So, I'm classifying 'burgers' as burgers and not chicken sandwiches. So we're talking the very best in beef and beef substitutes here...
The Stateside Deluxe
What’s Your Beef?
These burger geniuses have been hitting the rigorous Street Food trail for a few years now and they’ve managed to create a bit of a red-hot reputation for some of the best burgers you’ll ever eat in your life. They always have a special on the go (hello Croissant Burger) but you should go for their ‘Stateside Deluxe’ – a burger that made it into the top 5 at the National Burger Awards last year.
Until they decide to grace our bellies with a return of the fabled ‘Big Matt Burger’ you’ll have to make-do with the standard hamburger from Hawksmoor I’m afraid. But in reality, this is no ‘standard’ hamburger, as you’d expect from Hawksmoor – this is SO much more. From true experts with meat, the burgers come from 100% grass-fed beef, which they grind up and mix with small nuggets of bone marrow to make them super-super juicy. It’s then topped with cheese, a few bits of green and that’s it – burger perfection.
Hawksmoor, 184, 186 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB
You might not think to order the burger when you go to Elnecot, certainly not when there’s a menu packed-full of other delights. The burger might seem like a cop out – but I must say – it’s one of the best things on there and shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s a big boy, coming packed with 2x smashed beef patties, salad, wild garlic mayo and the cherry on top that takes this burger to a whole new dimension – that stunning ‘Owd Yonner cheese.
Elnecot, Cutting Room Square, 41 Blossom St, Ancoats, Manchester M4 6AJ
Ultra Famous Cheeseburger
The Burger Veterans of Manchester, Almost Famous were pretty much single-handedly responsible for the in-flux of ‘dirty’ burgers into the city all the way back in 2013 – and they’re still going. That in part is down to their truly excellent burgers, and with a simpler menu in 2020, one which aims to go back to their roots, you can enjoy them once again without a load of mad ingredients getting in the way. Their Ultra Famous cheeseburger will sort you out.
100-102 High St
Unit 2, Great Northern, Peter St
The Lane Closer
Being a bowling alley (as well as a bar), Dog Bowl have struggled to get back open again after lockdown, which is a massive shame because everyone loves a bit of bowling, and of course – we can’t get our chops on their Lane Closer yet. Easily enough for two hungry people, there’s 3 (yes 3!) 100% beef patties, there’s a big pile of Pulled Pork, cheese, salad and Tater tots on there. They then add some tangy BBQ sauce and then pour cheese sauce all over the bloody thing. Mmmm.
Dog Bowl, Whitworth St W, Manchester M1 5WW
The 2020 ‘Tribute to Bacon’ Burger
2020 saw Honest Burger change their Manchester ‘Tribute’ burger, a unique creation that’s ONLY available in this city. What was once a burger topped with beer cheese sauce, bacon gravy, roast potatoes and black pudding is now a ‘Tribute to Bacon’ with Honest’s signature medium-rare patty topped with double bacon, smoked cheddar, bacon gravy and bacon mayo. And personally, I think it’s much better than the last one.
Honest Burgers, 36 Bridge St, Manchester M3 3BT
EC Beef Burger
No matter how many times you go for amazing food in the restaurant upstairs of Edinburgh Castle, nothing beats grabbing a burger, a few pints and sitting off with your mates chatting shit and getting merry. The humble Pub Burger has had a serious upgrade here though, with a burger which has been slowly creeping up everyone’s ‘Best Burger in Town’ lists as more and more people try it. A simple yet truly exceptional burger.
The Edinburgh Castle Pub, Henry St &, Blossom St, Manchester M4 5AW
The Lockdown DIY Burger Kit
The Koffee Pot
Still yet to re-open, don’t worry too much because it won’t be long until The Koffee Pot is back again – serving up their handover-destroying Full English brekkies and great drinks. Over lockdown they offered up some suburb DIY Burger Kits, where you’d receive everything you needed to make cheeseburgers and bacon cheeseburgers in the comfort of your own lockdown den. They’re still offering them now – so get involved.
