Burger mania has swept the British capital in the beefiest of ways. Hardly an exhaustive list (and I’m sticking with only restaurants – not street vendors – for this particular write up), here’s a quick look at a few of London’s more noteworthy burger flippers.
Before the Hype
13 Exeter Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 7DT
Joe Allen is a real Theatreland institution. Located in a basement down a backstreet with little signage, this American transplant is easy to miss. A peek inside the discreet entrance yields a dark staircase leading down to who knows what. But don’t worry. You’ll be safe and sound downstairs and inside this cavernous basement of a restaurant. You’ll love the vibe too. Playbills, flyers and posters from what seems to be every stage performance ever to have occurred in London’s West End adorn the otherwise bare brick walls.
Just as secretive are Joe Allen’s burgers. They’re not on the menu, but if you’re in the know and ask nicely, you’ll get one of the juiciest char-grilled, made to order burgers in town.
72 Welbeck Street, Marylebone, W1G 0BA
The Deck, Jubilee Market Hall, Tavistock Street, Covent Garden, WC2E 8BE
Lots of people will tell you these are the best burgers in London, and going by the seemingly never ending queues at MEATLiquor and OMG social media buzz generated by the opening of its sister eatery, MEATMarket, you’d have to at least concede they are certainly among the most popular. The menu is a mix of American grease done up with fervour … plus cocktails! Want more; keep an ear to the ground for the next appearance of their MEATWagon street vending operation.
The Standard Bearer
More than 20 locations throughout London, Kent and Oxford
In a matter of a few years, this “proper burgers” eatery went from zero to near ubiquity in London. The quality’s still high and the burgers are still made with good Scottish beef minced fresh daily.
The Latest and the Tastiest
Tommi’s Burger Joint
58 Marylebone Lane, Marylebone, W1U 2NX
London’s latest burgers comes compliments of Icelandic entrepreneur, Tomas Tómasson. He has launched nearly 20 restaurants and hotels (including the Hard Rock Cafe) back in his native Iceland and reckons now is the time to expand beyond his tiny island’s shores and capitalize on London’s currently “huge appetite” for burgers. Tomas might be on to something too. These are tasty additions to the London burger scene, and I reckon Tomi and crew will find a cozy niche for their Nordic take on everybody’s favorite fast food treat.
When you go, make sure to try the home made cocktail sauce. Apparently, this is one of the things that made his “joints” so craved-after back in Iceland.
FYI: Tommi’s are my current favorites among all the burgers listed in this piece.
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photo: Chris Osburn