When it first opened, there is no doubt that the burgers were amazing. Have just spent ages queuing in the freezing cold for something which is no better than any chain. Just don't bother. In New York or any other major city, this place would be closed within a week. As a Londoner, I'm embarrassed.
Rob Greig / Time Out
Time Out rating:
Time Out says
Posted: Tue Sep 24 2013
Just getting into this cult destination can feel like cause for celebration. Not only is the queue epic, but Meat Liquor employs ‘good cop, bad cop’ strategies to manage it. On our visit, Bad Cop was played by a giant bouncer who prowled along the line ink-stamping hands: a ploy that stops late-comers from joining their friends mid-queue. Good Cop, meanwhile, was a doe-eyed girl with a tray of the famed deep-fried pickles to quell munchies. Inside, it’s dark and violently loud: more hell-raising nightclub than restaurant. Signs point out the rules (‘No suits’, ‘No ballet pumps’). The graffiti murals are occult-themed, and the staff heavily tattooed. The Deep South cooking is gutsy stuff, with the likes of crunchy-coated ‘bingo wings’ served not only with a terrific Louisiana-style hot sauce but an authentic blue cheese dip. There are cheese steaks and dogs, though the real show-stoppers are the burgers, with their firm, bouncy buns and juicy, pink-middled patties. The excellent ‘dead hippie’, made with a double-layer of patties, also benefits from finely diced raw onion, molten cheese, shredded lettuce and thick slices of gherkin – not forgetting the mellow and tangy ‘secret’ burger sauce. Sides are no side attraction, from perfect skinny fries to pillowy onion rings, and, as you’d guess from the name, staff make a mean cocktail too.
Meat Liquor 74 Welbeck Street
Average User Rating
2.9 / 5
- 5 star:28
- 4 star:16
- 3 star:19
- 2 star:22
- 1 star:31
zero stars!! Horrendous experience!! My dad and brother waited 40minutes for a table on a Tuesday night. They made the staff aware that I would be joining later so had a table with a third seat. 5 minutes after they sat down, i arrived to be told that I was not allowed to join them regardless of the fact that they had a seat for me but instead I had to go to the back of the queue and wait. This would ultimately mean I would be unable to join them for dinner as they would be finished by the time I got through the queue. The staffs absolute disregard for customer satisfaction, and ignorant attitude resulted in us leaving without eating. I would not give them a penny of my money based on their foul attitude and inflexible behaviour - it is a restaurant - not an exclusive club and therefore does not justify the ridiculous rules. Others in the queue were having a similar experience so it was not just us. Not worth a visit!
Love this place. Burgers, onion rings, fries are all amazing. Only thing i hate is the queue... but that doesn't stop me waiting to get in here!
A fabulous treat! My tastebuds had a whirl-wind of a time. I am a picky eater and usually only eat pasta but the meat was so tantilizing and the cocktails were divine-i felt like i was on coppa-cobana beach! I am no celebrity but i was certainly treated like one. The bill was a pleasant surprise
Pretty good. Burgers tasty, fried pickles delicious, chilli cheese fries nice but too rich to just eat on their own.
Revolting. We had: Fried Pickles, Chilli Cheese Fries, Bacon Cheese Burger, Dead Hippie Burger, Slaw and Chicken Wings...(1) Fried Pickles were cut so thin and coated in so much batter that it was just like eating a big stick of fried batter; all grease, no flavour, (2) Chilli Cheese Fries were actually unpleasant - tasted very SOUR (wtf?), with dry bland chilli, (3) Bacon Cheese Burger patty was tasteless and dry as was the bun, (4) Dead Hippie Burger was tasteless, (5) Slaw tasted overpoweringly of black pepper - really unpleasant, (6) Chicken wings were very, very bland despite being advertised as being covered in hot sauce. Add to that that when the bill came, an extra £1 'voluntary' charity donation had been added to it - W-T-Actual-F?! Absolutely bizarre to add anything to the bill that someone has not even been asked about, yet alone actively agreed to. Cheeky... If they'd just asked I would have probably donated in excess of that but, given the fact they had to cheek to just add something to my bill, I asked them to remove it - which was clearly a chore for the poor poser of a waiter. Then there's the place itself; music is way too loud to talk with your friends over your meal, the lights way too dark to the point you need to squint to see the menu, and the decor is just cheesy and cringe-worthy...would have probably been quite cool in upper-eat-side-New-York around the beginning of the 2000's but now, its just absolutely cringe - trying very hard to be cool and failing spectacularly. I would only go here for novelty...."Have you ever wondered what it would be like to eat dinner at a squat party? - then check out Meat Liquor for that contrived squat-themed restaurant experience you've been missing!" Owners should be embarrassed.
