After a rave review on Reddit rating burgers in London, the team at Honest Food Talks decided to venture out and try Bleecker Street Burger. The joint was crowned No.1 for best burger in London by the online community. Don’t believe the hype from reddit is the first thing we would like to say.
Unfortunately, we were left terribly unimpressed by the branch in London Victoria. In hindsight, we should’ve opted for Shake Shack just opposite the road or Burger King in the station. Even doing a quick search for Burger London Tripadvisor would've swayed us away.
We’re more than happy to give the burger london restaurants the benefit of doubt but the dining experience at Bleecker Victoria was bad enough to write a full review on our disappointment.
A bit on Bleecker St Burger
The joint started off in 2015 at a small burger kiosk in Old Spitalfields Market. Transitioning from a corporate lawyer to food vendor, owner and founder, Zan Kaufman does not have a strong hospitality background. Kaufman had previously spent three years grilling up burgers for hungry Londoners in a food van before opening a permanent spot. We're not sure if there is a Bleecker Burger NYC, where the owner is originally from.
Enjoying fame on social media and reported by major media outlets, Bleecker St burger has three branches spread out across central London. With one in Victoria, Spitalfields and one in the Bloomberg building. Understandably, this has many flocking to the burger restaurants to see what London based instagram influencers such as KS and tomsbigeats are on about.
The burger restaurant prides themselves on making world-class burgers using good quality beef from independent farms in the UK.
Burgers are about the beef. We use rare-breed, grass-fed beef from small farms in the UK. It's dry aged and cooked when you order, giving it an intense, beefy flavour. The finishing touches: a sesame seed bun, scratch burger sauce and good old American cheese.Zan Kaufman, Founder of Bleecker St Burger
Yes, we would agree that the beef used is a big factor in any good burger. But there’s so much more to a good hearty burger than just the meat. And unfortunately, Bleecker Street Burger had failed to deliver this time round.
The First (and Probably Last) Visit to Bleecker Burger
Our visit was during the dinner rush hour. Arriving at the Victoria branch around 7pm, the small joint was already packed with people. A small queue had already started to form. After a short wait, we ordered the hyped-up double cheeseburger, a cheeseburger and some angry fries (we'll get to what this is later). There was little room to maneuver in, but we managed to get a seat near the door while we endured what was to come.
We like to judge our burgers on a few factors: presentation, assembly, doneness, toppings & freshness as well as meat to bun ratio.
To start, the presentation of the burger was average – nothing over or underwhelming. Coming in a white takeaway plate, the burger sat perfectly fine with a sesame bread bun on the top with two large slices of lettuce hanging outside. There was no meat juice leaking from the sides (or so we thought) and it was a decent size.
Picking up the burger, it felt quite heavy and the bun had already started to feel slightly softer from soaking up an excessive amount of meat juice from the patty. Definitely was meat juice and wasn't Bleecker burger sauce that was dripping on to the thin paper plate later on. Had the lettuce been placed under the beef patty it might’ve helped to save the bottom bread bun, but a good beef patty wouldn’t have this issue in the first place.
Taking the first bite, we knew this wasn’t the “best burger in London” that we were expecting as it almost fell apart. The beef patty was far too loosely packed and was put under the grill for far too little time. The end result was a crumbly, undercooked in the centre pink lifeless patty. Ours wasn’t too bad but some folks on TripAdvisor have received fully uncooked burgers from Bleecker Street Burger.
Bleecker Victoria has been open since 2017 so there isn't much excuse for the bad and inconsistent quality of burgers there. More horror date stories on the chain joint here.
Toppings & Freshness
As a friend once put it “cheese is like food glue", it keeps the burger together. But even delicious melted cheese wouldn’t have helped the burger come together here, not to mention there was very little of it.
The burger bun was an average soft seeded bread bun that wasn’t toasted. Soft to the bite and wasn’t dry. The lettuce was roughly chopped and was considerably bigger than the bap. It did have a good crunch though.
As for the beef, you could taste the beefy flavour from the patty for sure, but it was unevenly seasoned with a strong punch of pepper at times. With so much meat juice dripping from the sides, it also made us question the freshness and general storing conditions of the meat.
Overall Burger Rating 1.5/5
Everyone has been there where you’re hungry and anything will taste a lot better than it is. But this wasn’t the case at Bleecker Street Burger. We just wouldn’t call the whole thing a burger. A deconstructed burger at most with no love or attention put into it.
The angry fries were the worst fries we’ve ever tasted. The combination of blue cheese and hot sauce was indeed a creative one but a miss for us. The balance of flavours just wasn’t right. We were expecting spicy flavours wrapped in a creamy texture from the blue cheese, what we got was soggy fries smothered in choking hot sauce and watered down cheesy sauce.
Drenched in hot sauce and blue cheese sauce the top layer of fries was soggy when we received it. The bottom layer of fries had soaked up the oil from the hot sauce and became very greasy, we ended up throwing most of this away.
If Bleecker Street ever made a cookbook, I hope to never see an angry fries recipe. This side is really a hit or miss. Wouldn’t recommend it to anyone and it’s probably our fault for falling for the cool name.
We don’t usually like to comment on this one as the food is the centre of all our reviews, but it did show the poor management at Bleecker Street burger. There were enough hands at the back of the open kitchen but there was only one man taking the orders and no one to double-check if diners were picking up the right orders at collection.
One of the staff had also given the table beside us a free beer and then returned moments later with additional free burgers because no one had responded to him calling out. Some would say that's good service and makes sure the food doesn’t go to waste. Ironically, a man walks in only moments later to collect the same burger order and was told his order wasn’t ready yet.
Overall thoughts on Bleecker Street Burger
The one thing that Bleecker Street does right is its naming. Their signature angry fries would leave anyone fuming from spending £4.50 on a small plate of unappetising greasy fries. Meanwhile, the burgers at Bleecker Street is truly bleak in all ways.
We could be wrong; it could be just a fluke or perhaps other Bleecker street restaurants could have done a better job but it’s just our opinion. The burgers at Bleecker Victoria are terribly inconsistent even after 2 years of full operation. Don’t believe us? Check out what other people have said on TripAdvisor.
Looking for the best burger in London? A better burger alternative: Meat Liquor N1