Byron Burger, Newcastle City Centre
Byron Burger was one of many burger joints on my ‘must try’ list when I visited London last year. Five Guys, Shake Shack, Byron and Honest Burger all got hit during our 4 day trip and on returning to Newcastle I bemoaned our lack of decent options ‘Up North’. Thankfully the food landscape has changed in the Toon since then, but the announcement Byron was taking over the H&M site on Grey Street was met with excitement and anticipation on my part. Check out my previous blogs on great burgers here.
They opened in London in 2007 and have gone from strength to strength since. The idea was simple: to do a simple thing well, and do it properly. The menu compared to other joints is basic, and that’s not a bad thing. Like another favourite of mine – Fat Hippo – they know what they’re good at and stick with it. Other chains can bamboozle you with the bells and whistles, and I have historically found my experiences disappointing in such eateries.
The Canny Food family were kindly invited along to the grand opening of the new branch, which was too good an opportunity to pass up on. Having shared in my London burger adventure previously, Jnr was happy to participate too. His compliance should be seen as a positive endorsement before we’d even set food through the door!
Each Byron is different in terms of interior, which is unusual for a chain of this ilk. The restaurants tend to be open plan with a hip, informal vibe. It’s strange having shopped many times in H&M to see it as a restaurant, but I’m sure we’ll become used to it in time. We sat in the window area where the leggings and jersey basics were formerly housed!
Byron’s are fat patties, adorned with the best ingredients and served in a brioche bun. The 6oz cheeseburger at £7.95 is pretty good value for the standard of patty you’re served. There’s no fake chargrill flavouring here and the burgers are juicy and pink. I did have to have my burger cooked more because of the Canny Baby, but it didn’t hamper my enjoyment. For a chain these are a premium offering using Scottish Beef. Sides such as fries are extra (from £2.95) and because of portion sizes are enough to share between two, especially if you want one of their shakes or desserts. I like the selection they offer, which I feel elevate it above the competition. If you fancy trying something different check out their Courgette Fries. Delicious.
Jnr rather piggishly ordered their Bacon Double Cheeseburger, which is like the Burger King version only miles better. He asked for it without pickle, heathen that he is. He was not impressed it had American Mustard on as he clearly hadn’t read the menu properly, but he wolfed it down regardless and thoroughly enjoyed it.
They serve their own Pale Ale and a Byron Lager, which are brewed as part of a collaboration with Camden Brewery. It will be interesting to see if any local ales creep onto the menu, but for now Mr. Canny is happy with the options. Jnr had his usual Oreo Cookie Milkshake, which was deliciously thick.
Mr. Canny tried out their Vegetarian Burger which is made with beans (unsurprisingly) mixed with pepper, spinach, and red onion. I think next visit – if I’m feeling virtuous- I’ll order this. For a non- bean fan I was won over with its texture and taste.
I ordered the Banoffee Mess for dessert which we all shared. It might have been too much for me after my burger! There was a good ratio of banana-y caramel to vanilla ice cream which meant it wasn’t sickly.
We’d highly recommend a trip to Byron, but heed our warning that you may be waiting a while to be seated due to its popularity. The queues on the evening we visited were up to Grey’s Monument. It’s well worth it though, especially with such friendly and helpful staff. Our waitress was especially fantastic with Jnr. We rolled home afterwards, and I thanked my lucky stars that I’m now in my stretchy maternity jeans to accommodate the food baby. Thanks to the Byron team for the hospitality.
Thanks for reading,