The Edinburgh burger scene has grown exponentially over the last few years in terms of both quantity and quality.  We’ve tried quite a few of them in our quest to find the perfect burger and when we received an invite to try out the London-based Byron’s new Edinburgh opening, how could we resist?  The founder of Byron, Tom Byng is still the main driving force behind this unconventional chain of restaurants.  His obsessive desire to bring the perfect American burger back to the UK has resulted in 37 London restaurants plus another 20 and counting in the rest of the country. While this is undoubtedly a restaurant chain, the original vision of the founder does still seem to resonate: to do one thing and do it properly.


The restaurant

The North Bridge location of the restaurant is currently under siege by the scaffolding surrounding the Carlton Highland Hotel although you can’t miss the signage that has been heralding the restaurants arrival for the last few weeks.  Byron prides itself on giving every restaurant its own personality and the Edinburgh one is no exception with dark wood and soft lighting giving the place a relaxed feel.  The members of staff are also pretty chilled out and have an enthusiasm for all things burger related that feels genuine rather than corporate generated.

Proper olives and tortilla chips, guacamole and salsa
The menu is refreshingly simple (no schlock-burgers here) and we enjoyed some nocellara olives (£2.95) and tortilla chips with fresh guacamole and salsa (£3.75) while we were deciding.  Understandably, the drinks menu is quite USA/London-centric and the company will be adding a few more local producers to the list soon (Irn Bru does make an appearance though).  They do know how to serve a beer here and my Byron lager (brewed by Camden Town Brewery, £4.35) arrived in a cold can along with a chilled glass – the perfect burger accompaniment.  To fully immerse yourself in the American burger eating tradition, you can enjoy a milkshake made from four scoops of their ice cream (£4.75) – the maple and salted popcorn sounded particularly inventive.  If you fancy a drop of the hard stuff, there is also an extensive list of bourbons to choose from – or you can also combine the two in a hard shake.



We had time to relax and enjoy our bites before the burgers arrived along with our French fries, onion rings, courgette fries and blue cheese dip.  It all looked authentically American and we couldn’t wait to tuck in.  I had ordered the chilli burger (Byron will also donate a free school meal as part of the one feeds two charity £8.95) and Donnie ordered the signature Byron burger (£9.50).  Mine came with green chilli, cheese, shredded iceberg and chipotle mayonnaise.  I substituted the traditional American “cheese” for Byron’s unique Freddar cheese, named after its chef creator and a sort of Franken-cheese blend that looks like regular burger cheese but tastes, well, cheesy.  The burgers are cooked medium here unless you ask otherwise and are ground freshly every day from four different cuts of meat.

The Byron Burger


My chilli burger was juicy with just the right amount of crunch from the iceberg lettuce and a decent kick from the chipotle mayo and green chillies.  And, yes, the freddar was a definite hit – the comforting texture of burger-cheese but with a decent flavour-this burger had it all going on.  Add to this the soft white bun and it was pretty close to burger perfection.  Donnie devoured his Byron burger with a similar level of gusto – his came with dry cure bacon, cheddar cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion along with the mysterious Byron burger sauce.  The courgette fries (£3.50) were also a big hit – slices of courgette in a crispy polenta coating – delicious with the blue cheese dip (£1.25).  The fries (£2.95) and onion rings (£3.50) were both very good too. 
Courgette fries with blue cheese dip


Beer batter onion rings
French fries

There are a few other burger options on the menu including the frankly terrifying B-Rex and you can also create your own if you’re feeling particularly fussy.  There are also a couple of different vegetarian burgers and a few salad options too.  Despite our best efforts, we couldn’t quite contemplate dessert although they did all sound suitably indulgent.  They are also made on-site and looked like they would satisfy the most American of appetites-hopefully next time.  

Byron has taken the best of American diner cuisine but combined it with a more relaxed ambience and style of service.  They obviously spend a lot of time and effort to achieve this consistent level of burger perfection and what’s nice is that they still travel the world trying to make it even better.  The lovely staff combine relaxed informality with high levels of service and enthusiasm for the job.  Byron delivers on all fronts and is a great choice for some tasty American comfort food in the heart of Edinburgh.

Proper Hamburgers
29-31 North Bridge

Tel 0131 556 3444

Takeaway starting from 8th February 

Sign up to the Byron Burger Club here for special deals, invites and events Thanks to Claire from Byron for our very kind invite to dinner.

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