The second offshoot in Yianni Papoutsis’s ever-expanding empire, this rough and ready burger bar has been drawing fans to the tatty Jubilee Market since 2012. Meat Market is closer to Papoutsis’s street-food origins than its elaborately themed siblings Meat Liquor in Soho and Meat Mission in Hoxton. The menu is tacked up in wonky plastic lettering, orders are taken at the counter and tables are separated from the market below by plastic sheeting.
The entrance is hidden up some back stairs; with its loyal Twitter following, the restaurant doesn’t need to capitalise on the tourist market. The shop’s classic burger, the ‘dead hippie’, was exceptionally juicy – quite an achievement when arriving as two thinner patties. Sadly, the secret-recipe sauce lacked impact and the skinny fries were unremarkable. Better was a side of poppaz: croquettes filled with molten cheese and tongue-numbingly spicy jalapeños, served with a dill-heavy ranch dressing. While such dishes were trailblazers a year or so ago, burger mania has since shot through the roof.
It will be interesting to see how Meat Market retains its niche alongside Five Guys and Shake Shack, Covent Garden’s latest opinion-dividing American imports.