Who’s tastier? Dirty Burger Vauxhall vs Honest Burgers Brixton


It’s a tough one but there’s one clear winner



Outside Dirty Burger, Vauxhall
Outside Dirty Burger, Vauxhall

Kentish Town’s Dirty Burger has just set up shop below the arches of Vauxhall station, but how do these newest recruits on the south London scene compare to Brixton Market’s much-loved Honest? Cue meat sweats and over-eating, a burger-off was the only way to find out.

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The Burger

Dirty Burger
Dirty Burger

The Dirty cheeseburger was the only one on the menu and it arrived looking like it had been scrunched in someone’s sweaty mustard-inked hand. The patty was cooked to medium and a comfortable bite width, with an American garnish of gherkins, burger cheese and crisp iceberg lettuce. It was slightly over seasoned but nothing a blob of sweet ketchup couldn’t neutralise.

The success of the rival patty is in the name: Honest. You know what’s in it. No horse-meat scandal to fear here – with meat supplied by the respected Ginger Pig, you could probably almost trace your burger back to an individual British cow.

Honest burger
Honest burger

Not at all greasy, the cheeseburger arrived perfectly formed inside a fluffy glazed bun. Upon closer inspection, the medium rare slab was made using larger cuts of ‘Great British Meat’.  I know this because it was emblazoned on their window. Proper cheddar cheese melted thickly over the meat with a sweet red onion relish and lettuce neatly piled on top. This was almost a perfect burger and that’s a tough task, considering we tried it after the Dirty Burger – and the meat sweats had already kicked in.

Score: DB 0-1 HB

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The Chips

Crinkle cut chips from Dirty Burger
Crinkle cut chips from Dirty Burger

Dirty Burger’s were delightfully fluffy on the inside while being crispy on outside. Bonus points for the nostalgic crinkle cut shape of yesteryear, but it’s tricky when up against something so sophisticated as Honest Burger’s rosemary chips. That single herb effortlessly saying it’s not a naughty greasy chip – it’s actually something rather gourmet. I’ll give ’em both a point.

DB 1-1 HB

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The Drinks

Beers from Redchurch and the 'special'
Beers from Redchurch and the ‘special’

At Dirty Burger, a small can of Brewdog’s Dead Pont Club pale ale will set you back a staggering £4, otherwise it’s a Heineken for the same price. For what they lack in drinks variety, they make up for in milkshakes. We slurped the extremely chocolaty chocolate milkshake, which doubled up as a desert.

Honest Burger has a nice selection of lagers and Redchurch ales as well as a special – a blonde Blanche de Bruxelles, light and refreshing, it was the perfect accompaniment to a heavy burger.

Score: DB 0-1 HB

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The Condiments

Dirty Burger's neat condiments
Dirty Burger’s neat condiments

Nicely displayed – it was launch night after all – Dirty Burger offered French mustard and ketchup in a fun retro plastic tomato bottle.

Honest Burger loses with a big fat industrial sized Heinz plunger bottle.

Score: DB 1-0 HB

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The Interior

Dirty BurgerDirty Burger is all wrapped up in corrugated iron, with the logo sprayed onto roughened up surfaces. It’s “dirrrty” but in a studied way (well, Soho House do own it, after all). The stools are slightly too high making your feet swing uncomfortably off the ground. It’s more of a take-away joint, you’re not meant to hang around.

Honest Burger has a noticeably more “designed” exterior than some of its Brixton market neighbours. It feels homely, with stacks of plates and hanging kitchen paraphernalia. It’s like they were halfway through a tidy up and then the doorbell rang. Un-matching chairs and a descriptive friendly menu chalked across a blackboard wall add to the unpretentiousness.
Score: DB 0-1 HB

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The Customers

Outside Honest Burgers
Girl power? Honest.

Dirty Burger was bustling with Vauxhall’s smart commuters with its launch day 50% off offer. Honest Burger was surprisingly dominated by females. When we arrived at 7.15, there was a 40 minute wait, a testimony to how good these damn patties are.

You can’t really rate the customers – but surely Honest Burgers has to win for girl power?

Score: DB 0-1 HB

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The Result: it’s 5-2 Honest Burgers. But how could it be anything but?

Find Dirty Burger at Arch 54 6 South Lambeth Rd Vauxhall SW8 1SS. Monday to Thursday: 7am – 11pm. Friday: 7am – 2am. Honest Burgers Unit 12, Coldharbour Lane, London, SW9

Words and pictures: Sarah Fox


  • Show Comments

  • Mike

    “Un-matching chairs … add to the unpretentiousness.” Uggghh; surely you mean the opposite?! 🙂

    Nice review – but it’s all about the burger and (for me) it’s Dirty all the way!

  • South London Blog

    Nice comparison, have to say that I would find Honest Burger’s chips hard to beat! Bukoswki in the village also does a great burger.

  • Francis’s

    Compare chains?. Try the Vigata Burgers and you will wonder how you could have eaten anything else.you all concentrate on the meat only bear in mind that the bun as much as Important and vigata burgers make their own bun a few minutes before the everything else @vigataburgers

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