honest burgers

Perfect patties: Where to find London’s best burgers

21 May 2024 | |By Zoe Gunn

From blowout beef burgers to innovative vegan versions, indulge in the capital's ultimate comfort food

Burgers are the epitome of democratic decadence. Whether you consider yourself a fine-dining foodie or a fast food fan, everyone loves a burger – and the capital is bursting with restaurants dedicated to finessing the art of their creation. And as 20-26 May 2024 marks National Sandwich Week – giving us all an excuse to indulge in the most popular comfort food – here’s where to find the best burgers in London.

Honest Burgers, across London

honest burgers

Co-founded by friends Tom Barton and Philip Eeles in Brighton in 2009, Honest Burgers started out cooking British burgers in a field at a local food festival. The following year, the duo opened a tiny restaurant in Brixton Market (which is still there today), making everything from scratch and cycling eight miles every day to pick up the best beef available. In 2017, Honest Burgers launched its own south London butchery in Brixton which enabled the restaurant to make its own patties, and as of 2022, it only uses regeneratively farmed beef in partnership with GrassRoots across its whopping 32 restaurants in the capital. The secret to its succulent patties? The team here chop the beef rather than mincing it, so the meat holds onto its flavour and coarse texture.

Next door to the butcher you’ll find Honest Kitchen, where sauces, relishes, pickles, drinks and chips are made entirely from scratch. Pick from chicken, beef and vegan varieties, with our favourites including Tribute – beef, bacon, American cheese, French mustard, pickles and lettuce – and Buffalo, featuring fried chicken breast, buffalo sauce and ranch mayo. Plus, all burgers here are served with signature homemade rosemary salted chips as standard so you don’t have to fork out extra for the essentials.

Visit honestburgers.co.uk

Blacklock, across London

blacklock burger

Serving some of the best meat dishes in the capital, it’s perhaps unsurprising Blacklock’s burgers are extraordinary. Sunday roasts are what Blacklock is famous for, but if you’re looking for something a little less filling, we recommend you opt for the double cheeseburger. Smothered in Ogleshield and Montomery cheddar cheese and topped with caramelised onions cooked in vermouth, sliced gherkins and a tangy burger sauce, patties are ethically sourced from Cornish butcher and farmer Philip Warren. Oh, and don’t forget a side of beef-dripping chips. 

Visit theblacklock.com

Fallow, St James

fallow burger
Image: Steven Joyce

Chefs Will Murray and Jack Croft have received high praise for their sustainable fine dining concept at Fallow. Alongside plates of smoked cod’s head, venison tartare, mushroom parfait and sirloin steak, Fallow has also become famous for its take on the fast-food speciality. There are currently four burgers on offer, including fillings of venison and lamb, however the highlight is its signature namesake priced at £24. The homemade patty includes aged aged dairy beef, bacon, short rib shallot and rarebit cheese for richness, all sandwiched between toasted brioche buns branded with Fallow’s logo.

52 Haymarket, St James’s, SW1Y 4RP, visit fallowrestaurant.com

The Beaumont, Mayfair

the beaumont mayfair

One of the best steak restaurants in London, The Colony Grill Room at The Beaumont has done a good job of priming other cuts of beef to create the perfect cheeseburger. Featuring a special blend of three different cuts of beef, each patty is minced with dry aged beef fat served on a bed of 12-hour caramelised onions and topped with two types of cheese. Served with shoestring fries, the burger is on the menu throughout the year.

8 Balderton Street, Brown Hart Gardens, W1K 6TF, visit thebeaumont.com

Black Bear Burger, across London

black bear burgers london

Black Bear’s motto is ‘simple, done well’. So, if you’re after a classic cheeseburger taken to the next level, this is your go-to. This Canadian-inspired restaurant started life as a stall in Broadway market and now has permanent sites in Brixton Village, Boxpark Shoreditch, Canary Wharf, Exmouth Market and Victoria. All meat is sourced from high-welfare farms in the UK, with a blend of dry-aged cuts from Native Breed beef cows used to create patties that are tender and full of flavour. But the attention to detail doesn’t stop there. Chips are hand-cut on-site, while all condiments, rubs, sauces, pickles, ferments and even the soft serve ice creams are homemade.

