So to preface this I’m going to have to say I KNOW I’m late to the game with this one, but- in my defence- I’m pretty new to London, and Brixton is bloody miles away from where I live. But yes, Honest Burgers is now known as a Brixton Village institution, despite its relative newness. With 5 star reviews from Time Out, and similarly high praise on review sites, I had high expectations, which I’m happy to say were not disappointed.
Being a person who has barely been south of the river, finding Brixton Village was a little tricky for me. Just to save those of you who are new to the area a bit of wandering, if you are coming from the tube you take the left hand entrance to Brixton Village (c.f. the right, where the delights of Wishbone lie). Brixton Village on a weeknight is a bit of a ghost town, and Honest Burgers was the only place open in the area we were in. Given there is always a wait, this could be a little annoying, but they take your phone number and give you a time estimate meaning you can wander off to a pub that’s a little further afield.
When we did get seated in the busy, makeshift-looking venue, we swiftly ordered a carafe of red wine (£11 and quite tasty) and went for the honest burger (£9). They also had a fantastic sounding festive-y special (including cranberry and Camembert if I recall correctly), which looked lush, but I thought I should go with the classic. It was beautiful. The beef is from Ginger Pig (meaning like me, it is Northern) and the quality of the meat was apparent thanks to the perfectly rare cooking; it really was exceptionally rich and juicy. This was offset by the sharp pickled cucumber, and sweet onion relish. It also included just the right amount of salty melted cheese (cheddar?) and a really tasty crispy bit ‘o’ bacon. I’m a massive bread fan, and the bun was amongst the finest burger buns I’ve had the pleasure of tasting. Sweet and perfectly toasted. Each of the elements came together perfectly, and the result was undoubtedly one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. All of the burgers come with Rosemary fries, which were perfectly salty with a real hit of rosemary. My one criticism here is that ours were a little cold, but still very enjoyable.
Service-wise, our waiter was friendly and efficient (given the high turnover even late on a Tuesday night) and had an impressive tendril of mullet creeping out from under his pork pie cap.
In terms of negatives there were only 2 real drawbacks- the chips, as mentioned, were a bit cold and not quite as fresh as I’d hoped. This is a very minor criticism, and I definitely could still have eaten another bowlful.
My second criticism is more about London’s weather than the restaurant itself. It was around -4 outside when we visited, and despite being full to the brim, the restaurant’s ad hoc venue wasn’t much warmer. On top of which around half of the tables actually ARE outside, and despite the canny fleecy blankets that are left on each chair, the lack of heaters mean they probably won’t be too pleasant from now until about March.
In spite of these minor criticisms, I would HIGHLY recommend going if you haven’t already. I have also heard from friends that the original Brixton Village restaurant is preferable to the Soho version, so, whatever the weather, grab a coat and get y’sels down there.