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  1. Usual suspects are hawksmoor and goodmans, if your budget extends to about GBP15. Byron is quite good and about GBP8. Though none of those places put beetroot or pineapple on for us Aussies! ;-)

    1 Reply
    1. re: deansa

      I ought to smuggle some tinned beetroot slices in a ziplock bag!

    2. I second the Byron recommendation. Good, juicy, medium-cooked patties. They have a few branches throughout London. Also excellent courgette fries.

      1. The best American-style hamburger I've had since moving here has probably been at a Byron's. It's not 10 out of 10, but they really do try hard. A Yank once told me try Smith's of Smithfield (haven't as yet) and I haven't been to Hawksmoor either, which might be an improvement over Byron's.

        As we've discussed here several times, I'm of the opinion that British beef just doesn't taste like the American variety and will taste exactly the same, not that it means it's inferior.

        1 Reply
        1. re: zuriga1

          I bought a Byron burger last night at the Covent Garden branch. I loved a lot about it - the thousand island/special style sauce was especially yummy - but it wasn't cooked on a hot enough grill. It was tender and pink inside, but was not really hot, and it lacked that brown, caramalised flavour you get from a good quick sear on cast iron.

        2. As others have said, Hawksmoor and Goodman do great - if slightly pricey - burgers, but English-style, I would say. (Although Goodman once did a classic In-n-Out burger for some London food bloggers...) For an every-day, high street burger, it's Byron every time.

          The best burgers for me are from The Meatwagon - a cult thing among 'foodies' who trail him to pubs in South London and beyond. His cheese steaks and hot dogs are great too. Well worth a visit, but get there early! http://www.themeatwagon.co.uk/

          1 Reply
          1. re: DollyDagger

            I am totally wanting to try the Meatwagon out!

          2. The Bountiful Cow for a massive juicy drippy burger. Or Bar Boulud for a more modest and polite burger. Both ~£12.

            1 Reply
            1. re: limster

              As much as I like juicy drippy burgers, I always feel guilty for not finishing them when they are massive. The whole slider rage in the USA of a couple of years ago appealed to me - I find mini portions inherently "fun", like children's party food.

            2. I really enjoyed my burger at Hache in Camden. It was really terrific, even to my Australian tastes.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Samuelinthekitchen

                really? i wasnt a fan of hache at all. i think a lot of it had to do w/ the ciabatta buns which imo are just totally wrong for a burger

                1. re: t_g

                  Agree with you about Hache. Sadly lacking and especially because of the bun. Byron is definitely the best chain for quality. Used to like GBK but think it depends on which one you go to.

                1. re: tvbite

                  Not a fan of Byron or Hache, FineBurger or Ultimate Burger - but love Gourmet Burger Kitchen and their chips are delicious; and btw Scottish Beef is the best, and UK beef is pretty good providing you know where it comes from! Unlike American beef - my sister has lived in the US for 15 years and won't touch red meat over there due to the quality and how it is fed, all the hormones and chemicals!! However they gorge when they are here...