Ridiculously greasy and did not leave feeling good. With so many burger places around I wouldn't bother with this one.
Nice decor and environment and the queue moved really quickly. Otherwise nothing special, we had burgers, Philli cheese steak and sides. The burger and steak were a bit tasteless, much much better burgers to be had in London. Service was really really slow, we ended up going to the bar to get our own drinks. Sides were good, good fries and onion rings. Overall, not bad but also not great, a little meh
I went here yesterday with some of my friends and although the staff were lovely, we waited over twenty minutes in the queue to get inside...only to spend another ten minutes waiting inside, before being escorted to the bar for about half an hour before we were even seated. Extremely slow service! When the food did come, it was lovely, though. Our table were over charged, which took a while to sort out and contrary to some reviews here, in the entire 20 odd minutes we were waiting outside we were not offered any free food. The restaurant needs to be bigger, improve on the service, UPDATE THE ONLINE MENU, which differs in price considerably from the menu you are given at the actual restaurant...and it needs to be quieter... Other than that, the food is great!
Don't believe the hype. We were disappointed with our visit after feeling so excited about finally getting a chance to go there. Really couldn't work out why it was so dark in there, or why someone felt the need to whack up the volume meaning I couldn't hear or see my date. I only give it 2 stars as the burger was tasty but not worth shouting about. Pretentious with a capital P.
After the drawn-out process to eventually get to a table we enjoyed good cocktails and SO MUCH MEAT; definitely not somewhere to go if you're counting calories! Everything tasted really good but you definitely feel the fat coursing through your body as you leave, which doesn't inspire a hasty return to eat there again. Great for a one-off meal with friends.
Went here last week the q was long but a waitress arrived outside with fried pickles and onion rings to try which was a nice touch, inside is a bit too dark but the food is amazing my friends and I were more then impressed with the price as well, its so reasonable. Will be back :)
What on earth is all the fuss about? So... queuing in the cold for an hour, with a fascist system of if one of your party turns up a bit later the whole gang of you have to go to the back of the queue. Once inside you are held in a waiting area until there is room at the bar, and then after serving some time at the bar you get to be seated - takes forever. Decor is a mix of an Abatoir complete with blood spatters and plastic sheeting and an impression of a troubled 14 year old's bedroom with free reign to draw on the walls. The music is deafeningly loud, which isn't a problem if it is music you want to listen to but is mainly thrash metal and heavy rock - not my music of choice. It is also very very dark so from a sensory perspective your are practically blind and deaf - not a great way to socialise. So to the food, my friends ordered philly cheese steak and I went for the mushroom swiss burger. The food came on a tray with no plates or even cardboad trays - so if you are squeamish about hygiene this is not the place for you. My burger was soggy and I couldn't distinguish any mushrooms or swiss cheese, From the light of my mobile I could see it was very rare, which is ok but I wasn't asked how I would like it cooked. Our cheese fries were a coagulated mess and my friends described their philly cheese steaks as 'wierd' The cocktails are good and the food is cheap but then so is McDonalds and at least you can see what you are eating in there. I really really wouldn't bother
I went for the first time on Friday evening, thank goodness before the massive queue started! I waited at the bar for my date to arrive; the lovely barman had a chat with me and made me a yummy gin cocktail. Shortly after when the date arrived we were seated by a waitress. She was very attentive and we wanted a couple of cocktails before eating; in no way did she make us feel rushed or like we should get on and order food. Eventually we ordered our burgers - I had a bacon cheeseburger and he had a mushroom swiss something or other - both were amazing and arrived quickly with a huge bowl of chips. I cannot complain about the food in the slightest! Best burger I've had in ages!! Bacon was crispy and delicious, right amount of bun to burger and the garnish was perfect. Only negative about the experience would be the very low lighting (but mobiles were clearly invented to light up a menu) and the bathroom had run out of loo roll. Just get in the queue or plan to go at a quiet time!
