I will admit it, here and now, in black and white – I am a burger snob. Sure, you can stick a dry, grilled-to-a-crisp patty in any old bun, squirt a bit of ketchup and call it a burger.
Technically. But when you live in London, which is making serious headway towards becoming the burger capital of the planet, why would you?
Here, we've searched high and low to find the best in burgers that our city has to offer. Somewhere in London, right now, a brioche bun is being lightly toasted, onions are being caramelised, mature cheddar is being melted and a grill is warming up. So what are you still doing here?
Click through for London’s best burgers...
To see more of London's most outrageous sandwiches
click here Burgershack R29's order: Hubba Hubba, Amazeballs and a glass of red wine
Roving "burger detective"
Burgerac has been on the hunt for the perfect burger since 2011. After sampling every bun he could get his hands on, judging a nationwide burger competition and launching his own burger-themed app, he decided to put his money where his mouth is and open his own restaurant. The result is Burgershack, a pop-up burger kitchen serving Burgerac's very own recipes. Unsurprisingly, from a man who has devoted his life to all things burger, every last detail of Burgershack's fare has been carefully thought through. All the ingredients are sourced from local, artisan suppliers and the menu is bursting with unique additions. Our favourite are the Amazeballs, deep-fried nuggets of pulled pork served piping hot and deliciously piggy. Amazeballs indeed. Burgershack
Locations in Marylebone and Fitzrovia
Photo: Via @burgershack_ Mildreds R29's order: Classic Burger with Vegan Cheese, Sweet Potato Fries and Fresh Kiwi Juice
We're going to guess that burgers don't immediately spring to mind when you hear the word "vegan". But once again, legendary vegetarian restaurant Mildreds has changed the game. They don't have just one great vegan burger – they have two. Choose between their classic burger, filled with smoked tofu and piquant with pepper and red onion relish, and their Polish burger, which reworks beetroot into a patty and tops it off with pickled cabbage and vegan mayo. All burgers are available with vegan cheese, and there's a long list of vegan side dishes and cocktails. Whether you're a burger lover who's decided to ditch the animal products, or you're just ready to have your world changed by a completely meat-free burger, Mildreds is the place for you.
Locations in Soho, Camden and Kings Cross
Photo: Via @mildredsrestaurant Blues Kitchen R29's order: Burger of the Month, Mac n'Cheese and a Lynchburg Lemonade
Scattered across London are three toasty pockets of down-home Southern comfort. Humming with live music, warm with barbecue, and with enough whisky cocktails to keep Don Draper happy, Blues Kitchen is the ideal place for fans of all things Deep South. If you can drag your eyes away from the live music (or the cocktail list), check out their completely unique monthly burger menu. Previous specials include the (now slightly less hilarious) TrumpTowerBurger, flanked by a Mexican-friendly edible wall of nachos, and The All-Mitey, a burger inspired by our favourite yeasty spread and including a Marmite glaze, Marmite sauce and Marmite mayo. You'll either love it or...
Locations in Camden, Brixton & Shoreditch
Photo: Via @theblueskitchen Five Guys R29's order: Little Cheeseburger with several toppings, Cajun Fries and a Salted Caramel Milkshake
American import Five Guys has certainly brought a feeling of the "land of the free" to their London outposts. Here you're not dictated to by a menu – you simply choose the size of your burger and add the toppings you want. Hate the taste of ketchup and mayo? Go plain. Love your burgers smothered in hot sauce, grilled jalapeños and green peppers? Spice it up. Ever wished you could get a burger with HP sauce, grilled mushrooms and tomato? We know the place for you.
You can even choose to have your burger in a bowl or lettuce wrap if you prefer a low-carb option. Make sure to save some room, though; you can also personalise your milkshake with add-ons like Oreos, malted milk and salted caramel (you know how we feel about
salted caramel). Head over to one of their 13 London locations – just give yourself extra time to make your mind up. Five Guys
Locations across London
Photo: Via @mark.lovejoy89 Honest Burgers R29's order: Honest Burger, Onion Rings and Urban Orchard London cider
Anyone who likes burgers will love Honest Burgers. You’re a carnivore? Try their dry-aged beef served classic, cheese, honest or as one of their monthly specials. And if you’re avoiding beef, they serve unbelievable free-range chicken burgers as well as their veggie fritter burger, which comes drizzled with cucumber yoghurt. In it for the potatoes? Every order includes a huge helping of their rosemary salted chips. Restricted diet? Gluten-free buns and beer are on the menu. From the North? Honest Burgers serve curry sauce, as well as bacon ketchup and chipotle mayonnaise. Whatever your tastes, you’re sure to find something you love (honest).
