The craze for these oversized uber-milkshakes might have slowed down since first becoming a thing, but that’s not to say they aren’t still popular. Pimped with anything from cookies and cream to chocolate bars, fruits and/or fat wedges of cake, these calorific beauties make for very likeable Instagram posts and tend to taste pretty darn good too.
Yes, we’re totally on board with living a healthy lifestyle, and no, these don’t conform to that lifestyle in any way, shape or form; but everyone needs to indulge from time to time, and sometimes that indulgence has to take the form of a giant milkshake overflowing with sauce and sporting sugary accessories. So, that said, here’s our round-up of the best freakshakes in London. Get ready to drool.
Maxwell’s Bar & Grill
What: Freakshake From Mars
Why: We’re at a loss as to what could possibly top a milkshake turbo-charged with chocolate, caramel, whipped cream, caramel bits and crushed Mars bars (probably nothing, to be honest). A sugar fiend’s dream in a glass, Maxwell's Bar and Grill's overflowing dessert drinks are worth every darn calorie, though you might need a little sit-down in nearby Covent Garden Piazza before braving the crowded tube after indulging in one. There are also salted caramel donut and Oreo cookie varieties.
Where: 34 King Street, London, WC2E 8JD
How much? £8.95
Gordon Ramsay restaurants
What: Chocolate Oreo Sharing Dessert
Why: A freakshake in all but name, this beautiful mess of Oreo cookies, chocolate ice cream and chocolate sauce is worthy of Willy Wonka. It’s billed as a ‘sharing dessert’ but how you’d go about splitting it is a mystery. All right, it’s not a mystery, we just think it looks too good to share. For those who prefer non-chocolate desserts, there’s also a sticky toffee sharer, packed with banana and cereal milk ice cream, sticky toffee pudding chunks, and drizzled with sticky toffee sauce; and a summer berry Eton Mess sharing dessert bursting with mixed berries and crushed meringue.
Where: Bread Street Kitchen, Heddon Street Kitchen, The Narrow, London House, York & Albany and the Maze Grills.
How much? £12
Hard Rock Café
What: Strawberry Cheesecake Boozy Milkshake
Why: Okay, so this isn’t a freakshake per se, but it’s still a pimped up milkshake thanks to the Absolut vanilla vodka cheekily blended in with the vanilla ice cream, strawberry cheesecake flavouring, white chocolate whipped cream and frosted animal crackers, so we’re going with it. Enjoy during, after or instead of a bulging burger with fries at one of Hard Rock Café’s banging restaurants.
Where: Criterion Building, 225-229 Piccadilly London W1J 9HR
How much? £9.95
What: The freakshake of the day
Why: If seeing this doesn’t make you want to stop what you’re doing immediately and head straight to Kensington, there might well be something wrong with you (unless you don’t or can’t eat sugar or dairy, in which case, you’re excused). Every day the team at Sticky Fingers serve up a different signature flavour, among their main menu-stalwarts. If the freakshake of the day isn't for you, try the salted caramel doughnut one - you won't be disappointed. This thick salted caramel shake is topped with whipped cream, salted caramel sauce, marshmallows and a WHOLE homemade salted caramel doughnut. It may take a marathon to burn it off, but remember how it has an entire doughnut on top of it? That’s what counts here.
Where: 1 Phillimore Gardens, London W8 7QB
How much? £7.95
What: Oreo Cheesecake Freakshake
Why: Chains often get a bad rep, but Byron is one chain we can get fully on board with, not least because of its winning contribution to London’s freakshake scene. This teetering dessert drink comprises a vanilla and chocolate milkshake, slathered in chocolate sauce and whipped cream, topped with a slice of Oreo cheesecake AND an Oreo ice cream sandwich. The idea is to mash it all in but if you’re determined to be dainty, you could take the toppings off and eat them separately. Top tip: to avoid a sugar-induced headache, we recommend eating something savoury (eg, a burger and chips) before diving into this creamy deliciousness.
Where: Across the UK
How much? £8.50
What: Chocolate Brownie Sundae
Why: This one's not even pretending to be a freakshake, but look how pretty! This gorgeous ice cream sundae by Marine Ices, made up of dark and white chocolate gelato, warm brownie chunks, caramel sauce and cream, and topped with a wafer is our wild card and we’re not the least bit sorry for including it. It’s still totally indulgent so the only real difference is the spoon in place of a straw (and let’s face it, you can’t actually drink a freakshake with a straw anyway).
Where: 61 Chalk Farm Rd, London NW1 8AN
How much? £7.10
What: Naughty Naughty
Why: Aptly named, this beast of a freakshake comes with all the hazelnutty goodness – Nutella, Kinder Bueno, Ferrero Rocher – as well as chocolate sauce, ice cream, pretzels and whipped cream. It’s hard to know how to actually eat (drink?) it, but once you’ve got one in front of you, we’re sure you’ll find a way pretty quickly. Incredible to behold, both on Instagram and IRL, and even better to eat, this one’s a must for any sweet-toothed individual on a mission to try London’s best freakshakes.
Where: 221A Holloway Rd, London N7 8HG
How much? £9.50
If you find freakshakes a bit overwhelming, check out our tamer best ice cream in London feature instead.