Honest Burgers was launched in 2011 in the south London neighborhood of Brixton. It was born out of a partnership that sold burgers at events and festivals, but has since blossomed into seven locations across the capital. Basically, drunk food gone legit…very legit! It perhaps has one of the simplest menus that I’ve reviewed since beeffanatic.com launched – their mission at Honest Burgers is ‘to do one thing and do it well.’ They serve just five variations of the Honest Burger and have stuck to their policy of quality ingredients and simplicity in everything else.
Honest Burgers sources their beef from the Ginger Pig Butchers, the same co-op of North Yorkshire farmers who supply The Hawksmoor family of upscale steak restaurants. The Ginger Pig started off over 20 years ago and now own six London butcher shops, supplying top-quality restaurants from their 3000 acres of Yorkshire Moorland. They raise their herds of longhorns, shorthorns and Galloway livestock on just grass and hay and dry age the carcasses before they make their way down to Honest Burgers and Hawksmoor. Read more about it here.
The £9.50 Honest Burger red onion relish, mature cheddar, smoked bacon, pickled cucumber and lettuces. The bare bones beef burger will still set you back £8 without any cheese or bacon. Each one is served with a side of rosemary chips and comes standard as medium rare. The quality of the beef means that you don’t want to go much past medium, it’s that good. Juicy, and dense, but not overpacked, the Honest burger is pure perfection of flavor.
At the top-end of the Honest Burger sits “The Special”. Topped with crispy lomo ham, GF romesco sauce, tetilla cheese and grilled peppers. If you’re not into beef, and I don’t know why you wouldn’t be, there is a chicken option, but… seriously? Their sides run between £2.50 for salad and coleslaw on up to £3 for onion rings and £4 for their BBQ chicken wings.
Their brioche buns are up there with the best, but they do go out of their way many times to alert you to gluten-free options. I say, suck it up like it’s the 1960s and just eat your delicious flour-full bun.
I’ve visit both their Camden and Soho resturants. Both have a nice, cozy atmosphere that allows you to hear your group over the buzz around the room. Limited seating means you often find queues at peak times, but it’s worth the wait. Honest offers buzzers or callbacks for when your group’s table is ready which means you’re not left waiting out in the cold. They carry a good selection of international beers and wines to compliment the crispy rosemary fries. This is one joint not to miss, just try to avoid the 6:30 Friday crush.
Honest Burgers – 42/50
Beef (10): Absolute perfection.
Bun (9): Rich brioche just as I like
Toppings (6): Limited options that tag a lot on the price
Value (7): Gets pricey quickly
Ambiance (10): Small restaurants, good buzz, you can hear your friends.
You can visit Honest Burgers website here. Update: Honest Burgers now boasts 9 locations around London.