London was grey, the streets shimmering with sheets of rain, the wind causing shivers to ripple through the crowds of people walking as it whistled by. I bought a knit hat from a street vendor for ten pounds and pulled my wool scarf closer, tucking the edges into my leather jacket. I was here for the weekend, visiting my best friend from college, and we strutted through the Underground, determined to see the city regardless of the weather.
I had originally planned to lounge in a local pub, order fish and chips with a pint of ale and pick up an accent. But it was noon, a little early in the day for such indulgence (so said the pubs with the closed signs); with stomachs grumbling we found ourselves outside Five Guys, quite possibly the “Best Burger in London”.
The shop, opened mere minutes before, was already crowded with a queue, the din of conversations and peanuts cracking open filled the red and white checkered interior. The menu boasted simple but classic fare: hamburgers, hog dogs, fries, soda and beer. We each ordered a junior burger, dubbed “junior” as it only had one meat patty (I asked for bacon with mine), and a beer; we shared a order of fries.
The ambiance was an upper-class version of America’s In n’ Out, casual and friendly but adorned with comfortable booths and chairs inviting you to take a rest for a spell.
In those moments of anticipation, while waiting for your burger to arrive, the walls showcased the high praise they’ve received throughout the years.
The food arrived in a brown paper sack with aromas of rich fried potatoes and savory meat; we quickly unpacked it and by the first bite, we shared a nod of pleasure: definitely a great burger. I appreciate that they got my order right (no onions, pickles on the side), were generous with the tomatoes (three thick slices), and the meat patty, while moist, never caused the bun to be soggy. The fries were crisp, seasoned, not greasy and plentiful. Do not order more than the Little unless you are seriously starved.
After our hunger was sated, we finished our beers, leisurely chatting and I decided to look up Five Guys. Little did I know that “the most high-profile fan is President Obama himself“.
The sign that made me smile most: Five Guys are “Where Burgers are Boss”. Although you can find them in several cities around the globe, if you’re looking for an excuse to hit up London, or perhaps find yourself in the area: Five Guys, Covent Garden 1-3 Long Acre, London WC2E 9LH