Friday, September 30, 2005

Best Burgers in NYC

"Not that good hamburgers can't be found in NYC, but it's just not a hamburger town."
-Jason Kottke

The K-man is wrong (hey, it happens occasionally).

Not only are there great burgers in NYC, this is a burger town. While Chicago is a hot dog town, and Cleveland/Detroit/Milwuakee are bratwurst/sausage towns, this is definitely a burger type of burgh. (That's the dichotomy: Burgers or Dogs).

Because there are so many great restaurants in this city, you don't think of it as a burger town -- but it is. Its also a great steak town, as well as a great Italian / French / Chinese / Sushi / nouvelle / wings / BBQ / Kosher town.  But between Dogs and Burgers, its a Burger town. 

Nuff said.

Here's my list of best Burgers in NYC:

Corner Bistro (My personal favorite)
331 W. Fourth St. (Jane St.)
Manhattan, NY

Peter Luger Steak House (They use the tail of the porterhouse -- outstanding beef)
178 Broadway (Driggs Ave.)
Brooklyn, NY

burger joint at Le Parker Meridien (ask the concierge -- its hidden in the back)
119 W. 56th St. (bet. 6th & 7th Aves.)
Manhattan, NY

J.G. Melon (excellent!)
1291 Third Ave. (74th St.)
Manhattan, NY

Spotted Pig (also excellent -- but no decor and tight quarters)
314 W. 11th St. (Greenwich St.)
Manhattan, NY

McHales Burgers (cheap and huge)
750 Eighth Ave. (46th St.)
Manhattan, NY

Island Burgers (This is a subgroup's favorite  -- but be aware: no fries)
766 Ninth Ave. (bet. 51st & 52nd Sts.)
Manhattan, NY

Prime Grill (high end restaurant, with very good - and reasonably priced -- Burgers)
60 E. 49th St. (bet. Madison & Park Aves.)
Manhattan, NY

Rare Bar & Grill (try the frickle!)
303 Lexington Ave. (37th St.)
Manhattan, NY

Last, I've never been to the new spinout from Luger's -- Ben & Jack's -- but given Lugers great burgers, its gotta be good!

Ben & Jack's Steakhouse 
219 E. 44th St. (bet. 2nd & 3rd Aves.)
Manhattan, NY 10017

Since Ben & Jack's is around the corner from my office (Chrysler Building), I'll check it out soon and report back.

But of this entire list, nothing beats the Corner Bistro . . .


UPDATE: September 30, 2005 7:56am
I've kept chains off of the list, hence, no Jackson Hole, Better Burger or Hamburger Heaven; But if I  missed any seriously great burgers, do let me know  and I'll check 'em out, and if found worthy, add them to the list.

Anyone who steers me to a terrific burger joint  I've never been to -- as good as the average on the above list -- gets a free meal there (on me).


UPDATE: October 14, 2005 1:16pm
Some have pointed to GoodBurger as a possible addition to the list. I had lunch at the aptly named GoodBurger today:

The Good:  Flame grilled, nice flavor, juicy.

The Bad: Smallish Burger left me somewhat hungry, the burger itself was undercooked (Rare was on the tartare side), and the french fries were non-descript

Bottom line:  A good, not great burger.



See also:

20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die

Posted at 06:45 AM in Food and Drink | Permalink


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shake shack is my favorite despite the long lines.

also dont forget about RARE, 2 locations.
excellent burgers. for mini's pop burger is pretty good too. and l'express on PAS does a pretty good one too.

Posted by: rickyroma | Aug 2, 2006 3:09:50 PM

Shake Shack.

Corner Bistro was my #1 for 14 years until I tried the Shake Shack burger. Now it's my #2, although I will agree that something's going on over there. Doesn't seem to be as good as in days of yore.


Posted by: KHeald | Aug 8, 2006 2:20:51 PM

I just moved to NYC over the summer, and reading all this great stuff about the Corner Bistro I headed over there.

IT WAS THE WORST HAMBURGER I'VE EVER HAD. The meat tasted ROTTEN. It crumbled like a salty cracker, the bun was all soggy. simply awful!!!! This could not possibly be the best NYC had to offer.. I was stumped...

Then the next week I went to Rare, and it was hands-down the best burger I've ever had. . kinda pricey though ($50/person with Duvel and fries).

Posted by: multiple_migs | Sep 25, 2006 10:16:37 PM

Try the Twisted Burger on 430 East 14th Street...its sort of like Island Burger.

Try the Blue Pig Burger or The Vermonter.

Posted by: CmS | Oct 3, 2006 7:40:58 AM

How could anyone omit Clarks?, 53rd & 3rd.
This is a New York type burger, best served rare, fat, and juicy. the burger is served on a hamburger bun.

The reader from Texas who wants his hamburger thin and well done must have grown up on Fast Food Burgers. Any customer asking for a well done steak at Peter Lugar's would have been tossed out by the original owner. Well done meat is for people who eat suspect meat. Try P. J. Clark's.