Locations across London
Photo: @honestburgers Tommi’s Burger Joint R29's order: Steak Burger with Béarnaise, Fries and a Viking beer
For the same reason there are no Starbucks in Italy, there are no McDonalds in Iceland. Italy has the best coffee in the world and Iceland – well, Iceland has Tommi’s Burger Joint. Luckily, London now has two of these amazing burger bars as well, serving up gourmet burgers made with only the freshest natural ingredients. But it’s not just the food that makes this place worth a visit; it’s also the value. For a mere £10.90 any day of the week you can get a burger, fries and soda, plus for an extra £2 at the weekend you can upgrade to any Camden Brewery beer. To recap: great-tasting, great-value burgers, and you don’t even need to go to Iceland.
Tommi’s Burger Joint
Locations in Chelsea & Marylebone
Photo: @letswunder Shake Shack R29's order: ‘Shroom Burger, Crinkle Cut Fries and a Union Shack concrete
New York’s "King of Restaurants" Danny Meyer exported Shake Shack from its famed spot in Madison Square Park to Covent Garden three years ago. With it he brought something astonishing – a completely vegetarian burger that is better than one with meat. For too long, those who prefer not to eat meat have been shunted a hockey puck of beans and tofu. Now we have the ‘Shroom Burger – a Portobello mushroom fried to crispy perfection and oozing with melted cheese – served, as with all Shake Shack burgers, in a soft, sweet bun with signature Shack Sauce. As if this wasn’t enough, Shake Shack also offers "concrete", a St Louis speciality that shakes up frozen custard ice cream with sauces and treats to create a dessert like no other. Eat like a local with the Union Shack, which includes St John brownies and Islington’s finest Paul A Young chocolate.
Locations in Covent Garden, Stratford & Bloomsbury
Photo: @shakeshackuk Burger Bears @ The Magic Roundabout R29's order: Grizzly Bear Burger, Fries and a gin and tonic
This Old Street spot just should not work: no-one should want to eat burgers in the middle of a major roundabout… outside… in England. But it does work, and then some. Burger Bears’ residency at The Magic Roundabout is awesome. Maybe it’s the venue's great soundtrack that makes you feel like you’re at a summer festival. Maybe it’s the incredibly friendly bar staff serving up great cocktails all night long. Or maybe it’s the burgers, made from freshly ground 100% Sussex beef, topped with their signature bacon jam and served with crispy fries cooked in duck fat. We’re not sure – maybe we need to go again?
Burger Bears @ The Magic Roundabout
The Magic Roundabout, 16 St Agnes Well, London, EC1Y 1BE
Photo: @burgerbeartom Meatliquor R29's order: Dead Hippie Burger, Chili Cheese Fries and a Silver Angel cocktail
With Filth Pie and Dead Hippie Fries on the menu, Meatliquor make it very clear that their burgers are made for grown-ups. At any of their three London locations you’re immediately whisked into a world of dark graffiti-covered walls, red lights and near-sinful indulgence. Expect burgers so saucy you need a pile of napkins to save your sleeves, and sides with enough spice to make you cry like an England football fan. Also expect to wait: Meatliquor does not take reservations and is very popular. But with a bar full of delicious cocktails, a photo booth and the staff's charming habit of serving onion rings to hungry queuers, the time will hopefully fly by.
Locations in Marylebone, Hoxton & Covent Garden
Photo: @meatgram Bleecker St. R29’s order: Bleecker Black burger, Angry Fries and a Black and White shake
If you eat your burger with a knife and fork, look away now. With three stalls across London, a spot at Street Feast and a presence at all good festivals, Bleecker St. is true street food. This means every burger is served fresh from the grill and with a considerable helping of love. These burger obsessives proved themselves as the crème de la crème, burger-wise, when they won the London Burger Bash in 2013. If you want to see what all the fuss is about, their winning entry, The Bleecker Black – a double cheeseburger featuring not only two patties of aged beef but also a hidden layer of black pudding – is still on their menu. And try their Angry Fries, hand-cut Maris Pipers smothered in hot sauce and blue cheese. A little messy, maybe, but so, so good.