Amazed at the last couple of reviews. Such a shame they didn't enjoy themselves. I went for the first time ever in December and thought it was brilliant. The queueing in the cold didn't bother me, because everyone was in such a good mood, and people from the restaurant kept coming out with trays of onion rings and deep-fried pickles to hand around! Once inside, the atmosphere was awesome and the food delicious, and very very reasonably priced. If you go, get a glass of the House Grog - it is also delicious.
Go to meatliqour if you like pretentious menu, with pretentious staff, who ignore their patrons and really generic food.
Let's get the negatives out of the way first: their queuing policy is slightly mental. The fact that they don't take bookings means that there is often a hefty line outside, although this is somewhat offset by staff occasionally bringing out fried snacks from inside the restaurant to keep the peckish throng from devouring one another. They also won't seat you unless your whole party is there, so this isn't a good place if you're planning on meeting a converging group of acquaintances. However, I felt that the positives more than outweighed the negatives. The staff were bubbly and friendly, the cocktails were well-priced and the food- oh, the food! Crisp, delicate onion rings; thick, succulent burgers... Who cares if isn't healthy when it tastes like this, fulfils cravings and oil-filled fantasies I never knew I had. At times I didn't know whether I should eat what was in front of me or smear it lasciviously on my naked body. A particular highlight was the deep-fried pickles (found in the hilariously-named "Rabbit Food" section), which I would recommend ordering instead of the rather ordinary fries. The drinks were also pretty strong overall, with cocktails around the £7.50 mark and a reasonable selection of unusual beers. I had the "Hobo", a pleasant, acrid lager that tasted like it had been brewed inside an abandoned boot; a friend had the more generic Budvar. Both were around £4 for a small 330ml can. Overall impressions: it's a quirky place, full of character and, indeed, full of characters. With burgers starting at £6, there really isn't a better place to go straight after work for a stylishly greasy supper. Arrive early on Monday-Thursday to avoid the queue and you're absolutely laughing.
I've heard this is THE place to go for burgers. Totally disagree. Went a few weeks ago (Nov '12) and queue was 45 mins long so went to Black and Blue around the corner (delicious). Came back tonight (Jan '13). Doorman friendly. Queue about 15 mins so not as bad. Bar and waitoring staff friendly & helpful (despite being busy). Thanks Trinity (& guy who brought out the food who checked on ours after a few tables seated after us were served first. Finally got our food, cheese chips and coleslaw were good, burgers were terrible. Overcooked and tasted of smoke. Have had to wash my hands a few times and still smells of a burger you would get from a burger stand outside a club after a drunken night out. Tummy isn't feeling so good either. Bills and Gourmet Burger King are infinitely better burger options. Definitely wont go back.
Went to the restaurant today at 3pm and it took us 30min to wait...Not too bad after all but they seriously need to work on their service...quite slow! The deco is very cool and good music. Definitely worth visit for the experience. On the other hand, their food is a bit heavy(cant taste the meat). Generally it's a good burger place but it wasnt a WOW experience. The Dirty Burger at kentish town is a lot better to my opinion.
I couldn't be more disappointed by the standard of service we received Being made to wait outside in a line that I was told would take 45 mins to get to the head of even though my friend was waiting for me inside at a table. I understand they like to have a line outside to enhance the buzz of the place but when it comes at the expense of people actually eating inside I don’t see the point. They had free tables and lost out on my custom for no reason other than they wanted to have a line outside. Two people were in the line ahead of me, they were waiting for another person, they were told that when that person arrives he would have to go to the back of the line and they would have to join him there if they all wanted to eat together. I didn’t eat there and I won’t be eating there! There are plenty of excellent burger restaurants in the area (Byron and Honest Burger to name but two) so I urge you to not be treated like an animal and take your business elsewhere!
