8 Places to Get a Great Burger in New York City

The Big Apple is loaded with hamburger goodness—you just have to know where to point your palate.

Here Are 8 Places to Get a Great Hamburger in New York City
The Big Apple is loaded with hamburger goodness – you just have to know where to point your palate. Getty Images / iStock / VeryUlissa

In 2001, Gallic super chef Daniel Boulud decided to take some high-quality ground beef, stuff it with foie gras, slap two buns on both sides, and put it on the menu at db Bistro Moderne, charging a then-unprecedented price for a burger. The gourmet burger revolution was on. New York City is littered with heavenly hamburgers. Here are the 8 best.

View a Google Maps list of some of the best places to get a burger in New York City.

Bar Sardine

The burger at this popular (and diminutive) West Village spot is very compact. But it packs in the flavor. The gooey melted American cheese spreads itself around the patty, hugging it with cheesy goodness. But what makes this burger so special is that it's topped with shoestring fries, offering an amazing and unusual textural crunch to the whole eating affair.

183 W. 10th St.

Emily

Emily loves pizza. She really does. And pizza loves Emily. It is, in fact, the URL for this pizzeria, which has locations in the East Village, the West Village, and, its original location, Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. She also loves an amazing burger. More times than not, if a restaurant offers an outlier on the menu, it's going to be bad (rarely do we find great steaks at non-steakhouses, for example). But this Italian spot does one tasty burger. The dry-aged Pat LaFrieda burger is topped with caramelized onions, Grafton cheddar cheese, and Emmy sauce in between a pretzel bun.

919 Fulton St.

The Happiest Hour

Some of the Big Apple burgerati say this cocktail bar's offering is a nice balance between Shake Shack's and In-N-Out's. We don't care. We just love the double-patty burger at this West Village spot, which is topped with melted American cheese, tomato, onion, and a special sauce, all between a non-intrusive potato bun. You can also get it at the downstairs cocktail den, Slowly Shirly.

121 W. 10th St.

J.G. Melon

Since 1972 this casual culinary institution has been serving a revelatory bar burger. There's nothing fancy about it. It's just excellent. And at about $12 for the basic burger, it's a relative bargain when you compare it to the other great burger spots (See Minetta Tavern's $33 Black Label Burger). But fork out some more change to get it topped with cheese and bacon and your taste buds will thank you for it. There's also a location on MacDougal and Bleecker Streets in Greenwich Village.

1291 Third Ave.

Minetta Tavern

There are two burgers on the menu at this classic Greenwich Village spot. The $25 Minetta Burger and the $33 Black Label Burger, the latter being made with a proprietary blend of beef from meat maven Pat LaFrieda. It may seem counter-intuitive but in several comparative taste tests, the cheaper of the two is actually better. Maybe the Black Label feels too precious but the Minetta is perfectly cooked: charred on the outside, red and gooey on the inside, and it just makes you realize you don't need to spend the extra eight bucks for the "superior" burger.

113 MacDougal St.

Saxon & Parole

Now that the Impossible Burger is being doled out by fast-food chains, it's time the veggie burger got some respect. But not all Impossible Burgers were born equal. Case in point: the version at this Bowery restaurant is about as badass as they come: topped with mushroom puree, roasted oyster mushrooms, and truffle cream, it's an umami bomb and you don't have to be a vegetarian to absolutely love it.

316 Bowery

Sunday in Brooklyn

This Williamsburg restaurant, popular with the Canada Goose jacket-wearing, brunch-going crowd, gets a lot of Instagram attention for its splashy, over-the-top (but good) pancakes. The burger here is just as worthy of attention—though it may not get you more self-affirmative likes on the Insta. The dry-aged patty (go on and make it a double for a few more bucks) is topped with American cheese, bacon, and a special sauce. The un-intrusive potato bun is important as it doesn't take away from the flavor of the star of the show: the meat.

348 Wythe Ave

Umami Burger

This Los Angeles-based burger chain had great ambitions when they confidently strode into New York City. At one time they had three locations, including the West Village and Williamsburg. Now they're just down to just one in Brookfield Place in lower Manhattan. New Yorkers don't love imports coming in. But still, Umami makes excellent burgers and should get more respect. The namesake burger was designed to create an umami explosion on the palate: the American Wagyu patty is dusted with ground-up porcini mushrooms and pieces of fish head (really!), seasoned with soy sauce and topped with a Parmesan cheese crisp, all agents to give you one umami-rich experience.

225 Liberty St.

8 Places to Get a Great Burger in New York City | Culture
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