The Advisory, named after the Asian Women's Advisory Centre formerly on this site, is so popular with Hackney locals that it's been known to run out of the brioche buns (and, for that matter, the stand-in brioche hot dog buns), having to serve its patties in the next day's brunch muffins instead. No matter, the three varieties (beef, bacon and veggie) are far better than you'd expect for the £6 price tag, while moreish sides (cauliflower mac and cheese; chilli greens) seal the deal.Read more
'Byron' burger, £9.50Sure, the Byron chain is 52-strong now, but despite rapid expansion they've never compromised on flavour. Burgers are served medium unless otherwise requested, the buns are soft and juicy pickles are served on the side. Order up a classic Byron burger for lettuce, tomato, onion, bacon and cheddar layered on top of that glorious patty. It's a formula so simple yet so satisfying for a neat price and with no strange fixings, either. Read more
'Grizzly Bear' bacon cheeseburger with bacon jam, £10
The burgers are uproariously good, but so is the atmosphere at this fun food joint. Service is smiley and personal, and the soundtrack flips between Studio 54 floorfillers, gay anthems and Italo piano classics. Order the Grizzly Bear burger served with wrong-sounding-but-right-tasting bacon jam. And wash it all down with beer provided by the East Dulwich Bear Hug Brewery (run by the same people behind Stokey Bears).Read more
Wollensky's butcher burger, £16The top-drawer American steakhouse arrives on our shores, and they make a mean burger, you'll be pleased to hear. The butcher burger is coarsely cut and served juicily rare, it really should be called chopped steak. At £16 with fries it is a little dear, but we reckon it's worth every penny to taste meat in a bun of this calibre. Read more
Flippin’ ’eck, these burgers are good. Served up from a rickety market stall (with bowls of toppings and a help-yourself roll of kitchen towel adding to the ‘amateur’ vibe), the quality of food belies the humble setting. The buns are soft, bouncy brioche. Juicy, roughly chopped patties of 28 day aged chuck beef comes perfectly cooked and properly seasoned. Toppings, meanwhile, run from the classic (pickles, lettuce, slices of processed US cheese) to the inspired (crisp pieces of streaky bacon ‘candied’ in brown sugar, or slices of hot-and-sweet pickled red jalapeños). It’s fast food, but not as you know it.Read more
Mini Ibérico pork and foie gras burger, £8
From the same stable as Salt Yard and Dehesa, this smart and attractive tapas bar – once a Covent Garden boozer – might not be an obvious place to go looking for a burger. But the Opera Tavern mini-burger (if this was a Yankee-themed joint you’d probably call it a ‘slider’) is well worth seeking out. It layers a rich and supremely moist patty (fashioned from top-notch Ibérico pork meat and foie gras) with melted manchego and a crunchy battered onion ring, adds in the gentle hum of red onion jam against aioli and finishes with a few pieces of soft lettuce. Divine.Read more
'Dead Hippie' burger, £8.50
Burger God Yianni Papoutis (who first wowed us with his creations from the back of a van) opened this grill-and-booze bar in 2011, but the sloppy, juicy burgers are as knock-your-socks off as ever. There’s ground chuck steak in each one, and all manner of toppings available: chilli, bacon, mushrooms… you get the picture. But our out-and-out favourite remains the ‘Dead Hippie’, where two thin double-stacked patties are anointed with melted cheese, tangy gherkins, finely diced onions and a ‘secret sauce’ so addictive that, if you didn’t know better, you’d think had crack in it.Read more
It’s a pity that this branch of Honest Burgers doesn’t have quite the same bohemian feel as the Brixton original, but on the plus side, the prime Soho location will make it easier (for most people) to get to. And, let’s face it, we’re here for them burgers: patties fashioned from 35-day dry-aged British chuck steak – courtesy of posh butchers Ginger Pig – topped with the likes of smoked bacon, sweet pickled cucumbers and slices of lip-smacking cheddar. Chips are hand-cut and salt-crusted and there are some not-too-shabby options for veggies, such as the sweetcorn, cauliflower and shallot fritter-in-a-bun.