Locations in Spitalfields & Canary Wharf
Photo: @bleeckerburger Bukowski Grill R29's order: Smokey Beast burger, Potato Chips and a Dulce De Leche & Kahlua spiked milkshake
Carnivores of London, rejoice. We have found your burger. Bukowski’s menu bursts with meaty goodness, from the chips cooked in beef dripping, the candied bacon atop "The Fat Gringo" and the pile of pulled pork that comes on "The Smokey Beast". That isn’t everything on the menu, though. Once you’ve got your head around the beef in your burger you can move on to their amazing sides, including thinly sliced, spiced and fried tobacco onions and deep-fried confit pork and duck nuggets. Either way, we don’t think you’ll be walking out of Bukowski Grill, probably more like rolling.
Locations in Brixton, Shoreditch & Soho
Photo: @bukowski_chef Boom Burger R29's order: Boom Burger, Plantain fries and a ‘So Sorrel’ cocktail
Fancy heading off to a tropical paradise with white sand beaches and crystal clear oceans? We may not be able to take you there, but we can tell you where to find a not-so-little slice of Jamaica in London. Boom Burger gives you all the flavour and spice of the island in every bite of its burgers, from the cheese and bacon jam-smothered "Boom" to the heady mix of jerk chicken, mango and pawpaw in the "Jerk Boom". Even the mayonnaise is special, infused with a secret blend of jerk spices and a perfect complement to their famous plantain fries. Maybe a burger can never be as good as a holiday – but Boom Burger comes pretty close.
272 Portobello Rd, London W10 5TY
020 8960 3533
Photo: Boom Burger Patty & Bun R29's order: Ari Gold burger, Chips with Roast Chicken Mayo and a Red Stripe beer
There's good news and bad news. The good news is that Patty & Bun make world-class burgers, right here in London. The bad news is that other people also know this and Patty & Bun don’t take bookings. This means that, if you want a Patty & Bun burger, you are probably going to have to queue – but hey, it's worth it. Keep it classic with their famed "Ari Gold", pile on the caramelised onion with a "Smokey Robinson" or go Greek with their "Lambshank Redemption", featuring a lamb patty and feta. Whichever you choose, do not hold back on ordering chips. Cut with the skin on, fried to golden perfection and covered in rosemary salt, they are the perfect partner to your burger.
Patty & Bun
Locations across London
Photo: @pattyandbun Lucky Chip R29's order: Royale wit Cheese burger, Cheese Fries and Lucky Chip's choice of wine
After creating unbelievable burgers at residencies in pubs, bars and markets across London, Lucky Chip has opened its first permanent restaurant celebrating two of the greatest things on Earth – burgers and wine. With burgers like the Spanish-inspired "Antonio Banderas" and the smokey "Kevin Bacon" and a wine list of over 120 bottles, this is the place to be if you like your burgers messy but your drinks refined. If you would rather keep things low-key you can find the same great burgers, along with their cheese fries, at The Old Queen's Head in Islington.
Locations in Angel & Dalston
Photo: @cassybhairo Dirty Burger R29's order: Cheeseburger, Crinkle Cut Fries and a ginger beer
The naughty little brother of Soho House’s Pizza East and Chicken Shop, Dirty Burger has an incredibly short menu offering a cheeseburger, bacon cheeseburger and veggie burger alongside fries and onion rings. What it lacks in variety it makes up for in burger. Small but perfectly formed, the beef patty in these burgers is all the better for the lack of fancy additions. Be prepared to get dirty, though; the oozing sauce in these burgers means they have a tendency to fall apart if you eat too slowly – but why would you do that?
Locations across London
Photo: @dirtyburgerldn Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here? London's Best Bottomless Brunches Last Night A Pop-Tart Saved My Life: In Praise Of Processed Food In Times Of Crisis The Cooking Disaster That Landed Chrissy Teigen & John Legend In The Hospital