From special meat blends to a stellar veggie patty, here’s a look at eight of the best places to grab a burger in New York.
There are countless options for burgers in New York City. You’ll find a version on almost every restaurant menu, ranging from fast food to uber gourmet to everything in between — but all burgers are not created equal. With so many different versions it can be hard to narrow down the best, but we’ve done the “hard work” of trying many, to find the best the city has to offer. Here are eight of the best places to grab a burger in New York.
Yes, Emily might be famous for its New York-style pizza, but the Emmy Burger is their real gem. We have chef Matthew Hyland, who grew tired of eating pizza every day, to thank for this creation. After some trial and error, he found the perfect blend of dry-aged beef—from esteemed purveyor Pat LaFrieda of course—with charred onions and melted cheese smothered in spicy “Emmy Sauce” all nestled into a pretzel bun. The original Brooklyn location serves one patty with Grafton Cheddar while you’ll find a double patty with American Cheese at the West Village location. Regardless of which you try, it’s the perfect combo of sweet, spicy, and salty that fuses together perfectly. Website
2. Minetta Tavern
The Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern was one of the first burgers to really set the path for the Burger Bonanza that swept the city in the late 2000s. It’s the reason you’ll find specialty blends for burger patties all over the city today. In fact, it just might have been the catalyst that made Pat LaFrieda a household name. The burger is simple, but decadent, with the flavor coming from a patty made of LaFrieda’s dry-aged ribeye blended with skirt steak and brisket. It doesn’t come with cheese as to not mask the flavor of the beef but is topped with caramelized onions and served on a buttered Balthazar bun. It doesn’t need anything else to be perfect — except for the fries which are also delicious. Website
3. Corner Bistro
Sometimes you do not need a fancy restaurant with a juicy burger crafted from special blends—you just want a good dive bar to visit late at night and have a delicious burger with a cold beer, which is what Corner Bistro does best. There’s a reason it’s still going strong since it opened in 1961. The Bistro Burger is a classic chuck patty with American cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pickles, all served on a paper plate (did you expect anything else?). Website
4. P.J. Clarke’s
One of the most classic and best burgers in New York comes from PJ Clarke’s which opened in 1884. The Cadillac Burger instantly became popular — Nat King Cole named it in the 1950s and you might have spotted Don Draper dining there on Mad Men too. It remains the most popular burger on the menu today. Topped with double smoked country bacon, onion, Bibb lettuce, plum tomato, and American cheese served on a classic Arnold hamburger bun. Since the burger was originally served on a paper plate, the onion was originally placed underneath the burger patty to stop the bun from getting too soggy, a tradition that remains in place today. Website
5. Harlem Shake
The Harlem burger joint serves its beef burgers with a Pat LaFrieda custom blend of rib, chuck, and brisket. Served on a potato roll, the “Hot Mess” burger from Harlem Shake is a must-have. Once you get done devouring it, you will surely be feeling like the name of this beefy delight. Topped with American cheese, pickled cherry pepper, and bacon relish, the “Hot Mess” burger is drizzled with smoky chipotle mayo. Website
6. Superiority Burger
Meatless burgers are becoming more and more popular with the rise of the Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger (even Burger King is serving the Impossible!). Sometimes you want a non-meat option that isn’t trying to taste like meat and that’s where the Superiority Burger is just plain superior. Chef Brooks Headly has created the city’s most popular veggie burger using a lentil, quinoa and black bean blend for the patty that is topped with muenster cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato, pickles, and honey mustard. It might not be meat, but it has a great char that makes you forget all about beef for a little. Make sure to save some room for their fantastic homemade gelato and sorbet with flavors that change daily. Website
7. Burger Joint
The burger “speakeasy” hidden behind a curtain off the lobby at the Parker Hotel is perhaps New York’s worst-kept “secret.” Regardless of the time of day, there’s usually a line, and for good reason. these are some of the city’s best burgers and enjoying one is on the shortlist of “must-do experiences” for any visitor to New York. The only food served at the Burger Joint are burgers, fries and a milkshake. That’s it! They do what they do and they do it well.
A simple five-ounce patty is made from a chuck blend that is ground by in-house butchers daily on-site, grilled and then topped with two kinds of cheese, white cheddar and Colby, and broiled to finish before being placed inside a toasted Arnold bun. Topping options are lettuce, tomato, onion, sliced pickles, ketchup, dijon mustard, and mayo. Don’t hesitate to just order “The Works.” Avoid the lunch rush and try to go during off-peak hours to get a burger in your hand without the long wait. Note: Temporarily closed. Website
8. Au Cheval
One of the best burgers in New York belongs to this gem that opened in Tribeca in 2019. Au Cheval, which is the sister restaurant to the infamous Chicago destination, attracts enormous crowds. Guests have waited hours to get their hands, and mouths, on one of their juicy burgers. They say the wait is well worth it. Topped with a fried egg, these oozing burgers will have your tastebuds in for a treat. A friendly reminder, “single” burgers are served with two patties, while “doubles” come with three. If you really want to get crazy, slap on top a slice of maple-glazed bacon to your burger. Go big or go home! Website