Perfectly piled patties, adorned with a medley of mouthwatering toppings and stuffed in a warm bun – is there anything better?
There’s nothing quite like a proper burger. Juicy beef, chicken or meat-free patties cooked to perfection, stacked high with accoutrements and sauces before being stuffed inside a gloriously soft bun. It really is the stuff dreams are made of. But where can you get the best in Leeds? We’ve rounded up the finest burger joints in the city, so the next time you’re dying for tasty patty (or a 100% vegan version), you’ll know exactly where to go.
The positively bonkers decor is matched by Almost Famous’ burgers. The place is covered in graffiti, neon lighting and there’s even a larger-than-life gorilla at the door to welcome you. It’s wonderfully OTT, just like their patty combos. You can’t go wrong with their Famous Cheeseburger, but true burger joy lies in going the extra mile – Blame It On the Whiskey stacks two patties, waffle fries, jalapenos, BBQ pork, mayo, onion, crispy pepperoni, chipotle hot honey and BBQ sauce – like everything at Almost Famous, it’s not for the faint-hearted!
Almost Famous, 23-25 Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 3AL. Burgers range from £9.50 to £13.
Nation of Shopkeepers
Nation of Shopkeepers has been the go-to pub in Leeds for beers, burgers and beats for over a decade now and it’s easy to see why. They have all the classics, but they’re not afraid to get creative either, so you can indulge your adventurous side. Keep it simple with the Classic Cheese, which comes with British beef and smoked Cheddar, or go for something utterly out there, like the Japanese-inspired Katsu Burger, a crispy-coated chicken breast smothered in tangy sauce and tucked inside a bun. Oh man, it’s a game changer.
Nation of Shopkeepers, 26-27 Cookridge Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 3AG. Burgers range from £7.50 to £11.
Burger lovers enter burger heaven with a trip to Patty Smith’s. You’ll find it in the back corner of Belgrave and these oh-so-messy delights are worth every single drip. Keep it simple with a Dirty Burger – a Yorkshire steak mince patty will ooze onto your hands as you bite your way through cheddar, chipotle mayo, mustard, pickles and lettuce. Veggie? The Leafeater swaps the beef for a beetroot, fennel and cannellini bean patty covered in tomato jam and red cabbage. Whatever you go for, don’t forget to pair yours with a pint and the legendary Session Fries.
Patty Smith’s, Belgrave Music Hall, 1-1A Cross Belgrave Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 8JP. Burgers range from £6.95 to £9.50.
Red’s True BBQ
This Leeds legend might be famous for its low and slow BBQ meats, but they don’t neglect burger perfection at Red’s, not by a long shot. The cool, industrial-chic venue is chock-full of feasting carnivores looking to get their jaws clamped around all kinds of burgers. There’s classic cheeseburgers, but if you want to try something a little more unconventional, their Donut Burger is a rite of passage. You’ll get two sugary glazed donuts stuffed with smoked bacon, crispy onions, BBQ sauce and a juicy beef patty. Vegan? They have jackfruit burgers too.
Red’s True BBQ, 1 Cloth Hall Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 2HD. Burgers cost between £13 and £24.
If you like a fuss-free approach to burgers in a laid-back restaurant that prides itself on being family-friendly, look no further than the brilliant Byron. They do some of the best burgers in Leeds, all made using British-reared beef and chicken, alongside hand-picked toppings. The Smokey is a favourite, a juicy 6-oz beef patty topped with smokey pancetta, Cheddar cheese, crispy onions and smoked chilli BBQ mayo. It’s not all about meat, though – their open-to-all attitude means their Beyond Meat vegan burgers are just as good as the rest.
Byron, 9a Lands Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6AW. Burgers range from £7.35 to £13.95.
The Fox & Newt
The Fox & Newt might be an unassuming local brewpub, but there’s nothing low-key about their burgers. They’re some of the most unusual in Leeds, once you look past their very tempting beef and chicken options. The pull here is their Safari Menu. They change on a regular basis, depending on what they can source, but on any given day you could be getting your chops around zebra, camel or kangaroo patties in a pretzel bun. The most popular? It’s the crocodile burger – with a dollop of tartare sauce, it has quite a snap.
The Fox and Newt, 9 Burley Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS3 1LD. The Safari Menu burgers cost from £15 to £17.