If you are a vacuous Shoreditch type who doesn't care about service then this is the place for you. DONT BELIVE THE HYPE! Headline: Rude and arrogant staff, poor atmosphere (just because it's dark that doesn't make it cool) stupid queing system, horrible location. Please read on it's quite a tail! I went with a small group of four people for my birthday. Despite the que, which is part and parcel of a busy location, if one of you needs to nip the loo you all have to leave and start queuing all over again? Bizarre and annoying, considering we had a pregnant woman in our group. Only after I questioned this silly policy and explained that one of our party was pregnant did she very reluctantly offered to let he go inside, to late she went in Debenhams and we had to start all over again. After getting inside afar 40min, we were greeted with a dark and dingy hole with a smell not anything to dissimilar from a sewer. Sweaty and acrid we were all put off, and I have eaten in some nasty places over the years. Worst still while inside, yes two hours in and still not seated, a friend and I were stood at the bar where two Shoreditch wannabes, both employees, were shouting about how there were going to f**k each others girlfriends and mums. No i'm no prude, I swear and joke like the next person but these people were in a place of work and thought that they were the coolest thing since slice bread. Lastly was a particularly rude employee who was taking orders to a table and because the venue was so over crowded, due to the lack of seating, she was shouting and pushing past. No polite 'excuse me' several times she pushed past like she was the queen of Sheba. There is no reason for the arrogance that this restaurant has, it is burgers, possibly the lowest form of fine dining. Its dark, smelly and the staff are a cross between Nathan Barley and Being a D**khead is cool. After I emailed in and complained I got an arrogant reply from the venue. DONT BELIVE THE HYPE!
Love this place! Can't believe some losers are giving it one star. If you're expecting Claridges, don't go here. But if you want good atmosphere, excellent cocktails made by entertaining bar staff and food to die for then it's worth every penny. Incidentally, you won't spend many of those since it is probably the best priced place I have been to in London. Go there.
Q was thirty mins, but that was thirty mins with friends and strangers so fun. Bar was great, enthusiastic bartenders, freepouring and variety of cocktails. Waiter (Josh) answered all questions we had, did a good job and was pleasant. All staff cool. As recommended had Buffalo chicken, which was unlike any chicken burger I've eaten before, loved the mess it was. Surprisingly low cost bill. Overall, Meatliquor is an all round experience, like a night out in it's self. If you want a night out, as a couple or a group, go there. If you fancy a quiet bite, don't.
We went at lunch time so no waiting. The food was great, and the whole experience was relaxed and enjoyable with some great music too. Would definitely go again.
The food was awesome. It was definitely worth the wait, as long as you're in good company it doesn't seem too long. There are heaters on those queueing too which makes the cold bearable. I'd recommend the sharing chips (the one with steak in was really good). However, don't go there on a date, it's not a place that you'd pretend to be attractive, It's a place to go and enjoy a good old unheathy burger.
Great burgers and a great atmosphere. Awesome onion rings!! Service was fine during a lengthy lunch and we didn't find music too loud in spite of pushing the average age of the diners up by a year or two!!
A bit to up itself to be more than satisfactory. Met by a fresh faced waitress and a combination of an American diner and lazer quest, with fake graffitti and wire mesh surrounding plump red leather seats and booming indie country rock. The room was lit by enough red lighting to satisfy all of soho, yet still was only bright enough to just see what you were eating. I had arrived early so food arrived promptly, bacon cheese burger with cheese fries. The burger as a whole wasn't bad the; the beef was tasty and the bun and basic toppings were fresh, the bacon however had been minced and shaped so that it covered the burger all over in a disc shape. This resulted in the definition of tasteless shoe leather which detracted from the taste and texture of an otherwise good burger. A good portion of fries were crisp if a little salty, however this was covered in cheese that had obviously sat for a while despite the fact it came with 5 mins of order, I had to ask for a knife to cut it up. On top of this was a lot of finely chopped onions that would have been nice at a quarter of the amount. As I was just stopping for a quick lunch so I didnt have a drink but they generally looked good, but a shake which you would expect to find in a typical diner was missing which I may have been tempted by. The service was acceptable but I was given a dirty look for asking for a knife Nd signing it at the same time due to the loud music. As an 18 year old with a bit of cash to spare looking for a alternative to burger king I left disappointed. Much easier and simpler to pop to gbk.
