London is bulging at the seams with burgers, and so am I. I love them, naturally, but in many ways I’m feeling a little full up. With every week comes a “cool” new burger restaurant churning out “dirty” food. I can’t open a magazine without reading about the next “hottest” burger “joint” (hottest now also means coolest, apparently).
Sigh. More dimly lit rooms. More drinks in jam jars. More pants music played too loud. More queues. More surly staff.
I’m bored with it. And that’s worrying, because burgers are half of my life. The demand for these “hip” burger restaurants in London must surely have reached saturation point. The bun is now moist and tearing. I can’t handle the hype.
All of this leads me to Honest Burgers
I love Honest Burgers, but I’ve never written a full post on them on here. It’s partly laziness. In fact, it’s all laziness. Because the burgers are great. And if I’m someone who writes about burgers in London (which I do get round to occasionally) I really should have written about Honest by now.
The Honest restaurants are some of the only “trendy” burger restaurants that don’t make me cringe. They don’t try too hard. They don’t hang pictures on the walls wonkily (but on purpose) and they don’t cram their social media outlets with sweary tweets about being hungover, or drunk, or god knows what else. It’s simple. They offer burgers with integrity. And integrity is key.
Normally I tend to favour burgers at street stalls and vans – Bleeker St Burger
, Burger Bear
and Mother Flipper
are all top of that burger game. But food and Springsteen lovers visiting London often ask me which is the one burger in the city they should be trying, and when you consider all the factors like price, the chips, the location, the seating, the menu choice, the ‘fulability’ (yes I just made that word up – it means ability to fill me up – a big issue), Honest Burgers seems to tick my boxes.
Honest Burgers just opened their fifth restaurant in London – there’s now locations in Brixton, Portobello Road, Camden, Soho and most recently in King’s Cross. There will quite possibly be a wait when you visit, but if you’re a Springsteen fan, you’ll be used to that. The good thing is you can put your name down, leave, and then they’ll give you a call when the table is ready, a novelty you definitely don’t experience in the Springsteen pit queue. Can you imagine? “Bruce is ready for you now, if you could make your way from the pub, take this spot at the very front and watch the concert from here please.” Not happening. I’ll queue for Bruce in the rain, but a queue for burgers in the rain? No ta.
Anyway, in answer to the question I get on “which burger should I try when I come to London”, at the moment, if you want to eat a burger sitting down (on a chair, not perched on a bin in a car park or wedged in a pram you’ve stolen from a baby), then head to one of the Honest restaurants. They are unpretentious. They are not trying too hard to be cool (which would make it uncool). They are well priced and fuss free. And crucially, the burgers are consistently good.
Most recently I tried the Tribute Burger. American mustard, crispy bacon, a big wodge of red onion, gherkins and American cheese. It’s really, really good. It almost glimmers in the spotlight.
|The Tribute Burger
There’s also the Honest Burger, which is my favourite – it comes with the delicious Honest burger relish, a sweet red onion concoction, layered over bacon, cheddar cheese and pickled cucumber. Included in the price is a generous serving of crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, rosemary fries. Total price: approx £9.50.
|The Honest Burger
There’s a lovely veggie fritter burger option too (yes I have tried it). It’s not the usual: “We’ll stick a big mushroom in a bun for the veggies, that’s the equivalent to a juicy patty.” No it’s not. At Honest Burgers, veggies deserve more than a large mushroom, and instead they enjoy a crispy cauliflower and sweetcorn fritter in a soft bun.
There’s also the Federation Burger. Like the Honest Burger but double the fun.
Honest serve a selection of sides, some fresh options like coleslaw and green salad, and some less healthy options including mini battered sausages with curry sauce, which are what I would describe in technical food terms as “fit”. In fact, everything at Honest Burgers is “fit”.
For that reason, honesty is the best policy.
*Honest Burgers did not bribe me with free Springsteen tickets to write this post. I don’t even know them. I just really like their burgers.