If you’ve ever referred to “the humble hamburger” then go and wash your mouth out with onion relish at once. There is nothing even remotely humble about the greatest of all man-foods and ever since man first took a perfectly pounded beef patty and encased it in a soft tender bun us blokes have gone in pursuit of the perfect burger.
Is there such a thing? Will man ever truly find the holy grail of beefy goodness or is this chimera merely an eternal quest for something that simply doesn’t exist? And the reason it doesn’t exist is the dedicated artistry of the UK’s finest burger magicians who across the length and breadth of the UK continue to create new, extraordinary edible artistry.
However if you are committed to going in search of ‘The One’ then here’s our round-up of the UK’s Best Burger Restaurants.
WARNING – Any readers of a sensitive nature please turn away now, the following is pure food porn!
“All hail the mighty bun!”
Trolls Pantry – Brighton
31 York Place, Brighton, BN41 2WD
True artisans of the burger world, the burgers presented by The Trolls Pantry really are a thing of beauty, not in a “Put this in the Louvre” way more in a sort of “I want to marry you and raise little baby burgers together” kind of way. Using simply outstanding local ingredients the flavours really are something a little bit special.
One To Savour – The Gladiator
Aged beef patty with caramelised Romero peppers, Bolognese ketchup (made with a glug of locally produced wine and wild marjoram) and a local Buffalo mozzarella… you should have this burger in this life and the next.
6oz – Portsmouth
46 Osbourne Rd, Southsea, PO5 3LT
No tricks, no hype, just the greatest burgers in Hampshire bar none! At 6oz while things might seem pretty straight forward the devil really is in the detail and what they do with flavour packed ingredients they use. And the key to these brilliant burgers really is the very finest ingredients which are all prepped in house.
One To Savour – Chilli Burger
The ingredients to do the fighting and this burger packs a punch. Beef patty, cheese, fresh chillies, lettuce, sweet pickle and sauce all served on a brioche bun.
7 Bone Burgers – Bournemouth
9 Gervis Place, Bournemouth, BH1 2AN
Seeing your order arrive in 7 Bone Burger should really be a private moment, you feel a bit dirty, you know you’re about to do something that others might not approve of but you just want it so bad! Served in succulent brioche buns and with a stunning array of side orders and melts (the Shrimp Po’boy is a thing of beauty but this is a burger blog so step away from the seafood!). 7 Bone Burgers are a shining example of just how spectacular burgers can be when done right.
One To Savour – Robert Johnson
Aged beef patty, cheese, truffled garlic shrooms, truffle mayo. It’s so damn good it hurts!
Urban Burger – Exeter
44 Queen St, Exeter, EX4 3SR
Burgers are still essentially street food and Exeter’s Urban Burger keep it “street” with cool urban décor and a relaxed feel. They smoke their meats in house to ensure they are serving the freshest of flavours. Their stunning menu includes some epic burgers such as the ‘Pull My Pork’, ‘The Elvis’ (made with peanut butter!?!) and the giant ‘Man vs Food’ challenge.
One To Savour – Smokey Mountain
Like a stroll through North Carolina. This succulent bun is packed with flavour with a 6oz prime Devon beef pattie, salad, smoked bacon, BBQ mayo, BBQ sauce and Smoked cheese.
Bank St – Newquay
19 Bank street, Newquay, TR7 1DH
If you’re really serious about your burgers then sooner or later you need to head to the Wild West. Bank St is where Newquay’s beautiful people go to relax with a burger and a beer and Newquay is packed with both beautiful people and burgers thanks to Bank St Bar & Grill.
One To Savour – The Dirty Harry
This growling bad boy doesn’t take any prisoners and contains two 6oz beef burgers, shredded pork, jalapeños, onion rings, double cheese & a spicy sauce.
Burger & Lobster – Bath
Octagon Chapel, 28 Milsom St, Bath BA1 1BZ
Burger & Lobster only do two things, burger and lobster (it’s in the name) and they do them both brilliantly. However environmentalists turn away now… The rest of you will be amazed to know that Burger & Lobster only use three cuts of meat from corn fed Nebraskan premium steak in their burgers. They then team this with brioche buns baked in house and their own special sauce.
One To Savour – The Burger
10oz steak beefburger, bacon and/or cheese, brioche bun. They really do keep things simple but the quality of the beef patty speaks for itself.
