As servants to providing the nation with good times, we decided to take one for the team, and have spent several intense months in search of meaty perfection at the UK’s best burger bars. It was a tough assignment, at times it almost seemed insurmountable, but then another glorious bun-gineered masterpiece would be placed before us and we soldiered on. You’re welcome Britain.
But don’t get all casual on us, these aren’t just ‘good’, these are truly some of the greatest burgers known to mankind, so if you consider yourself a true burger connoisseur, then check out our recommendations and head on a pilgrimage to your nearest badass burger bar.
“Man who invented the hamburger was smart; man who invented the cheeseburger was a genius.” – Matthew McConaughey
Original Patty Men, Birmingham
9 Shaw’s Passage, Digbeth, Birmingham, B5 5JG
Star Wars. Indiana Jones. Jurassic Park. Super Mario. All things that prove that the original is quite simply the best. Guess what? The same can be said for Birmingham’s Original Patty Men, the city’s authentic “Patty Pimps & Purveyors of Filth”; a title we’re sure we’d try to argue with if we weren’t too busy wiping the drool from our chins post-feasting our eyes on their jaw-magnet creations. All hail!
Most badass burger? – Alabama Slammer
Boneless chicken thigh, deep friend in buttermilk batter, with a side dose of lime and ginger slaw, as well as Alabama Sauce or Franks hot sauce… Or both, if you don’t value your taste buds.
2-6 St Martin’s Walk, St Martin’s Square, Leicester, LE1 5DG
When was the last time you can truly say that you worked anything out to the minute detail? Your monthly budget plans have already fallen into the till at the pub, your “active” weekend has tailspinned into another Homeland binge watch. You need stability, friend. And Crafty are here to give it to you, in the shape of a delicious, steamed brioche bun packed with succulent, succulent beef and all the trimmings to finally give your life a sense of order and meaning. Thank the burger gods.
Most badass burger – El Rojo
A gorge-ous beef patty, smoky chorizo and onion jam, topped with red bacon, Red Leicester (when in Rome), chimichurri and aioli. Arrrriba!
Red’s True Barbecue, Nottingham
11 Queen Street, Nottingham, NG1 2BL
“The truth will set you free”. So, it was written in The Bible, and so it will be done in Red’s True Barbecue in central Nottingham. “The Church of True Barbecue” is a genuine pilgrimage for meat-lovers all over the UK and, yes, you too owe it to yourself to join in this holy communion of mouth-watering meat and heavenly soft bun. Hallelujah.
Most badass burger – Juicy Lucifer
Cast out the devil with two homemade 5oz steak patties with a melted, red-hot three-cheese centre. And to make sure your demons are fully exorcised, they’ll add fried onions, pickles, dirty sauce, peppered bacon, ballpark mustard and spicy hot wing sauce.
Boss Burgers, Leeds
75 Brudenell Grove, Leeds, LS6 1HR
Much like the final bosses in the videogames of your misspent youth, these burgers from your misspent adulthood are supposed to hurt. In that special way that only a massive ruddy burger can. And instead of trying to please every Tom, Dick and ‘Arry who pass through their doors, Boss Burgers feature a select menu of only 6 meaty creations, guaranteeing you a unique experience from the first life-changing bite.
Most badass burger – Los Pollos Delicioso
Like a fajita in a burger bun, Los Pollos Delicioso will set your taste buds alight with a spicy marinated chicken fillet, showered in guacamole, tomato, lettuce and the house special Boss Mayo. If you can cool your mouth down afterwards then you’ve done it wrong.
Trinity Leeds, Bank Street, Behind Victoria’s Secret, LS1 5AT
Stepping out of Leeds’s super polished Trinity Centre and into MEATliquor is like finding the hidden dive bar of your bourbon-induced daydreams and so much more. Featuring brilliant touches like arcade game machines, pool tables and stylishly roughed-up wallpaper, you couldn’t ask for a better place to fill your meat quota on any given day of the week.
