There's no denying it - summer is the season of meat. As we dust off the cobwebs on the barbecues, pretend we know how to properly use firelighters, and avoid contact with anything that didn't have a pulse - everyone's BBQ gatherings are roughly the same. But wouldn't it be nice if all the work was done for you? And at a place that looks further than the local supermarket for their ingredients. Here is our list of our favourite places in London to soak in the sun while munching on the meat. Burgers, Seafood, Ribs, Steak and Chicken - this is London's Best Outdoor Meat-Eateries.
Boom Burgers are a little bit different. An explosion of flavours, all given the Jamaican treatment, and smothered with things like bacon jam and avocado salsa. Born from a lack of good burgers in Montego Bay, Boom Burger has burst onto the Portobello scene with some of the most beautiful looking burgers we’ve seen. As you might imagine, things are a little fun with bright red banquettes or a bar to enjoy some signature cocktails. It’s a little less intimate than you might expect, but you’ll be amongst friends, strangers, and the best of them here. These burgers are Jamaicin’ us crazy! Grab the Jerk Boom, with jerky chicken and fried plantain, all oozing with mango and raw paw sauce. For the vegetarians there’s also the Veggie Boom, an explosion of roasted sweet potatoes with chilli jam and avocado salsa. Phwoar, this is reggae in a bite. Boom. (Had to say it).
Bringing ‘the best New York burger to a street corner near you’, this food truck is straight from the city the other side of the pond. Serving up the classic burger four ways (cheeseburger, double cheeseburger, blue burger and a veggie option) in toasted buns and secret sauce, these guys are good for on the go. Simple food done well, make sure you catch them by keeping up with their Twitter. Or alternatively call them up and get them to come flip their burgery brilliance at your party and be the toast of the town.
If you ask most Londoners where their favourite burger spot is, most will shout Honest Burgers. There’s something about the British-only produce and simplicity, as well as chunky wooden tables and casual atmosphere that keeps people coming back. The beef is Ginger Pig dry aged and worth loading with Stilton or Red Leicester, but the vegetarians amongst you will be happy with the market vegetable fritter served up in Honest’s glazed bun, accompanied by beetroot and apple slaw. All burgers come with the house fries (rosemary salted, naturally) and a side of complete satisfaction.
Bring on the burger! This time it's a three course affair, with Bobo Social pushing the patty to the next level. Think fois gras, wagyu beef and even peanut butter flavours. With an experimental 'guest' burger each week, prepare for even more surprises. The menu isn't restricted simply to burgers however and you can find small plates to surround your burger and dessert cocktails for that extra sweet finish to the meal.
Angler is another reason to head east, specifically to the slightly less sexy area of Moorgate. Some impressive views of town and some equally impressive dishes to tuck into, the fish fans will enjoy themselves here. You'll find sustainably sourced (of course) scallops and crab starters, bream and cod to follow and alternatives for those who prefer their food with legs, or the animal-free variety.
You’ll find the original Bonnie Gull on pretty Exmouth Market because of the queues stretching out the door. A popular place and rightly so - we like the (naturally) shabby chic decor that makes us feel like we’re in Cornwall and using the brilliant hammers to crack open crab claws and get at all the juicy meat inside. A great lunch deal for £10 includes a glass of wine so you can be sure to be the envy of everyone and their Pret sandwiches.
A seafood list wouldn’t be complete without sushi and we think the Heron Tower’s Sushi Samba is a great shout. A fusion of Peruvian and Japanese, the food’s a riot of fresh flavours and colours that in places pack a punch. Of course, try the classic nigiri or sashimi for the real experience but it’d be criminal not to give their samba rolls or small plates a go for a rich, decadent meal that finishes outside on the champagne terrace. No biggie.
Arguably one of London’s most famous fish restaurants, J Sheekey’s is the place to impress. From the decadent decor to the flawless food, this is a whole different level of dining and a far cry from the in-and-outs that surround it in Leicester Square. You’ll want to stay here for a while, wholed up in a corner with a lobster to share, or up in the Oyster Bar with small plates and people watching on the menu. A perfect pre- or post-theatre place too if you can drag yourself away.
'London's best crab restaurant has arrived', we're confidently told and we're definitely excited. We've had the lobster love for a while so we're pleased that crabs are getting the attention they deserve too. There's soft shell crab burgers, king crab legs, whole crab for two to share and a crab platter as well as a host of other classic non-crabby dishes but we're not entirely sure why you'd want to stray away from crustaceans really. It may be suit central in the Circle but the moody wooden restaurant will have you feeling that sea breeze, just you wait.
