Go out for a burger in London and you could end up with anything from an over-processed fast-food disappointment to a top quality, indulgent treat – you just need to know where to look. (Spoiler alert; look here first.)

Blues Kitchen, Shoreditch

You may think that food would be a bit of an afterthought at your average live music venue and bar, but Blues Kitchen is far from average. Renowned for some of the tastiest burgers in London, I can’t think of a better way to soak up all that bourbon.

The OG Order: The Bacon Double Smashburger Grass fed beef patties, crispy bacon, American cheese, caramelised onions, pickles, burger sauce
Price: £15.25
Chicken: Hot Chicken Buffalo Sandwich – Buttermilk fried chicken, hot buffalo sauce, mayo, slaw, pickles
Price: £13.95
Vegan: Vegan Cheeseburger – Moving Mountains patty, vegan gouda, pickle and mustard mayo, baby gem, crispy onions, pickles
Price: £15.00

Whyte’s, Dalston

Photo by Whyte's

If you’re into the underground, pop-up food scene then you’ll probably already know about ex-Brat chef Whyte Rushen’s legendary smash burger with house-made burger sauce; the problem has just been finding it. So get yourself to Dalston, because he’s finally opened his own permanent restaurant, Whyte’s – the burger’s on the menu and it’s epic.

UPDATE: It still features on the updated menu but in mini form – so now you can have your burger and still try some of the other inventive, delicious dishes.

The OG Order: The smash burger – as the big guy says, it’s bun, meat, cheese and sauce
Price: £11.50
Chicken: – N/A
Vegan: – N/A

Note: A common factor between these top burgers is, of course, top quality produce; having said that, those in the know will nod approvingly at the sight of American cheese in their burger. Whilst there are some incredibly complex and tasty artisan cheeses out there, nothing gives you that oozy, cheesy melt in a classic burger like those orangey processed squares.

Lucky Chip, London Fields

Lucky Chip burger stand at Netil Market
Photo by Amanda David

The East London site is a tiny counter in Netil Market but they turn out some seriously impressive burgers. The menu is classically beefy, but oh so good; they also have a ‘Burger of the Moment’ special which is worth checking out. Btw – they don’t sell the Happy Endings ice cream sandwiches any more, but fret not – it’s because there is an ice cream stall directly opposite!

The OG Order: El Chappo – Aged beef patty, smoked bacon, roasted jalapeño, blue cheese, baby spinach & garlic aioli
Price: £10.90
Chicken: – N/A
Vegan: – N/A, but there are veggie options – including the fabulous Truffle Shuffle

Black Bear Burger, Shoreditch Boxpark

High welfare, grass-fed, dry-aged native breed beef and simple, classic burgers. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The OG Order: Black Bear – Aged beef patty, cheese, smoked bacon, onion jam & garlic mayo
Price: £12.00
Chicken: – 20Ft Fried Chicken: Fried Chicken, American Cheese, Habanero honey mayo, B&B Pickles, Slaw £12.00
Vegan: – Vegan patty, cheese, onion jam & garlic mayo
Price: £11.00

Leytonstone Tavern

Burger against a dark background
Photo by Leytonstone Tavern

These are not the cheapest burgers in town, but if you’re talking bang for your buck (which we are) then they are right up there. Sides-wise, the seaweed salt fries are amazing but it’s hard to beat their loaded Tater Tots.

The OG Order: Bone Daddy – Braised brisket, Guinness gravy, blue cheese, crispy onions, confit mayo, roasted bone marrow, gherkins & shredded lettuce
Price: £17.00
Chicken: Cheetos Chicken – Cheetos fried chicken, garlic & chive mayo, valentina hot sauce, pickled cabbage, shredded lettuce & gherkins
Price: £14.50
Vegan: Harland Sanders – Hot fried vegan chicken, mayo, shredded lettuce, pickles, chilli oil
Price: £12.00

Cheapo Top Tip: Head over on a Thursday for a burger, fries and canned booze for £14.50

Honest Burger, Dalston

Honest Burger have done pretty well since their initial Brixton burger joint over a decade ago, with over 30 restaurants across London. They still make their burgers from scratch in their own butchery so they can serve them pink, like a steak, and use fresh (not frozen) potatoes to make their epic rosemary salted fries. If you’re planning a burger bingo crawl across town, each of their restaurants has a burger special only available at that site, using local ingredients and in collaboration with local businesses.

The OG Order: Tribute – Honest beef, bacon, American cheese, burger sauce, French’s mustard, pickles, onion and lettuce
Price: £13.80 including a side (obviously the rosemary salted fries)
Chicken: Pesto – Free-range grilled chicken breast, basil pesto, brown butter mustard mayo, tomato and rocket
Price: £13.30 including a side
Vegan: Teriyaki – Beyond Meat, Fable pulled shiitake mushrooms, teriyaki sauce, Applewood Vegan cheese, grilled peppers, spring onions, umami mayo and lettuce
Price: £15.50 including a side

Cheapo Top Tip: If you’re a fan of smash burgers and looking to save some pennies, Honest Burger offer a stand-alone Smashed for just £9.20.

Bleecker Burger, Spitalfields

Photo by Bleecker Burger

Bleecker started here in Spitalfields almost ten years ago with a food truck, followed by their very first shop. Inspired by the classic New York smash burger, it may look unassuming but it is absolutely packed with caramelised, juicy flavour from the rare-breed, grass-fed British beef. Choose between medium or well done (but you know the answer, right?).

The OG Order: The Bleecker Double Cheeseburger – Double beef patty, double cheese, onions & house sauce in a soft seeded bun
Price: £12.25
Chicken: N/A
Vegan: N/A – but they have a vegetarian Symplicity burger

Wondering why we haven’t included Spitalfields favourites Hawksmoor? Or how we missed out burger legends Blacklock, Coqfighter or Burger & Beyond in Shoreditch?

Rest assured, we know our burgers and they definitely make the grade; it’s just that we’ve already raved obout their Soho & Covent Garden branches – check out our previous patty chat here.

While we do our best to ensure it is correct, information is subject to change. This article was originally posted in July 2023 and last updated on 17th January 2024.

Written by:
BIO: Freelance writer, flâneuse and former blogger at London Girl About Town, Amanda is dedicated to sharing the latest on London's restaurants, bars, hidden quirks and general wonderfulness.
Filed under: Eating & Drinking

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