Most badass burger – Dead Hippie
Don’t question the unusual name. Just loosen your belt and open your jaw wide for two mustard-fried beef patties, lettuce, cheese, pickles and MEATliquor’s own Dead Hippie Sauce.
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“Life is too short to miss out on the beautiful things like a double cheeseburger. – Channing Tatum
Rookwood Bar & ‘Cue, Liverpool
11 Back Colquitt Street, Liverpool, L1 4DE
If we had to write a novel about the history of Rookwood Bar & ‘Cue, we might call it Rookwood and the Salt-Chamber of Secrets. And then, depending on whether JK Rowling decided to set her wizard lawyers on us or not, the public would finally discover how Rookwood ‘Cue make their burgers so damn tasty. We’ll let you in on the scoop; it’s down to the fact that their meats are dry-aged in England’s only Himalayan salt chamber. Giving each bite a sweet taste that you’ll be practically itching to try again.
Most badass burger – The Gatecrasher
Describing The Gatecrasher is impossible as it’s an entirely unique creation each burger-flipping week. However, knowing the chefs at Rookwood, you can guarantee it’ll be worth writing home about. If you can reach over your stomachs afterwards.
Death Row Diner, Liverpool
32 Hope Street (Basement), Liverpool, L1 9BX
Death Row Diner is neon lights against a brickwork backdrop. It’s burgers with Chupa Chup lollies sticking out of them. It’s socially acceptable meat sweats all wrapped up with one of the finest collections of craft beers that the Merseyside has to offer. It’s brilliant. Just perfect for putting any #gains on death row for the weekend.
Most badass burger – The Revolution
Just how much meat do you think you can handle? Take on The Revolution, a cacophony of double pattied cheeseburgers, 4oz sirloin, peppercorn sauce and rocket salad. If you’re man enough, of course.
Turner Street, Manchester, M4 1DW
There’s burgers, and there’s BURGERS. Manchester’s infamous Solita falls strictly into the latter camp, with monstrous meat-based artistry that’s seen the end of many a Man vs Food enthusiast. And because no diet goes untouched within these four walls, there’s a whole section of the menu devoted to upgraded sides that include the flaming hot brisket chilli fries and bacon-wrapped onion rings. We’re getting the sweats just thinking about it.
Most badass burger – Once in a Lifetime
…Which is exactly how many times you’ll think ordering this beast of a burger is a healthy idea. This is two 7oz minced steak patties, pulled pork, crispy bacon, shoestring onions, buttermilk chicken strips, Monterey Jack cheese and house BBQ sauce piled into one devastating bun. Ouch.
Fat Hippo Underground, Newcastle
2-6 Shakespeare Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6AQ
“Good food. Messy fingers. Juicy burgers”. When we featured Fat Hippo in last year’s list, we were more than impressed. We were hungry. And when we stumbled across Fat Hippo Underground, we became more than hungry. We became hungrier. This is Newcastle’s classic grill with even more edge. More meat. And more beer. Which can only mean that this badass hippo is getting fatter, and so are you.
Most badass burger – 4×4
A 4×4 usually means more power for the road. Here it means more power for your #manburger. Take on four 4oz patties, smothered with bacon, cheese and Fat Hippo sauce, and hope you live to tell the tale (or at least post the feat on Instagram).
Annie’s Burger Shack, Nottingham
5 Broadway, Lace Market, Nottingham, NG1 1PR
The stuff of legend among Nottingham’s working pro’s and hard partying students alike, Annie’s Burger Shack is notorious for giving you all the Rhode Island style meat you can handle and then asking if you want more. The answer to which should always be a resounding “YES” when it tastes this damn good. Add some monthly specials and you can guarantee you’ll never need wrap your laughing gear around the same burger twice. Whether you’ll want to change once you’ve found your firm favourite is a different matter entirely.
Most badass burger – The Lemmy (RIP)
Named after and approved by the metal icon himself, this burger is the bonafide Ace of Spades in Annie’s burger arsenal with melted American style cheddar, homemade Jack Daniels mustard sauce and a petrol-tank load of grilled jalapeños.
