Although, I have not performed an exhaustive search for the Best Hamburger in London I would like to share with you what my research has yielded to date. I am excluding fast food restaurants in my project, something that I’m sure will disappoint my children. As some of you know, the hamburger did not originate in the states but rather in Hamburg, Germany, and then was brought to America. We Americans like to think of it as one of our culinary creations. As an American expat in a foreign land, it’s sometimes very comforting to find foods that remind you of home, like a good juicy hamburger.
Below are the places I have sampled in order of preference.
Byron is a fun restaurant chain that offers what they like to call “proper” hamburgers. The owner spent 4 years in the states and upon returning in 2007 realized that there were no true hamburger restaurants in London where you could get an authentic diner burger. With 22 locations, you are sure to find one near you. Their menu is not cluttered with a huge variety of food. They stick to a simple menu, a choice of four hamburgers, a grilled chicken breast and a vegetarian sandwich. They also offer standard side dishes like fries (which they actually call them fries and not chips) and onion rings. What made this an outstanding burger for me was the quality of the beef and the fact that the chef cooked it exactly to my liking, medium rare. I recommend this restaurant for families with children of all ages. Byron offers a children’s menu as well.
#2 Sticky Fingers
Sticky Fingers is the BBQ restaurant that former Rolling Stones bass player, Bill Wyman, opened in 1989 in Kensington. The restaurant boasts original Rolling Stones memorabilia, a lively environment and delicious BBQ food. I have been here with friends as well as with family. My children have enjoyed their ribs and burgers. Again, they do a great job with their burgers. The quality of the meat is very good and the chef also cooks it to your liking. I recommend this restaurant for families of children of all ages and Sticky Fingers also offer a children’s menu.
#3 The Waterway
The Waterway is a restaurant in Maida Vale by the canals. Aside from its indoor dining it offers great terrace eating with beautiful canal views. The menu has an interesting selection of foods like traditional coq au vin, risotto, lamb, fish, and The Waterway Burger. The first time I ate at the Waterway I went with a friend who was visiting from the states. She ordered the coq au vin and I ordered the hamburger. My husband who had already eaten at The Waterway had recommended the burger. I was not disappointed that first time. It was an exquisite burger. However, I recently went back and I was not as impressed with my burger this second time. I found the meat a bit chewy and the taste not as impressive as the first time. Although, the Waterway offers a children’s menu, I felt the environment during the evening is mostly for adults or older children.
#4 The Clifton
I would like to include one of our St. John’s Wood neighborhood pubs in this review. First of all, we marvel at the fact that we have a neighborhood pub that we can walk to for lunch or dinner. The Clifton’s food has been consistently good. They offer traditional pub fare like fish and chips and sausages all of which get high ratings from our family, as well as steaks, and vegetarian options. They offer a yummy 8 oz. burger with chutney and chips. For families with young children they also offer a children’s menu. And the piece de resistance is that dogs are welcomed there. The Clifton prefers smaller dogs or very well behaved large dogs.
#5 The Prince Edward Pub
The reason my husband and I went on a specific quest for a good burger to The Price Edward is because the book London’s Best Pubs by Haydon and Hampson, boasted that The Prince Edward was the only pub in London to offer a Kobe burger. The write up mentioned that the beef came from the UK’s only herd of traditional Japanese Wagyu cattle. We certainly found the pub to have a delightful atmosphere and enjoyed our beer, however we were highly disappointed with the quality of their burgers. They were no different than most of the average burgers you get in most pubs. Furthermore, the meat was not fresh, the burger felt like it had been a frozen patty, which had been defrosted in the microwave and then cooked unevenly. I recently looked up their menu online and discovered that they no longer offer a Kobe meat burger, just a regular burger.
If you have enjoyed a good burger in London I would love to hear from you.