Wow, a good food plus good ambience combo. As an American, they really have got one of the best burgers in London....the Dead Hippie. The buffalo wings are great, as are the addictive fries and stiff cocktails. All the dishes are authentic so if you don't care for the originals then you won't care for these, but trust me, they're right on the money. And don't listen to the whiners...the muuusic's tooo loud....the liiighting's toooo low..... They should stay home and knit me a sweater that I wont wear. Go and have a great time. Oh, and the round, center communal table is the best.
Waited about 30 mins at 8pm on a Tuesday night, wasn't too bad. They brought out some fried pickles and onion rings for the people in the queue which was a nice touch. You wait at the bar first, which is really crowded and people kept bumping into me which I found annoying. Cocktails are delicious though (House Grog FTW). Sat in the back area which is a tad quieter but maybe not quite as cool. Food was delicious, very fatty though. Chilli cheese fries and fried pickles - amazing. Burgers were solid 8/10. Shouldn't have had desert, we felt like we might puke. Service was OK, definitely not overly friendly. Pretty cool space, dark red light, music is really loud. Pretty enjoyable experience but a bit of a novelty... I wouldn't go back in a huge rush because of the wait and because I like to relax a little more when I dine.
The worst dining experience I've had in London. The queuing system is just bizarre, but worse than that are the rude staff that are ordering you this way and that way. Finally we managed to make it to the bar, where the drinks were the best part of the evening. The bar seems to be right outside the pass, however, so you are constantly being barked at by waiting staff to move out of their way, lest you take a burger to the face. Also worth mentioning at this point that the music is so loud that it hurts your ears, and your throat when you have to overcompensate by yelling. Long story short, 2 hours after joining the queue we were finally seated and ordered our food. Cheesy fries were inedibly cold, so thank goodness they messed up our order and only brought one portion to the table instead of two. Burger was passable. Salad was sent back. To summarise, do not bother with this place. I would say that it's the kind of place that people go to "be seen" but it's pitch bloody dark inside, so your chances of that happening are slim. Yuck.
Was expecting a taste sensation after a 30 min queue. How disappointing. The place smells like a dirty underground nightclub which was pretty off putting. Fortunately we ended up sat at the back in a quieter area and it all started quite well as the cocktails were good. I ordered a cheeseburger with a spicy chilli topping which was served on a tray with my friends standard cheeseburger and a portion of fries to share. The burger was medium rare (good) and tasted ok (I've had better) - but so much oily water came flooding out of it that it created a huge meaty puddle on the tray which I had to mop up to stop it from running into my friends burger....gross. It ended up making the bread wet and I was left with a handful of dripping inedible mush. I gave up half way through & dumped the whole soggy mess on the tray, turning my attention to the fries instead. Fine I suppose, fries are fries, but they could just have easily been from McDonald's. We had to ask for salt, which came eventually. Overall, very disappointing. Go to Byron instead.
Average is about the best word I could use to describe MeatLiquor. The hype is created by the fact that you have to queue, and once part of the queue you're so intrigued you're prepared to wait 45 minutes, as we did. The later it gets the longer the wait. Seriously, don't bother. It really is just a step up from Burger King type fare. The cocktails are fun & the food portions are generous, albeit rather bland. We didn't have a problem with the service which was efficient, but you do feel like you're being packed in like a sardine and rushed through your meal to make way for the next guest. If you're desperate to try this place go in a small group, and go at lunch time when I believe it's quieter. Otherwise head the comments in the thread below and go elsewhere.
The buns have changed! most disappointing - went on Saturday and the buns were falling apart, not the usual sturdy but soft rolls... more like a bog standard supermarket bun.
Really surprised by the bad reviews. Meat Liquor is great! Get there early and you won't have to queue! The food isn't exactly healthy, but incredibly tasty so fantastic for an indulgent treat. Buffalo wings, chilli cheese fries, onion rings, hot dogs, burgers and even veggie food are all on the menu. The deserts look fantastic but on the two times I've visited no one has ever had enough space left to try one! The staff are busy but very friendly and helpful, the drinks are good and the atmosphere is great - fun and buzzy!
Love the food didn't mind the Q. Staff are the best cool, lay back up for a chat and a laugh. Cocktails are original and dangerous. Music is perfect. What more can you ask for??
