MEATliquor: Come hungry, leave wobbly.
For anyone new to Brighton, or planning a visit soon, I think I should tell you about MEATliquor. Beginning in London with a burger van, the hype surrounding MEATliquor grew considerably in a short time, and they grew to set up their first restaurant above a pub in New Cross. Today, 10 restaurants stand across London, Brighton, Bristol, Leeds and Singapore, regularly featured on Time Out lists of the best burgers in London and the UK.
A few years ago I was going through a massive burger obsession, and sought to find the best burgers everywhere I went. At the time, MEATliquor queues could famously involve a 2 hour wait, so I never did get to go in London and was so thrilled when I discovered they had a set up in Brighton. Which brings us to early 2015, just as we were beginning to make the arrangements to finally move to Brighton and I met a friend one evening for my first ever MEATliquor experience, and I haven’t looked back since.
It kind of pains me sometimes to be so obsessed with a chain restaurant, albeit a very small chain, but I have eaten a lot of burgers in a lot of cities across the world now and can happily vouch that these are some of the best you can get.
MEATliquor’s menu offers something for everyone with beef burgers and dogs, chicken burgers, veggie burgers, salads, and an irresistible selection of sides. The dining experience is stripped back to basics, with wine served in water glasses, rolls of kitchen towel on the table and food piled onto one large sharing tray. This, combined with neon signs, low lighting, blasting music and caged-in booths surrounded by plastic curtains, creates a shamelessly dirty atmosphere but really manages to create something that you want to be a part of, something that so many other burger places have tried and failed to achieve.
We end up here fairly often, especially when entertaining friends from other areas, as MEATliquor is fun, fast and filthy. As a result, I’ve managed to try a fair amount of their offering and can safely present some of my favourite picks if you’re feeling overwhelmed by the menu:
- Deep. Fried. Mac. And. Cheese. Yes, this is a thing and it is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever put in my mouth. £5.50 for 6 pieces – just do it.
- Chilli cheese fries: crispy, salty fries absolutely decked out in beef chilli, onions, cheese, jalapeños and mustard. Loaded and perfect for sharing, £7.00.
- Monkey fingers: battered chicken fingers in a signature hot sauce served with blue cheese dip. Choose as a burger alternative or share with your table, £7.75.
- Bacon cheeseburger: my absolute go to of burgers. Squishy and messy, the bacon is really meaty compared to the crap you can get elsewhere, and I can even eat the juicy pickles inside as the combined effect is just wonderful.
Something else worth looking out for is the array of part timers that come and go, and I’ll offer you a sneaky tidbit of information too: if you sign up to their mailing list, from time to time you will receive exclusive vouchers for discounts on their menu or sometimes particular lists such as the part-timers. A great excuse to try something different, and take a few mates with you too!
A Third Place
So, if for any reason you haven’t been to MEATliquor yet, I’m hoping I’ve given you a few reasons to go. Maybe you’re a vegetarian and had been put off by the name, but I can assure you there is plenty for you to try here and you’d struggle to find a similar environment elsewhere that doesn’t feel like, actually dirty, you know?
The music is entirely curated by and presented through MEATtransMISSION, a radio station which you can get a feel for here. Expect anything from funk, RnB, reggae and classic rock to accompany your burger experience, and you’ll often catch team members and burger eaters swaying along and singing.
A great meeting place for friends and families over lunch or dinner, the racy evening atmosphere also provides a great starting point for your night out crawling the nightlife spots of Brighton (I should know, I’m blaming the 5.5% Grapefruit High Wire pale ale for the beginnings of what ended in my Sunday-sofa-day-demise only yesterday). The full MEATliquor bar offers hard shakes, soda floats, cocktails, beer, wine, shots and spirits, on top of soft sofas and spirits.
So I know I’m not bringing anything new to the table here with MEATliquor, they’ve been here for a while and are a firm favourite with many. BUT if you’ve still not got around to trying them out, or don’t stop in Brighton that often, I’m hoping that this recent take on them will convince you to give it a go and would love to hear what you think if you do stop by!
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