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Burger Capital of the North

4 June 2015
Burger Capital of the North
The people of Leeds are spoiled for choice when it comes to burgers. It leaves us wondering what it is exactly that makes the burger the definitive go-to meal. From the humble single patty/lettuce/gherkin combo to more audacious options (donut burger anyone?) in no particular order, we look at the various burgers you can sink your teeth into and the unique places they come from.

The Joint

the Joint

An explosion of pop culture inspired indulgences with décor to match. The menu includes an extravagant dessert selection, ‘killer cereal’ which is really more of the same rather than a genuine breakfast option (m&ms meets chocolate milk) and obviously, the stars of the show: the burgers. There are various meaty combinations including the infamous Heisenburger with candied bacon and blue cheese (get it?) but there should also be a special shout out to the veggie option here; many would argue halloumi cheese is fast becoming a tired substitute but the Diplodocus takes halloumi ‘stix’, smothers them in garlic butter, pickles and guacamole and instantly they become more interesting.

Patty Smiths

Patty Smith's Burger Article

These guys get about; stalwarts of the festival/street food scene and residents at Belgrave, I would hazard a guess that most people have tried or at least thought about trying a Patty Smith’s burger. The size of the patty is enjoyably mouthful sized. Unlike some of the more gargantuan burgers of Leeds which avalanche onto faces, tables and laps, Patty Smith’s Dirty Burger offers a silky brioche bun, slightly pink centred pressed burger, baby gem lettuce and tomato trimmings, cheddar cheese and a bit of oozing chipotle mayo wizardry. Upgrade with the fully loaded session fries. Perfectly portable, take this baby onto Belgrave roof or while you watch a gig.

Red’s True Barbecue

We celebrated our launch at Red’s recently and sampled a fair chunk of their menu, which comes via a leather bound holy scripture of meat (a general theme at Red’s). Imagine every meaty combination imaginable, chuck in some fully loaded sides and you’re just about there; the selection can be daunting but equally, for meat lovers you cant go far wrong. On a crazy whim, I opted for a controversial burger sandwich hybrid, which is probably technically neither. Soft, gritty waffles encase endless Southern Fried Chicken strips, peppered bacon, lettuce, slaw and ranch dressing and you have yourself a Sleepy James.

it Bar and Food Joint

it Bar Burger Article

The key word here is Mammoth so arrive hungry. All the burgers are stacked so you might want to adopt a plan of action; will you scoop out the middle which might be filled with pulled pork and slaw (aptly named The Filthy Pig), mac and cheese, which is named after such, or slow cooked chilli in The Sloppy Joe? Or perhaps go for it and take a huge bite? The bread bun is really just an accessory to the main show inside. Unless of course you’d like a bit of fried bread inside The Hangover special to soak up all of last nights it Bar cocktails.

The Pit

The Pit Article

The Pit combines the three p’s; pint, patty and ping pong. Revel in the range of classic to novelty burgers including the more zany option of The King which consists of a beef patty smothered in bacon jam and peanut butter, nestled between two glazed donuts. Pictured is The Big Boy where size matters; packed with double beef patties, sloppy joe, bacon AND turkey rashers, American Cheese slices and a couple of beer battered onion ring to boot. Not feeling that brave? The Pit does classic no nonsense beef and pulled pork burger options too. Relax with a pint and a friendly game of ping pong with these ones.

Almost Famous

Almost Famous burger Article

When you order your main are you also already thinking about dessert? Almost famous offers a perfect solution with their whimsically named Shut up America, which is pretty hard to ignore with an Oreo cookie ice cream sandwich magnificently plonked on top of a cheesesteak burger which comes with BBQ fried onions, cheese, bacon, bleu cheese sauce and chipotle mayo; the ice cream is really just a palette cleanser… Almost Famous’ menu is divided into ‘burgers’ and ���not burgers’, so burgers are pretty much ‘their thing’. Add on marmite fries, unless you hate them!


Natives of London, Leeds has more recently been given the MEATliquor treatment with their dive bar aesthetic and an alarming lack of crockery. Their tongue-in-cheek Dead Hippy lets you tuck into two French mustard fried patties, lettuce, cheese, pickles, minced white onions and a mysterious dead hippie sauce. MEATliquor is the kind of establishment where kitchen roll comes as standard so you know you’re in for a messy one.

Five Guys

Five Guys

The fancy fast food chain has already opened up a branch in Cardigan Fields Retail Park and now we await the arrival of the Duncan Street Store for more of the same. They keep it fairly simple at Five Guys but the burgers are really worth a go, traditionally, messy, unphotogenic burgers and delicious skin on fries. Watch this space!

Emma is a Freelance Writer for Leeds Living. She has a degree in English literature from the University of Leeds and specialises in writing cultural editorials.