Have I found Bath’s best burger? I think I just might. Chaps, if you don’t bother reading any further than the end of this sentence, trust me: you really, really want to go and try the burgers at Magu.
A genuinely good burger is a beautiful thing. Sometimes nothing else will do: you’re just in the mood for a serious comfort food feast, and what you want is a beautiful golden bun stuffed with delicious fillings, loads of fries and, if you’re going to do the thing properly, a milkshake to wash it all down. But the world is full of mediocre, disappointing burgers. It’s a staple of so many menus and often it’s there to just fill a gap. So no one could blame you if, like me, you don’t tend to order one unless you know it’s definitely going to be amazing. Luckily, I can categorically tell you that the burgers at Magu are amazing, and you will not be disappointed.
Magu is a tiny little diner on Moorland Rd, the centre of a little community that’s a short way outside the heart of Bath – but one that is definitely worth seeking out, as it’s home to some great food (you’ll find purveyors of fantastic pizza, Fire & Brew, up there too). They mostly offer takeaway – order on the Magu app or via Deliveroo – but they do also have a couple of tables for walk-ins. It’s a chilled-out space, panelled in dark wood with plenty of funky neon turning the air blue, red and purple, high stools along the counter and around the tables, and an excellent playlist. At one end, you can see through into the tiny kitchen and hear the team bantering as they make the magic happen, and they’re a lovely bunch who’ll make you feel really welcome.
Speaking of the magic, enough talk about the place itself – you want to hear about those burgers. There’s a surprisingly wide selection on offer for a small place, with new specials popping up all the time (check out the app to see the full menu), plus a bunch of tempting sides. I’d been lusting after Magu on Instagram for a while so I knew exactly what I wanted to try – the current special, the New York Shorty (top image), featuring two smashed beef patties, tender beef short rib, caramelised onions, marrow bone mayo and loads of melted raclette, generously slathered with buffalo blend sauce. The pictures on Insta were insane and the reality did not disappoint – every mouthful was burger heaven. The addition of beef short rib as well as the patties meant gorgeous flavours and textures for the meat, and the raclette was stunning. I also loved that this burger came in a pretzel bun – a little like brioche, which has become the go-to for fancy burgers these days, but unlike brioche the pretzel bun doesn’t fall apart in two seconds flat.
My dining companion went for a more classic choice, the Magu All American Double Smash, with two patties, fried onions, American cheese, sweet pickles and Magu burger sauce, ketchup and American mustard. We both agreed it was a great burger, but the New York Shorty was the real standout out for both us – I had to fight him for the rest of the burger once he’d had a bite. To make it a proper feast, we also tried the smoked BBQ chicken wings, which are another occasional special – sticky, savoury and very moreish – and the chicken skin fries, which I have to say were another standout for me. Seasoned with crispy, crunchy chicken skin, garlic, rosemary and thyme, they made me think of the most gorgeous roast potatoes you could possibly imagine – I ate every scrap and I could easily have ordered another portion.
To wash it all down, I had a fabulous chocolate hazelnut milkshake – there’s something brilliantly indulgent about basically eating your burger with a dessert on the side, and Magu have loads of different flavour options you can combine for your perfect milkshake – and then we moved on to actual dessert. We were pretty stuffed by this stage, but owner Leon told us we just had to try his incredible brownies, and I’m flipping glad we did. A fudgy, gooey brownie studded with Oreo chunks and pieces of fudge, and filled with a molten vein of salted caramel: if these are on the menu when you visit, make sure you save some room.
Basically, at Magu, they do a couple of things and they do them sensationally well. I’ve got a lot of respect for a place like that. The sides are fantastic in their own right, especially the chicken skin fries and the milkshakes, and the New York Shorty is certainly the best burger I’ve had in Bath and possibly the best burger I’ve ever had. If I haven’t convinced you by now then nothing will: go to Magu, go now, and thank me later.