Posted by: Buster | Oct 14, 2006 9:36:30 AM


Posted by: skin care | Oct 25, 2006 3:31:34 PM

am staying downtown NYC at the waldorf. What's the best burger place? Where's the biggest burger in NYC?

Posted by: Ty | Nov 9, 2006 8:47:17 PM

Corner Bistro is definitely a contender and, should be held in consideration for any future Grilled Cheese Best Of lists!

Posted by: Ken | Dec 26, 2006 3:40:18 PM

Schnack is darn good. Corner Bistro is overrated and ordering a burger at Peter Lugers is like going to Caneray Row and ordering fish sticks. McHales, sadly, lost their lease last summer and is no more.

Posted by: sarge | Jan 17, 2007 12:12:42 AM

If you like the taste of a Slider (from White Castle), but want a burger to get two hands around, then you gotta go to All American Hamburger Stand. Yeah, it's not IN the city, but it IS in our "burbs", at the intersection of Merrick Road and Hicksville Road in Massapequa. Don't forget a large order of the fries because they're BETTER than the ones at Nathans in Coney Island; I kid you not. Trust me on this one!!!

Posted by: Ernie III | Mar 13, 2007 4:20:01 PM

Colliseum on 58th btwn 8th and 9th...great burger. Check it out.

Posted by: steve | Mar 14, 2007 11:41:32 AM

Yet another vote for Paul's. Best burger I've had in NYC (yes, better than Corner Bistro).

Posted by: AK | Mar 21, 2007 7:53:46 AM

The Half King on West 23rd and Harbour Lights down at the Seaport have great burgers!

Posted by: njnyctrader | Mar 28, 2007 9:53:31 PM

On Long Island also:

LI Cheeseburger on Merrick Road in Wantagh.

Posted by: JD | Apr 10, 2007 12:12:30 PM

Everyone loves Corner B! I love their grilled chese w/bacon, but I don't think their burger would be #1 in a blind taste test.
I think people are confusing the best burger with the best place to eat a burger.
It's cozy, unpretentious, great for watching a game, great for hanging with friends, cheap beers, cheap food, and most importantly you're probably buzzed and starved when the food gets to you. Of course you thought it was the best burger ever... you were hammered that night!

I like BLT Burger at the moment (6th ave, bet 11&12 st). Great milkshakes too.

Posted by: boobeanie | May 18, 2007 2:32:19 PM

Schnitzel King, in Brooklyn on Coney Island Ave. btwn. Ave. M & N, closer to N, has so-so Schnitzel, but a brilliant burger. Glatt Kosher, no less. Perhaps they should rename it Burger King. :] The bun could be much better, but the Bomba and King Burgers are still crowd pleasers. A wide variety of toppings range from the Middle-Eastern [grilled eggplant] to my favorites, cole slaw with pickles and BBQ sauce. I've heard they've opened a location on 3rd Ave. and 40th St. in Brooklyn.

Posted by: hen | Nov 18, 2007 11:10:15 PM

I'm surprised nobody said Teddy's in Williamsburg. They have tremendously excellent burgers! Big, juicy, and very charbroiled.

Posted by: Peter | Dec 23, 2007 2:46:47 PM

No, the K-Man is right. If you are in NYC and looking for a good burger - you lose.

Just fly out west, get an In-N-Out Double-Double and move on with your life.

Posted by: DJ | Jan 13, 2008 10:33:29 PM

Whatever happened to Ellen's on the East Side? If this does not ring any bells, bear in mind I last lived in NYC back in 1989. Egad! I'm old!

Posted by: Expat | Jan 16, 2008 2:25:48 AM

My long time favorite of the list you provided is JG Melons. But you should definately try Pauls Burgers (2nd and St marks) and Five Guys Burgers in Brooklyn Heights (Montague St). Five guys is a chain, but wow, they really got a good burger down, plus free peanuts while you wait!!!

Posted by: justin williams | Feb 10, 2008 2:12:07 PM

Wolfgang's in TriBeCa. Can't go wrong. No bacon, though. That's a bit of an issue. Only for lunch.

Posted by: Jon | Feb 10, 2008 3:03:25 PM

While working in Mid-town (6th and 51st) I have had a lot of burgers. The burger joint is by far the best in this area, but. Ted's Montana Grill is one place to get a good burger. I would like to see what other people think.

Posted by: G.T. Haley | Feb 17, 2008 4:32:07 PM

Old Town burgers are FUCKING AWESOME. That place has been around since the 1800's and has a great vibe too.

Go there TOMORROW, get a burg and 15 beers, then stumble home a happy man to watch cable porn and Golf channel. You'll thank yourself for it.

Posted by: Donny W | Mar 6, 2008 10:47:00 PM

Prune, 54 E 1st St (b/n 1st & 2nd Ave)
Lamb-&-beef burger an English muffin...

Posted by: mUrIU | Mar 19, 2008 1:59:12 PM

Burger Joint @ Le Meridien making this list, plus other lists of best burgers in NYC pretty much proves NY isn't a burger town. If you think they're good you haven't had a decent burger.

Posted by: Richard | Mar 26, 2008 6:21:23 AM

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