Top Hamburgers in New York
So let’s see how I can rationalize this piece of click bait… oh wait, hamburgers are moist, so there you go! I am a big fan of hamburgers, and I’ve got to admit there are lots of good ones here (so maybe New York is not all bad!).
This is by no means a definitive list; it is just some noteworthy burgers that I have eaten. I am also not a food guy, so my commentary does not delve into the intricacies of how the hamburger is made. And I don’t take pictures of my food; I’m not one of those guys. I’ll just tell you whether they were good or not.
Oh, and I am lactose intolerant, so I don’t do cheeseburgers.
And as I continue to eat, I’ll continue to get fat and update this list.
Just like it sounds, they smash their burgers. It is an international chain with multiple locations in New York. By the way, places that have more than one location are listed under the neighborhood in which I visited it.
This tiny place is one of those burger joints that touts its hormone and antibiotics free, humanely-raised animals that it eventually slaughters so we can stuff our faces. Who cares, as long as it results in a tasty burger? Well, this one delivers. One problem — these are pricy hamburgers — $11.75 for a quarter-pounder. I guess that’s the cost of giving cows a good, albeit short, life.
Maxwell’s Bar & Restaurant
Very good burger, but really, nothing special. It tastes like a lot of good quality hamburgers you can get at many places around town.
This Australian restaurant serves up an excellent burger. Served on ciabatta bread (or something), it almost tastes like meat loaf, which is a good thing. Very highly recommended.
I went to the original one in sunny Los Angeles. The umami taste is a little off-putting at first, then it is pretty good.
Small chain that offers all organic burgers. Tasty stuff.
Highly regarded hamburger. I thought it was just all right.
I did not go for the signature “Juicy Lucy” because it is stuffed with cheese. But my regular burger was juicy enough, with blood pouring out of it on my first bite. It was delicious, but that moistness had a price — my burger fell apart halfway through. Still, well worth it.
Still the best burger in New York. It’s just that simple. Anyone who says otherwise is a moron. Nothing fancy — it is served on paper plates. Make sure you get a McSorley’s with it.
The Happiest Hour
Small and overpriced, but a good hamburger said to be inspired by California burgers. Which means Russian dressing-like sauce.
Good hamburger, I guess. I really don’t remember.
Burger & Lobster
Like it’s name suggests, this British-based international chain serves two things — hamburgers and lobsters. I opted for the burger topped with pulled pork. Despite feeling my arteries hardening, this was a fine, fine burger.
New York Burger Co.
Another of these restaurants that touts its natural ingredients, resulting in a very good hamburger. There are two locations; oddly they are less than a mile apart. A guess they like the area.
Bill’s Bar and Burger (CLOSED)
Very good burger.
Black Iron Burger
With three locations in Manhattan, this place serves an excellent burger. I prefer smaller flatter hamburgers, and this one was perfect.
While the lack of vowels is annoying, this mini-chain with three Manhattan locations is known for feeding its cows only grass before murdering and serving them. Whatever they are doing works — it is an excellent burger.
Black Shack Burger
I opted for the sloppy joe, which was very good. It was a little small, but I was able to actually hold it in my hands. Not sloppy at all!
This is one of the better hamburgers I have eaten. I was quite surprised. Three Manhattan locations.
Pretty good burger from this Japanese import.
The hype is true. This is an excellent burger that is a huge step above fast food. If you can brave the long lines, you’ll be happy.
Perhaps the most overrated burger in the city. Hidden behind a velvet curtain in the Le Parker Meridien Hotel, it is one of those ‘secret’ places that everybody knows about. The location is cool; the burger is ordinary.
I opted for the sloppy joe (I guess we are doing sloppy joes here!). Very good. They also offer burgers and hot dogs — an All-American place. Five locations citywide.
Located inside Gotham West Market (home to lots of great food), Roadside has a simple burger that is really good.
Upper West Side
Island Burger and Shakes (CLOSED)
Another hamburger that is among the best in the city, Island Burger has one of the better lunch specials around — burger, fries and a beer for $10.
One of the alleged classic NY burgers, I don’t remember anything about it, good or bad. And I’ve eaten it twice.
5 Napkin Burger
I hate this growing chain. It is called 5 Napkin because you will need that many napkins (or more) after handling this mess. And that’s all it is — a terrible mess.
Man, this was a good hamburger, one of the best I have eaten in stupid New York. One drawback, though — they only carry craft beers, which are a bit pricey. If you’re on a budget just drink the free water, but definitely go and eat this burger. Good sloppy joe, too.
Brad’s Burgers & BBQ (CLOSED)
Formerly GETEBurger (from the “Good Enough to Eat” folks), this is a really good burger. Thick and juicy. And the new name (an homage to the owner’s father) is much better than GETE!
Solid burger, good lunch special.
Upper East Side
Good burger from this national chain, along the lines of Bareburger, Smashburger, etc. Just for the record, I went to one in Maryland, Still counts, though.
This classic NY burger actually lives up to its reputation. They just opened a new one downtown somewhere (update — and one on the Upper West Side. Update again — it is closed), but stick to the original.
Mel’s Burger Bar
Good, solid burger with lots of options available at this probable Columbia University hangout.
If you find yourself in my neighborhood, they make a very good hamburger. One caveat — I went there recently and they were out of hamburgers! I was dumbfounded. That’s like IHOP running out of sausages (which happened to me) or The Meatball Shop having no more slider rolls left (which also happened to me) or KFC having no fried chicken (yup). What’s with me, anyway?!
Locksmith Burger Bar
Another fine uptown burger.
Angry Burger (CLOSED)
The hamburger was all right. The fries were soggy, though. They do have a really good house lager (I’m not a hops guy) that is only $4, so that’s nice.
Jordan Snack Bar & Burger
I wasn’t expecting much from this little Latino-themed takeout joint, but man, was I pleasantly surprised. I don’t know what they put in their burgers, but they are damned good. A little messy, but still excellent. And it comes with fries for less than $10.
Piper’s Kilt (CLOSED)
Very solid burger, although maybe I shouldn’t use that word because it fell apart while I was eating it. Perhaps it was not packed correctly. Still, though, very good.
Tryon Public House
A very good hamburger, a notch above the usual bar burger.