24 August 2013

The Burger Bulletin: Dirty Burger Review

When I came out of the Tube at Vauxhall this evening and was faced with hundreds and hundreds of people, I was worried that they were also heading for Arch 54. I knew that Dirty Burger was popular, you see, and it was entirely plausible that on the first Friday after the opening of its south-of-the-river branch, there would be a queue. Luckily, it turned out that there was just some minor sporting match taking place at The Oval.

I've been meaning to visit Dirty Burger since they had a free burger give-away during their soft launch last year. But although I happened to be working from home that day and even though I was still in Marylebone at the time, Kentish Town was a little too far out of my way for a lunchtime. As such, when I heard they were opening an outpost on the right side of the Thames, I was pretty stoked, even if Vauxhall isn't especially convenient for me. It's a start, right? 

The Vauxhall arches aren't exactly Maltby Street, but Dirty Burger still has a pretty cool location, nestled under the train tracks. It reminded me a lot of Burger Joint — Le Parker Meridien's not-so-secret purveyor of excellent, cheap burgers — in New York, with its shack-like interior and carefully distressed signage. The ownership is similar too, as Dirty Burger is the quick-and-dirty burger shack of the Soho House Group.

They are open all day, so if you go before 11 am, you can have a breakfast sandwich; after 11, it's cheeseburger time. Don't bring your veggie friend; they will not thank you for it. I ordered a cheeseburger and some crinkle-cut fries, which set me back all of £8.50, and went to perch at one of the seats. There are a few stools for perching inside and a handful of tables out front. It's fast food, so the turnover is pretty high, but don't come with a huge group if you want to eat in.

Technically, the staff told me I couldn't have a medium-rare burger, but I asked them to make it as rare as was legal and I wasn't disappointed. The burger, with its soft, slightly sweet bun and flavoursome, juicy patty reminded me a lot of the Shack Burger I had at Shake Shack and of Tommi's Burger Joint's cheeseburger. Next time, I must remember to ask for no tomato or gherkin, but it was a really good burger. The chips were even better: the best chips I've had for a while. They were moist and slightly greasy, but still crispy — almost like a better version of chip-shop chips. The portion was probably big enough to share, but I managed to eat most of them anyway.

To try to offset my dinner, I walked back to Bermondsey. By then, the post-cricket rush had died down and it didn't take as long as I thought. Which just makes it so much easier to start plotting my next visit to Dirty Burger. Dirty — but very, very nice.

Dirty Burger. Arch 54, 6 South Lambeth Road, London, SW8 1SS (Tube: Vauxhall). Website. Twitter.


  1. It's exciting that interesting things are starting to pop up in Vauxhall, it's felt like an unloved junction for too long! Plus having a decent burger joint on my route home can only be a good thing!

  2. Exactly. I am hoping more cool places will spring up in some of the other arches. Maybe some of the other central/north London burger joints will take the hint.

  3. Thanks for the review. Made my mind up about trying it out.

  4. Great stuff. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! :)