One Manchester were invited to review the menu at Honest Burgers and check out their brand new bar / restaurant on Bridge Street.
After posting a what turned out to be quite a controversial statement on Instagram, I received an ambush of outrage. In fairness, I had declared that Almost Famous should make way for Manchester’s newest burger venture, Honest Burgers. Looking back, I should have realised that I’d not only set myself up for a onslaught of veggie abuse, but I’d also picked a battle with some of the city’s most infatuated consumers.
But I stand by my point – and here’s why.
Located on Bridge Street, Spinningfields, Honest Burgers is right next to Manchester Hall and next door to Dishoom (another culinary gem) and housed under a stunning marble-esque archway. Upon strolling in, I couldn’t help but find myself recalling some of Europe’s coolest burger joints, especially the likes of Burger Meister in Berlin.
Relaxed and casual, the emphasis at Honest Burgers is pretty much placed solely on food and service; and less on fad and neon lighting.
Taking our place at a comfy booth, the bar/restaurant comprises of a series of diner high tables. There’s a laid-back bar area and open kitchen, filled with busy, happy chefs.
While we browsed the menu, a friendly waitress asks if we’d like anything to drink. We opted for a cocktail and a beer. The ‘Botanic Garden Gin’ (cocktails from £6.50), poured with Honest Iced Tea, apple and lemon, provided a sweet and refreshing flavour with a sharp punch, while the locally brewed (literally, on-site) Bridge Street Pale was light and refreshing with a short, citrus kick which gave just enough relief without becoming too overpowering (beers from £4).
With a menu which features burger options with free range chicken and beef, there’s also a couple of really strong vegetarian and vegan option too. Boasting only British produce, Honest use only British veg, British cheese and British relish. They’re also always homegrown and homemade; pledging to be so forever.
As standard, any Honest Burgers promises to come with rosemary salted chips. As self-described by Honest, these chips aren’t “an extra; they’re an essential” – and they’re not wrong. Perfectly formed with a lightly crisp skin (helped along by a special salt, lemon and rosemary coating) but still fluffy inside, these seasoned treasures of the earth are almost worth the trip on their own merit.
But it gets better.
Especially for Manchester, Honest Burgers have curated a special one-off beef burger (Manchester, £12.50), made up of Honest beef, Bury black pudding, Runaway beer cheese sauce, mini roasties, bacon gravy, rocket and pickles. Obviously, we went for this one. From the very first bite, the burger tasted high quality and held together despite its monstrous size and rich, oozing medley of sauces. Probably the best burger ever experienced in this city.
We also went for the Honest Plant Burger (£13.50), a vegan burger in collaboration with Beyond Meat, topped with vegan smoked Gouda, chipotle ‘mayo’, mustard, red onion, pickles and lettuce. This was, without a doubt, the best veggie burger I’ve ever had the pleasure of. Take any cliché ‘meat’ description and apply it here; thick, juicy, succulent… all the adjectives I should be ashamed of enjoying.
For sides, my partner opted for BBQ Chicken Wings, which were smothered in just the right amount of chipotle BBQ sauce and a sprinkling of spring onion. We also grabbed some extra bacon gravy, which was rich and smoky, and some chipotle mayo – perfect for chip dipping.
Heading upstairs for a quick exploration, the top floor of Honest Burgers comprises of a taproom residency from Runaway Brewery, complete with a roof terrace.
So, what’s the Honest verdict?
Having been lucky enough to be invited to Honest Burgers to review their menu, we genuinely can’t shout about them enough. We’ve already made personal recommendations to friends and family, and can’t wait to visit again.
Food: 4.5/5 – practically faultless.
Service: 4.5/5 – friendly, welcoming, attentive.
Atmosphere: 4.5/5 – chilled, comfortable, friendly.