You just can’t beat a proper burger. Come the weekend, it’s the first thing many of us reach for, alongside a Friday night drink or two. So, in honour of what must be one of London’s favourite foods, we’ve done the dirty and narrowed down the best burgers in London that make The Jackal’s cut. To make things even easier, we’ve divvied up our favourite burger joints by location, so you needn’t travel to get a Jackal-approved burger fix. Oh – and we’ve added few London vegan burger options too, as we’re an inclusive bunch. (And here’s another piece about vegan food in London while we’re at it). Enjoy.
Honest Burger were one of the first burger restaurants to the party when they launched in London in 2011. Their ‘honest’ outlook translates to the restaurants, which feature pictures of cows on the walls, with the cuts labelled so you’re clear exactly where your meat is coming from. Avoid the meat cuts though and try something new with the Plant Burger, which is a real triumph. There’s been lots of talk about recreating that granular texture of a burger, complete with red inside, for a veggie/vegan audience lately, and Honest Burger manage to get as close as we’d imagine possible to a beef burger with the plant burger – without harming the lives of any animals. The vegan-friendly burger has 20 grams of plant-based protein, and took seven years to perfect. It arrives dressed in vegan smoked Gouda, and a chipotle mayo that’s unbelievably tasty.
251-255 Pentonville Road, London N1 9NG, honestburgers.co.uk
Cut + Grind at The Three Compasses
The burgers at The Three Compasses pub in Dalston come from Cut + Grind, winners of the National Burger Awards 2018. With beef sourced from British and Irish farmers, and the meat selected, cut and ground in-house every day, the burgers here are a sight to behold. We’d recommend the Juicy Classic, the burger that took Cut + Grind to the podium last year: a classic cheeseburger, the aged beef patty, British Cheddar, pickles and sweet red onion make for one tasty mouthful.
99 Dalston Lane, Kingsland, London E8 1NH, 3compasses.com
Le Bun at Sebright Arms
Sloppy, greasy, cheesy. Three words that normally don’t elicit much pleasure, but when paired with a burger instantly make you drool. Le Bun is famous for its juicy double patty offerings, and off the back of a blockbuster month at the Truman Brewery has now set up camp in Sebright Arms until the end of June. There’s the much-loved Le Bun classics on offer, like the Le Truffle Cheeseburger with truffle mayo and potato brioche, and Le Royale with bone marrow big mac sauce. New to the menu, though, is Fucking Vegans: a two-tier stack of Beyond Meat vegan burgers with added truffled CBD oil to add that je ne sais quoi. A cracking cocktail menu is just the thing to wash it all down with.
34 Coate Street, London E2 9AG, lebunuk.co.uk
A taste of Harlem, in the heart of east London. New York chef and restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson established Red Rooster in Shoreditch only last year, but already it’s making waves on the London foodie scene. Celebrating traditional Harlem cooking, Red Rooster’s menu is a roll call of comfort food classics, like fried chicken, shrimp ‘n’ grits and short ribs, all accompanied by live music every night of the week. However, it’s their Lenox Burger that gets our vote. It’s kept simple, yet delicious, with double beef patties, onion jam, cheddar and chilli aioli. Add bacon, if you’re that way inclined, and you’ll be halfway to America.
45 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3PT, redroosterldn.com
Burger & Beyond
Once a street food stalwart, Burger & Beyond settled down and got serious back in 2016, with permanent premises on Shoreditch High Street. Founders Craig Povoas and Tom Stock have taken their burger offering to the next level with the new location, offering 60-day aged beef patties and Rice Krispie-fried chicken, as well an elevated menu of side dishes, including truffle burrata and black pudding croquettes. The restaurant’s sleek, pared-back decor is also a world away from most burger joints, and makes for a great spot for date night.
