Byron is a name you’re no doubt familiar with if you’re a fan of burgers. I remember, years and years ago now, when London bloggers wrote rave reviews of Byron’s “proper” hamburgers and it was the place to go if you wanted to Instagram your dinner. Over the last few years, Byron have been opening stores across the country and now they have finally reached Edinburgh so I can find out for myself just what these Londoners have been going on about for years.
I had already eaten at Byron twice (oops!) by the time I was invited along to a launch event for the new Lothian Road restaurant – which probably gives you an indication of just how good the food is. I’m a big advocate of independent, local restaurants so the fact that it was a chain initially put me off, however Byron is a cut above your usual mass-produced chain and manages to retain plenty of cool, indie charm to make it feel like it’s always been part of the neighbourhood.
At the launch we were treated to an evening of burgers, beer and lots more as part of a beer pairing menu. Although the burgers are the star of the show, Byron have plenty of other tasty treats up their sleeve and an impressive new drinks menu to go with them. We started off with an ice-cold can of Byron Lager to sip as we perused the menu and settled in to our seats. I think this was actually my favourite beer of the night as it was very light and refreshing – definitely worth trying next time you’re at Byron!
The menu kicked off with some buffalo chicken wings and blue cheese dipping sauce, paired with Byron’s hoppy and citrusy Pale Ale. The wings were smothered in Byron’s own hot sauce and they were delicious – if there hadn’t been several more courses to come, I could’ve eaten a whole bucket of them! As Byron is a burger joint, I wasn’t really expecting their salads to be up to much but boy was I wrong. Our next course was a feta and watermelon salad with cucumber, rocket and pickled red onions. This was so tasty, and went perfectly with the Brewdog Dead Pony Club beer it had been matched with. This had such a lovely, fruity scent as soon as you opened the can and you could really taste the grapefruit and caramel flavours in the beer.
Next it was time for the burgers! We sampled some of the Smoky (with cheese, bacon, crispy onions, pickles and BBQ sauce) and Chilli burgers. I especially loved the Chilli burger as it was a fresh, unique take on a chilli burger – rather than being served with chilli con carne, it was topped with fresh green chillies, cheese and chipotle mayo. This is definitely one to try if you like spicy food! The burgers were perfectly cooked and served inside Byron’s signature squishy buns, and we enjoyed them alongside a bottle of 5am Saint from Brewdog.
We also nibbled on sides of bacon and cheese topped fries and macaroni cheese, both of which were very satisfying. The last beer of the night was Sierra Nevada’s Hop Hunter, which is a bit of a cult favourite amongst craft beer enthusiasts. Byron have worked really hard to create a drinks menu full of quality craft beers which really compliment their food menu. There’s no point putting lots of effort into creating amazing, top-notch burgers then ruining it with a bog-standard, boring lager – so Byron have created their own Pale Ale and Lager, which you can find on the menu along with lots of beers from other craft producers.
We finished off the evening with an Irn Bru and bourbon version of Byron’s hard shakes, and with that I was stuffed full and ready for a snooze. I was really impressed with Byron, both at the launch evening and on the other occasions when I’ve visited myself, and would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a great burger and some beers in Edinburgh.
Have you been to Byron before?