Eat New York
Even though they’re not on Oldham Street any more, Eat New York are actually opening up new premises over in Prestwich, so if you live in the area – you’re in for a BIG treat when they do. They’re still offering deliveries though and you certainly can’t go wrong with one of their excellent burgers, of which the Pastrami Burger is up there with the best. It’s like a typical NY pastrami sandwich (with sauerkraut, Russian dressing and Swiss cheese) but it’s on a burger. Genius.
The Great Tower
The Pen & Pencil
A rather large burger here, which is actually stuffed full of gooey cheese – so be prepared for that before biting into it and burning half of your face. This is pure burger beauty, as the ‘Juicy Lucy’ patty is then topped with a Potato Rosti, tangy Catalan Sauce and then shoved into a bun for your scoffing pleasure. This one is actually a special at P&P so you might have to rush down there soon before it goes for good.
The Pen & Pencil, Fourways House, 57 Hilton St, Manchester M1 2EJ
The Urmston favourites still haven’t fully re-opened after lockdown but they are still offering up delivery, where they guarantee your gorgeous burgers to your house in 45 minutes. Can’t beat that really. A couple of weeks back I had their ‘Atomica’ burger and was blown away – it was 2x smashed patties, cheese, crispy onions and Ndjua. I’ve never eaten something so fast in my life.
Get Chucked!, 40 Flixton Rd, Urmston, Manchester M41 5AA
Bone Marrow Beef Burger
Tariff & Dale
There’s an excellent kitchen hiding in the unassuming Tariff & Dale in the Northern Quarter, one which offers an impressive range of dishes, alongside some great pizzas and of course – burgers. Bone marrow seems to be the not-so-secret ingredient on making your burger extra-juicy and extra-tasty and T&D certainly got the memo on that one. Their Bone Marrow Beef Burger also features serrano ham, smoked cheddar and a dill & mustard pickle sauce that has my name written all over it.
Tariff & Dale, 2 Tariff St, Manchester M1 2FN
Patty Queen @ Freight Island
A relative newcomer to the city, Patty Queen has managed to secure themselves a slot at 2020’s hottest outdoor ticket – serving up the crowds over at Escape to Freight Island at Mayfield. And there’s a good reason why they’ve managed to get such a lucrative spot – the burgers are outstanding. You can’t go wrong with the ‘Double Beef’ – two smashed patties topped with cheese and all the sauces. Simple but so, so good.
Escape to Freight Island, Baring St, Manchester M1 2PZ
Bacon Cheeseburger (All The Way)
I say this every single time that we do things about burgers – and I’m sorry. Manchester’s Finest are the champions of independents in the city, but when somewhere is good enough – it’s good enough. And Five Guys is good enough. Their burgers are truly excellent, which is something of a miracle considering their huge chain status. In terms of worldwide burgers – this is the best, followed closely by the Whopper – sorry Big Mac – you’re about number 5.
Cane & Grain
You probably wouldn’t expect a ribs place to offer up an impressive vegan burger but Cane & Grain have smashed it. They use the rather impressive Beyond Burger vegan patties which taste A LOT like meat but, of course, have none of the nasty side effects of a meat-based diet. They then top it with their sticky House BBQ Sauce, add some greenery and some vegan cheese and serve.
Cane & Grain, 49, 51 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
Double BBQ Beefless Burger
Offering up ‘Vegan Junk Food’ you’d be mightily surprised if there wasn’t some sort of loaded burger on the menu at Wholesome Junkies – and, well, there is. Of course there is. IN fact there’s loads of them and you can customise to your heart’s content. Personally though, I’m a stickler for the traditional – so their Double BBQ Beefless Burger wins every time.
Wholesome Junkies, Manchester Arndale, 49 High St, Manchester M4 3AH
Big Kahuna Burger
Herbivorous Vegan Street Food
Taking the name from the burger that features in Pulp Fiction, then creating a vegan version is a great idea and the end result is an outstanding vegan alternative. The ‘beef’ patty is marinated in teriyaki which gives it that desired umami taste, and it’s then topped with cashew ‘cheese’, pineapple, seitan bacon and sauces. Definitely well worth the trip down to Hatch for (among other things of course).
Herbivorous Vegan Street Food, Hatch, 103 Oxford Rd, Manchester M1 7ED
Double Cheese at Trof
Superstar Burger at Archies
The Whopper at Burger King
Samosa Burger at Scene