To celebrate the holiest day of the year, National Burger Day, I’ve rounded up The Best Burgers In The World for you to feast your eyes on. Get ready to salivate…
TRIED AND TESTED
Possibly the best burger in London. At least, it’s my favourite out of all I’ve tried so far. Bleecker St is a prime example of a small scale street food project that has blown up into a cult favourite amongst Londoners. What makes it so good? Simplicity executed exceptionally well. Their beef comes from The Butchery in Bermondsey, where it’s dry-aged for up to fifty days, creating an intense flavour that I can’t recall being matched in another London burger. Whack in American cheese, special burger sauce, add bacon and you have a dream of a burger. Tip: go double. With meat this good, you deserve two patties.
Patty & Bun
A very, very close second to Bleecker St Burger for me. So much so that it wouldn’t go amiss for me to run some sort of experiment in which I buy both and and alternate mouthfuls until I can determine a clear winner / die of happiness. I’ve long been a fan of Patty & Bun and am happy to see them expanding and spreading the gospel word. My usual go to is the Ari Gold: beef patty, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickled onions, ketchup, smokey P&B mayo on brioche, chucking added bacon as an extra but I recently sampled the Smokey Robinson, which is pretty much the same, but with caramelised onions in place of pickled and the bacon already on there. It’s just as good but a little – you guessed it – smokier than the Ari Gold. Just as good and just as messy, Patty & Bun is a firm favourite. Oh and their brisket nuggets are well worth finding extra room for.
Another export, this time from New York City, Shake Shack started out in Madison Square Park as a hot dog truck for a few summers before becoming a permanent feature that now spreads across America and beyond, with stores everywhere from Japan, Russia, Turkey, Korea and of course, the UK. And not only in London, but Cardiff too. They really are spreading like wildfire, and quite rightly too – these burgers are well crafted, simple buns of flavour joy, and they’ve nailed the crinkle cut fries as well as their famous milkshakes. I’ve heard their buttermilk chicken burger is also amazing, and being a fried chicken fiend, this one is high on my list to try. Oh and they also do frozen custard now. Hold me back.
Bacon is a must for me on any burger. Sure they are great without, the beef is the star, but I’m always going to add both cheese and bacon wherever possible. Enter Mother Flipper’s Double Candy Bacon Flipper, in which the bacon is cooked in maple syrup before being added to your medium rare 28 day aged Black Angus chuck burger. Plenty of yellow American cheese, pickles and lettuce sandwiched between a shiny brioche bun make this one of the best burgers on the street food circuit, and luckily for me they are regularly down at Brockley market on Saturdays, a short walk from me and my hangover. Shout out also to the fries here, which are excellent and super crispy. Very much worth the trip to the South East.
Popular on the pop up and festival scene for years, I finally got my hands on a Burger Bear cheeseburger at Magic Roundabout this summer and it didn’t disappoint. Perfectly cooked juicy patty with yellow cheese melted just right with the ideal amount of salad filling to boot. The Quarter Panda with bacon AND bacon butter, smoked swiss cheese and sriracha mayo is the next Burger Bear I’ve got my eye on.
AROUND THE WORLD
LOS ANGELES: In-N-Out
A favourite of Gordon Ramsey, Anthony Bourdain, even Julia Child, California’s In-N-Out burger chain is the finest of fast food. Introducing the Double-Double Animal Style, AKA the best burger in America. Two patties cooked with mustard sandwiched together with bright yellow American cheese, lettuce, tomato, grilled onion and extra In-N-Out burger spread, which comes from a secret 60 year old recipe. It’s as near to perfection as a burger can be, and all yours for under $4, believe it or not. The photograph speaks for itself.
SAN FRANCISCO: Super Duper Burgers
Sure, San Fran may have In-N-Out but that doesn’t mean you should miss Super Duper Burgers whilst you’re there. All ingredients are fresh and locally sourced, and the quality is noticeable. Topped off with cheese and bacon with red onion, tomato and lettuce sandwiched between the lightly charred brioche bun, this is an exemplary burger very much up there with the likes of Patty & Bun and hugely popular in the northern Californian city. Don’t be fooled by the ‘mini burger’ – it simply means one patty, though no one could blame you for going bigger for an extra $2.25 here. Make sure you save space for the crispy fries, indulgent ice cream shakes and the famous free pickles though, as they shouldn’t be missed either. Oh and they’re organic and environmentally too. Super.
