"A pleasant pub in the long village of Fence, the only Timothy Taylor's tied house this side of the Pennines. Mixed furniture, a curious assortment of paintings, photographs and distressed mirrors hang on the walls. Antique bottles on the tables contain fresh flowers. The menu, at lunchtime at least, is a straightforward, daily-changing 3-3-3 for a very reasonable £20 for two courses and £25 for three courses. The food shows a bit of Northcote influence (the chef was formerly sous there), but mainly great balance in the dishes, which are intelligently put together, with no otiose elements on the plate, and no over-complification. But there's a confident, skilled hand at work in the kitchen. One let down can be that that confidence doesn't always extend to the seasoning. The cheeseboard is remarkably good and remarkably doesn't attract any premium to the £25 price for a three course lunch. The range of Timothy Taylor ales are particularly well kept."
"Very Good Italian food wells erred and presented"
"We have had lunch at Northcote twice recently and thoroughly enjoyed the experience both times. The food is of the highest quality with excellent friendly service in a lovely setting. Highly recommended."
"Very nice Provencal tapas; good service even when crowded"
"Living on its laurels? A slow roasted shoulder of pork was school dinnerish - small gobbets of meat surrunded by unrendered fat - yuck! Stunning (British) cheeseboard though. Wine prices now too elevated."
Meat Mission N1
“Burgers to die for, lethal cocktails, fantastic decor… what more could you want?” – this “buzzy” (“extremely noisy”) Hoxton Square outlet of the ‘Meat’ franchise is, say fans, “incredibly cheap for the quality”.
Opera Tavern WC2
“Divine small plates of Iberico, pata negra ham and must-try mini-burgers” – all among the “stylish” treats on offer at this “jammed”, “good-natured” and “fun” sibling to Salt Yard, in a handily central Covent Garden pub-conversion. The foie-gras burger is a particular highlight according to our survey.
“The best burgers anywhere” head up the Franco-American menu at this NYC super-chef’s “slick” and “surprisingly buzzy” brasserie, in the basement of a grand Knightsbridge hotel; “it’s exactly the sort of place you’d expect to be mediocre, but it’s very good indeed!” And don't forget the 'excellent burgers', rated third best in the city by our reporters.
“The place to go if you’re after a juicy patty!” – this “small and friendly” group “continues to set the standards for high-grade burgers”; survey ratings support those who say it “definitely outperforms the bigger operators”. Outposts in Clapham, Shoreditch, Fulham, Camden and Balham.
Honest Burgers (group)
“A leading light in London’s burger explosion!”; “for quick and tasty food, you’ll be hard pressed to better” this “brilliant” chain, with its Ginger Pig-sourced meat and “lusciously addictive” chips; “plan ahead to beat the queues” though – at weekends, they’re “dreadful”.
Dirty Burger (group)
“Dirty brilliance” – the award for “best burger-eating in a shack” goes to these Kentish Town and Vauxhall phenomena, whose “gorgeous, drippy burgers” and “fantastic crinkle-cut chips” are the stuff of urban legend.
Tommi's Burger Joint (group)
It’s a “meaty dream”, exclaim fans of this “simple and straightforward” – order-at-the-counter – Marylebone burger parlour (for which you can expect to queue); good ratings for its new Chelsea sibling too.
Patty & Bun (group)
“If they laced dishes with crack, they wouldn’t be more addictive”, say fans of the “ultimate dirty burgers” (and “superb” wings too) served by these “funky” pit stops, near Selfridges and now in the City; they’re “seriously cramped” though, and the queues can be “unreal”.
“Dingy” and deafening, this dive off Oxford Street has quite a name for its “dirty, luscious burgers”; ratings are slipping though – “the rock ’n’ roll grunge act doesn’t seem quite as new any more”.
Dip & Flip SW11
“The dirtiest burger in London” is hailed by fans of this new dude-foodish Battersea café, where ‘poutine’ (cheesy Canadian fries) on the menu just adds to the “supreme nastiness”; “good value” too.
Top of the tips... burger places to look out for that haven’t featured in our survey just yet…
Meat & Shake SW17
A self-professed proponent of the 'burger revolution', London's latest purveyor of buns and patties arrives in Tooting.
Big Fernand W1
High-end hamburgers are old hat by now - but unpasteurised cheese in your bun? Maybe it's a game changer; this small French burger chain expands beyond Gallic shores into Fitzrovia.
Bobo Social W1
‘Experimental’ burgers and small plates come to Charlotte Street, as the high-end hamburger craze continues; we didn’t have the chance to check ’em out before this guide went to press.
Is there a burger joint in your area that you feel deserves to be on this list? If so please tell us about it by taking part in this year’s Harden’s survey. Find out more.
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