22 Wardour St, W1D 6QQ
Burgers AND ramen: two of the greats combine in this ultra fun Chinatown stop-off. Wagyu beef is the focus here, try it in their signature Hokkaido burger (with truffle and blue cheese), or in a chilli ramen. And whatever you do, make sure you don’t leave without trying the Harumaki – essentially a Big Mac (veggie and meaty options available) in a deep fried spring roll.
A taste of NYC in London. Think Shake Shack but way better; this is classic American burgers, shakes and fries. Our order is a bacon cheeseburger, a side of angry fries (with hot sauce and blue cheese), and an Oreo shake to go. And then a nap.
Max’s Sandwich Shop
19 Crouch Hill, Stroud Green, N4 4AP
A sandwich might not sound like junk food, but Max Halley’s sandwiches really take things to the next level. Each sandwich is a complete meal – think ham hock with fried egg, piccalilli and thin potatoes, or short ribs with gravy mayo. If you’re a Crouch Hill local, this is your spot. And if not, be prepared to travel.
Temple of Seitan
10 Morning Lane, E9 6NA
There were queues around the block when this place opened, and we can vouch that it lives up to the hype. This is 100% vegan fried chicken (made from seitan, obvs) – try it in a burger, a wrap, or solo drizzled in buffalo sauce, with a side of vegan mac’n’cheese. Junk food you can feel good about.
You probably know the deal with Voodoo Ray’s by now, but we couldn’t leave it out. Grab a slice of their 22-inch NYC style pizzas after a night out (or before one!). Our fave is the Full Moon slice – bacon dust, marinated tomatoes, mozzarella and japanese mayo, only available after midnight.
You might think of ramen as more nourishing soul food than junk, but when it’s topped with some of Bone Daddies’ ‘cock scratchings’ (crunchy crumbed chicken skin) served with a side of chicken wings and a pork belly bun, it’s definitely going to satisfy your cravings for some high-fat food.
If you want to go all-out American deep South, Absurd Bird is the place to do it. They specialise in fried chicken here (the clue is in the name), but it’s also all about waffles, mac and cheese and jalapeno cheese biscuits. And to drink? Wash it all down with their in-house moonshine, available in a variety of sweet flavours.
Patty & Bun
In the battle of the burgers, Patty & Bun almost always comes up top. We love them for their ‘Family Style’ chef collabs, their signature smokey P&B mayo and their ‘make it veggie’ mantra, which means replacing the meat in your burger with a deep fried cheese fritter. Now that’s how to do it.
26 Noel St, Soho, W1F 8GY
When it comes to comfort food, grilled cheese is pretty much the ultimate. Soho’s Melt Room is dedicated to the stuff, and they do it oh so well. They’ve got your craving covered across breakfast, lunch and dinner: start off with a an eggs benedict melt, grab a classic cheese and sourdough for lunch, try a fish finger melt for dinner, or go sweet with nutella and mascarpone in milk bread.
14A Old Compton St, Soho, W1D 4TJ
Another entry from Bone Daddies, Shackfuyu takes the idea of Japanese food as healthy and turns it on its head. Forget sushi, forget poke, Shackfuyu is East-West fusion for when you’re seriously hungry. Try the prawn toast okonomiyaki, octopus tacos, and the korean fried wings, and finish things off with their famed kinako french toast.
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