Grillstock – Bristol
41 Triangle West, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 1ER
True legends of the burger world, Grillstock actually have their own music festival and their own creativity is enough to rival any rock ‘n’ rollers and far more tasty. The skin-on fries are also well worth a mention especially dipped in their secret BBQ sauce.
One To Savour – Fayetteville Fill
Smoked and chopped rib meat and chicken doused in spicy North Carolina style sauce. Comes with the aforementioned skin-on fries. Truly sublime.
Got Beef – Cardiff
83 Whitchurch Road, Cardiff, CF14 3JP
If we were ever to be offered a last meal (and if you’ve seen the StagWeb 5-a-side team’s crimes against football you’ll know it’s a possibility) then ‘The Duke’ from Cardiff’s Got Beef would definitely be one of the first menus we’d reach for. One visit and you’ll be a complete convert, spending the rest of your life avoiding golden arches and cardboard crowns like Charlotte Church avoids Gavin Henson.
One To Savour – Heisen Burger
Drunken onions, crispy bacon and blue cheese this Breaking Bad inspired burger is what happens when science goes bad yet still tastes so good.
Dirty Bones – London
Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, Soho, W1B 5PW
20 Kensington Church St, London W8 4EP
This is dining that really will leave you feeling ‘filthy’. Not only do the Dirty Bones crew give you a great night out, they’ll still respect you in the morning and serve up a fantastic ‘hangover brunch’ with a great range of ‘Dirty Mary’ cocktails. They really do make the walk of shame feel so much better.
One To Savour – Mac Daddy
6oz beef patty, pulled beef rib, creamy mac & cheese and BBQ sauce. “Who’s the daddy now?”
Atomic Burger – Oxford
92, Cowley Rd, Oxford, OX4 1JE
We’re huge fans of Atomics Burgers where every meal is a happy meal. The restaurants ethos is both simple but utterly compelling; “We want to take you back to that time as a child when burgers could be as big as your head, summers lasted for ever and simple things made you smile.” Just one bite of their “Dead Elvis” burger and you’ll feel yourself becoming a convert.
One To Savour – The Brian
Beef patty, peanut butter, red onion marmalade and crispy bacon. As American as Uncle Sam and an astonishingly good burger.
Smokeworks – Cambridge
2 Free School Lane, Cambridge, CB2 3QA
Smoked food, done well, served with alcohol, sunglasses and a superb atmosphere. If sunny days have a flavour then Smokeworks is where you can taste it. Great music, superb cocktails, a true understanding of bourbon and some of the greatest burgers known to mankind. One of our favourite places to be on a summers day.
One To Savour – Beef Brisket Bun
Smoked and pulled brisket, pickles, slaw and BBQ sauce. Washed down with ginger beer and a cheeky bourbon.
The Original Annies – Nottingham
5 Broadway, Lace Market, Nottingham, NG1 1PR
Annie is a real ‘broad’, born in New England she has brought her love of the griddle back to the mother country and then infused it with flavours from across the world from Scottish square sausages, German sauerkraut to Caribbean jerk spice. What’s more we’ll worship at any burger alter that names a burger after Johnny Vegas.
One To Savour – The Johnny Vegas
Beef burger topped with crispy bacon, toffee apple butter, sweet chilli paste and a mini Guinness jelly doughnut on a stick. Who needs a monkey sidekick when you have your own burger?
Original Patty Men – Birmingham
9 Shaw’s Passage, Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 5JG
Self-confessed “Patty pimps and purveyors of filth” The Original Patty Men like to give it to you dirty and make you beg for more. Their menu of man meat has even more double entendres than this blog review, they also have a keen understanding of American booze and the tequilas in particular are worth investigating.
One To Savour – Big Vern’s Krispy Ring
Aged beef patty, maple coated bacon, American cheese served in a grilled glazed doughnut. The perfect mix of sweet and savoury.
Burger Shed 41 – Chester
41 Bridge St, Chester, CH1 1NG
This is a truly British take on the New York burger joint. One of the coolest looking places you’ll ever eat a burger but there is real substance behind the style. Flavour is at the very heart of everything the Burger Shed do, from sourcing cool sodas and whipping up a batch of brownies to the all-conquering Shed Hot Burger 8.
