Conor Pope’s guide to the best supermarket burger buns

Value for Money: From cheap and tasty to pricey but with a perfect balance of sweet and salty

Fire Pit from Tesco

€1.60 for 280g/€5.71 per kg

Highs: This is an own-brand product sold under Tesco’s Fire Pit label and is significantly cheaper than its rivals — less than half the price of one of them in fact.

Lows: But you might need your calculator to work that out if you happen to find yourself in the store. Some of the fancy burger buns Tesco sells have the per kg price as well as the actual price on the shelf and some have the per bun price along with the actual price. The lack of consistency makes it almost entirely impossible to work out the comparative price at a glance which is, for a keen price-watcher like this page, mildly frustrating. Of more pressing concern was the taste of these buns — or should that be the absence of it? Another thing that was notable by its absence was any information as to where this product was made. If it was on the packet anywhere, we certainly couldn’t find it.

Verdict: Cheap but tasty

Star rating: **


€2.19 for 320g/€6.84 per kg

Highs: These buns — made by Johnston Mooney & O’Brien — are the polar opposite of the Tesco option when it comes to taste, in that they actually taste of something and that something is pretty great. They have a splendid balance of sweet and salty and manage to be sturdy and solid without being overly bready. They are also in the bottom half of the price league and should be easy to source in supermarkets all over the country.

Lows: They do have marginally more salt per 100g than the Irish Pride alternative: 1.17g per 100g versus 0.8g, which might be of concern for some people. Beyond that we can’t think of a bad thing to say about them, although we were disappointed to see palm oil listed among the ingredients — something we could say about three of the four products reviewed this week.

Verdict: Excellent

Star rating: * * * * *

St Pierre

€3.49 for 300g/€11.63 per kg

Highs: These buns come with a little tricolour in red, white and blue fluttering — sort of — on top of the Eiffel Tower. That tells us — if the name didn’t — that they are French which makes them, possibly, the most authentic of the brioche buns we trialled. They are very nice — light and airy and a pleasing mix of salty and sweet. The fact that we get six rather than the more usual four buns is also to its credit. And the ingredient list was — while not exactly pure — better than the competition.

Lows: The packaging tells us they will be good to eat until the end of July, so if you are expecting a freshly baked, delicate bun that needs to be eaten fast, you might be disappointed. They are also heavy on salt and sugar — which might explain why they taste so good. And while they might be grand for a delicate Parisian burger, we have seen them fall to pieces under the pressure of a meat feast from this part of the world.

Verdict: Very good but very pricey

Star rating: * * *

Irish Pride

€2.15 for 280g/€7.67 per kg

Highs: These burger buns come from Wexford and appear slightly more solid than their French counterparts. They taste pretty good too and we’d have no doubt they would be able to accommodate a massive Irish burger with all the toppings for at least as long as it would take us to wolf it down.

Lows: While this is considerably cheaper than the most expensive brioche bun on the market, it is the second dearest option we tasted, so that has to count against it to at least some degree, although the price differential between it and the Bundys bun is pretty small. If we were to split hairs — something we are very good at — we would say it lacks just a little bit of the sweetness we might have expected but, truth be told, we are pretty sure that is not something we would ever notice if we were eating these as God intended rather than taking dainty bites for reviewing purposes.

Verdict: A decent bun

Star rating: * * * *