147 Shoreditch High Street, London E1 6JE, burgerandbeyond.co.uk
Black Bear Burger
Made with an ethos of simple food, well done, the burgers at Black Bear are second to none. Founded in 2016 by husband and wife duo Liz and Stew Down, Black Bear Burger have semi-permanent premises at BoxPark Shoreditch, and also pop up around the capital at various Street Feasts, treating hungry Londoners to mouthwatering plates of real British beef. The Brisket Burger is the one for us: with a double whammy of an aged beef patty and pulled beef brisket, it’s pulled together with melting American cheese, pickled red onions for punch, and garlic mayo.
BoxPark Shoreditch, 10 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6GY, blackbearburger.com
The Doodle Bar
Nestled under the railway arches at London Bridge is The Doodle Bar, a low-key pub that punches above its weight with the burgers it serves. There are only three (aged beef and mature cheddar, a mushroom and garlic patty, or aged beef and smoked applewood cheese) on the menu, and each are cooked fresh before your eyes in the small kitchen-cum-barbecue at the front of the bar. Juicy, succulent and punchy with flavour, they all come served with crisp skinny chips hot from the fryer – the only hard bit is deciding which of the three to go for. Wash it down with one of the bar’s excellent negronis.
60 Druid Street, London SE1 2EZ, thedoodlebar.com
Dip and Flip
Dip & Flip is a burger restaurant with two concepts. ‘Dipped’ are the roast meat sandwiches, dipped in gravy, typically filled with West Country beef or shoulder of lamb, served on bread dipped in gravy. ‘Flipped’ are the burgers, of course, which are unbelievably decadent. Think beef, fore rib, chuck and added fat ground into one patty. Burgers are grilled on an incredibly high heat, sealing in moistness and flavour while adding texture. The brand, which originated in Battersea, now have offshoots in Brixton, Tooting and Wimbledon which ‘shower south West London with gravy love’.
64 Atlantic Road, Brixton, SW9 8PY, dipandflip.co.uk
As the name suggests, meat is what Dirty Bones specialises in – and boy, does it do it well. Inspired by New York City‘s comfort food – think burgers, hot dogs, ribs and cocktails – its menu is just what you’re looking for after a hard day at the coal face (or, rather, in front of your laptop). While the classic is a hefty Stateside mouthful of aged brisket and steak burger, American cheese and gherkins, the Mac Daddy is where real meat lovers meet their nirvana. The same burger is topped with pulled beef short rib, alongside a healthy dollop of mac and cheese, and an espresso-spiked BBQ sauce on seeded brioche. Not one for the faint of heart.
20 Kensington Church Street, Kensington, London W8 4EP, dirty-bones.com
Mac & Wild
Vegans look away now. Scottish restaurant Mac & Wild’s dedication to providing Londoners with the finest meat and game is unapologetic. Set up seven years ago as a street food stall, nowadays Mac & Wild have two London premises, serving a variety of seasonal Scottish produce from handpicked suppliers in the Highlands. The Venimoo Burger was voted London’s Best Burger back in 2016, and features two patties (one venison, one beef), cheese, béarnaise sauce and caramelised onions. It’s a lot, but you’re up for the challenge.
65 Great Titchfield Street, London W1W 7PS
9A Devonshire Square, London EC2M 4YN
Avo Bar in Covent Garden combines two of the most popular current London trends: California-inspired interior design and the ubiquitous avocado. In the light, airy space, which is full of plants and wicker furniture, a diverse menu of small plates and brunch plates are available, but if you’ve any sense, you’ll go for the Avo Bun Burger, held together in a bun made from sweet potato and red lentil. It’s divine and then some. Try the new incarnation, with lobster.
24 Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London WC2E 8ND, avobar.co.uk
Flat Iron Burger
The Flat Iron steak served at Flat Iron restaurants across town costs from £10, and is a local’s favourite. Look twice as you pass the restaurant though, and there’ll occasionally be a blackboard outside, chalked up with the burger on it – but only sometimes. When it’s on, it’s worth dropping what you’re doing: there’s all the same flavour and intensity from the steak, only in a bun. The restaurant itself is almost worth dressing up for – it feels spectacularly grown up, given the minimal price tag.
7 Beak Street, Soho, London W1F 9RW, flatironsteak.co.uk