Yesterday I was in London as my boyfriend was getting a new tattoo done at Frith Street Tattoo in Soho, we spent the day wandering around the city and doing a little bit of shopping. We had already decided before we even got to London that we were going to check out one of the new burger places, I really wanted to try out Five Guys and he wanted to try Shake Shack – we rock/paper/scissored it and I won, score.
Five Guys in London is the first UK branch of the American chain and it’s located in Covent Garden, we only found out about it because we happened to be wandering along Garrick Street last month on the way to a gig and saw the massive queue of people outside! That was opening night though, I’m not sure what the queues are like at peak times now it’s been open for a while, we went mid-afternoon and we just wandered straight in with no problem. The restaurant is surprisingly large with two floors of seating, we found a seat straight away on the ground floor – there were plenty of seating options too, tables big enough for families of 8 and lots of 2 and 4 seat opportunities.
When you first go into Five Guys you go to the order bar and choose what kind of burger you’d like, there are four basic burgers: Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Bacon Burger and Bacon Cheeseburger. There are also ‘little’ versions of each of these burgers. You then choose which toppings you’d like on your burger: mayo, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, green peppers, onions. All the toppings are free! There is also a wide range of sauces available to have on your burger. You then choose any side orders you want, there are two kinds of fries on offer; Five Guys style or Cajun Style and they’re available in three sizes. The drinks available are the Coca-Cola Freestyle Machine, Bottled Water, Budweiser or Premium Beer. You then get given a number and move to the collection point to wait for your food to be prepared, it doesn’t take long probably around a five minute wait but then that would depend on how many people are also waiting.
We ordered a Bacon Cheeseburger each and Large Five Guys Style Fries to share, we both got a Regular drink each too. On my burger I just went for ketchup, I like to keep it simple. Jamie added Grilled Mushrooms, Pickles and BBQ sauce to his. We’re familiar with the Coca-Cola Freestyle machine as the Burger King just over the road in Leicester Square has one, but if you’re not it’s a drinks machine with over 100 different drinks for you to choose from – I nearly always go for Cherry Coke with Vanilla for a hit of sickly sweetness.
Let’s talk about the burgers, they’re huge for a start – not that this is a bad thing. I found mine to be quite dry and not quite as greasy as I wanted it to be, if you’re gonna eat a massive burger, you at least want it to create some lasting damage, no? The bacon was a little too well-done for me, and I like my bacon very crispy normally, this was just hard and was difficult to eat in the burger. The bun was a traditional sesame seeded one and it was nice, nothing special though and the cheese and ketchup were the same. I enjoyed eating my burger but I don’t think I’ll be rushing back for another any time soon, it was nice but nothing special. The fries however, I really liked, the portion was huge and we couldn’t eat them all. They were quite salty with a hint of sweet vinegar too, they were skin-on fries which are fried in Peanut Oil. They weren’t very crispy though, some were, I found them to be very moreish and could have happily just eaten a (smaller) portion of those. Jamie wasn’t a fan of the fries though, saying they were too greasy.
It was sort of like Pringles, I kind of liked it but I don’t know why. The drink machine of joy was my favourite. The burger was pretty good but the bacon was overcooked. Not sure if we’d return as it was pretty expensive. Would rather try out some of the other places first and then maybe return if they’re not as good.
It was very expensive, for our meal (two burgers, two drinks and one large fries) it cost £27.50. Our burgers cost £8.75 each which is a bit pricey, if I went back I’d definitely get the ‘Little’ version as I couldn’t finish mine. We’d also probably get a smaller portion of fries and maybe share a drink to save a few pennies. I don’t think Five Guys is worth the price but it definitely fed my curiosity and I did leave with a full stomach.
Have you tried Five Guys yet?