In case you can’t be bothered to make your own and seeing as the weather is more dubious these days, why not try one of our recommendations for best burgers in town?
But first, it’s worth knowing that many restaurants participate in the Mr. Hyde National Burger Day celebrations which offer exclusive discounts. Simply visit the website, fill in a form for your chosen venue and download the voucher to your phone.
We’ve marked the burgers that are part of the scheme below.
Best Burger for Size
If you want a bun and patty the size of a main course plate, then you better head to Smith & Wollensky. Weighing in at 5lb this mammoth burger is eight times the size of their usual burgers and includes a hash brown, roasted Portobello mushrooms, beer battered onion rings, streaky bacon, mozzarella, confit tomatoes, fried eggs and jalapeno sauce.
What’s more you can eat the pre-ordered burger for free, IF you can finish it that is. The only condition of this Man vs. Burger showdown is that only one person may attempt the gargantuan feat. Don’t forget to book and if you would rather watch the madness unfold while eating something more modest you can enjoy their range of new one-off burgers which include: Prawn and Chorizo burger (£15), Dirty-Double cheeseburger (£13) and their Braised Short Rib burger (£13).
Best for Classic Fast Food
When we say classic fast food, we don’t mean you should actually head to Maccy Ds or Burger King, but rather test out the best imitation of those kinds of burger. Except this time they include delicious well sourced ingredients and therefore cost a lot more. But believe us, it’s worth the extra sheckles when you try either of the following two burgers…sorry we couldn’t decide.
First up is Hawksmoor’s Big Matt. No prizes for guessing which burger this is an homage to…yes, indeed it’s your childhood friend, the Big Mac, but this time the patty has been made from the same grass-fed, dry-aged British beef that Hawksmoor uses for its sirloin. Succulent, simple and with two patties, you will be lovin’ it…
Also high on your agenda for simple, classic fast food should be Shake Shack’s signature Shack Burger. The well charred patty gets sandwiched between the more alternative potato roll, layered with a good dollop of American cheese and, to finish it off perfectly, we would order sliced raw onion, extra pickles and a slab of tomato.
Best for Indulgence
Sometimes you want the richest thing on the menu, so you really can’t do much better than Mac and Wild’s Venimoo burger. Not only does it include a hearty patty that is made from Angus beef and wild venison; the mixture of which makes for a beautifully musky, gamey taste, but the burger bulges out of a brioche bun, oozing cheese and the piece de resistance, a waterfall of Bernaise sauce.
This dripping gold goo not only tastes lavish, it looks so as well, which means you can act like the rich kids of instagram when you post your food porn pic to all your carni friends.
A close second for living life on the indulgent side this National Burger Day is the The Patate, which pops up in various locations around London. It eschews the patty in place of a pleasantly unctuous portion of beef bourguignon that sits in a bun inside a camembert box and of course comes with a chunk of melting camembert on top. Oui s’il vous plait!
Best for Feasting
The clue is in the name for this one, as you need to head to Street Feast; Canada Water’s huge indoor/outdoor mega food market. Except you need to head there on Thursday 30 August, i.e. a week after the official National Burger Day. Mr. Hyde and Street Feast have made a clever move here.
By asking all the big burger players to create a one-off special burger for this occasion they don’t detract guests from their restaurants the week before. It’s win win for them and for fans of the humble burger. There will be veterans, newcomers, dessert places and even a vegan debut. Tickets are a little spenny at £15, but you do get an icy-cold Budweiser plus a MacPickleback shot as well as giveaways and games, like Burger Pinata! What’s not to love?
Best for Pork
Bar Bouloud isn’t a burger joint that immediately springs to mind, but then it’s not really a burger joint. It’s a rather classy little restaurant situated in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Knightsbridge and it has a price tag to match with burgers costing between £17 – £24. At the steeper end of the menu is their signature BB burger, which rather extravagantly includes a beef patty, foie gras, short ribs, horseradish mayo, confit tomato and black onion seed bun. While this is a runner up for most indulgent burger, it is obviously not our ‘Best for Pork’ recommendation.
For this, we chose the Piggie, which comes in at a slightly more modest £19. Although when you tuck your trotters in to this exquisitely stacked burger, you’re going to feel like a rich pig in s***. It might not be massive, but it really delivers on flavour because of the addition of BBQ pork. Also accompanying the beef patty you’ll find jalapeno mayo and red cabbage, which sits inside a cheddar bun. It’s just delicious and due to the price, a good one to try for a treat, like National Burger Day for instance…
Best for Chicken
Long reigning chicken supreme are the Chick ‘n’ Sours burgers, which are filled sky high with chunks of ridiculously crisp free-range chicken and slathered with crackalicious sauces. Unsurprisingly, you will make a mess, but thankfully, you won’t care, as this is the best fried chicken in mother-cluckin’ town! Therefore, we advise not taking a date there to avoid your Genghis Khan-got-the-munchies impression going down like a condom balloon. Our favourite is the K Pop – Fried thigh, Gochujang mayo, chilli vinegar & Asian ‘slaw, all for £12 and best enjoyed with their Hunan Cucumbers and Dripping Fries.
Best for Vegans
Now because options are limited for the vegan brigade, we thought we’d be extra kind and throw in two options here. One allows a vegan to go to a restaurant with their omnivorous mates and the other is for going full vegan.
Let’s start with the former as it’s the most inclusive – to humans anyway 😉 – it’s Patty & Bun*; everyone’s favourite hipster burger hang out that makes rather naughty sloppy burgers that leave you looking like you’ve rolled around in them! Luckily for a vegan, they can get the same effect from their Whoopi Goldburger. Inside the bonsoy bun is a tempeh and mushroom fritter which is crisp on the outside and juicy on the inside and when combined with the double-smoked vegan gouda cheese, you get the oozing, stringy hit to the mouth that makes you smile…in a cheesy way.
