The British country pub is an institution as beloved as any in the country, but – pretty much by definition – one has to travel a decent distance from the metropolis to find one worth the visit. Not so in Southampton. The Rockstone on Onslow Road has the traditional decor and laid-back atmosphere of a friendly rural pub, yet it is famed for its gourmet burgers, street food, beautiful desserts, and a remarkable selection of craft beer, cask ale and spirits. They’re just a short walk to the north of the city centre and well worth the effort of wandering up – just remember to book ahead to ensure that you can secure a table.
The Rockstone might have the air of a country pub in the heart of Southampton, but they offer so much more than just the standard fare. They might boast the real fireplace and the ever-changing ale selection – as well as the authentic, inimitable atmosphere – but they certainly don’t rest of their laurels. They bring so much more to Onslow Road, particularly through their menu, which goes well further than the expected pub grub fare and can confidently claim to be among the best bar food in Inner Avenue if not further beyond.
The speciality at The Rockstone is burgers and the diversity of toppings that can be allied to the standard patty and bread is astounding – though the meat and buns themselves aren’t to be sniffed at either. The Rockstone use 300 grams of chargrilled prime beef from local suppliers Uptons of Bassett and locally-baked, milk-glazed brioche as their foundation, and then top that with everything from Loosehanger stout and pepper cheese to Brewdog ale caramelised onions and double cooked hash browns. Book a table and make the trip to Onslow Road in Inner Avenue for one of the best burgers in Southampton at The Rockstone in Inner Avenue.
As good as it ever is - thanks Team Rockstone!
Great food, really helpful friendly staff. Awesome selection of beers. The best country pub in the centre of town. Fantastic burgers that can't be beaten!
Huge portions - might skip the burger bun next time! Love the veggie and vegan options, it was very tasty. The staff are really friendly.
Amazing food and portion sizes. The staff were helpful although the queues did get long at the bar. Would definitely recommend to friends and family
Big fan of burgers and grills generally, went to The Rockstone for lunch with some friends. Friendly staff, nice environment, and an awesome selection of drinks. The menu was decent, and there are Vegetarian/Vegan options available also. Ordered 'the Classic' burger along with an additional portion of sweet potato fries. Firstly, it is worth noting that the burgers are 10oz. To many people under 50 in the UK this measurement is, for need of stressing the point to the entire industry outside of the USA, fucking useless. This was highlighted by the fact I saw a guy who was worried about the size of the burger an ordered a 'double' burger. To put this into perspective for those still unsure of the size of 10oz, that is MORE than a half pounder, (1oz is 28.3g, so 10oz is 283g), so hilarity ensued on the arrival of his 1.25lb burger. Once my burger arrived, with a fairly decent portion of fries and a side salad I was able to tuck in. You are given the option of having your burger cooked medium rare here, which is 'normally' a good sign of quality ground beef (would assume chuck/premium steak mix). The burger is served in a brioche bun which is nice, and has a decent selection of garnishes, though overall the flavour was pretty sub-standard. While beef can hold a strong peppering, it felt like that it was entirely relying on the seasoning to carry the flavour so much so that it was actually borderline 'spicy' hot from the amount of pepper it carried, behind the seasoning the meat itself tasted like cheap mince, no real bite to it and was a little too crumbly, which is a total thumbs down. My second glance over to the guy with the double burger I again noted that he ended up only eating half a single patty and it wasn't because he was not hungry. The fries weren't anything to shout about but were nicely seasoned, not the tastiest, not the worst. The sweet potato fries were mediocre however, crispy but rather bland. (Hint: for tasty sweet potato fries, season with paprika, cumin, and a light pinch of cinnamon + salt to taste) Overall it wasn't too bad as I did eat the whole lot and the meal itself is nicely presented, though there is no dodging the fact that aside from a nicely designed menu, there was nothing outstanding about the food at all which is disappointing considering the price. As someone who actively cooks, I can not recommend eating here, especially when a standard greaser (of which there are many within 1-5minutes walk) will likely sell a tastier burger meal at 1/3 the price. Certainly worth stopping in for a drink however.
Read about the Rockstone on a blog about the search for the best burger. The Rockstone was at the top of the list and it did not disappoint. 100% beef, perfectly cooked, with a choice of toppings. The Rockstone also had a great selection of other options for those that don't like beef - grilled chicken sandwiches, plenty of veggie options, a sirloin steak or the "I'll just have the Salad" salad. Everything (including the vegetarian options) looked tempting, but we came for the burger. Small university pub/bar. Service was great from the bartender. Will definitely return again and again.
Service was very professional and friendly. There was a lot of customer hustle and bustle next to our table as it was very busy that day, I suspect this is mainly due to it being the rum festival and a Saturday evening. The food was generally very nice. However I probably wouldn't go for the Charlie and the Chorizo factory burger again purely because the Belgian waffle bun that it came in was far too sweet to be part of the main course, I would have preferred a brioche bun although this is down to personal preference, I appreciate that they were putting a fresh twist on a classic burger option. All in all a fun and enjoyable evening with good service and food. Would visit again.
The bar staff are efficient and friendly, with a quick service supplied, whether for food or drink. The atmosphere is friendly with people determined to have a pleasant experience. The food is great tasting with enough variation available to suit most tastes. Only let down is the furnishings. Namely the carpet. You should not be sticking to the floor as you walk through, and it should not still be on the base of your shoes after you have left the establishment. In many places it is looking very tired. It is beyond being due for a change, but ignore that and you will have a good night, and if you can take advantage of the offers then an even better one is waiting for you.
The Rockstone never disappoints: the vegan food is excellent and everything is delicious, from the starters to the hamburgers and the cakes. The selection of beers is always top notch, the atmosphere always pleasant and the staff very friendly. A special mention to the menu titles.
Always a good selection of craft beer on keg, cask and in the bottle/can fridges; got to try output from local micro breweries Unity and Broken Bridge, which were featured. I brought along a friend who hadn't been before, I've always loved the burgers, so I'm in my element, but they weren't as blown away as I had hoped - maybe I talked them up too much? Perhaps I should have insisted they have one of the really big ones (Four Horsemen), or a waffle & chocolate sauce burger (Charlie & the Chorizo Factory) to give them the wow factor. There's always next time.