Starting to celebrate Christmas this early in the year always leaves a bad taste in our mouths. Normally, being this miserable can only be remedied by comfort eating but now even the burgers are turning against us, going all festive for the lead up to Christmas. Will these beefed-up burgers still satisfying our cravings? Let’s find out.
1) Byron’s Father Cheesemas (pictured above)
As tasty as Byron burgers generally are, this burger is about as Christmassy as a satsuma: it has those vague connotations that you don’t really understand but blithely accept anyway. Two six-ounce burgers, bacon Freddar™ cheese, crispy bacon, pickles, shredded iceberg, chipotle ketchup and honey-mustard sauce all go into their signature squishy bun. Sounds delish – you can’t really go wrong with bacon and cheese – but festive, it isn’t. On the upside, it is available now, so we suppose you could sample it now in order to make room for more Christmassy creations.
2) Hawksmoor’s Christmas Burger
Back by popular demand, Hawksmoor’s Christmas burger is truly the epitome of a good Christmas dinner in a bun. It’s like an iPhone. It has everything you want in a compact format you can hold. Two burgers (one turkey and one Ginger Pig pork patty) are topped with crispy bacon, sprouts, spiced cranberry ketchup and a slice of cheddar cheese. Sound good? It doesn’t stop there. Round it off with a pot of turkey gravy for a Christmas hit that’s bigger than Wizzard. Get it from the November 23 at Hawksmoor Knightsbridge and Hawksmoor Spitalfields bar.
3) All Star Lanes’ Christmas Burger
Part of its two- or three-course Christmas menu, the All Star Lanes Christmas Burger is the perfect warmup for festive fun – the set menu includes a game of bowling as standard. Comprising a breaded, fried turkey burger, homemade stuffing, Monterey Jack cheese, treacle-cured bacon, cranberry and mayonnaise, it’s topped with a skewered pig-in-blanket that keeps the whole thing together. The only anomaly in the Christmas dinner theme is the sweet potato fries, which makes the dish a little more Thanksgiving than Xmas.
4) BOBO Social Christmas Burger
BOBO Social prides itself on its fresh, British ingredients and are flavourful and quirky when it comes to toppings. Its Christmas burger is no different, however in this instance the flavours are slightly too quirky and don’t seem to have any relation to the festive season, apart from maybe a distant cousin in the roasted chestnuts. Six ounces of rare-breed beef stuffed with Colston Basset stilton and the aforementioned chestnuts, the whole thing is topped off with poached pear. We think we find the idea of pear and beef vaguely disturbing, but let us know if you're brave enough to try it as it's available from November 27.
5) MeatMission XXXmas Burger
The more we write about Christmas themed burgers, the more the whole concept worries us: both turkey and burgers can be notoriously dry if cooked incorrectly and therefore the concept seems doomed from the start. Luckily, the sausage and stuffing patty, roast turkey and crispy bacon of the XXXmas burger are sufficiently moistened by lots of cranberry sauce and gravy. Tasty. It’s available from December 1 and whilst it doesn’t sound particularly X-rated, all the elements are there for a flavoursome and fun nod to tradition.
6) Bird’s Christmas Dinner in a Burger
In Finland, Christmas dinner is traditionally a large roasted ham. In Peru, the turkey is stuffed with minced beef and peanuts and decorated with pineapples for an authentic festive lunch. Which country's idea of Christmas the Bird Christmas Dinner Burger is based on, we may never find out. It comprises cranberry-glazed, crispy fried chicken, sage and onion stuffing, panko-crusted fried brie topped with bacon wrapped jalapeno poppers and parsnip crisps. It’s available November 17, so while it might not get you in the spirit, we recommend you give it a go. Because fried cheese.
7) Lucky Chip’s Rudolph Burger
In a welcome tangent from the clearly popular Christmas-dinner-themed burger, Lucky Chip has taken another popular symbol of the festive season and butchered it – but boy, have they butchered it good. Available from December 1, it's a reindeer burger, topped with smoked bacon, stilton, blueberry and blackberry gin jam and aioli on rocket. Sounds like a delicious way to begin the season of joy, even if it does mean chowing down on Santa’s favourite reindeer.
8) Honest Burger Festive Special
It’s the brown banana of burgers: it doesn’t sound as inviting as the others but is probably just as tasty – if not more – because it doesn’t exaggerate its wares. A Ginger Pig beef patty, with smoked bacon, deep-fried brie, cranberry sauce and rocket alludes to Christmas but doesn’t scream it. Available in all branches of the restaurant from the December 8, it sounds like a delicious way to get into the festive spirit without donning a Santa hat and draping yourself in tinsel.
9) Burgershack Christmas Special
Two three-ounce patties go into making Burgershack’s homage to the Christmas dinner: one turkey and one pork, sage and onion mix. To finish it off, crisp, smoky bacon, fried onion, bread sauce and cranberry and port ketchup somehow manage to squeeze into a brioche bun. The burger also comes with a side of turkey gravy for a satisfyingly squidgy festive treat. Try for yourself from December 1.
Or plan ahead for the big day with our list of London restaurants open on Christmas Day.