For a National Burger Day worthy of your vegan crew, we recommend The Full Nelson in Deptford. It might be a schlep for some, but it’s totally worth it for the multiple options on their veggie/ vegan menu. We like things spicy so recommend the Sith burger. The “beef” burger comes with Deptford Death sauce, Sriracha mayo, spicy cheese, jalapenos, onion & more hot sauce, as well as tomatoes, pickles and finely chopped lettuce! Winner, winner, vegan dinner.
*Participating in the Mr Hyde 20% discount deal on selected burgers only.
We hope one of those tickles your fancy this National Burger Day, but if not, let this food & drink PR agency know what you think is missing from our list by commenting below! Also, if you are making your own at home, check out our guide to how best to assemble your burger.
Festibowl 2018 is over, with the final FridayNightPartyBowls session taking place on August 3, but because it so clearly captured the hearts of Londoners this summer, we thought it fitting to do a short review of what made it such a huge success and a lifestyle sport for the future.
Did someone order a heatwave?
Yes, climate change has reared its scary head, but that head has also been (un?)ashamedly pleasant…for where there is unusually consistent heat there are Londoners forced to seek out more and more outlandish ways to enjoy their summer evenings. And it doesn’t get more outlandish or quintessentially British than lolling on a beautiful bowling green surrounded by white garden parasols and colourful bunting that wafts the wry voice of a Master of Ceremonies gently lampooning all the goings on, dressed in bowler hat and braces. Welcome to Festibowl; a laid back and slightly tongue in cheek lawn bowls experience for 21st Century summertime revellers.
With a record-breaking heatwave there was a noticeable slowing down in the city, which might have lead to a more lackadaisical approach to lawn bowls, but that was certainly not the case in Finsbury Square this summer. In fact, games got pretty heated…
Whether it was a showdown between World Champion Ellen Faulkner and a competitive chap with beginners luck, a group of lads on a Friday night or a company summer party with tournament style play offs, people really got into lawn bowls!
This was mainly down to the way, founder Will Goy, adapted the game to make it shorter and more accessible for all.
By simplifying and speeding up the game, he aimed to do for bowls what 20:20 has done for cricket and was inspired by his time in Australia.
Down under he saw how bowls had become a new millennial sport as it gave people the perfect excuse to be outside playing sport as well as drinking beer!
This is where the summertime revelling elements of Festibowl start to play their part! Bowls is, of course, the reason people pitch up; it’s a novel, easy to play game where everyone can have a go, that sometimes gets competitive, but only ever in a sociable and fun way. The reason people stay, come back for more and have such a great all round experience is down to the fully loaded bars, delicious street foods and open air music.
The bars this year had sponsorship from Bombay Sapphire, Moet & Chandon, Jagermeister and Red Bull, which naturally led to some delightfully refreshing and energising cocktails. We especially liked the Bombay Bias – Bombay Sapphire, Elderflower, Lemon, Soda, Cucumber; The Spicy Back Bowl – Jagermeister, Ginger, Fresh Lime and the Festibowl Fizz – Moet Brut, Bombay Sapphire, Chambord. Moet & Chandon actually had a standalone bar from which people could order bottles of Moet Ice Brut, Moet Ice Rose, Moet Brut and Moet Rose to be delivered to their tables in crisp white buckets overflowing with ice accompanied by branded glassware.
The former is a regular at Finsbury Square, satisfying the local community and the Festibowl crowd with fresh, fast and filling wraps filled with everything from halloumi to pulled pork to chicken and guacamole. The latter is relatively new on the London food scene and so attracted a lot of attention from foodies and influencers.
Rightly so, as there Truffle Burger was the epitome of food porn and it didn’t taste too bad either. How could it not when it comprised of a beef and bacon mixed patty, raclette cheese, truffle mayo, fig jam and crispy shallots? Yes please and thank you!
But it wasn’t only Truffle London who had the carnivores salivating because there was an even newer street food shack in town – Carcass London. Appropriately named, these boys serve up “British Rare Breed Meats, Cooked over Smoke and Fire” and boy does their barbecue deliver.
We would recommend the Bone Marrow Brulees and their Dry Aged Onglet, Mopped in Beef Fat with herbs. There was a creamy and oozing Mushroom risotto provided by Truffle London for vegetarians in the mix, but not much for vegans we’re sorry to say. We are sure the Festibowl team will step it up for next year though.
Location Location Location
Last but not least, in the reasons why Festibowl was such a blast, is down to where it takes place. Not only does Finsbury Square boast one of the oldest bowling green’s in the country, but it is surrounded by beautiful buildings that give the setting a sense of grandeur.
So your bowling arena feels at once like an oasis of green, but also like a gladiator’s stadium. You’re in London or maybe even Rome, but you also feel like you could be having a long, lazy summer evening in the country.
Added to the feel and atmosphere of Finsbury Square is its prime central location. It’s close to lots of worker bees, looking for some refreshing post-work vibes and near enough to Shoreditch for further drinking and dancing when the venue shuts. All in all this made it perfect for office parties, date nights or just hanging out with friends.
With so much demand, we are sure Festibowl will be back next year even bigger and bowlder than before. There was certainly a lot of interest expressed for more weeknight and weekend sessions, so here’s hoping that lawn bowls really does becomes de rigueur in a Londoner’s lifestyle next year.
We certainly enjoyed running their PR and social media and wish the team the best of luck!
Check out our short review of Truffle London here.
© Photography by Jake Davis (fb.com/hungryvisuals) and William Goy