You just can’t beat a proper burger. Come the weekend, it’ll be 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 (judging from the sheer number of burger joints that keep popping up around the capital), we’ve done the dirty and chosen up five that make The Jackal’s cut. Enjoy.
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. Their 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. See you on the Overground.
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. Their Veni-Moo Burger was voted London’s Best Burger back in 2016, and features two patties (one venison, one beef), cheese, béarnaise sauce and caramelised onions. For National Burger Day, they’ve made it even better, by adding a venison scotch egg and their famous mac n cheese. It’s a lot, but we think you’re up for the challenge.
A Stoke Newington stalwart for those in the know, Stokey Bears is the place to head for a no-fuss, no-frills, plain-fantastic burger. Made from 100 per cent Sussex beef, sourced from Flock & Herd butchers in Peckham, their menu is short but well-considered. Our pick? It’d have to be the Grizzly Bear, a cheeseburger topped with double oak-smoked bacon and bacon jam. Oh, and you can get that doubled, in a Greedy Bear, or tripled, if you think you can stomach it. Their sides are also top-notch, with mac & cheese balls, buffalo hot wings and four different types of milkshake all on offer to wash down all that prime beef with.
The Three Compasses
An anonymous tip-off pointed us in the direction of the burger action at The Three Compasses in Dalston. Run by head chefs Rich Watson & Gary Tunstall, the menu at The Food Circus at The Three Compasses is utterly devoted to all things burger-shaped. Their gourmet burgers are crafted using great, high-welfare meat from suppliers like The Rare Breed Meat Company, who provide Suffolk chickens and bacon, and Txuleta, who import the best Galician beef. If you can hack the heat, our pick is the Too Hot To Handle burger, with said Galician beef patty, melted cheddar, onion jam, spicy coleslaw and hot sauce mayo. Worth heading east for.
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 we’ll be turning up for this National Burger Day, and beyond. 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.