WeBloodyLoveFood’s Big Five Burgers in London:
Sod the Big Five in the game reserves of Africa, what people need to see (and more importantly eat) are the Big Five Burgers in London. Tom and I hardly profess to have eaten all the burgers in London but we have sampled some brilliant and some poor. Consequently we thought it would be fun to start off a moving top 5. Every time a burger breaks into the top 5 it will be immortalised in the WBLF top five.
Before we kick off, an honourable mention to Hawksmoor (Spitalfields Bar) for their Christmas special. A french dipped turkey and beef wonder that is truly brilliant. From the kings of steak, comes a top quality burger, hats off, the restaurant(s) is very special, if you haven’t been – go!
So without further ado – here it is, the inaugural top 5:
5 – Patty & Bun – ‘The Ari Gold’
This will be controversial simply for being this low. When we visited Patty & Bun our expectations were enormous, so much so that three of us demolished 4 burgers between us, sharing between us their lamb-shank redemption burger. Whilst the wordplay was epic the lamb-shank burger was not, wildly over-seasoned and heavy and leaving in its trail a stream of devasting disappointment. Such was this feeling that it overshadowed P&B’s signature Ari Gold which was, quite frankly, stunning. We need to return, so that P&B can rightly re-instate itself further up this list. But by means of justification the reason it is low is because any establshment that can produce the quality of the Ari Gold should not be producing something as poor as the lamb-shank redemption burger. Until this memory is banished P&B remains at #5.
4 – Hot Box – ‘The Smokey Bandit’
The Smokey Bandit featured in our review of Hot Box. It is a brilliant addition to the London burger scene containing a dry-aged (always dry people!) beef patty, smoked short-rib, jalapeno, american cheese and chimichurri all encased in a welcome return of the sesame seed bun. This burger should not hold together, the integrity of the bun should be next to zero, but it isn’t the chimichurri is fresh and vibrant, the jalapenos subtly hot and accenting the short rib beautifully whilst the perfectly medium rare dry-aged patty shines through. It is slightly different and that is exactly why it stands firm at #4.
3 – Dip & Flip – ‘The Dip & Flip’
When Dip & Flip burst onto the scene there were two reactions, 1 the overriding feeling of joy at the thought of beef on beef in gravy in a bun (bloody genius!) and 2. The collective understanding that every burger lover was going to put on a significant amount of weight as we indulged in this new craziness. Dip & Flip is the sort of place Willy Wonka would have created if his name was Billy Burger and it is absolutely brilliant. The only negative are their locations, Clapham, Wimbledon and Tooting, something more central to spice up an all nighter at the office is long overdue. But it is certainly not enough to keep it from the third rung of the podium.
2 – Meatliquour – ‘The Dead Hippie’
Another cracking name from the good folks at Meatliqour. The guys behind Meatliqour have created an empire (see variations chicken, wagon, market and mission), but in our view the ‘just off Oxford Street, queue all night original’ is still the best. The venue is intense and so is the burger, so much so that on our first visit we had two…each! The dead hippie is a double patty (both of which are fried in French’s mustard) which is simple but effective, cheese, pickles, onions and the special ‘dead hippie’ sauce. The result is a taste sensation, it is like the best Big Mac you will ever have (but will also result in you never having one again which trust me is a good thing). The ‘Dead Hippie’ is one of the dirtier burgers on this list, and like the naughty minx it is, it goes straight to the silver medal position.
1 – Honest Burger – Every damn thing that comes out of the kitchen
To Tom and I, Honest Burger holds a special place. The first time we went it changed us, very firmly, into the burger lovers we are today. It is one of the finest examples of a good, simple thing done well. Their specials are epic (the ‘Especial’ in particular is without question the finest thing I have ever put in my mouth) and are a tiny deviation from the simple flavours the kitchens pump out every day. The idea is the most basic of any of these entries, Ginger Pig meat (because there is no point using anything else) and good combos, along with rosemary salted fries. Every time my mouth meets and Honest Burger it dances and bounces around like a small child who has finally found its way to disneyland. It is so good it would be remiss for me to tell you that one is better than all others but I must put one forward, and so the number one burger in london is the burger that started it all, ‘The Honest Burger’ itself, a wondrous ginger pig dry-aged patty, earthy red onion relish, smoked bacon, mature cheddar (king of cheese), pickled cucumber and shredded lettuce. Behold, the best burger in London, numero uno, #1, get down to an Honest near you and taste it yourselves. You will not be disappointed.