A Burger Aficionado’s Pilgrimage to Gordon Ramsay’s Street Burger

I consider myself a burger aficionado. Everything from deluxe servings like Five Guys and In-and-Out burgers, to cheap classics like the McDonald’s Big Mac and the Burger King Whopper, I’ve tasted and critiqued a wide array of hamburgers in my 21 years on this planet. If hamburgers were the only thing that composed a balanced diet, I’d be at peak health.

Gordon Ramsay is a household name around the world. After stumbling onto Gordon Ramsay’s Street Burger Islington location during my daily commute, I was filled with immense curiosity and excitement, hoping to find the best hamburger in town. With my burger expertise under my belt, I decided to try and review the restaurant this past weekend. So, are the burgers at Gordon Ramsay’s Street Burger a master chef classic or a kitchen nightmare?

Street Burger-Islington is located at 341 Upper St, London N1 0PB. Despite the repetitive and clear branding, it can be easy to miss the restaurant on the busy Upper Street in Angel. Photo by Pete Villasmil.

I walked into the Street Burger with high expectations. As I entered, I immediately starting admiring the environment. The décor encompasses a rustic and minimalist punk aesthetic, with neon graffiti art covering the interior of the dining area. On the second floor of the Angel Street Burger awaits a bar and a Pac-Man arcade machine for patrons to play with while they wait for their meals. It’s an interesting vibe, one I wasn’t quite expecting, but it works well with the overall concept of the restaurant.

Street Burger’s bar on the second floor. At peak hours, the bar is full of famished and thirsty customers. Photo by Pete Villasmil.

To get an idea of what Street Burger offers, I ordered two distinct burgers. The Hell’s Kitchen Burger is a flavorful sandwich, with its spice punctuated by large jalapeño slices, padrón salsa and smoked sriracha sauce. It was little too spicy for my liking, but there’s definitely an audience for this type of burger. The BAE Burger feels like breakfast on a burger, with treacle cured bacon and a massive over easy egg. The tomato relish that accompanies the sandwich makes it a little messy to eat, but all in all, the combination of the bacon, egg, and sauce is too good not to enjoy.

Unfortunately, what detracts from the meal is the overall quality of the beef patty used in the “street” burgers. On its own, the patty is disappointingly bland and lacked any savory flavor. It might have been an off-night in the kitchen, but the burger itself left a lot to be desired. Everything around the sandwich is quite good, and ends up redeeming the burger.

All of the garnishes and sauces on the two burgers I tried were excellent, but were sadly held back by an unremarkable hamburger patty. Eating both burgers felt like watching a movie where the supporting cast is stellar, but the lead actor delivers a lackluster performance.

The Hell’s Kitchen Burger and the BAE Burger in all their glory. Both burgers were enthusiastically endorsed by our host. Photo by Pete Villasmil.

Fortunately, my trip to Street Burger wasn’t a complete waste. In a surprising turn of events, the chips (or fries for my loyal American readers) were exceptional. Golden and crisp, the chips were also lightly seasoned with a house blend of spices. Pairing them with Heinz ketchup (you can never go wrong with Heinz Ketchup) makes them a dangerously good side that overshadows the main course.

Like any pilgrimage, there’s always a moment of personal enlightenment. I learned a great deal during my adventure at Street Burger, especially about managing wild expectations. In most cases, it’s best not to go in with any expectations at all. However, even if I had gone into Street Burger without high hopes, the burgers would still have been a major disappointment.

That’s without mentioning the overall cost of the meal.

Maybe I’m biased as a broke college student, but I was shocked to see the final total. The two burgers, sides of fries, and two tap waters set me back about 40 pounds. While I’ve grown accustomed to the higher-than-average expenses of London, the quality of the burger and the overall experience simply does not justify the toll. For a city as big as London, I am certain that there are other establishments that offer much better burgers, for half of the price.

My recommendation is to seek those places out, as Gordon Ramsey’s Street Burger will leave you feeling empty and disappointed.

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