Prime USDA beef coupled with the largest bourbon selection in London. With seven types of cuts on the menu, there’s enough beef to choose from, although non-steak alternatives are a little more pricy than usual. With seven types of potatoes to choose from, how can anyone complain? Wine-wise, they’re divided into categories with our favourite being the ‘Big Whites’ and the ‘Big Reds’ (not just for the names, promise) and you must try the JW Cheesecake which has gained cult status. Try it and tweet it, it has its own hashtag - #JWCheesecake.
In the oldest surviving East India Company warehouse, the New Street Grill is a little corner in the City serving up some of the finest dry aged Black Aberdeen Angus beef and rare breed British pork. Whatever you go for, opt for the moreish sides (yes please triple cooked chips!) and ask the Head Sommelier Virgile Degrez for the best wine to pair with your meal (or take your pick from the 350 on offer). You can’t go wrong with whatever takes your fancy, but make sure you save enough room to dig into the quintessentially English desserts. Lastly, pop into the bottle shop to take something home as a souvenir, you won’t regret it.
Broadway Market’s Buen Ayre has gained a cult following. Tucked into a tiny little restaurant, this is food to write home about. Not as pricey as its city counterparts, Buen Ayre offers your typical cuts of meat as well as grill platters to share (although take care of the sweetbreads if you’re not a big offal fan). Buenos Aires-born head chef John Patrick Rattagan breathes passion into his dishes and there’s a homely feel to the place which represents friendly food at its best.
As the name suggests, Gaucho serves up Argentine extravaganzas. But forget fire pits, this place is all about the sophistication: monochrome with cowhide details. There’s ceviche to try (the lobster sounds particularly good) and Argentine king prawns with black pudding and blood orange, before the main affair of the meat. Let them educate you in the way of Argentine asado, or choose the Gaucho tasting plate for a trio of cuts. The wine list is the largest outside of Argentina itself and if you’re partial to cigars, there’s a selection to accompany your digestif of choice. Make a slow night of it and soak it all up.
The Paternoster Chop House prove that sustainable doesn’t have to mean vegan or even vegetables. This vibrant restaurant/bar opposite St Pauls is an excellent ethical choice for even the most resolute of meat-eaters. Head on a nice day to enjoy the terrace and watch the suits rush past while you wipe succulently rendered charred meat from your chops. Pair it with the Moobuz American Pinot Noir and laugh at Meat-free Monday.
An ode to meat - W36 is a salute to all things beef, showcasing the best of British cuisine, from the same people that brought you Beach Blanket Babylon. Expect super steaks, burgers, slow-cooking, and BBQ food. This traditional grillhouse will be open from breakfast until late, seven days a week; serving brunches, lunches, dinner and roasts. There's a cocktail lounge that doubles as a destination bar, an outdoor fire-pit for some late evening alfresco dining and a garden-grill and terraces that are bound to be a huge hit in the summer.
Red Dog Saloon is quickly becoming a renowned southern US barbecue restaurant serving up big flavours and big helpings. Classic BBQ wings, spicy mustard and Buffalo wings, served in portions of 4,8 or 12 are available. And although the crowds will flock down to take on the infamous “Devastator meal” (has to be seen to be believed…) their Hot Wing challenge is definitely worth a try. Be warned, the success rate stands at a worrying 5%…
Nestled in the trendy but quiet De Beauvoir town, Duke’s Brew and Que is a rip-roaring American meat joint where anything sticky and to-pull-apart-with-fingers is on the menu. With their own home-smoked marinade, the ribs here have been described as the best this side of the American Deep South and the burgers are delectably good too. There’s something about the naughtiness of a down and dirty American burger that can’t be matched, but if you’re after something fresher how about a quarter of a crisp iceberg lettuce drenched in ranch? Settle down with a local beer and old tunes spinning in the background, and be transported to the Bayou for just a little bit.
Following on the success of the original Islington branch, the guys behind Smokehouse, Islington, open up a West London branch. An absolute mecca for those who are fans of BBQ Cuisine, Smokehouse Chiswick, opens up in a cosy pub – providing you with the perfect setting for putting your feet up and nursing those meat sweats. The menu is one of the most mouth-watering you’re likely to find and the traditional British pub setting caps off an absolute super spot.