I’m going to start out this blog by saying something controversial: I know there are probably a gajillion places that one can get a burger in London, but Bleecker St. Burger is the best. This isn’t just my opinion, it’s my fact-pinion.
Bleecker St. Burger started out as a food truck (as many burger places in London do). They were so popular and successful that Zan Kaufman (the founder) opened up a permanent stand in Old Spitalfields Market. I was excited when this happened because it meant I could go get the best burger in London anytime. I didn’t have to wait until it was a nice summer day at Southbank or have to wait in a massive queue at Kerb. It was amazing news. I was first introduced to them at Southbank, and after that, I just wanted to have more and more. Now I can. (And so can you!)
I took a few friends here so I could refresh my memory before writing this post (but really I just wanted to eat their delicious burgers again). I took two of my fellow Boozy Bunchers (Bella and Daniel) and another good friend (Josy). Only Josy had been before, so it was great to introduce the burgers to them and to prove my fact-pinion about how good the burgers really are.
It’s quite simple. You just order from the stand, and there are a plethora of tables to sit at in the market. Bella was running late, so we opted to get some drinks to start. We had already had a mulled wine (or three) from a wine bar nearby, so I kept that going with a beer. I got a can of lager (boring, but fine) instead of the IPA that they have. (They don’t have much alcohol, but it’s nice that they have it I guess.) Or you can be like my friends and get milkshakes. (Unfortunately they aren’t hard, but if you bring your own Kahlua, I bet you could make it work. We were just too lazy to find some.) One got the black and white shake (kind of a light chocolate shake), and the other got coffee (which was amazing with just coffee grounds mixed right in). Both were delicious.
Finally Bella arrived, and we were ready for the main event! We ordered four burgers to split: One bacon cheeseburger, one blue burger (blue cheese) and two Bleecker blacks (which is really the best reason to be going: A double burger with black pudding squashed between the two patties). We also ordered two orders of angry fries (fries with buffalo sauce and blue cheese) and an order of sweet potato fries. Oh -and two more shakes for me and Bella. This time we went old school and had vanilla shakes. While we were waiting for the order, the handsome fellow manning the register looks at me and says, “Oh, I remember you. You came here and had burgers when you were incredibly drunk.” (Yes, the burgers are great for that situation.) Wow. I’m not sure how I should feel about that. To be honest, that’s probably how most restaurant workers remember me. On that occasion it was after we had a boozy brunch (where there were small portions – not the best one to be honest), and we moved on to Boozy Bunchers Andrew and Becky’s engagement drinks where I then continued to drink and get incredibly drunk. It was also the night I brought Josy with us to experience her first Bleecker St. Burger.
We pretty much devoured the burgers – starting with the bacon cheeseburger. The bacon is a really delicious addition to the burger. But, the fact is that the star of all the burgers is the beef they use here. This is the tastiest beef that I have ever found in a burger in London. There isn’t much else to the burgers, so the beef really needs to shine. The seeded bun is tasty, but fairly mild. None of that frilly brioche here. You get a nice, seeded bun that’s been toasted and holds up well to the juices coming out of the burger. And that makes the burger taste even more beefy. The blue burger was next, and the blue cheese is a nice addition to offset the beef. (If you want to go wild, I’m sure they will do a double blue for you.) Finally – last but definitely not least – we came to the Bleecker blacks. Two beef burgers means double the meat in your mouth (and we all like more meat in our mouth, am I right?). Plus, the umami flavor from the black pudding just makes for a spectacularly delicious, meaty burger. There’s no need for any sort of gimmicky toppings. All of it would ruin the pure meat flavor that runs across your taste buds. Save the candy floss and peanut butter chili mousse for another burger. When I eat a burger, I just want the meat. And every burger you get is cooked perfectly medium rare. (And they’ll halve them. Or quarter them. Maybe next time I should ask for thirds just to see if they can do it.)
I think my friends agreed that the burgers are incredibly tasty, so we collectively decided that we needed two more Bleecker blacks before leaving. It was probably a mistake because we really didn’t need to consume 1.5 burgers apiece, but we happened to be there when the burgers were on special (£5 a burger!), so we just figured why not? A mistake for the stomach perhaps, but definitely not for the taste buds.
I realize I have yet to mention the fries. The angry fries are completely worth it. Especially if you love buffalo sauce and blue cheese (I do). Probably even if you don’t. (But if you don’t, the sweet potato fries are also delicious.) The vanilla milkshakes were also top quality. In fact, it was probably my favorite of the three milkshakes. I even got asked about my origins from the woman working there when I went to order round two of the burgers. She was surprised to hear I was originally from Alaska (she’s from New York), and she started talking with me about how she wants to move there. I tried to tell her she doesn’t really want to move there, but I’m not sure she believes me. I mean, why would you choose Alaska over London? We had a great conversation, so I have to say they also have very friendly service! (She even brought the last two burgers out to our table.)
Basically, if you want an amazing burger that tastes like delicious beef (like a burger should) and not a burger that tastes like the hundreds of trendy toppings that are on top of it (where the beef flavor is pretty much non-existent), Bleecker St. Burger is the place for you. I’ll be back. And back. Because these really are the best burgers in London. It may not be in a fancy restaurant, but who cares when they are that damn delicious?
P.S. I opted to eat an entirely vegetarian meal for lunch that day and the following day to make up for the complete lack of vegetables from my meal this night. And it was totally worth it.
Bleecker St. Burger
Old Spitalfields Market, Unit B SP 4