It’s difficult not to count Byron burgers among my favorites in London. They make a juicy, simple and amazingly tasty burger the right way with lettuce, tomato, red onion and a slice of cheese or bacon. They get all their beef fresh from Scotland, unground to be prepared on the day.
Byron was started in 2007 and has grown rapidly to over 30 London locations and counting. They also have restaurants in Oxford and Kent and are coming soon to Cambridge. Another new addition is the Byron “Shack” – a mobile burger truck that attends English music festivals all summer long, bringing Byron on tour.
The founder, Tom Byng, returned from the US with a taste for good burgers and decided that the UK was lacking. Five years on, Byron is a London institution for affordable burgers.
I first discovered Byron in Angel when I first moved to the UK. It’s a purposely gritty building right on the high street, but after visiting other locations, I realized that Byron just takes on the personality of whatever building it moves in to.
Their Rathbone Street joint is like a pub, in Soho they have a slicker feel with diamond plate steel everywhere. Just off Leicester Square a neon sign flashes Byron in technicolor and on Kensington High Street the facade is modern with huge glass windows.
The menu is pretty simple – a 6 oz. burger that you can adorn with bacon, four kinds of cheese, american-style chilli, or go bunless with. It’s served medium on a soft “proper squishy” bun. The meat is just the right juiciness and you even get a pickle wedge for a little added snap.
The sides stand out for me; their onion rings and courgette fries are must-tires. Their mac’n’cheese is a winner as well – I have a mate who just orders two servings of it as his main course every time we go. Another thing that makes this place stand out for me is their menu of hand-crafted beers and bourbons from the US. A nice bourbon goes great with their burgers.
I’ll be visiting again soon as Byron is about to introduce their lamb burger in time for Easter. They actively get involved with charity promotions like Movember which is another plus for us burger-men. One other bonus for me is there business cards – designed like a deck of cards, each location has it’s own card from the deck. It’s almost become a game for me to collect them all and ultimately to have the full deck.
Byron – 39/50
Beef (7): Taking this over GBK anyday
Bun (8): A floury, rustic bun that works!
Toppings (9): Excellent toppings and choices
Value (7): A bit on the pricey side.
Ambiance (8): Each joint of Byron’s is different, so it’s hard to give it an overall score. Some locations are super cool and hip, built into old warehouse styles or pubs. Others are more modern and have far less character.