Famous for steak, Gaucho has just one burger on its menu, but it’s worth a place on this list for that alone. It’s seriously one of the best burgers in Leeds and that’s down to its simplicity. It’s made with 100% Black-Angus cattle bred at hand-selected farms in Argentina – quality doesn’t get much better. Made with a combination of lomo (fillet), ancho (rib eye), chorizo (sirloin) and cuadril (rump), it’s seared to perfection and layered into a toasted brioche bun with cherry tomato jam, baby gem lettuce, onion and mayonnaise – chef’s kiss.
Gaucho, 21-22 Park Row, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5JF. The Classic Argentine Burger costs £17.
The first 100% vegan junk food restaurant in Leeds knows how to muster up a joy-giving plant-based burger. They change up their offering on a regular basis, but it’s always creative and it’s always tasty. The classic cheeseburger gets given a seitan makeover, but don’t be afraid to live a little – the Hashbrown Down sees the seitan topped with these potato parcels of joy, while the Chickpea Curry gets you an Indian-spiced veg patty topped with coconut curry sauce and mango chutney. Broaden your horizons and you’ll be rewarded.
Cantina, The Old Red Bus Station, 104 Vicar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7NL. Burgers range from £7.95 to £8.95.
Five Guys is a 21st-century take on a classic American diner and burgers are what they do best. They put you in control of your burger destiny, however, with their DIY menu offering over 250,000 different combinations – just choose the best bits for you. It could be multiple patties, stacks of cheese, a couple of bacon rashers, all before you get to your toppings. Peppers and lettuce, pickles and onions, your options are almost limitless, and don’t even get us started on the sauces! Pair yours with a mountain of cajun fries and you’ll be full for days.
Five Guys, 9-11 Duncan Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DL and Cardigan Fields Leisure Park, Kirkstall Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS4 2DG. Burgers range from £5.25 to £9.45.
Slap & Pickle
Beer and burgers go hand-in-hand with a trip to Assembly Underground. It’s a street food haven boasting a 50-beer Vocation Brewery taproom, so grab a pint to wash down the heaving burgers from Slap & Pickle. They’re a Leeds favourite and one big bite will show you why. The oh-so-juicy patties are made with 40-day-aged chuck and short-rib beef from nearby Swaledale – try their tasty Personal Cheesus, topped with American cheese, lettuce, pickles and S&P sauce. Want your burger without the meat? They can make any combo veggie or vegan.
Slap & Pickle, Unit 2, Assembly Underground, Civic Court, Great George Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS1 3ED & Beer Hawk, 16 Boar Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6EN. Burgers range from £8.95 to £15.50.
There are just three burgers to choose from at East 59th, but what they lack in quantity, they make up for in quality. Settle into one of their booths, take in the views across Leeds and eeny, meeny, miny, moe your way to a full belly. Keep it simple with the East Cheeseburger, a beef patty topped with lettuce, tomato and house sauce in a toasted brioche bun, or go all out with the Veg Stack – a meat-free patty is loaded with halloumi, baby gem, avocado, feta and gherkins. Feeling clucking good? The Crispy Chicken Burger is bang on the money.
East 59th, Victoria Gate, Eastgate, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7AU. Burgers range from £13 to £14.50.
Bad Boy Burgers
If you want to eat gloriously gooey gourmet burgers without leaving the comfort of your own home, check out Bad Boy. The hugely popular takeaway makes irresistibly juicy burgers, loaded with toppings. The Triple Bad Boy is their most popular – they stack a beef patty up with bacon, pulled pork, Monterey Jack, gherkins, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and Bad Boy’s signature sauce to create a monster of burger. More of a daredevil? Go for the Flaming Bad Boy, a beef or chicken patty smothered in fiery chipotle sauce and jalapeños.
Bad Boy Burgers, 16A Stainbeck Avenue, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 2PA. Burgers range from £5.95 to £8.75.
Two Bs rule the roost at The Brunswick – beer and burgers. Their craft beer offering is the perfect partner in crime for their tempting patties from a 10-strong menu. Their smash beef patties and fried chicken are all made using locally-sourced meat, while the fulcrum of their veggie and vegan burgers come from The Meatless Farm. They do the classics well, but if you want to push the boat out try the Nacho Burger – two beef patties are lovingly adorned with salsa, Emmental, mini tortillas, cheese sauce and guac in a potato brioche bun.