'Royale Wit Cheese', £8.95The nomadic Lucky Chip is currently at Birthdays, appropriate since each bite of one of these burgers is like a party in your mouth. Look out for specials on the menu named after famous faces. But of the regulars, the 'royale wit cheese' gets our vote for simply making such a happy mess. It's stacked tall with salad, a tangy special sauce, bacon and American cheese and it beats McDonald's, hands down. Speaking of hands, bring some napkins. Read more
It’s already got a cult following, and not just because ‘dirty’ has became synonymous with ‘sexy’. DB actually has a rocking formula: cool junkyard chic interiors courtesy of ultra-slick owner Soho House, reasonable prices and exceptional cooking. A blend of carefully selected cuts goes into each patty, for a depth of flavour that when combined with pickles, cheese, lettuce, tomato and condiments, makes for a seriously good bite. But don’t forget the sides: the triple-cooked hand-cut chips and terrific tempura-battered onions rings deserve equal billing.Read more
'Smokey Robinson' burger, £8.50
As you’d expect from the name, the burgers here come both with a properly cooked ‘patty’ and a rich brioche ‘bun’, but the real star turn is the use of own-made mayos and relishes. The ‘Smokey Robinson’, made with ‘smokey P&B mayo’, jammy caramelised onions and crisp bacon, is so good it deserves to be in a burger hall of fame. Fries are of a rustic ilk: skin-on, hand-cut thin chips with flecks of rosemary salt. Perhaps the only downside is that, surprise surprise, it doesn’t take bookings, and gets seriously busy. Our top tip: go on a dreary Tuesday afternoon, and get a bit of burger-shaped sunshine in your life.Read more
‘Frenchie’ burger with cheese, £19
Well before ‘sliders’ became the burger du jour, Bar Boulud was creating spectacular ‘petite’ burgers with plenty of va va voom. This contemporary bistro, set beneath the Mandarin Oriental hotel (and sibling to the equally A-list NYC original) offers four different versions, including the ‘Yankee’ (the most classic), the Southern-themed ‘Piggie’ (featuring pulled pork and fresh slaw), and the decadent ‘BB’ (with foie gras and braised rib meat). All are worthy of a place on this list, but our favourite is the ‘Frenchie’, where the juicy patty is topped with mellow tomato compote, a slice of soft morbier cheese, and shredded confit of pork belly.Read more
Beef burger with Korean pulled pork, £15In the Big Smoke, chef Neil Rankin has become one of the high priests of barbecue. What better to sample his skills than by chowing down on one of his burgers at Smokehouse? Here it comes smothered in a heavily spiced Korean sauce and topped generously with pulled pork of the highest standard. This one's for the meat lovers. Read more
Bacon cheeseburger, £7.95Forget about the French dips and dive deep into the burger list. The bacon cheeseburger holds a beautifully charred-on-the-outside, pink-on-the-inside patty in its middle, topped with molten cheese and crisp smoky bacon, not to mention long slivers of gherkin, burger sauce and shards of raw cabbage (a smart move: crunchier than lettuce, but with a peppery note). This is all snuggled into a rich, of-the-moment brioche bun. Ooh la la. Read more
Double cheeseburger, £9
There are just a few tables at Bleecker St's Spitalfields Market home, so don’t expect much in the way of comfort or ambience. But what you will discover is a stripped-back but hugely satisfying formula for the all-American burger. Show-stopping dry-aged beef cooked pink is complemented by Bleecker’s ‘secret sauce’ that tastes every bit as peppery as McDonald's’ Big Mac mayo (but more upmarket, obvs). Maximise on that meat with a double cheeseburger. Seeded buns are toasted to perfection, mopping up those excess patty juices without ever compromising your vice-like burger grip.Read more
Venue says: French burgers (with French cheese). We do it fast so you can take more time enjoying it. Come and say hi !
London’s food obsessions continue to evolve, but despite burgers being ‘so 2013’ we still can’t quite seem to shake our pimped patty addiction. Big Fernand is a French import that is the latest addition to this crowded market. The mostly-French staff were exuberant in the opening week, and on our visit the music was so loud that you had to strain to hear your conversation. The experience is made all the more curious by the premises’ split-personality décor – downstairs a rough hewn wood-and-slate burger bar; upstairs a chintzy Fitzrovia living room. The burgers don’t scrimp on flavour: Le Bartholomé piles raclette cheese, smoked bacon, confit onions and own-made barbecue sauce on top of a thick beef patty, cooked as requested (although the dominant flavour was of the sweet-sour onions). Meanwhile, Le Victor offers a veal burger topped with mild blue Fourme d’Ambert, the same slightly overpowering confit onions, and a sweetened version of the house sauce. The chips are another flavour bomb – that, or the chef’s hand slipped while seasoning them with smoked paprika. These aren’t the best burgers in town, or – at around £12 a pop without fries – the cheapest. But they’re a decent enough take on this mega-trend that refuses to go quietly.
More of a hot dog fan?
Poshed-up US-style fast food has never been more popular in London. From retro-styled diners to swanky restaurants, everywhere you look it seems someone's slapping a length of meat into an elongated bun. And while some are no better than your average cinema snack, there are hot dogs of true majesty to be found in London, if you know where to look.Read more