I remember last year when the burger craze was at its peak. That is all anyone ever wanted to eat for a time. Dirty burgers, posh burgers, unusual burgers, they were the latest craze for London.
Things have calmed down now, and my waistline can forgive me a little.
However after not having one for several months, I did start to miss those big, juicy patties.
So off I trotted to Stoke Newington to re-indulge in the good old burger.
Stokey Bears is the pop up creation of the master of burgers Burger Bear. He has been voted several times, burger of the year, yet I've never actually had one of his fine creations, so it was high time I crossed that off the to-do list.
Stokey Bears is your typical diner-East London-esque kind of joint. Barrels and wood, and a funky wall art or two.
Now, I must warn you at this point. If you are very hungry, and/or on a diet, this might cause you a bit of distress.
See I was meeting Gavin from I'm a Londoner for a catch up, and he brought along a friend and fellow foodie.
3 hungry foodies at a burger joint... we ordered everything.
I did warn you.
We decided to order all 4 burgers (there is also a double stack and triple, but they are the same as the single so we didn't bother), the table sharing fries, and a range of side dishes.
Oh boy, what had we done?
Let me walk you through this slowly.
The Grizzly Bear. A double stack cheese burger, with smoked bacon and Burger Bears famous bacon jam.
The Angry Bear, a cheese burger pattie, helluvapino relish and The Rib Man's #HolyFuck hot sauce
Not forgetting the veggies, there is the Koala Bear. Spiced bean burger, American cheese, avocado, salsa and lime yogurt.
And finally the original cheese Burger Bear
When you eat like this, you have to have some greasy sides. Giant onion rings and orange buffalo sauce chick wings do the trick.
With a table sharing plat of fries and some slaw we thought we were done.
Noting our huge order the waitress tried her luck by telling us about their new addition which hadn't made the menu yet.
Deep fried mac and cheese balls.
We ordered them too.
Three Hungry Bears in a burger joint.
The only problem with this much food is deciding where to start. Pretty touch decision.
Not waiting for Gavin, I dived right in.
If you go, please do ask the waitress for the deep fried Mac and Cheese. They were bloody delicious.
Following suit, everyone got stuck in, and a face covered in grease.
The Grizzly Bear is my favourite, so much flavour in one giant stack. Plus bacon jam- winning.
The rest are nice don't get me wrong, you will feel satisfied, but they are not the best burgers I've had in London, but definitely worth a visit if you are in the East. Although that mac and cheese I'd travel for.
I'd avoid the wine, it wasn't great, but trust me, you don't want to waste your money on booze with your burgers because downstairs is a whole different ball game for booze.
So feeling 20lbs heavier, we made our way down the stairs to something rather special.
If you are into your drink, then you should know Happiness Forgets in Hoxton. Last year it found a place in the top 12 bars of the whole world! If that isn't impressive, I don't know what.
So on the back of this success, they have opened a little sister bar called Original Sin, underneath Stokey Bears.
A basement speakeasy, filled with every type of spirit you could want, but what caught my eye is the wicked pool table in the corner.
This is a place for people who love great drinks, but also great times.
You won't find airy-fairy fruity drinks here. The drinks here are for those who know a thing or two about alcohol. Delicious, hard, and surprising strong, as my boyfriend will confirm when I arrived home a little tipsy.
I'm afraid I can't remember what I drank, and they don't publish a menu online as it changes frequently, but the bar staff here know what they are talking about, so you'll find something to suit you.
The cocktails really are fabulous from here and the atmosphere is just so relaxed yet a little refined. So even if you don't fancy gorging on a burger, make sure you pop down into the basement, won't you?
Original Sin, and Stokey Bears
129 Stoke Newington High St,
N16 0PHFollow @LauraJHyatt
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