I’m a picky eater, so trying new cuisine isn’t my idea of fun. But this doesn’t mean I have to eat at American-based chain restaurants when I travel. When I want something familiar to eat, I try to find a local restaurant that offers its take on my favorites. Sometimes, the food is bland or nothing like the original; however, more times than not, I end up with a delicious meal that surpasses my expectations.
Burgers might be a quintessential American sandwich, but you can find delicious burgers in London. Over the past few years, there’s been an explosion of burger joints in London, with new locations opening up faster than I can keep track. Luckily, this means you’ll be close to a great burger no matter where you.
Here are my top three London-based burgers (and two American honorable mentions).
I first tried a Byron “proper” hamburger after Byron Earl’s Court opened a few years ago. Located a couple of blocks from Nadler Kensington, one of my favorite London hotels, it’s been a great place for me to stop for dinner after a long day of sightseeing.
My burger pick: At Byron, I go old school with the Classic Cheese (mature cheddar, lettuce, tomato, red onion and mayo). The simplicity of this burger reminds me of the home-cooked burgers of my childhood.
Don’t miss: The courgette fries are the perfect burger companion at Byron. If you want to spice things up a bit, the tortilla chips, tomato salsa and guacamole are as delicious as any I’ve had at Tex-Mex restaurants in the US.
When I first heard about MEATliquor, I thought, “Meat and liquor — how could it be anything but delicious?” It took me a few trips to London to finally try it out, but it was definitely worth the wait. I wanted to browse the shops and market stalls at Covent Garden on my last day in London, so I decided grab a late lunch MEATmarket.
My burger pick: Even though I’m an avowed mustard hater, I couldn’t pass up trying MEATliquor’s signature Dead Hippie burger. The two mustard-covered beef patties are fried on the griddle, slathered with Dead Hippie Sauce, and stacked on a bun with lettuce, cheese, pickles, and minced white onions. This burger might just change my mind about mustard.
Don’t miss: I was torn between ordering fires or onion rings, so I sought the advice of the staff. I’m glad I followed their suggestion and opted for the big, fluffy onion rings. Each thick-sliced ring was about the same size as my burger. And, if you like some alcohol with your ice cream, don’t forget to order a hard milkshake!
Patty & Bun
One of my expat friends raved about Patty & Bun, so I knew I had to check it out. At the time, they had only two small restaurants, and based on reviews I’d read online, I was prepared for a long wait when I visited the Marylebone location. Luckily, I was the only solo diner, so I was seated immediately at a tiny counter with a single bar stool.
My burger pick: Patty & Bun’s Ari Gold Cheeseburger is one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. While waiting for my burger to arrive, I laughed at the woman sitting nearby who ate hers with a knife and fork. After getting my juicy burger, I realized that a fork and knife are essential here! If you opt to eating it with your hands, be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand.
Don’t miss: I’m not exactly sure what Roast Chicken Mayo & Chicken Skin Salt is, but I love it. Definitely get some to for dipping your chips.
You can find American fast-food burger chains all over London, but go to Shake Shack or Five Guys Burgers if you must have a “real” American burger.
Oh, if you’re wondering about the worst burger I’ve had in London, it was a tasteless and overcooked burger at a celebrity chef’s “pop-up” restaurant in the West End.
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