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Thursday, 10 December 2009

Mission: Find The Best Burgers in London - Byron

Byron @ The Intrepid Fox, Soho

I love burgers. They are up there amongst my top three comfort foods. Recently I felt I should venture out in search of burger heaven. Following the footsteps of my London bible “Time Out”, I decided to go on my own personal quest to find the BEST burger in London, or at least have a pretty good go at it… 

After an evening showing of “A Christmas Carol” at the IMAX Cinema (fantastic 3-D feature!), a bunch of friends and I decided to go to Byron’s newly opened branch in Soho’s Wardour St. It was after 10pm when we arrived, and we were lucky to find a couple of tables to accommodate our large group of ten.

We were soon greeted by a delightful Australian chap called Kristian (with a K!), who looked after us throughout the evening. He was one of the friendliest guys I have ever met - brimming with positive energy and enthusiasm (well past 10 in the evening!), Kristian was faultless and made our meal at Byron memorable.

My first impressions were excellent – in addition to the excellent service, I loved the industrial look of the place, the exposed bricks painted white, the open plan kitchen, the video playing against the white wall, and the understated elegance of the decor. 



The simplicity of their menu was also rather reassuring.  All hamburgers are cooked medium and are served with lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle and mayo only. Burger options are “Classic” 6oz hamburger @ £6.25, “Cheeseburger” (choice of Cheddar/Monterey Jack/Blue Cheese/Gruyere) @ £7.25, “Byron” (dry cured bacon, mature cheddar, Byron sauce) @ £8.50, Skinny (bun-free with salad only) @ £7, “Chicken” @ £8.25 or “Veggie” (grilled Portobello mushroom, roast red pepper, goat’s cheese, aioli, and baby spinach) @ £7.50. And that is it.


Dr G ordered the Cheeseburger with Gruyere while I went for the Byron burger, as most of my friends. Byron’s burger size is just about right – I love grabbing my burger with both hands, never really getting my head round using a knife and fork as in GBK (I love GBK too though). As I bit through my burger I found it to be perfectly cooked and deliciously charred, the meat was flavoursome, fresh and still pink in the middle, and the bun just right, showing some lovely griddle marks.


My feelings were echoed across the table, my fellow diners were ecstatic with their own choices, and having dragged them all the way from Waterloo, I was also very happy and relieved!


We also ordered various portions of French Fries @ £2.75, Proper Olives @ £2.75 (the greenest I have ever seen), Homemade Skin on Chips @ £3, and their sensational Courgette Fries @ £3, the best of them all and a “must” on any visits to Byron. 




Wines are categorised into “Good, Better, Great and Best”, and prices range from £13.50 (Good) to £21 (Best). We ordered their “Good” white (a South African Chenin Blanc) @ £13.50 and also their “Best” red (a Californian Pinot Noir) @ £21. They were both excellent, and I would happily have them again.



Tap water was provided unprompted in beautiful French style carafes and was constantly topped up. This is rare in West End restaurants and is highly commendable.

Verdict – my newly favourite burger joint in London (sorry GBK!), serving no fuss but perfectly executed burgers, delicious courgette  fries and chips at average prices. Excellent and personable service, beautiful decor and central location make Byron one of the best quality & value restaurants in Soho.

Byron on Urbanspoon


  1. I'm enjoying your burger research - a bit like my noodle odyssey - but I do wonder whether the best burgers in London are to be found in these boutique burger joints. I don't eat burgers as much as I used to but my fave was near where I used to work. That's all my willing to divulge at this time.......

  2. Hello Mr Noodles

    Hmmm, very intriguing... I will travel far and wide for my food, so pls tell me more.... Hope all is well.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  3. Wow, I am with you all the way on loving burgers - I have to have one a month and finding the best one in London is my NY resolution! Byron sounds great, I'll definitely check it out. Grand Union is good but as you say its best to be able to pick them up and I had to cut it in pieces...

  4. Hi Sasha,

    Thanks for stopping by! My next burger place has got to be Hawksmoor which apparently is fantastic - it is £15 but it comes with 3x cooked chips. I went to a new Turkish/Iraq place on Commercial St yesterday called Zengi, the food was very good and very reasonably priced. I noted that they also do bugers there (lamb + halloumi), I definitely would like to try that.

    I LOVE your blog btw!

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  5. Just found your blog and am loving reading your quest for the perfect burger. Definitely must visit Byron at the Intrepid Fox as I lived above the pub for a short time in the early 90s and must see what they've done with it.
    Looking forward to reading what you think about the Hawskmoor Burger -somewhere on my must visit list as well.

  6. Hi "I Heart Cupcakes", I am glad you are enjoying my culinary "research", if you like this you might also like to check the blog "The Happiness Project London" where the delightful Sasha is doing a similar "research". She writes one of my favourite blogs, well worth a visit.

  7. You should try the burgers at the Alwyne Pub down the road at St Paul's Road in Islington. Easily the best burgers in London! Much better than Byron (in my opinion).

  8. I totally agree with your verdicts on the best burger in London as I have tried most of the places you have mentioned. So let me save you the trouble and tell you that best burgers in London can be found either in Byron or Hache! These 2 restaurants are by far the best!!


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