The coolest places are always the hardest to find… I paced up and down Highgate Road for ten minutes before plucking up the courage to ask at a nearby pub, “Where exactly is Dirty Burger?” It had been under my nose all the time, round the back of the glowing Pizza East restaurant.
The tin shack is tiny with just enough space to hold twenty hungry burger fans. The menu is short and simple with the crew concentrating on doing what they do best and not fussing with alternatives. It is a quick process, order a cheeseburger at the bar, make the difficult choice between onion rings and crinkle chips and take a seat on one of the communal benches.
Pre-empting the greasy feast at Dirty Burger, I was careful to not eat much before my visit, ensuring a starving state. On entry to the shack, the irresistible smells tickled my taste buds – I was extremely excited about finally trying a famous ‘dirty burger’.
The burgers here are of the sloppy kind, though they don’t drip unnecessarily. The ground beef is cleverly coated in a floury layer to add a delicious crispy edge. As I often say, a burger is only as good its bun, and here at DB they get it just right with a super soft sweet bread sandwiching the contents. Crunchy lettuce, sliced tomato and melted cheese completes the beast. It is so good all thoughts of calories go out the window, instead I began thinking, “Could I manage a second?”.
Luckily I tried both the chips and onion rings and on reflection would recommend you order both, as they are equally tasty and quite frankly unmissable if you want the complete burger experience. The onion rings are blissfully light, with an extra peppery thin batter encasing the soft loops of onion. Chips are old school crinkly and though I was sceptical at first, taste insanely good, especially after a decent dunking in mayonnaise.
Milkshakes are also available: thick, sweet and indulgent, just like the ones served in American diners. I opted for a refreshingly cold diet coke from the help-yourself fridge.
This secret shack stands strong as a leader in the London burger revolution, and after trying their juicy recipe I’m hooked on this Highgate hangout. The dirtier the burger, the better!
More information here.