“Rock and roll is the hamburger that ate the world.” – Peter York
Twisted Burger Company, Sheffield
The Harley, 334 Glossop Road, Sheffield, S10 2HW
Rock ‘n’ roll in burger form is here. It’s loud. It’s proud. And it’s meaty. Twisted Burger Company’s killer menu reads like a setlist of your favourite burger bangers. It’s music to your taste-buds and all your other senses, served up with a side of brilliant tunes thanks to a specially curated playlist designed to enhance the whole experience and see you munching to the seriously tasty beat.
Most badass burger – Big Chilli Style
Check if those sweat glands of yours are still working with a double beef patty, jalapeno cream cheese, chilli jam and pickled chilli.
94a Fountainbridge, Edinburgh, EH3 9QA
Any venue that capitalises its name for effect needs to back it up. BURGER. doesn’t just back it up. It instead makes you wonder whether they need to whack up that logo font size by 11. Simply not content with the average burger in Edinburgh, this superb kitchen has surveyed the UK’s burgeoning obsession with meat and raised the bar to whole new juicy levels, with their jaw-locking creations served up in an awesome venue fit for devouring these pound-for-pound patties in style. “A good thing happening” indeed.
Most badass burger – The BURGER. BURGER.
The burger so nice they named it twice. 5oz Scottish beef patty, Cheese, bacon, beef chilli, jalapeños, grilled onions, tomato, pickle and BURGER. sauce served up in a toasted brioche bun. Phwoar.
Holyrood 9A, Edinburgh
9A Holyrood Road, Edinburgh, EH8 8AE
The humble bicycle. Sherlock Holmes. Ice Hockey. X-ray. The television and the first electric bread toaster. The Scots have been at the forefront of some of the world’s greatest feats of invention but perhaps none greater than the creation of Holyrood 9A’s all-conquering burgers. The flashpoint of Edinburgh’s gourmet burger revolution, this kitchen uses only the freshest ingredients giving each flavoursome bite a certain authenticity that you’d genuinely struggle to find elsewhere. With the best Scottish IPA’s to wash it all down. That’s one canny burger bar right there.
Most badass burger – The Blue Murder
Put your brie-weary taste buds to the test with a whopping 6oz beef patty, smoky bacon, mushrooms, garlic mayo and a healthy amount of blue murder cheese. Someone call Taggart, there’s been a “muldar”.
526 Great Western Road, Glasgow, G12 8EL
Choose Life. Choose BRGR. Genuinely so massive that they can only be consumed in your own home (trust us, you’ll want to have a sofa handy so you can collapse in a post burger-slumber) these cult classic creations are notorious in the city that diets forgot, and unlike most burger bars, you won’t have to sacrifice your weekend beer budget to enjoy them. Even BRGR’s most mighty buns start at only £7, giving you more bite for your buck.
Most badass burger – Philly Cheese Steak
A taste of America served up in central “Glasgae”, stuff your faces with steak, caramelised onion, roast pepper and smoked cheese loaded into one voluptuous bun and finished with mustard mayo.
Stock Burger Co, Brighton
137 King’s Road, Brighton, BN1 2JF
Fish ‘n’ chips by the seaside? Cliché. “Booooooring”. Burgers that make Brighton Pier look small by comparison? Now we’re talking. Brighton’s Stock Burger Co. are purveyors in all things meaty, juicy and seriously tasty and won’t just satisfy your meat cravings, they’ll raise you with a hitlist of 9 brilliant burgers and a “build-your-own” option with limitless possibilities. If you can think it, you can eat it.
Most badass burger – El Toro
A burger with a name that translates to “the bull” has a lot to live up to. It’s no surprise then, that the award-winning El Toro doesn’t just meet your expectations, but charges them, gores them and tosses them out the park with a Stock Burger Glenarm beef patty, pulled oxtail, melted swiss cheese and double ox jus. All together now, “Mmmmmmm”.
