Review: Byron Burger versus Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Spitalfields

Byron Burger

I have a friend who is really annoying. He doesn’t like food. It’s amazing we’re friends actually, but somehow we’ve persisted in hanging out for four years or so.

He is a stick, who might not eat for a couple of days. I, on the other hand, might not eat for a couple of hours.

He calls me Pig; I call him Sparrow.

He often comes to mine after work. His visits are almost always preceded by a text like this:

“Just to warn you, I’m not very hungry x”

However, this boy is fickle and occasionally he turns round at about 8.30pm and says, “I’m hungry! Let’s go out to eat.”

And this is how I’ve ended up dining at Byron Burger and Gourmet Burger Kitchen in Spitalfields.

Byron Burger, Spitalfields

We arrived there fairly late on a weekday evening so I wasn’t expecting the place to be buzzing, but it somehow had a cheeriness that belied its emptiness. It was probably because our waitress was super-friendly without being overbearing and that always creates a relaxed ambience.

There wasn’t any question about what I would  order. It was always going to be the Byron Burger (£9.25), which comes with cheese and bacon like all good hamburgers should.

Byron Burger - cheese, bacon and Byron sauce
Byron Burger – cheese, bacon and Byron sauce

It was nicely presented, and the salad was very fresh.

Inside the burger...
Inside the burger…

The burger was cooked still pink in the middle, which all burgers should be. By itself, it was a little dry and not exactly bursting with beefy flavour. Still, with the appropriate relishes, it was enjoyable. However, I have no idea what the Byron sauce is – can’t say I detected it, although I presume it’s the white-looking sauce on top.

Onion rings

I took a side of onion rings (£2.95), which are some of my favourite things in life. The batter wasn’t the most well-seasoned in the world, but these were seriously comforting nonetheless.


The chips were unremarkable (£2.95) – neither great nor terrible.

Overall, they could do with putting a bit more effort into producing a more succulent and tasty burger, but Byron Spitalfields made for a quick but pleasant dining experience.

Byron, Spitalfields (E1 6FQ) – 3/5

Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Spitalfields

In contrast, GBK was packed on a weekday evening. We squeezed onto a table and hurriedly made our order. With counter ordering and collect-yourself condiments, GBK is going for more of a fast-food feel than Byron.  I don’t remember anything about the service so our food must have been developed without incident.

We were taking advantage of the Capital Burger promotion – two cheeseburgers for £10. The burgers arrived and looked… very sad indeed. And very far removed from “gourmet”.

Capital Burger - let's hope it's not supposed to represent London...
Capital Burger – let’s hope it’s not supposed to represent London…

The bun was burnt. The burger was burnt. Inside, it wasn’t totally overcooked, but it suffered from being dry and lacking flavour, similar to the Byron burger. The difference is that Byron actually put some effort into the cooking, the other ingredients and the presentation.

Air fries
Air fries

I ordered a small portion of fries for £1.50 as I wasn’t terrible hungry (I’d eaten before my friend had arrived so this was my second dinner!). These were just the right size and would have been good value if they hadn’t been akin to eating air. I found myself shovelling 6 into my mouth at one time to try and detect some kind of potatoey flavour. Alas, my efforts were in vain.

I notice a discrepancy between the advertising and the actual product...
I notice a discrepancy between the advertising and the actual product…

I have had a decent Taxidriver burger at GBK Soho, but Spitalfields was a poor show.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Spitalfields (E1 6EW) – 1.5/5

The pictures speak for themselves. Byron beats GBK Spitalfields!

Author: Phoebe Amoroso

Phoebe Amoroso is a Tokyo-based reporter, multimedia journalist and storyteller. Hailing from the UK, she moved to Japan in 2014 and has since been shouting about the country to all who will listen. She divides her time between covering breaking news and producing feature stories for TV; writing about everything from business and tech to food and travel; and guiding hungry visitors who want to sample the best of Japanese cuisine. When not working and/or eating, she can often be found running up a mountain or cycling by the sea.

13 thoughts on “Review: Byron Burger versus Gourmet Burger Kitchen, Spitalfields”

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Watch out for an upcoming review of Honest Burgers – that is a place you should definitely make time to visit if you like burgers 🙂

      1. That’s LORD Byron… he totally stole my name and my gig by being born before me.
        (And trust you to like my most recent post about dining.) 😛

      2. Apologies LORD Byron!

        Ha! The dining didn’t sound like much but I appreciated the “foreigner-celebrity syndrome”. Famous in the UK, and famous in China…. next stop, the world, right?

  1. Well…I can’t tell which burger I’d enjoy more! All I know is that these two beat anything McDonalds sells for sure! These look too good to be true…even probably more appealing than those here in Texas (which is super surprising!). Perhaps I’ll photograph the next burger I eat and we can compare (;


    1. Really? Surely the burgers in Texas beat the burnt-looking GBK one? I have a review of a truly amazing burger coming up – be prepared! 😛

      Btw my friends had a great trip to Paris and loved the Dalí. And they told me that the food was good everywhere… I’m so jealous!

      1. I know this sounds weird but I like the way (slightly) burnt food tastes…crazy, I know, haha. And I’ll be looking forward to your next post!

        I’m so glad they enjoyed it! You’ll have to visit Paris soon – the food never let me down (:

      2. Haha only a little crazy! I do like some food when it has burnt edges – like burnt barbecue sauce…..

        Paris has definitely moved up on my “to travel” list 🙂

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