The Brunswick, 82 North Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS2 7PN. Burgers range from £7.50 to £9.90.
If you’re looking for vegan burgers in Leeds, Mog’s is a must-visit. They pride themselves on dishing up tasty meat-free junk food and the burgers are a huge part of that. Come hungry, though, because these bad boys are massive! The Big Mog is a classic you can’t argue with, a ‘beef’ patty topped with Mog’s burger sauce, cheeze, lettuce and pickles. But if you like to be as adventurous as Mog’s, try the Donut Do That – it’s the same as above, but with added crispy onions, BBQ sauce and fake bacon, all served in two sugar ring donut buns.
Mog’s, 55 Kirkstall Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS5 3BE. Burgers range from £6.95 to £12.50.
MEATliquor’s Leeds restaurant will send your senses into overdrive. Banging tunes blare out of the speakers, red lights create an edgy vibe and irresistible smells drift from the kitchen. Their burgers are down and dirty too. The classic is their famous Dead Hippie Burger, which comes with two French mustard-fried beef patties, smothered in Dead Hippie sauce and topped with lettuce, American cheese, pickles and minced white onions. But the veggie options are just as good – try the potato and white onion Burgaloo 2.
MEATLiquor, Trinity Leeds, Bank Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5AT. Burgers range from £6.95 to £10.75.
The signs are pink, the food is green and the burgers are black – but stay with us, because Punk Vegan pull no punches with their incredible burgers. This 100% vegan joint in Hyde Park is famous for their black charcoal burger buns – they’re as good for you as burgers can be! In between, you can get their take on the Classic Cheeze or a BBQ Boi beef burger, but if you prefer a twist on chicken, try the much-loved PFC – deep-fried seitan fillets are topped with creamy slaw, garlic mayo and their house chilli sauce.
Punk Vegan, 82 Brudenell Road, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 1EG. Burgers range from £8 to £9.50.
The Brewery Tap is a famous Leeds watering hole with incredible beer, but it’s also home to a quality burger bar courtesy of Big Buns. This is the sister company to The Falafel Guys and they’ve taken over the kitchen with their epic patty offering. All their smash beef patties are made using 30-day, dry-aged, grass-fed black Angus beef – try the OG, which comes topped with iceberg, onions, dill pickles, BB burger sauce and American cheese. Going meat-free? Their falafel smash patties are downright delicious.
Big Buns at The Brewery Tap, 18 New Station Street, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DL. Burgers range from £7.45 to £14.95.
Perhaps best known as a bottle shop for beer lovers, Growlers is just as good when it comes to burger brilliance. 14 beef burgers, seven chicken burgers and a trio of meat-free wonders make this Headingley joint a must try. There’s classic beef combos, but the standout has to be their pesto cheeseburger, topped with homemade pesto, cheese, onions and gherkins. Chicken? The waffle burger is a sticky delight, a sweet and savoury treat to which you can add bacon. Veggie? The spicy bean burger packs an almighty punch.
Growlers, 29 Otley Road, Headingley, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS6 3AA. Burgers range from £6 to £12.
North Brewing Co’s Springwell HQ is a craft beer wonderland that doubles as the home of one of the best burger joints in Leeds. Kerbside Kids dish up all kinds of incredible smash burger combos out in the beer garden. Keep it simple with the Cheeseburger, a 4oz patty topped with gooey American cheese, lettuce, pickles and burger sauce. The Nashville Hot is a fiery challenge for chicken lovers, or you can cure your hangover with the Tabasco Benny Burger, which sees all your morning favourites covered in Tabasco sriracha hollandaise.
Kerbside Kids, Springwell, Buslingthorpe Lane, Meanwood, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS7 2DF. Burgers range from £6 to £8.50.
Here’s a little twist on the best burgers in Leeds – Bundobust have a duo of burgers that are by no means conventional. First up, the iconic Vada Pav. You’ll wrap your chops around a deep-fried ball of creamy mashed potato that’s seasoned with vibrant Indian spices and a duo of chutneys in a brioche bun – they do a vegan version too. Or, you can order up their Bhaji Butty. A classic bhaji patty is topped with salad and chutneys in a vegan brioche. Proof, if you needed it, that burgers don’t need any meat when it’s from Indian street food legends.
Bundobust, 6 Mill Hill, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 5DQ. Burgers cost £6.50.Cover image credit: Kluens Media.