“It requires a certain kind of mind to see beauty in a hamburger bun.” – Ray Kroc, creator of the McDonald’s franchise
Dirty Bones, London
Top Floor, Kingly Court, Carnaby Street, Soho, W1B 5PW
Dirty Bones is cool. Its cocktails rimmed with sour cream Pringles cool. It’s live music while you eat and drink cool. It’s IPA-only (no Carling allowed here) cool. Its burgers covered with black treacle bacon cool. You quite simply owe it to yourself and, yes, to your taste buds to gorge yourself on this feast of the senses, with some of the most epic meat creations in our nation’s capital. And there ain’t nothin’ dirty about that.
Most badass burger – The Mac Daddy
This is one bun that lets the taste do the talking. Feast on this brisket and dry aged steak burger, capped off with pulled beef short rib, mac and cheese, burnt onion and ale BBQ sauce. Don’t be surprised if no burger tastes quite the same ever again.
Lucky Chip, London
49 Chalk Farm Road, London, NW1 8AN
If Lucky Chip’s rapid expansion across London wasn’t evidence enough of their burger superiority, then perhaps their truly eclectic menu of meaty goodness is. If, like most Londoners, you’re secretly bored of your bog standard GBK order and would relish a change, then simply make your way to Lucky Chip and ask how you ever lived before discovering this now notorious series of uber-cool diners.
Most badass burger – Gus Fring’s Chicken Burger
Make like it’s 2012 all over again and relive the Breaking Bad boom with this fiery burger devoted to the Los Pollos Hermanos head honcho. Packed with fried chicken, cheese, cream soda BBQ sauce and mayo.
Tommi’s Burger Joint, London
342 Kings Road, London, SW3 5UR
Burgers can be inspirational, and the story of Tommi and his now infamous burger joint proves it. Starting out in Reykjavik, 1981, Tommi’s spent over 20 years perfecting his Icelandic burger recipes. But that’s a tale for another time, for now we urge you to make your way to this Kings Road restaurant to try these utterly unique burgers that prove sometimes, simpler is better.
Most badass burger – Steak Burger
Steak. Burger. A marriage made in Iceland and brought to our shores to cheer up us miserable British folk. Served with lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayo, ketchup and mustard. Add a side of sweet fries and you’re on your way to true happiness.
Dip & Flip, London
64 Atlantic Road, Brixton, SW9 8PY
Not only is Dip & Flip Brixton’s biggest burger bar, but the burgers they’re serving are some of the BIGGEST in all of Landan. Doing the whole burger thang a little bit differently from the rest of the capital’s gourmet scene, this diner will see you switch out your normal order for a cheese burger topped with your favourite Sunday roast meats and classic condiments. It’s the burger you never knew you needed. And it’s flipping wonderful.
Most badass burger – Dip & Flip Burger
A one of a kind cheese burger, finished with your favourite Sunday roast meat (choose from sliced roast beef or lamb) and dunked in gravy. Also served with mustard, pickles, slaw and ketchup because of course it is.
Honest Burgers, London
Multiple locations, London
Having spread to every burger-loving nook and cranny that London has to offer, Honest Burgers have a reputation for meaty excellence to uphold. And boy do they! Not settling for trumped up, overpriced “gourmet” burgers like other restaurant chains, this authentic burger company do their food right, with fresh ingredients, a hearty atmosphere and, yes, as much beef as you can handle in a single bun and then some. When it comes to burgers, honesty really is the best policy, it seems.
Most badass burger – Karma Cola
A tantalising blend of beef, karma cola braised beef, smoked Applewood cheddar, picked and green chilli coleslaw to finish proceedings with a kick.
