Friday Food Blog: Stokey Bears Burger Review




Friday is finally here and so comes my second instalment of Face Value Food Blog! So with yesterday being #NationalBurgerDay, it seemed the obvious thing to go have a beer and a burger, right? Hell yeah!

Now I’m unashamedly a bit of a London burger aficionado. Whether it’s the humble 99p puffy, additive filled cheeseburger at McDonalds or the full steak burger special at Hawksmoor, I’ve had my fair share.


What kind of burger are you about? 2 thin patties a la Five Guys, or one big pink patty like Byron? I prefer the latter, I like my burgers pink, juicy and flavoursome so I was really excited to go to Stokey Bears – a fun bear-themed burger joint in Stoke Newington.

At Stokey Bears, the burgers originated from the humble Burger Bear street market food stall and have now set up residence in a bear disco themed restaurant so yes, for me, the concept is SOLID. The menu’s are adorable and I just love a good bear pun!



Unfortunately for me, that’s where the fun starts to stop. I don’t know whether Stokey Bears was cracking under the pressure of increased demand from National Burger Day but the service really wasn’t great. 

I had such high hopes for this place and I think it might have been let down by a couple of basics – which I’m hoping are a one-off given NBD crowding.


How It Went Down

The night started off well as we managed to get our timing spot on and grab a table of five, without prior booking. WIN. The d├ęcor of Stokey Bears is great – think bear and burger themed art and you cannot go wrong. Who thought’d a giant half burger on the wall would look so good?

Drinks wise, Stokey Bears do a GREAT selection of beers and IPAs – their Bearhug Bruno Pilsner Lager is unBEARlievably delicious and goes down a treat with the burgers. Unfortunately, we had to ask for our drinks twice, to be brought the wrong drinks – and our tap water just never materialised at all. Not beary good so far.  (I’m going to try and limit these, don’t worry)


When the burgers arrived, they looked great. The brioche bun is fantastically firm, yet fluffy with a hint of a glaze but the burger itself could have been a touch pinker and with a bit more seasoning. 

The burger meat itself is great quality, sourced from Flock&Herd in Peckham, but it needs more seasoning. It was good, but it wasn’t GREAT. (Apologies for photos btw, I’m just using my phone for now as I couldn’t be bothered to lug my DLSR to a burger joint where it would inevitably end up covered in delicious grease..)







The Sides

The chicken wings arrived with the burger, they were delicious orange delights but they need to be jointed darnit. It is great to see use of the whole wing (so many places discard the bony wing tip – which as a Chinese girl, is my FAVOURITE bit) – but if you’re going to recreate a buffalo wing, it’s gotta be done right. The skin could do with more of a crispy coating too – like the ones at Meat Liquor/Meat Mission etc

We went to towwwwn on the rest of the sides, but unfortunately they didn’t arrive until we had finished pretty much all of the burgers. The chips were a bit under-done, that pale anemic straw colour rather than a good ole bad-for-your-everything golden yellow

The onion rings started off great – they were crispy and crunchy and HUGE. However, it was nigh on impossible to bite into one without taking out the whole of the inner onion, leaving us with big chunks of batter to deal with. Not sure how/why – is it because the onions are frozen before? They are MASSIVE though.




There were no Mac and Cheese balls left – which is a shame because that sounds AMAZING, like some sort of mac and cheesey arancini? But star performer of the night has to be a surprisingly healthy one – the Stokey Bears coleslaw is FANTASTIC. For a hardcore carnivore like me, this is hard to admit, but the coleslaw is of the perfectly crunchy, with less mayo variety– absolutely delicious, I could have eaten a plate of it as a salad.



After our meal, half of our plates were cleared and we asked for our bill. After waiting some time, we then went up to the counter and asked for our bill again. Honestly, what’s going on Stokey Bears? I saw a table actually WALK OUT before their food arrived due to the waiting, is it always like this??? Finally, after asking AGAIN – our bill arrived, complete with some lollies (a nice touch) and a 12.5% service charge. (not so great)

Let’s not start a service charge debate but as a former waitress, I pretty much always tip either way so I paid it but I gave feedback to one of our servers (we had three different servers in the same night) 

He seemed surprised that I thought the service was bad. I then explained that we had asked for drinks twice, got the wrong drinks, had sides arrive late, asked for the bill a few times, seen some walkouts –it’s more surprising to me that he thought this was a good day!



Final Thoughts

All in all, an okay 7/10 for food but for me, it’s still behind other single-patty burger favourites like Honest Burger and Dirty Burger and double stackers like Lucky Chip and MeatLiquor. Dare I say it, I think I’ve had better times at Byron! Obviously involving a bit more booze and hungriness but ouch all the same.

Big bear points for the coleslaw, the drinks menu and the concept though I really did expect more from Stokey Bears as it’s always got great reviews – I’m hoping that this little blip was down to the demand for National Burger Day but really, a restaurant should be able to deal with a full house at all times. Especially when it’s NATIONAL BURGER DAY!



What do YOU think? Have you been to Stokey Bears? Are you a fan of a one thick burger or a stack? 

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