In its 8th year, with 52 Byrons across London and the UK, the hamburger joint is taking a nostalgic turn and celebrating the re-launch of its first ever restaurant.

On 1 September 2015, the High Street Kensington Byron branch reopened its doors, taking its new look from the 1930s art deco architecture of the building and local surroundings.

Founder, Tom Byng explains, “Each restaurant is individual not identical, that’s really important to us. And we don’t want to do it in an obvious or clichéd way, we try to pick up on the feel of an area, and the atmosphere of the buildings in which our restaurants are located.”

chicken burger
Byron recently won a YCN (You Can Now) Illustration Award for its collaboration with illustrators including Jean Jullien and Alec Doherty, works of which can be found adorning the walls of Byrons across the city.

But enough about the interior design, I know all you really want to hear about are the burgers… We were lucky enough to chat to head chef Fred Smith about the brand new Run Rarebit Run burger (on the menu until 9 November) which we devoured at the launch, accompanied by fries, onion rings and the new Bugs Brownie milkshake, with homemade chocolate brownie, caramel and vanilla ice cream.

“It all started two years ago, London and New York were going head-to-head at a Meatopia event and I was inspired to create a burger with a difference. I just love cheese, so it all started there.

“I wanted to create something unexpected, and so took some vintage Cheddar, added a few surprise elements to spice it up and disguised it behind the appearance of a simple American cheese slice. But with the freshness of the pickled cucumber, and the spiciness of Worcester sauce, it is anything but.


“Over time, and many kitchen taste tests later, the Run Rarebit Run burger was created. The vintage Cheddar was blended with a dash of Byron‘s Pale Ale in place of the usual stout, a touch of Byron Hot Sauce and English mustard, topped with bacon and mayonnaise. Tom was always asking me to increase the kick! But you don’t want to overpower the flavour of the burger, always cooked to medium, to offer the best overall taste and juices.”

It was juicy. It was beautifully messy. It had the all-important slice of gherkin on the side. And just the right amount of tangy kick within the mayonnaise, without crowding the classic combination of beef, bacon and pickles in a simple, soft bunNo brioche found here.

“Do one thing. And do it properly” – that’s Byron’s motto, and it’s a good one to stick by. When Tom came back from the US on a mission to create a simple, hamburger restaurant over here he had just that aim. Now with an expanding burger empire, he’s more humble than ever, always looking to rejuvenate old restaurants, and inject new energy into the menu.

This is one burger chain that won’t be resting on its laurels.

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Byron | 222 Kensington High Street, London W8 7RG

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