“Sacred cows make the best hamburger.” – Mark Twain
Patty & Bun, London
Multiple locations, London
America might’ve been the birthplace of the burger as we know it today, but Patty & Bun shows us that London might just be where the mighty meat bun has its future. If an animal lives beneath Britain’s blue sky, the chances are it’ll eventually find its way between this seriously cool joint’s toasted brioche buns, with a fantastic selection of IPA’s for the city’s hungry denizens to wash them down with. We wholeheartedly recommend you double-up too, one patty just isn’t enough to get your fix when they taste this good.
Most badass burger – Lambshank Redemption Burger
Escape the prison of your diet with a lamb patty, showered in coriander and chilli, with lettuce, buttermilk baby courgettes, pickled aubergines, cumin aioli and feta cheese, sandwiched between a brioche bun.
SmashBurger, Bath (Coming 2017)
8/9 Southgate Street, Bath, BA1 1AQ
It seems that the burger gods across the pond have taken a look at the UK and decided that, when it comes to putting meat patties in buns, we aren’t quite doing it right. So SmashBurger have come to show us how to “burger better” and following in the footsteps of Brighton, Milton Keynes and Newcastle, Bath is the next chosen destination to discover what true “smash burgers” should really taste like (and we can’t ruddy wait).
Most badass burger – Smash Stilton Stack
The most epic blue cheese burger in the world? It’s a bonafide contender. Gorge on an 100% British beef patty, finished with chutney, rocket, haystack onions, Applewood smoked bacon & stilton cheese on a Smash bun.
Three Brothers Burgers, Bristol
Aboard Spyglass, Welsh Back, Bristol, BS1 4SB
Set on Bristol’s booming harbourside (perfect scenery for munching) Three Brothers Burgers has come to the South West to show us what happens when layer-upon-layer of delicious beef patty meets the nation’s best independently brewed ciders. We’ve yet to carry out extensive testing, but our thesis tells us that this particular equation should throw up some particularly epic results.
Most badass burger – Three Brothers Mega Burger
Affectionately known as the “jaw breaker”, this concoction takes two gargantuan patties, a boatload of bacon, lettuce, red onion and cheese… And shoves it into one mega-burger. For the brave (and very hungry) only.
Atomic Diner, Bristol
63 Union Street, Bristol, BS1 2DU
From their nerd-chic venue on Bristol’s eclectic Gloucester Road, Atomic served up some of the most astonishing burgers mankind had ever seen. So how do you up the ante? By opening a whole damn Diner devoted to creating even more unusual masterpieces. As well as offering brand-new pizzas to Bristol folk, the old burger favourites are still here and mooing for your attention, with super sides like the “danger fries” (pulled chicken, hot sauce, blue cheese on fries) to hulk up your plate… Not that you needed it.
Most badass burger – The Nerf Herder
This is one Nerf Herder that’s meant to be scruffy lookin’. Double stacked burger, BBQ pulled pork and jalapeños doused in fiery bourbon BBQ sauce.
The Burger Joint, Bristol
In a relatively short period of time (only 8 years) The Burger Joint have quickly found themselves cosier than a patty in a bun with their fellow Bristolians, serving up some of the city’s best (if not THE best) burgers. Just how do they do it? Ah, that would be telling. But using our very experienced eye for burgers, we can tell it’s probably to do with their locally sourced ingredients and the seriously impressive range of meats you can devour in their tasty brioche buns. Gert lush.
Most badass burger – Build Your Own Badass
The power is in your hands. Choose your own bun, meats (from 6oz prime beef to kangaroo), toppings and two free sauces. It’s like creating your own Man vs Food challenge.
“We all need to make time for a burger once in a while.” – Erica Durance
Urban Burger, Exeter
44 Queen Street, Exeter, EX4 3SR
To the initiated, Urban Burger might just look like any other burger joint, but look a little closer and you’ll see that this creative kitchen can do things with meat that most men can only dream of. They’re the evil masterminds behind the Monster Challenge, daring you to take on 7 x 6oz burgers, 14 rashers of bacon, 7 slices of American cheese and a double portion of double fried fries. And you can bet that kind of indulgent attitude towards man-food runs throughout their all-hunger-conquering menu.
