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The Old Crown Burger

Come this Fourth of July, let’s raise a burger to our American cousins as they celebrate Independence Day. Leaving the less meritable aspects of our transatlantic history aside, let’s share our ‘special relationship’ with a meal that’s grilled to perfection and adorned with a slice of bacon, cheese, a pickle and some ’slaw. Here’s where to find the best burgers this side of the pond.

Joe Allen,13 Exeter Street, London WC2E 7TD, tel: 010 7836 0651
Let’s start with an oldie but a goodie. Joe Allen has been serving up a slice of Americana in the heart of theatre land since 1977. Expect some glitterati from nearby shows or ‘resting’ performers (just don’t ask for autographs), but the real star is the food at this subterranean restaurant with its crisp white linen and uber-efficient waiters. By all means enjoy a cocktail with a steak or a salad but the burger is pretty hard to beat. The service is snappy, but in between we guarantee you’ll be captivated by the array of movie posters and celebrity shots that line the walls. Save room for a brownie afterwards, made the way mom would.

Hard Rock Café, 150 Old Park Lane, London W1K 1QZ, tel: 020 7514 1700
Yes, we know it’s a chain, but blimey its burgers are brilliant. Founded in 1971 by Americans Isaac Tigrett and Peter Morton in London, its enticing blend of rock’n’roll music memorabilia and massive burgers is widely imitated but rarely matched. Apparently, many of the restaurant’s original staff are still serving, 40 years on, and the party atmosphere probably explains why. Make time to check out The Vault Museum, located in an old Coutts Bank that used to protect HM The Queen’s treasures, but which now boasts the costume and guitar worn by Slash in November Rain, Madonna’s bustier and a harp used by The Beatles on Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Fancy.

Ed’s Easy Diner, UK locations –
Yes it’s an ever-expanding chain with shopping mall locations across the UK, but it was one of the first to bring the 50s diner experiences to Soho, back in 1987. Still serving up great burgers, fries and shakes, along with an authentic jukebox playlist, this one’s great if you’re taking the kids out, or just feel like being a kid again yourself. Play The Safari’s Wipeout for us…

The Old Crown Public House, 33 New Oxford Street, London WC1A 1BH, tel: 020 7836 9121
Now we’ve sampled many a pub burger that’s failed to live up to our hungry anticipation – not so at The Old Crown which has won awards for its burgers, and rightly so. With weekly special burgers, they’re something of a specialty with rare breed beef served a variety of ways – our favourite is The Black Sticks topped with the blue cheese and bacon – or try their pork and chorizo grill, plus chicken, veggie and fish options.

Dirty Burger, Vauxhall, Kentish Town and Whitechapel –
Keep it simple with Soho House’s micro chain, Dirty Burger. Take a cheeseburger, add bacon if desired, or go for the veggie option – they’re all good. Throw in skin-on fries, amazing onion rings that are arguably the best in town, plus ice cold drinks and you are sorted for possibly the most perfect blow out meal ever. There’s only space for 20 covers at the Kentish Town restaurant so be prepared to wait for a table, but with food this good it’s worth it.

Dirty Bones, 20 Kensington Church Street, London W8 4EP, tel: 020 7920 6434
Although for us it’s all about the burger, we are reminded that for some the ‘dirty water dog’ is as NY as it gets. Head then to Kensington where Dirty Bones has an array of top dogs on offer. Try the Classic Yankee, complete with caramelised onions and French’s mustard, or keep it native with the Brit Dog which features treacle bacon, matured beer cheddar, curried gherkins and English mustard. Add a side of Dirty Fries (triple cooked with chilli cheese, BBQ sauce and cactus salsa) and you’re good to go as they say Stateside.

Burger and Lobster, Mayfair, Soho, Farringdon, City, Knightsbridge –
With just two things on the menu, you could call it the simple approach, but with ingredients as fine as this – and we firmly believe burgers are as stellar as those showy lobsters – it’s an approach we like. Be warned that the classy locations carry a corresponding price tag, but it’s worth it as the queues outside will testify, Packed with all the goodies, these burgers are, IOHO, fit for a President.

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About the Author

Established in 1958, Benham and Reeves is one of London’s oldest, independently owned property lettings and sales agents.  With specialism in residential sales, corporate lettings and property management in prime areas of London, the company operates from 19 prominently located branches and 8 international offices.

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