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5 Guys Coming to London

There's gonna be a 5 Guys branch opening in London.
Yes we have McDonalds and BK of course (used to have a few Wendys).
And yes any number of places that will charge you 10 quid for a medium rare burger on a brioche bun and a fiver for a bottle of Brooklyn lager.
Sometimes though you just want a decent burger that's better than McD and BK but with not quite so much faff.

Should I be getting my hopes up?

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  1. Well, it's definitely a cut above McDs and BK.

    The fries don't survive takeaway well, IMO, as they get flabby, and the burgers can get a bit mushy depending on how you top them. And if they keep the US portion sizes, a small order of fries (will they call them fries or chips?) is enough to feed 10 people

    I see they're locating near Covent Garden, I guess they figure on picking up some tourist business.

    1. My condolences.

      IMHO, Five Guys expanded too quickly and their quality control is sub par. As far as burgers go, they are one of the most inconsistent franchises around. Their franchise agreement dictates that you can't just open one shop; you have to open multiple shops in a region. I think this has contributed to the hit-or-miss quality of their food. I have a half-dozen near where I live and work and I only frequent one of them. The others have served grey, skunky meat and almost all of them have problems with their frys. The one store I go to regularly, the manager tosses old fries (instead of serving them to customers) and has a staff who knows what they're doing. Hint: get those fries out of the bag ASAP before the steam builds up and gets them soggy. Unfortunately, there's nothing you can do about the foi-wrapped burger. The doughy bun gets soggy almost immediately. Chains like In N Out and Shake Shack half-wrap their burgers, which allows the steam to escape. I think if management knows what they're doing, they can pull off a decent experience. But I've been eating at Five Guys since the original opened in Virginia in the 1990s, and I would not get my hopes up.

      1 Reply
      1. re: monkeyrotica

        Word. The 5 Guys near our home was a huge disappointment. I'm hoping foe others that this 5 Guys is the worst example around. My tip-off was how few customers were inside. Wanting to give thwir food a fair shot, I ignored the apathy. The burger meat was nasty, the bun was gushy and the fries were very oily. To temper my criticism, I did get this order to go. With that said, the odor that lingered in my car was animal-like, and finally disipated after several deodorizing spraying bouts over three weeks. I honestly never experienced this kind of odor issue with food before or since - and we do a lot of take out.

      2. Won't be cooked to order. Won't get a beer unless it's different in UK. Won't be cheap.

        1. I like their fries (skin on and skinny, which is so morish!) but am totally not bothered by their burgers (I really prefer a bit of pink not cooked right though) and the buns are those sweet, doughy bread buns. I would stick with forking out for Byron.

          1. They're much better than McDonalds or BK. Their burgers are great, but a bit sloppy to eat. Their fries are good too and taste much fresher than what you get from most other fast food chains, plus they're not all doctored up with extra ingredients. The Five Guys in my area even lists the local farms where they are getting their potatoes from.

            The downside would mainly be the wait. It takes them a while to make your order, even when they are not busy. It's not entirely "fast" food, but it's faster than a sit down restaurant.

            1. I think the best 5 Guys are in airports.

              Best 5 Guys burger was had at DCA during a 7 hour flight delay.

              Maybe you can hold out hope that they'll expand to Heathrow.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ipsedixit

                Instead of expanding willy billy, they should just expand hours at existing stores and offer breakfast.

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/831607

                http://www.huffingtonpost.com/so-good...

              2. 5 Guys have garnered a lot of hate from CHers, some of it can be legit.

                I have eaten 5 guys on the east coast (Pittsburgh area) and the west coast (Washington) and luckily both of those franchise operators do a decent job. Personally I like 5 Guys, they have a good meat blend that actually tastes like a burger should. They don't add in a bunch of salt to their meat, like In-N-Out, and you get to build your own burger which is a plus.

                Their buns however do leave a lot to be desired and they are a dine-in experience, so eat your burger there. I find that a small (one patty) is more than enough for me and I only order fries (Cajun style of course) if I am sharing them. Overall you are getting a higher end burger experience than typical fast food and I think it's worth the price.

                1. Depends on where they get their beef and potatoes. And if they can keep the kitchen staff past the one week trainup. Please let us know.

                  1. There are many good choices available at lower prices that are either as good or better. Everyone flocked at first to check them out but but the thrill is gone.
                    5 Guys is empty now and sure to close soon.

                    1. London as in England? Does that mean that Five Guys will import Idaho potatoes from home? The 100-pound sacks of potatoes are a landmark.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: Querencia

                        Yes it's London England.
                        Not sure about the potatoes, assume they'll source them from the UK as we have been know to grow the odd potato but you never know.
                        Anyway this entire thread may have been rendered moot as Shake Shack are also coming to London.

                        1. re: Paprikaboy

                          Just when London was starting to get some respect in the culinary world, it reverts to chain hell.

                          I am sure Disney is next.

                          1. re: INDIANRIVERFL

                            Bit of an odd comment.

                            Firstly London is already full of chains and has been for years.
                            Secondly two US chains opening single branches in London is hardly reverting to chain hell
                            Thirdly sometimes I just want a decent honest burger that isn't Mcd or BK and I don't want to pay 10 quid for a ponced about burger in the rash of burger places that have opened recently.
                            But most importantly London is great for eating and being from London I don't really care whether we have respect in the culinary world or not.

                            1. re: Paprikaboy

                              Preach on brother! London is probably 2nd to NYC as the greatest food city in the world.

                              1. re: brokentelephone

                                Maybe fifth to Paris, Tokyo and Singapore... :)