The New Art of the Dirty Burger: Five Guys

There’s a “street vibe” in London that goes perfectly with munching on a dirty burger and shoving fries in your mouth.

After my previous post about keeping in shape while traveling, I had a wicked impulse to look back on some of the “naughtiest” foods I’ve had while back in London this month.

Being back with family and friends has given me an excuse to let loose a bit and enjoy what London has to offer. I’m not the world’s biggest burger fan but there’s a “street vibe” here that goes perfectly with munching on a sloppy burger and shoving fries in your mouth.


Welcome to Five Guys, the US burger chain that once had a visit from Barack Obama. This was my first time in one of their restaurants and I was drooling even before I walked into their Islington branch.

The cheerful red and white decor is dead simple but leaves the focus on the food, which after all is why we’re here. There’s a tempting selection of burgers, hotdogs and sandwiches, but I was definitely on a burger mission.


I went for the basic hamburger with mushrooms, fries and a coke. There’s a staggering 15 toppings to choose from so you can really get creative. The burger itself was a good size, tasted fresh and well seasoned, the sesame bun moist and not too floury. I’ve heard that to qualify as a “dirty burger” means having a glazed bun, but I think Five Guys are reworking the artform. The fries were crispy on the edges and had just the right amount of grease.

An added bonus at Five Guys is the free monkey nuts, I think aimed at people who are queuing. Just help yourself whenever you like – but I doubt you’ll have any room left after your meal!

Five Guys
71 Upper Street, Islington, London N1 0NY

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