Most badass burger – The Boss
You don’t argue with The Boss. And you certainly don’t argue with a 6oz prime Devon beef pattie, chicken breast, two slices of smoked bacon, salad, mayo and cheddar, finished off with Swiss cheese.
7 Bone Burger, Bournemouth
9 Gervis Place, Bournemouth, BH1 2AN
When your general idea of “comfort food” comes in the form of ruddy massive burgers, served with the kind of side dishes that in any other restaurant would probably be considered a main course, we really regret not being born in the American deep south. Thankfully, 7 Bone Burger have brought the big food and bigger taste of the US to Bournemouth with their no-frills, all-quality diner. Serving up some of the South Coast’s best burgers to transform the hungry into the happy.
Most badass burger – Prince Charles is Overrated
One for your inner anti-royalist. Let a dry-aged beef patty, smothered in bacon, cheese and shredded iceberg lettuce reign over you, topped off with pickles and “dirty spread”.
Red Dog Saloon, Southampton
Watermark, West Quay, Southampton, SO15 1DE
The Red Dog Saloon doesn’t ask you which meat you’d prefer, it asks which meat you want first. It’s that very special kind of BBQ where your eyes are never too big for your stomach, and you gain that superhuman ability to consume more meat than you’ve ever dreamed of eating. It’s all down to their award-winning USA smokers, cooking every bit of beef, chicken or pork that lands on them to pull-apart perfection. Best. Saloon. Ever.
Most badass burger – The Devastator
The most appropriately named badass in this article, this burger monstrosity contains an 18oz chuck steak, 200g pulled pork, 6 rashers of Applewood smoked bacon and 6 slices of American cheese. Good luck.
Got Beef, Cardiff
83 Whitchurch Road, Cardiff, CF14 3JP
File this under “does what it says on the tin”. This superb burger joint has indeed “Got Beef”. Lots of it, in fact. And it’s not just any beef. This is award-winning, Welsh Black beef, which practically begs you to double up whether you’re ordering in a “Dirty South”, “The Donald Trump” or “The Heisenburger” which of course gives you a healthy dose of blue (sky) cheese. Order a side of brisket nachos while you’re at it and you’re on your way to burger heaven (or one epic food coma).
Most badass burger – Animal Style
Unleash the beast and go primal on this absolute animal of a burger, packed with two 6oz patties, American cheese, diced white onions, fries and finished with Got Beef’s secret sauce.
The Grazing Shed, Cardiff
37 St Mary Street, Cardiff, CF10 1AD
The Grazing Shed exists under one single meat-loving mantra. “Eat local. Eat quality. Eat fast!” Now that’s a message we can get on board with. These “Super Tidy Burgers” are a genuine revelation, using only quality Welsh ingredients to give their mighty patties a distinctly local taste. And believe us when we say that when you’re this close to the Welsh valleys, that’s no bad thing at all.
Most badass burger – Giant Haystacks
You don’t get voted the No.1 Burger Joint in Wales without one phenomenal burger and the Giant Haystacks is that burger. Laying the SmackDown on your taste buds with double beef, double cheddar, double smoked bacon, Cajun mayo, red onion confit, ketchup and lettuce.
“I always say “Eat clean to stay fit; have a burger to stay sane.” – Gigi Hadid
Burger & Bagel Kitchen, Cardiff
98 Salisbury Road, Cardiff, CF24 4AE
A firm favourite with the Cardiff locals, Burger & Bagel Kitchen raise the burger stakes with some properly unique toppings, for prices that put other so-called “gourmet” vendors to shame. Serious shame. Game of Thrones style walks of shame for everybody. And if you’re feeling all “burgered out”, then there’s an epic range of bagels for you to get your foodie fix by less greasy means.
Most badass burger – Nuclear Naga
Not for the faint of heart or for the weak of taste buds, this soft brioche bun is loaded with your choice of beef patty, chicken fillet or spicy bean burger and topped with the extra-hot, homemade naga chilli relish. Extreme heat warning!