In the words of Sir Cliff: ‘Christmas time, mistletoe and hamburgers’. There’s nothing more seasonal or more evocative of the Christmas spirit than a brioche stuffed with meat; forget fairy lights, yards and yards of tinsel, choirs singing Good King Wenceslas, it’s all about meat patties and lashings of sides.
So to get you in the Christmas spirit, step away from the cracker jokes, the eggnog and Slade, go and eat these burgers now…
What: Set Your Christmas On Fire
Why: No Christmas is complete without an amateur pyromania display. Normally this comes in the form of singed eyebrows courtesy of a flambe Christmas pudding. Not at Haché: welcome to the Steak Flambé. Along with the signature steak patty the Christmassy burger is made with smoky Morteau sausage, grape chutney and melted Camembert. But the spirit of Christmas is cognac, in which it’s doused before setting it alight.
Where: All Haché restaurants in Balham, Camden, Chelsea, Clapham, Holborn and Shoreditch
Butlers Wharf Chop House
What: Sensational Saucy Santa
Why: With the possible exception of Horsemen of the Apocalypse or Measles Mumps and Rubella, good things come in threes. Never more so than D&D’s three The Chop House restaurants which are based at Paternoster, South Place and Butler’s Wharf. Their Christmas offering is the Saucy Santa Burger which features a minced turkey patty, pickled red cabbage slaw, pigs in blankets and cranberry ketchup.
Available at Chop Houses’s Warwick Court, Butlers Wharf and South Place restaurants
Where: Butlers Wharf Chop House, 36E Shad Thames, London SE1 2YE
What: In NYC They Say 'Happy Holidays' With Burgers
Why: The two things that Americans really do properly are Christmas and eating. So it’s no surprise that NYC’s UK outpost, Dirty Bones, should perfectly channel the US-of-A through its Christmas burger. Get ready for ‘The Holiday Burger’ which is a venison and pork mince patty along with hazelnut brown butter mayo, smoked bacon, caramelised shallots and red cabbage marmalade on a seeded brioche.
Available at Carnaby, Soho, Shoreditch and Kensington and Oxford branches of Dirty Bones
Where: 20 Kensington Church Street, London, W8 4EP
The Vurger Co
What: Because Rabbits Celebrate Christmas Too
Why: Suggest taking meat out of Christmas and most people would look at you as though they’d just found a sack of coal in the place of their stocking. But not when it’s The Vurger Co. This popup doesn’t need the flesh of animals to celebrate and the result is mouth-watering. The Vurger Co’s Christmas burger is made from a roasted parsnip and chestnut patty, topped with homemade sage stuffing, parsnip tails and chilli cranberry jam. This winning combo is then locked in place with a generous helping of clementine mayo.
Where: 109 Commercial St, Spitalfields, E1 6BG
All Star Lanes
What: A Christmas Burger That's Right Up Our Alley
Why: Designed specifically to stick two fingers up in the direction of traditional turkey dinners, replete with their dry turkeys and over-abundance of sprouts the Christmas Dinner Burger from up-market bowling alley All Star Lanes is a feast of festive indulgence. A turkey, chestnut and cranberry patty beneath a layer of duck fat roasted potato salad and topped with a sausage and apricot stuffing fritter this is the stuff this would have you rubbing your belly and falling asleep in front of the Queen’s Speech were it not for the ‘strikes’ you’re expected to score at glorifies skittles.
Where: 6 Porchester Gardens, Bayswater, W2 4DB
Meat Up Burger Kitchen
What: A Burger As Red As Santa's Trousers
Why: It might as well be covered in tinsel: the brightly coloured Christmas Burger from Meat Up is served in a bright red bun and consists of a patty topped with roast turkey, bacon, pigs in blankets, stuffing, sliced Brussels sprouts and brie. As a final send-off it’s then slathered in cranberry sauce, served with a side of gravy and skewered with an actual candy cane. It’s the most Christmas thing since ‘Once In Royal David’s City’.
Where: 351 Fulham Road, Chelsea, SW10 9TW
Gourmet Burger Kitchen
What: O Christmas Three...
Why: If as much time went into developing the ‘O Christmas Three’ pun as into producing Gourmet Burger Kitchen’s selection of three Christmas burgers then we’re in safe hands. Rather than produce a single burger they’ve come up with a selection of (you guessed it) three: vennison, beef or chicken. The burgers are then served with a hashbrown, smoked Applewood cheese, cabbage and bacon, a tarragon mayonnaise, devils on horseback and GBK’s own Christmas gravy.
Served at GBKs across London
Where: Various Across London
What: Nearly as naughty as Lord Byron
Why: From Wham! through to the fairy on top of the Christmas tree, Christmas has always been just a bit cheesy. A fact that Byron Burgers takes to heart with Cheesemas, taking an already great concept and throwing cheese at it (word from the wise – this is also the solution to nearly all of life’s dilemmas). And the king of Cheesemas is the The Fromagemas, a cheese burger incorporating a traditional hamburger, Barber’s cheddar, Barber’s Red Leicester, Byron cheese, crispy Grana Padano, red onion, smoked tomato ketchup, Grana Padano aioli and a jug of Byron cheese sauce. Merry Cheesemas to you!
Served at Byron Burgers across London
Where: Various across London
With so much choice why not cancel Christmas dinner altogether? Send back the turkey, eBay the celebrity chef Christmas pudding and head out on a burger crawl. With so much choice you’ll be spoilt, the only thing missing from the list is a reindeer burger.