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Black Bear Burger

  • Restaurants
  • Brixton
  • price 1 of 4
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

A permanent Brixton burger restaurant for a well-regarded street-food stall.

I don’t know how many times it bears repeating, but burgers are the tardigrade (google it) of the gastro world: an evergreen, ubiquitous, artery-furring staple that simply will not die. Joining the upper echelons of London’s finest patty purveyors is Brixton’s Black Bear: the first (bare) bricks and (artfully exposed) mortar site for an itinerant street-food stall already at Shoreditch’s Boxpark and Giant Robot in Canary Wharf. 

This is a joint doing burgers at their best. Let’s work backwards. The house Black Bear Burger was killer: two dry-aged patties, smashed thin and crisp-charred to maillard perfection, neatly offset with onion jam, synthetic cheese and garlic mayo. The buttermilk chicken burger, topped with zingy bread-and-butter pickles and honey-mustard mayo, served ‘dipped’ (that is, molten with chilli heat) would have been up there too, had it not been sopping with oil. Still, without cutlery it was more a practical detraction than a taste one. 

But the sides… Christ, the sides. Both a pile of house chicken nuggets (fiendishly succulent chunks of breast, greaselessly battered, with buffalo and blue cheese sauces for dipping) and a plate of brisket spring rolls (the fried wonton cut lengthways to reveal a heady mulch of stripped slow-cooked beef, smoked bacon and American cheese) were truly stratospheric snacks. Add in a portion of poutine, heavy with rubbery curds and deeply flavourful gravy, and you’ve got some of the best haute-junk in town – all the better knocked back with a gin and tonic cannily stuck with a wedge of charred, caramelised lemon. The sheer volume of competition means it’s hard to be heard on London’s burger scene, but Black Bear roars through the static.

Written by
Tom Howells


Brixton Village
Tube: Brixton
Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £60
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