One To Savour – Shed Hot Burger 8
Beef patty, spicy Italian sausage, chillies, American cheese, lettuce, tomato. In our opinion best served with their ‘screaming fries’.
Byron – Liverpool
43 Paradise Street, Liverpool ONE, L1 3EU
We had a friend once who was thinking of becoming vegetarian so we took him to Byron to cure him. Byron Burgers are slowly spreading like one of their own delicious sauces, if you haven’t got one on a high street near you then jump in the motor and go see just why their succulent, fresh made, British beef burgers have got men turning poetical. “Ode to a finely flipped patty.”
One To Savour – B-Rex
6oz hamburger, onion ring, streaky bacon, American cheese, jalapeños, pickles, onion, BBQ sauce and mayonnaise. It walks in beauty like the night.
Almost Famous – Manchester
100-102 High Street, Northern Quarter, M4 1HP
This is what happens when burgers get truly rock ‘n’ roll, this is what good music would taste like, in fact you almost expect to see Elvis flipping burgers while Jimmy Hendricks takes your order (although he’d only set fire to it). Almost Famous just has class, from the epic cocktails to the ‘Awesome frickin’ chicken’.
One To Savour – Johnny Mac
Applewood & cheddar cheese, streaky bacon, trailer trash onions, Cool Doritos, Million Island sauce, ketchup, mac & cheese ball. A true star.
Handmade Burger Co – Leeds
White Rose Shopping Centre, Leeds, LS11 8LU
Another artisan burger restaurant that is doing it’s bit to chase limp burgers from our high streets, The Handmade Burger Co now have a number of outlets across the UK. The best news though is as they upscale they haven’t compromised in delivering quality, well produced burgers. The menu is seriously impressive with 40 different burgers to choose from including veggie, chicken, dirty and some extreme chilli burgers.
One To Savour – Beef Yorkie
Beef patty, on a bed of watercress & caramelised onions, topped with a creamy horseradish sauce, served between two Yorkshire puddings. “A reet good burger.”
Damn Yankee – Harrogate
4 Station Parade, Harrogate, HG1 1UE
Certainly not your average burger bar, this American style restaurant serves all things U S of A (Yeehaw!). Philly cheese steak sandwiches, New York hot dogs with pitchers of cold beer or cocktails to quench your thirst. They also have a terrifying burger challenge consisting of a 5lb burger… that’s virtually the size of a cow!
One To Savour – The Alamo
You can make your last stand with a burger topped with chilli, melted cheese, friend onions, salsa, jalapenos and sour cream. “Remember the Alamo”.
Fat Hippo – Newcastle
35a St Georges Terrace, West Jesmond, NE2 2SU
Fat Hippo have been making burgers look hip even before hipsters were growing beards and buying trousers too short for their legs. “Good food. Messy fingers. Juicy Burgers”, there’s also a cool soundtrack to their restaurants and some flipping excellent burgers. Fat Hippo don’t shy away from flavours or serving sizes so you’d better bring your A-game.
One To Savour – PB+J
Two 4oz patties, cheese, bacon jam and peanut better. Yes that’s PB+J not PJ+D but you’d still better get ready to rumble.
City Café – Edinburgh
The City Café, 19 Blair ST, Edinburgh, EH1 1QR
This is a proper, city centre American style deli and it is fantastic. All it’s lacking are two fat cops eating doughnuts and a couple of hard edged but funny detectives coming into crack the case while drinking endless coffee, although in our humble but greedy opinion why anyone would go here and not order anything that wasn’t a burger is just madness. Without doubt Edinburgh’s finest burgers.
One To Savour – California Burger
Chicken breast, Monteray Jack cheese and guacamole. Order your burger “Over easy”, we’ve no idea what is means but it sounds like a New York diner thing to say.
Bread Meats Bread
104 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5UB
While the Proclaimer’s might walk 500 miles to get back to Leith, we’d happily do the same to get to Bread Meats Bread. These burger flipping magicians have brought in some cunning flavours to take their burgers to the next level. The fries and slaw are also highly deserving of a mention. Man food of the highest order.
One To Savour – Hogzilla
Butterflied bratwurst topped with bacon and Mull of Kintyre cheese and loaded with pulled pork on BBQ sauce. It’s like Scottish Heaven in a bun.