The Best Local Burger Restaurants
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 Locate on Map
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 six burgers (including a veggie Portobello mushroom burger) 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 £7.50 (add 50p for bacon), it’s delicious without being a bank-buster. Their fries 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!
Honest Burgers Locate on 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.
Byron Locate on Map
As with most gourmet burger restaurants, Byron’s menu offers just eight burgers including the seasonally-named ‘Father Cheesemas’! The classics are covered including the basic burger, the cheeseburger, the chilli burger and the double bacon and cheese but the star of the show is the Smoky. Beautiful beef is complimented with a sweet brioche bun, streaky bacon, pickles and smoked chilli BBQ sauce, topped with crispy fried onions. Magnificently delicious crispy fried onions that are worth the trip alone!
As well as the burgers, they’ve paid special attention to their fries. On their own they’re fantastic, but cover them with cheese, roasted green peppers and green chillies and they are transported to another level! The restaurants are more fast-food than gourmet dining but Byron is vital to London’s burger scene.
MEATliquor Locate on Map
74 Welbeck Street, London W1G 0BA
020 7224 4239
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!
Burger & Lobster Locate on Map
6 Little Portland Street, London W1W 7JE
020 7907 7760
Can any restaurant in London survive with just three items on the menu? Burger & Lobster can, and they don’t just survive, they thrive! We wouldn’t normally give you the entire menu but here it is. 1. A 10oz steak burger served plain from the grill. You can have bacon and/or cheese. 2. Cool lobster meat dressed in a light Japanese mayo in a warm toasted brioche bun. 3. A 1.5lb lobster served steamed or steamed and grilled plain or with lemon or garlic butter. That’s it. £20 a pop with unlimited fries and salad.
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 three things, you had better do them exquisitely well, and luckily, they do.
Bar Boulud Locate on Map
Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, 66 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7LA
020 7201 3899
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, the Piggie, the Frenchie and the star of the show, the BB. It’s a burger, foie gras, short ribs, horseradish mayo, confit tomatoes and a black onion seeded bun. At £24 it’s not the cheapest burger in London but when you taste it, you’ll know where that extra money went.
Burger Craft Locate on Map
The Exmouth Arms, 1 Starcross Street, London NW1 2HR
020 7387 5440
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. £11 gets you two dry-aged beef patties smothered in molten cheese, lettuce, tomatoes and a subtle yet tangy smokey BBQ sauce.
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!
BRGR.CO Locate on Map
187 Wardour Street, London W1F 8ZB
020 7920 6480
Everything at BRGR is done with style and skill. The restaurant may be a little cramped (not uncomfortably so) but they want to get as many people as possible in to eat their delicious burgers! There are two types of burger on the menu, the Signature Burgers including a rump steak burger (voted one of the best in London) and a hangar steak burger, and the classic burgers you’d expect; cheese, bacon and cheese, guacamole and bacon and Stilton.
Oddly for a burger joint that prides itself of the quality of the burgers (and they are spectacularly good), the star of the show for some is the fries! The crunchy fries on their own are superb but they go to stratospheric levels with their cheese fries, cheese and chilli con carne fries and the piéce de resistance, the quite remarkable Parmesan truffle fries. They really are a taste sensation!
Haché Locate on Map
24 Inverness Street, Camden, London NW1 7HJ
020 7485 9100
Burgers at Haché come in many forms, all of which are delicious! Choose from Scotch beef steak, lamb, chicken, vegetarian, pork or duck but whatever you choose, you’ll get served a deluxe burger made from the freshest ingredients. According to Esquire Magazine, for a ‘truly unbeatable burger experience’, you have to try the Steak Catalan Burger with grilled chorizo sausage, fresh chilli and tomato jam but don’t take their word for it!
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.
Tommi’s Burger Joint Locate on Map
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 over 30 years or more. The menu reads, in ascending order: burger, veggie burger, steak burger, chicken burger, kid’s burger. That’s it. When you go, you’ll realise that you don’t really need to know much more than that.