You know me, I bloody love a good burger. In fact, I’ve probably destroyed a strong 70% of burgers that the North West of England has to offer, with one of my most recent and favourite conquests at the Courtyard Bar & Kitchen. I am currently working my way through my festive food bucket list with Christmas just around the corner but when January rolls around, you won’t find me signing up for a bargain gym membership. I’ll be embarking on my voyage to spread my burger-based wings and sample some of the best from across the country.
So, I enlisted the help of some of my favourite foodies from around the UK and here is Part One of my findings…
LIVERPOOL: Jack (Scouse Diaries) – Free State Kitchen
When it comes to a what we think a good burger is, we’re pretty old fashioned. There are so many places in Liverpool these days that pile the beef patty’s high and smother your meat with crisps (not chips…crisps) and we’re just not about that.
If we’re out and looking for a great quality, amazing tasting burger that does what it says on the tin, then we’ll no doubt take a trip to Free State Kitchen, on Maryland Street. The double French onion burger, which consists of 2 beef burgers, garlic butter, caramelised onions and Swiss cheese is quite honestly a thing of dreams. We think it might have started as a special but because of its popularity and god like flavours, it has made its way onto the main menu. You go Glen coco!
MANCHESTER: Elsa (Elsa Eats) – Solita
My favourite place for burgers in Manchester is Solita. With 3 restaurants in Greater Manchester and one in Preston, Solita first established in Manchester’s quirky Northern Quarter and has slowly expanded. With an Inka Grill in every branch, everything cooked on top of it has a wonderful smoky flavour ranging from chicken wings, steak to of course their burgers. Innovation is what makes Solita different from many burger chains. Long established is their ‘The Big Manc’, their version of popular chain’s burger, which can be found permanently on their menu.
Other experimentations include a Mac ‘n’ Cheese burger, where the buns are replaced by bread-crumbed patties of mac and cheese and a Chip and Dip burger where you dip the chips into the top bun which has been holed and filled with cheese and bacon. With Christmas coming up, their Christmas burger is now available (shown in photo) with cheddar, roast gammon, smoked turkey breast, deep fried sprouts, port and cranberry sauce, turkey gravy and topped with a candied pig in blanket above the top bun. There is so much packed in and it’s literally Christmas in a bun. They also do a vegetarian version of this burger too! Make sure you arrive with an empty stomach!
LEEDS: Lucy (Goosey Kitchen) – Patty Smith’s
The best burger in Leeds has to be Patty Smith’s at Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen. Fiercely independent, they initially started as a pop up but two years later they’re so popular, they can’t leave. This team make the juiciest, dirtiest burgers in Leeds. You can choose from their classic ‘dirty burger’, (pictured) which is a gorgeous beast comprising medium rare patty, cheese, mustard and salad, or double it up with a ‘big ron’.
They also do a chicken or a veggie version too. Couple your burger with their session fries (a big tray of fries covered in pancetta, pecorino, fried rosemary, chilies, sriracha mayo and rosemary sea salt), and you’re on to a real winner.
SHEFFIELD: Jessica & James (Food and Baker) – Bungalows & Bears
Everyone’s favourite strangely-named pub, Bungalows & Bears has been a staple for good food, good drink and good music. Housed in an Old Fire Station in the heart of Sheffield on Division Street, their unique building has seen all manner of events. If has established itself as a tasty burger joint and a place to see some of the best up-and-coming talent around. If you’re looking for a lively scene and a good old dirty burger, Bungalows & Bears is the place to be!
Best burger: Ruby’s Ghost – Beef patty, smoked bacon, Emmental, mushrooms and onion rings.
Cost: £7 each
Part 2 coming right up next week! (Featuring London, Essex, Cardiff, and Birmingham)