London's best beef burgers

What makes the ultimate burger? It's quite possibly a little bit of meat alchemy.

Burgers are delicious. Fact.

Admittedly, not always the ones you get from the chicken and ribs vendors or the rat-vans in Homebase car park, but if you can sniff out a good burger joint then your effort will be rewarded with a feast of champions.

So what makes a really great burger? This is something on which the most pre-eminent and respected culinary minds are yet to agree (Heston once devoted an entire TV show to it). Is it the sourcing of good meat? Is it the ratio of fat? Is it the angle at which the meat grain is ground? Is it the seasoning? The cooking? Is it the bun? The relish? The accompaniments? The incessant stream of questions?

Well, it's quite possibly all of these things. It's also quite possibly a little touch of meat alchemy.

Sample London's best...

Sebright Arms
31-35 Coate Street E2 9AG
Region: Bethnal Green
Nearest Station: Cambridge Heath (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: With a seemingly permanent residence at the Sebright Arm on Hackney Road, Lucky Chip has built up an army of fans. Its salt encrusted burgers are richly delicious, juicy hunks of aged steak. With an irreverent approach to naming (Tom Selleck, Kelly LeBrock etc) the brioche buns and multiple fillings seem even more appealing.

  • OUR REVIEW 8/10
Hawksmoor Seven Dials
11 Langley Street WC2H 9JA
Region: Covent Garden
Nearest Station: Covent Garden

AIL Says: There is no doubt that Hawksmoor is king of the London steak scene but when it comes to burgers it does just as well. Aged beef steamed to the perfect consistency and covered in glazed buns. Steak is good but burgers are real.

  • 46/100
  • OUR REVIEW 9/10
Patty & Bun
54 James Street W1U 1HE
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Bond Street (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: The burgers at Patty & Bun easily require a dozen napkins; aside from the beef patties they ooze hot cheese sauce, caramelised onions, relish and smoked bacon. You can also swap beef for buttermilk chicken or garlicky mushroom.

  • USERS 9/10
Honest Burgers
4A Meard Street W1F 0EF
Region: Soho
Nearest Station: Tottenham Court Road (0.2 miles)

AIL Says: Having begun their attack on the London burger market from Brixton village, Honest Burger now has a location in Soho. Theirs are the type of no frills burgers that cannot be faulted. Bacon, pickles and tangy onion relish complete something worth traveling for.

Burger & Lobster
29 Clarges Street W1J 7EF
Region: Mayfair
Nearest Station: Green Park (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: The options may be slim at Burger and Lobster but if there was ever an advocated for a streamlined menu then this is it. Bibs are provided for grease and mess there are huge portions of lobster goodness (there’s a 2pound option) steamed and grilled plus the huge traditional burger. Filled with bacon, cheese. Lettuce and tomato it is a hearty specimen.

  • USERS 10/10
Meat Liquor
76 Welbeck Street W1G 0BA
Region: Marylebone
Nearest Station: Bond Street (0.1 miles)

AIL Says: Having said goodbye to their van and former New Cross pop-up Meat Liquor are undoubtedly the success story of the capital’s obsession with gourmet junk food. They do it dirtier than anyone else serving up glazed brioche buns crammed with greasy perfection. The restaurant is a boisterous slice of urban eating and that’s why we love it.

  • USERS 9/10
Bar Boulud
66 Knightsbridge SW1X 7LA
Region: Knightsbridge
Nearest Station: Knightsbridge

AIL Says: When you begin talking braised rib, foie gras and horseradish you know you’re talking about a burger joint with a difference. Well Bar Boulud is no burger joint; in fact it’s a gourmet kitchen that just happens to serve a selection of the best burgers in London. The pulled pork Piggy comes highly recommended if you’re not that into the beef.

  • OUR REVIEW 6/10
  • USERS 6/10
The Admiral Codrington
17 Mossop Street SW3 2LY
Region: South Kensington
Nearest Station: South Kensington (0.3 miles)

AIL Says: If you have seen the Admiral Codrington in full, unadulterated Technicolor then little needs to be said. However, if you have not then let the superlatives flow. They are MAGIC. Huge mounds of fatty mince are molded into oversized mustard patties and delivered in sesame buns dripping in cheese. The specials are always a smart choice too.

    61 Rupert Street W1D 7PW
    Region: Soho
    Nearest Station: Piccadilly Circus (0.1 miles)

    AIL Says: If the aim is to impress, Spuntino is a conceptual masterclass by Russell Norman of Polpo fame,and just oozes cool. When critics are clambering over themselves to heap praise on a burger joint, you know it must be worth a visit.. a catch I hear you cry? Yes, the catch is there are only 26 seats and they don't do reservations (too cool) so you have to chance your luck.

    • 46/100
    • OUR REVIEW 9/10
    • USERS 8/10
    24 Inverness Street NW1 7HJ
    Region: Camden
    Nearest Station: Camden Town

    AIL Says: Hache re-define burgers are gourmet food; choose from beef, chicken, lamb, duck, tuna, Portobello mushroom or a falafel as your patty. Toppings include Reblochon cheese and caramelised onion, and the "Spanish" with roasted red peppers and goat's cheese. As well as this Camden branch, there are others in Shoreditch, Clapham and Chelsea, all frequently packed.

    • OUR REVIEW 8/10

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