possibly the best burgers in North London…


This Saturday was the north London derby – Arsenal vs Tottenham – possibly my least favorite fixture of the season. Tony and I opted to go early so we could get there before it got too unpleasant and so we could eat and drink in relative comfort.

Goose had gone to Alton Towers to sample the local cuisine whilst queuing to get a chance to throw it all up again (!)* so we set off from Northampton at about 2 and reached the Holloway Road shortly after 3.30. We headed for the Grafton Arms on Eburne Street. The Swimmer at the Grafton Arms (no idea why it has two names) is a gastropub situated just off the main drag and so exists as a fairly tranquil oasis of calm surrounded by the hubbub of Holloway.

They sell a lot of nice beer here: Tony had a Czech pilsner while I plumped for an American style craft pale ale. Both came in those tall pint glasses that make you think you’re getting half as much again.

The place was busy so we had to sit inside, right by the open kitchen. I think the place is Spanish run because most of the regular bar staff and the chef look Spanish. Its efficient rather than overly friendly but that’s fine; we went in for food and drink not for a chat.

Tony ordered a burger – and was amazed they asked him how he wanted it done** (its not McDonalds Tone!); I went for the Spanish burger (pictured) which came with finely sliced chorizo and roasted red pepper. They both came with a small metal bucket of twice cooked chips – really excellent crispy golden chips, I much prefer having fewer, better chips than a mound of soggy pallid ones; in fact these were sort of chips that make you want to play jenga with them 🙂


the burgers were soft and juicy, with a good relish. It would have been impossible to eat them as burgers in buns though – but this seems to be the trend these days. I don’t have a mouth (like Zippy from Rainbow) that hinges in the middle! My other gripe was the plates, or rather the lack of plates. Our meals came on slabs of black slate which I’m sure is meant to look good but I’d like a lip so I can push my food around a bit. It was also awkward for the waitress to pick up after we’d finished. Sometimes trendy is just, well, too trendy.

Tony’s burger was £8.95, mine £10.50 and while that’s a lot more than McDonalds we felt it was more than reasonable. The chef looked a bit grumpy – or hard pressed – but he cheered up when we told him how much we enjoyed his food. We try and eat around the area but I suspect we might be coming back here again soon


*her report on that may (or may not) follow 🙂

** ‘medium-rare’ in case you wondered

One thought on “possibly the best burgers in North London…

  1. Pingback: Arsenal v Galatasaray S.K; where to eat before the game « Untold Arsenal: Arsenal News; Supporting the club, the players and the manager

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