We all know by now how much I love a good burger, right? I mean, just look how much I ate on National Burger Day, haha!
So of course I got overexcited when my favourite burger joints brought out their festive specials! Anyway, here are my five favourites from this year, in no particular order…
I actually ventured out of London to try the XXXmas menu at MeatLiquor – it was my first visit to their branch in Brighton. I think it might actually have my favourite interior of the whole chain, but this post isn’t a restaurant review so I’ll focus on the food…
MeatLiquors festive menu appealed to me the most out of the ones I saw (and trust me, I looked at a lot of festive burger menus), which isn’t surprising really. I love the chains aesthetic, and their food is always interesting.
Top of my list to try was their XXXmas Garbage Plate – fries, sausage & stuffing patty topped with slices of roast turkey served with gravy, cranberry sauce and crispy stuffing sprinkles. I’m a fan of fries with OTT toppings anyway (I love a good poutine) so this was always going to be my favourite. It was basically a junk food version of Christmas dinner – my kind of meal!
Yes, I know this isn’t technically a festive burger, but I did have the XXXmas Burger too and it was a tough one to beat! Instead of your usual beef, this burger had a sausage and stuffing patty, roast turkey, crispy bacon, gravy and cranberry sauce. It was delicious and tasted like Christmas – the most specifically festive tasting of the burgers I tried. Literally Christmas Dinner in a bun.
It was very similar in flavour to the garbage plate (obviously, since it has virtually the same ingredients) so I would suggest ordering one or the other – not both like I did!
I also tried the Xmac & Cheese – deep fried camembert and stilton mac and cheese with a cranberry and port dipping sauce. These were divine. I love the regular mac and cheese bites but these were extra oozy and cheesy and the sauce was perfect. I definitely over cranberried on this meal!
In case you’re wondering what else is on the tray, we also ordered the Chicken Parma Burger and the Fried Pickles (my favourite side!).
Honest Burgers will always be one of my most visited burger chains in London – it’s so hard to find a good burger served on the rare side, so when I find one it automatically becomes a favourite. I tried the festive special at their branch in Tooting.
Honest kept it quite simple with just one festive option – a burger comprising of a Ginger Pig beef patty topped with a well sized slab of brie coated in poppy seeds and breadcrumbs, smoked bacon, cranberry sauce and rocket. Perfectly pink in the middle, no overly dominant flavours – my only niggle was that I’m not overly keen on poppy seeds, but I can’t really make personal preference a criticism. It was festive but not over the top so, and the brie was a generous slab, no stinginess on toppings here.
Pssst… I can’t talk about Honest without giving the infamous rosemary salted chips a mention. They’re served on the side with every burger and are proper squishy yet crispy chip shop style chips to die for.
Dip & Flip
I love Dip & Flip. Seriously, a branch opening in my neck of the woods (Wimbledon) has not been good for my waistline. I’ve tried several things from the menu, and they’re all pretty faultless.
I’ll be honest – the festive special here is nothing revolutionary, but to be fair, their regular menu with it’s roast meat topped burgers lends is easily adapted to a turkey version.
Their are two variants on the festive special – the Dip (thinly sliced turkey in a roll) or the Dip & Flip (cheeseburger served topped with thinly sliced turkey). Both are topped with stuffing and cranberry slaw, and are served with the usual tray of gravy.
I went for the Dip & Flip. The burger patty, served medium, was perfectly cooked, with a bit of pink inside but a really nice slight charring outside. They’re generous with their toppings too, the cheese just oozed out of this one. Oh yeah, Dip & Flip is messy – not somewhere for a first date! The turkey was lovely and moist. I couldn’t really taste the cranberry though which was a shame.
If you’re wondering what the other dish is in the picture, it’s a favourite menu item of mine – the bacon and green chilli cheese fries, which are a bit like a poutine. Seriously filling though, you only need one portion between two of you.
Shakes are good too and the specials are usually pretty exciting. The festive shake is a vanilla mince pie version – try it with bourbon, trust me!
Ah, I love Dirty Bones! And you’ll quite often find me in the Carnaby St branch.
Their festive menu rivalled MeatLiquors to be my favourite. I think I like when places actually put some proper effort in, rather than just creating a special burger. Dirty Bones had festive burgers, side, cocktails, desserts…
Anyway, the Get Elf’d Burger – aged steak patty topped with deep fried cran-brie, torn slow cooked gammon and stuffing mayo. I’m all about gammon at Christmas, so this was a no brainer! Nice, good quality pink in the middle (have we established by now that I like a rare burger?) beef, a generous portion of flavourful gammon and a big chunk of breaded brie – well played Dirty Bones, well played.
You could double this one up but I chose not to. Only because I needed space for the Double Dirty Fries (see my review here for more about these) and dessert…
So the dessert – the Smashed Mince Pie, which I’d read rave reviews about. I’ll be honest, I was a little underwhelmed. It was just a nicely presented broken up mince pie with brandy butter gelato and coconut ‘snow’. Nice, but not £6.50 nice.
Okay not a burger but I had to sneakily add this festive pizza in! I’ve talked about Voodoo Ray’s before here – I’m a fan. And the festive pizza I tried, Santana’s Little Helper, was delicious! I visited the branch in Shoreditch BoxPark.
I mean who could resist pigs in blankets on a pizza? It was also topped with red onion, rocket, marinated tomatoes, cranberry and parsley. I strongly recommend you try a slice.
So, those are my top picks of the London chains for festive junk food – I’d love to hear if anyone else has any recommendations.
All photos my own.