Now the burger wars have been raging in London for as long as hipsters have been wearing their granddads’ cardigans and buying moustache wax without a trace of embarassment.
Lofty claims to have created the best burger have been made by many and countless articles listing the new and current favourites. Burgers have become more than simply a dish but a cuisine of their own with a multitude of toppings, buns, meat and secret sauces. They’ll make your fortune or break it but only the strong survive… to create endless high street reproductions of their original success.
Territory has been fought, hearts have been broken and numerous calories consumed. Frankly, it’s all been a bit anti-climatic because ask anyone and they’ll all have different answers. Till now.
The best burger in London is in my neighbourhood: The Canonbury Tavern. With a huge beer garden out back, this place is Sunday lunch perfection. You’ll get a few kids running around and the yummy mummy set but it’s such a big space, and one that takes reservations, that it’s perfect for groups.
My boyfriend is the King of ordering and always seems to pick the best thing on the menu. Forgoing all the Sunday roast options, he picked The Canonbury. A burger? On a Sunday? And in a pub, no less! Sacrilege.
Served medium rare in a three part perfectly toasted bun, this beast comes with flat grilled beef, salt brisket, double American cheese and deep fried (almost tempura battered) chorizo. Holy cow.
Not just a looker, this tastes phenomenal, if you can unhinge your jaw to get a bite, of course! If you just focused on the beef element alone, with the cheese and the pickles, it tastes exactly as if a Big Mac would if it actually came out looking like the picture. Maybe… In the wildest dreams of McDonald’s execs. The brisket was a fantastic addition with way more personality and meaty oomph than those places who add overly sauced pulled pork. I would never have ordered a burger with chorizo before as I find it to be quite an over powering flavour, but very lightly battered, it added a crispness and elevated every bite.
You would imagine with such a hefty load encased inside that the bun would collapse in a wet sad heap but it held together till the bitter, delicious end.
I’ve had a lot of burgers in London, some great, some not, one even with foie gras once. This one just worked! Every element of it left me wanting more. It had the nostalgic hum of tasting your first ever ‘American’ burger with a grown up attitude. It’s a burger that came from a small town, went to college, toured the world and came home with a new swagger.
The chickpea, tomato, courgette and aubergine salad. Please don’t comment, it hurts to think about it.
Other than the huge beer garden, I found The Canonbury to be a pretty run of the mill British pub. It dates back to 1700 and can even boast George Orwell as one of its patrons, having written part of 1984 in that same beer garden! Wonder what he would have ordered.
The Canonbury is well worth a visit, you can find it at:
21 Canonbury Place
London N1 2NS