Love to read about what a bunch of Brits think about a classic American food. I'm an American. Don't believe the negatives written below. This was actually the best burger I've had in London! The chili cheese fries were amazing as were the fried pickles. For a moment, I thought I was back in America! I loved it. I would go back in a heartbeat!
Horrendous. Worst dining experience of my life in London. Waited almost 2 hours for a table (we were quoted 25/30mins wait time). Were given this bizarre central table where there was a weird echo and we couldnt hear ourselves think. Food was terrible. Burgers and especially philly cheese steak was inedible. We had to send back the iceberg wedge as it was dripping with vinegar (why??). And then we were charged for drinks we didnt have. Thank goodness the cocktails at least were good- but I say dont waste your time and money on this place.
A perfectly respectable burger but really nothing to write home about. Definitely not worth queuing for an hour as some people seem to be willing to do. The service was also very bad, with the burgers being brought to the table before we had finished our starters, followed by a 20 minute wait before fries arrived. The décor and atmosphere is also very pretentious and is very much a case of style over substance.
Been wanting to check out this place since I heard about the wagon well over a year ago. I was expecting an orgasmic burger but I was disappointed. I went with a plan: I would order a cheeseburger, French fries and a vanilla milkshake. Classic, you know? They don't serve milkshakes! Had to make do with a Coke. Bit disappointing but at least the most famous burger in London was coming... It was pretty dull. Burnt tasting on the outside (like an overdone burger on a BBQ at home) it was medium rare from what I could see in the near pitch black lighting. But it wasn't seasoned well. Not enough salt. Overpowered by lumps of gherkin (pickles) - it came with some sort of burger sauce that was typical, like Big Mac flavour. I ended up dipping it in Ketchup just to give it some flavour. Fries were skinny, salty enough, ok but you know, I wasn't there for the fries. Would I go back? No. My friend has been to Byron burger twice and described that as I imagined Meat Liquor should have been - mmm, so tasty, moreish, juicy, great milkshakes, sooo good. So that is where I will try next, Byron burgers. They are a big chain now so you would expect them to be worse. I hope not. I still haven't had my awesome burger fix and Meat Liquor did not give me what I wanted. Shame.
First impression: have I entered Abercrombie? LOOOUD music - low lighting. Was waiting for the chefs/waiters to take their tops off and force us to smile in a Polaroid pic! Managed to sit at a quieter end - food was decent. Rather enjoyed my chicken burger. That's about it.
Would not recommend this place at all if your party is more than two people and you all you turn up at exactly the same time. Two of my friends were waiting patiently inside for a table of 4, I joined my other friend in the queue literally two mins after she got there. She had a food stamp on her arm but I didn't. We waited 25 mins to get to top of queue then I was told in the most unfriendly manner that I would have to join the end of the queue as I didn't have a stamp. The queue was significantly long & I would have been waiting at least another 25 mins. As soon as my friends meet iside they were seated at a four table but yet I wasn't allowed in to join them unless I went to the end of the queue. Where is the logic in that? They missed out on my business and I certainly wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The staff don't seem to care less either.
Don't go here on a date, unless you want to break up. Didnt have the beef burgers but the chilli dog and chicken burger were average at very best. Someone in the kitchen must be getting a good deal off Norm who works on the fruit and veg stall on berwick street market...onions EVERYWHERE and not sweet either. Drinks good and sharp service. Just felt a bit let down after all the hype. Everyone has bad days but if it was today I felt sorry for everyone in the que as I left. Not that pricey though.
We all know there is a burger revolution happening in London. Meat Wagon was one of the early enterprises that was part of this, and I was a big fan. Unfortunately Meat Liquor is a huge disappointment. Please dont waste your time queuing outside, only to end up in a try-hard restaurant with horrible lighting and pay over the odds to eat a severely greasy burger served on kitchen roll. There are SO many better places out there! The reason I'm giving it 2 stars is that when I returned my vinegary glass of wine, the staff were all to happy to replace with a cocktail for no extra charge. (The cocktail wasn't anything to be too excited about, either)
Food great but staff not very attentive and so dark in the restarant struggle to see what you're eating!