Visit blackbearburger.com

Neat Burger, across London

neat burger london

Ever wondered how Lewis Hamilton stays in tip-top condition for a life on the F1 track? Well, we’re not saying he eats at Neat Burger every day but, as a chief backer, it’s safe to say he’s probably tried more than his fair share of its delectable vegan treats. There are currently four Neat Burgers in the capital, including Camden, Soho, Victoria and Wembley. The menu is entirely plant-based – not that you’d ever guess it from the look or taste. As well as a full complement of ‘Neat Meat’ burgers, chick’n burgers, artisan ciabattas there are also nuggets, salad bowls, vegan shakes and gelato.

Visit neat-burger.com

Burger & Lobster, across London

lobster and burger london

The first Burger & Lobster opened its doors in Mayfair in 2011 as part of a growing wave of fast-casual restaurants making their name by doing one thing really, really well. Burger & Lobster’s USP, as you may have guessed, was in blending the elegance of the ocean’s most revered crustacean with the everyman appeal of a great burger – and it was an instant hit.

There are now nine restaurants across the capital, plus branches in New York, Singapore, Bangkok, Kuwait and Malaysia, which should give you some idea of just how good the food is here. There are four burgers on offer (as well as a huge variety of shellfish), including the classic B&L burger, Beast burger with lobster, brie and truffle, a chicken burger with chipotle mayo and avocado, and the Plant Burger: vegan chorizo patty, red pepper mayo, red onion, pickles, tempura tomato, lettuce and fries.

Visit burgerandlobster.com

Nanny Bill’s, across London

nanny bill's burgers london

Inspired by founder Darren Simpson’s own Nanny Bill, and the café she ran during the 1970s and 80s, Nanny Bill’s started life in 2015 as a vintage food truck at East London’s Night Tales market. Word about its hand-pressed burgers and Mac & Cheese croquettes quickly spread and, following collaborations with the likes of Barbour, Tommy Hilfiger, Adidas and Levi’s, Nanny Bill’s found a permanent home in Boxpark Wembley and Croydon and Vinegar Yard in London Bridge. The signature here is the Dalston Dip: a double-beef patty with mustard glaze, American cheese, caramelised onions, relish, burger sauce and a pot of gravy for dipping.

Visit nannybills.co.uk

Hard Rock Cafe, Park Lane

hard rock cafe

Whatever your opinion of the Hard Rock franchise – musician’s paradise or overpriced tourist trap – it would be difficult to ignore any restaurant with the confidence to call its signature burger the Original Legendary when compiling this list. Said burger was, in fact, the impetus for the entire Hard Rock enterprise, which was founded by Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton after trying and failing to find a decent American burger in London. Constructed with a steak patty, bacon, cheddar, onion ring, lettuce and tomato, it has since spawned an entire series of Legendary siblings, including a BBQ bacon cheeseburger, double-decker cheeseburger, surf and turf burger, and a vegan variety made using Moving Mountains patties.

Visit hardrockcafe.com

The Vurger Co, Shoreditch

the vurger

If the name didn't give it away, The Vurger Co offers a completely plant-based menu inspired by California's forward-thinking vegan food scene. Another chain that began life as a market stall, husband and wife team Neill and Rachel crowd-funded their first Shoreditch location in 2018, enlisting chef Gaz Oakley to work the pots and pans. The Vurger Co has since expanded with locations in Manchester and Brighton, offering seven Vurgers – including a Buffalo ‘Chicken’ topped with vegan mayo, an unmelted vegan cheese slice, gherkins and crispy onions, as well as the Smoky Shroom with a mushroom vegetable patty, teamed with smoky chipotle sauce and gherkins alongside salad bowls, fries, and tater tots.

Visit thevurgerco.com

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