It’s August, which only means one thing to a burger-lover like me: Thursday 23rd is National Burger Day! Never heard of it? It’s pretty recent actually, created by Mr Hyde – writers with a love of all things food and drink. Forget Christmas, after I discovered it last year I knew I’d found my new favourite day.
As a picky eater, I have a love-hate relationship with food, but with one exception: burgers. For as long as I can remember, if my family and friends invite me out for a meal, they’ll automatically check if burgers are on the menu. I’d say I’ve tried just over 15 different chains, with most, but not all, being dedicated to burgers. Still, there are too many big names on the London burger scene that I haven’t tried, and I plan to fix that. Hardcore burger fans, you won’t find anything new here. These may not be considered the “best” around, but here are my favourites:
- Byron Burger
Just last weekend I found myself in Byron yet again, it’s become one of my go-to places for a great meal out. Very unlike me, I decided to try something new and went for a Bourbon BBQ – a bourbon BBQ glazed beef patty, Monterey Jack, beer onions, crispy onions, lettuce, mustard mayonnaise. I switched the mayonnaise for their signature Byron sauce, and it was honestly so amazing. One of the best burgers I’ve ever had. The milkshakes are incredibly thick and creamy, and you can even add a shot of alcohol to upgrade your milkshake to a ‘hard shake’. It just keeps getting better, as well as optional ‘hard shakes’, you can even order your fizzy drink with ice cream to convert it into a float!
Try: Bourbon BBQ
- Shake Shack
This was my pick for last year’s National Burger Day, although it doesn’t look like they’re taking part this year. It’s definitely more of a greasy burger like a Five Guys or McDonalds, except much better quality. I recommend the classic ShackBurger with bacon added. Simple enough, but the ShackSauce is great. Don’t forget to order cheese fries – there’s just something about crinkle cut fries that tastes so much better. Of course, shakes are in the name, and while I really enjoyed the black and white shake I tried that one time, I can rarely bring myself to pay the £5.25 for one. Just a burger and fries for me thanks.
- The Diner
For the classic all-American burger experience, The Diner, with its red booth seating and bright neon signs is the perfect spot. While the burgers may be pretty basic, with the signature Diablo being essentially a bacon cheeseburger, that just means they have more time to spend perfecting a classic. Vegans and veggies, there are options for you too. My favourite part? The shakes. If you ask, you can combine flavours. I get chocolate and coconut which tastes just like a Bounty. Plus, you actually get a generous amount for your money. Surprising, I know. Check out the hard shakes menu too, the flavours sound deliciously sweet.
Try: The Diablo
- Patty & Bun
I tried Patty & Bun on my recent visit to Swingers Crazy Golf where it’s one of three street food stalls. I ordered the Colin Montgomery – a bacon cheeseburger with their own special sauce (this isn’t on the menu at the restaurant), along with some brisket nuggets. The nuggets were good, but incredibly filling and for me, could have been a main by themselves. The burger was uniquely sweet, I’m not sure if that’s the brioche bun or the way the patty was aged, but it was tasty, except for a bite that was a little overpowering. Their Liverpool Street branch is literally opposite the station, and they do takeaways, so I don’t know why I’ve waited this long. I really want to try the Smokey Robinson soon.
Try: Smokey Robinson
Where? Liverpool Street
- Gourmet Burger Kitchen
This is another of my regular haunts, it’s a solid burger chain and while I wouldn’t say it has ‘wow-factor’, it is definitely tasty. The best thing is that there’s a great variety of flavours including hotter choices like the Taxidriver with onion rings, Cajun relish and chipotle mayo. I’ve never tried that one, but it would sound good if I liked chipotle. I normally go for a GBK Cheese & Bacon (who’d have guessed?) and writing this I’m beginning to regret not being more adventurous. The sweet potato fries come with baconnaise, which, if you haven’t tried before, you really should.
Try: GBK Cheese & Bacon
Want to celebrate National Burger Day next Thursday? You can get 20% off selected restaurants by grabbing a coupon here. This includes Byron, GBK, Honest, Bleecker, All Star Lanes, Bodean’s BBQ, Patty & Bun, MEATliquor and many more.
What is your favourite burger chain? And where is your favourite burger place? Answer in the comment section below!