Orson Welles said it best – ‘Don’t ask what you can do for your country, ask what’s for lunch’. After your free continental breakfast at The Rathbone, it’s time to get out there and see the sights for which London is famous.
Once you’ve had an exciting morning at the Tower of London or at the Houses of Parliament or London Zoo or the Royal Observatory or indeed any of the thousands of things to see and do in London, you’re going to need a hearty lunch* to prepare you for an afternoon of the same and what better to set you up than a great burger!
*This of course also refers to dinner!
Of course we’re not talking about cheap fast-food joints here, we’re talking about the most highly-rated burgers in London and with the popularity of the classic American staple at an all-time high, there’s plenty to choose from.
Here is our selection of the best burgers in London that are all close to the Rathbone so you won’t have far to go if the carnivorous craving comes for you…!
Patty & Bun
All-day queues are testament to Patty & Bun’s reputation as one of London’s best and most popular burger joints. A laid back atmosphere with an unpretentious menu of just seven meat burgers and four plant based burgers means you don’t have to spend all day agonising over what to have!
Their signature ‘Ari Gold’ burger (named after Jeremy Piven’s character from Entourage) is a classic cheeseburger with smokey P&B mayo served on a sweet, glazed brioche bun and is undoubtedly their best-seller. At only £8.75 (add £1 for bacon), it’s delicious without being a bank-buster. Their hand-cut chips with rosemary salt are superb and they also do chicken wings and thighs but quite honestly if you want chicken, go elsewhere. This is all about the Ari Gold!Show me on a map
The original was a pop-up in Brixton but it was so successful, they decided to make London a permanent home. Unsurprisingly (although you’ll be surprised how many people get this wrong) the beef burgers themselves are the stars of the show. They use 35 day dry-aged British chuck steak from The Ginger Pig cooked medium-rare and the buns and toppings are all sourced locally. All served with rosemary-salted chips, the Tribute is their homage to the classic American burger – bacon, American cheese, burger sauce and French’s mustard and is the best seller for very good reason – it’s fantastic!
Honest Burgers have purposely avoided the somewhat tired ‘fill your restaurants with Americana’ cliché and when you’re inside, there’s a distinctly British feel. The emphasis is on the burgers and what they do, they do very, very well indeed.Show me on a map
As with most gourmet burger restaurants, Byron’s menu offers a small but perfectly formed menu. The classics are covered including the classic burger, the cheeseburger and the chilli burger and they also have the smashed avocado burger, Le Bleu smothered in creamy blue cheese and a great selection of chicken and plant based burgers.
As well as the burgers, they’ve paid special attention to their fries. On their own they’re fantastic, but cover them with cheese and bacon and they go to another level! The restaurants are more fast-food than gourmet dining but Byron is vital to London’s burger scene.Show me on a map
No reservations, ‘good cop bad cop’ line patrols, a violently loud dining room, ‘burgerettes’ serving your food and a ‘no suits, no ballet pumps’ rule, you could be forgiven for thinking this is one place to avoid, but if you’re a burger fan, avoid it at your peril!
The ‘Dead Hippie’ is their signature with two French’s Mustard-fried burgers, volcano-hot cheese, Dead Hippie Sauce (don’t ask what’s in it, you’re likely to get yelled at by a giant with lots of tattoos and piercings) and the usual ‘fixins’.
Fries are fries, not chips and if you’re feeling extra-indulgent, have a look at what they affectionately call the ‘Garbage Plate’, a colossal mound of fries topped with burger patties, melted cheese, homemade gravy and a triumvirate of fried onions, crispy shallots and white onions. Unsurprisingly they do a mean cocktail too. This is burgers on an industrial level but they are seriously good!Show me on a map
Burger & Lobster
Burger & Lobster focus their energy on making two products the absolute best they can be without any other distractions. They craft prime burgers and serve wild, fresh Atlantic lobsters.
You can reserve your table but if you don’t be prepared for a long wait because the food here is that good. If you’re going to limit yourself to two things, you had better do them exquisitely well, and luckily, they do.Show me on a map
Bar Boulud is Michelin-starred chef Daniel Boulud’s London restaurant and it isn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, a burger joint. It is a fine dining restaurant with amazing views of the open kitchen but they do serve burgers and if you’re paying £12 for a cheese and ham sandwich and £14 for a plate of asparagus, the burgers better be good, and they most certainly are.
Using 100% UK beef ground in-house every day, they have the Yankee and the Veggie but the star of the show is the BB. It’s a burger, short ribs, horseradish mayo, confit tomatoes and a homemade bun. At £24 it’s not the cheapest burger in London but when you taste it, you’ll know where that extra money went.Show me on a map
Not a restaurant as such, rather a permanent fixture at four London pubs including the Exmouth Arms, a few minutes’ north of the Rathbone. Burger Craft have created one of the most aptly-named burgers we can think of, the Juicy Bastard. £13 gets you two dry-aged beef patties smothered in molten cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and a subtle yet tangy smokey BBQ sauce. There is also the Cheesus Christ, the Sloppy Joseph and the buttermilk fried chicken Hipster Chick.
One critic said ‘each bite left me wanting more’ and we know how they feel. These are great, honest, tasty burgers served in a traditional pub without the gaudy Americana, the loud music and the overly-eager waiting staff. Old-school dining at its best!Show me on a map
Tommi’s Burger Joint
Unusually, Tommi’s originated in Iceland. Not a nation necessarily known for their burgers but Tommi’s has developed a reputation for serving some of the best in London. The beef is local and excellent without being minced into oblivion, the buns are shiny and sweet and they do things with genuinely simple and effective authenticity. It’s called Burger Joint for a good reason. It is what it is.
The burgers are superb, there’s no pretentiousness and these guys have mastered their craft since the early 80s. All the burger favourites are represented including the Classic, Steak, Veggie, Chicken & Bacon, BBQ Pulled Pork and the huge Double King and when you go, you’ll realise that you don’t really need to know much more than that.Show me on a map
Burgers at Haché come in many forms, all of which are delicious! there’s a great selection of chicken and plant-based burgers as well as their signature lamb and steak burgers but whatever you choose, you’ll get served a deluxe burger made from the freshest ingredients. We can also recommend the truffle frites and the beer-battered onion rings for a touch of fried indulgence!
The choices are more comprehensive than most of the restaurants on this list and the décor is the romantic side of dark rather than the pretentious side of dark with chandeliers, wooden beams and wall mirrors adding to the ambiance.Show me on a map