NEW YORK: Burger Joint
New York is clearly home to many amazing burgers, because it’s New York. My favourite I’ve ever had in the Big Apple is the burger from the Burger Joint, a down to earth little place tucked away near reception inside Le Parker Meridien hotel, signposted only by a neon burger sign. They’ve now expanded as close as Greenwich Village and as far as Sao Paulo, the UAE and Singapore, but the original surely can’t be beaten. The walls are covered with scrawled autographs of celebrities and the burgers are simple but fantastic. Your choice is hamburger or cheeseburger, and whether to double that up or not. Additions are the classics: onions, pickles, burgers – this isn’t about pimping up your burger, it’s about doing a classic well. To wash it down you’ve got sodas, shakes or beer (also available by the pitcher). I recommend going dressed up late night after a show on Broadway – it’s even more fun that way.
MELBOURNE: Grand Trailer Park Taverna
Oh Melbourne. The most liveable city in the world also has some of the best food around, and living there was more enjoyable for it. Melbourne isn’t particularly known for its burgers though, so finding a gem in Grand Trailer Park Taverna was something special. They really know what they’re doing here. These burgers are a bit more adventurous – pimped up, if you will – but it doesn’t deter from the quality at all. The Frank Underwood is a favourite, with a mac and cheese croquette added in between the burger and bun which makes it quite the challenge to fit in your mouth in one bite. All of the good stuff is going on here: think premium Aussie beef, brioche buns, American cheese, streaky bacon, special burger sauce and American mustard. A must visit down under.
QUEENSTOWN: Ferg Burger
Probably my favourite burger place in the world. Unfortunately for me, and almost everyone else, Ferg Burger is all the way down in Queenstown, New Zealand. Ferg’s reputation proceeds itself, backpackers telling each other ‘you MUST go to Ferg! Seriously!’ and they are not wrong. I had anticipated this burger for MONTHS. So much so that I ended up living off of Ferg whilst in Queenstown; I thought I may as well get in as many as I could. Burger perfection, with a wide range of different combinations to suit all tastes, these are as huge as the queue out the door to buy them. A firm favourite of mine is the Southern Swine with added American cheese (premium New Zealand beef, American streaky bacon, lettuce, tomato, red onion, avocado, aioli and tomato relish) but most popular is The Big Al. Step up Al: two beef patties, lashings of cheese, bacon, two eggs, beetroot, lettuce, tomato, red onion, relish AND aioli. Special mention goes to the Cockadoodle Oink (buttermilk chicken with bacon et al) and the Little Lamby burger with mint jelly. On top of serving every type of meat going, vegetarians are also extensively catered for here. The genius part is Ferg is open something ridiculous like 21 hours a day, so they’re always there for your post Queenstown night out. And I can confirm that if your drunk self can’t manage the whole thing all at once, they are just as good the next day in bed. Take your judgement elsewhere.
ON THE LIST
Lucky Chip has been around a while; I remember hearing of them at the very start of the Burger Revolution in London, so I don’t really have a good excuse as to why I’ve not made it there yet. Consistently slated among the best burgers in London, Lucky Chip pop up at a lot of places but now have a permanent spot in Dalston too. The Kevin Bacon often comes up as the go to burger (hi Applewood smoked bacon) but both the Royale Wit Cheese and Antonio Banderas sound just as enticing.
Tommi’s Burger Joint
A firm favourite of my friend Harry, I’ve long heard good things about Tommi’s but have yet to make it there. Icelandic by origination, Tommi’s has been going for far longer than most on this list and has joints not only in Iceland and London, but Berlin and Copenhagen too. Burgers are simple, cooked medium and served with lettuce, tomato, red onion, mayo, ketchup and mustard, but a Burger of the Month keeps things exciting. A new opening in Soho will soon make the third location in London.
Rox in Lewisham was recently recommended to me by a friend in the run up to National Burger Day and after a browse at their menu, I can see why. Everything is locally sourced and they pride themselves on none of their ingredients ever seeing a freezer, so you know that the quality and freshness is really up there. I’ve got my eye on a Rox Chorizo: handmade Angus burger, Brindisa chorizo, cheese, grilled onion, jalapeño pepper, house made mayo on a brioche bun. Oh, and they do parmesan fries. Sold.