Burgers are addicting, greasy, and unhealthy. And I wouldn’t have it any other way. New York City is chock full of burger enthusiasts. Some places, dare I say, have a cult-ish following. Whereas some burger joints like to stick to the classic cheeseburger, other establishments are taking chances and playing with flavors. Vegetarians, beware. This list is not for the faint of heart.
1. Umami Burger
Although Umami Burger is a chain, it doesn’t feel like it when you’re eating there. They started off small and have become so popular that they’ve expanded all over the nation. From a Falafel burger (shown above) to a Korean BBQ burger, you are sure to find one that fits all your meat needs.
Clinton Hill, Brooklyn
This cult-following superstar is a household name in the burger world. Their signature item, the Emmy Burger, is composed of pasture-raised and dry aged beef. They use a secret sauce (Good Burger, anyone?) and top it with caramelized onions, cheddar and cornichons. And it’s all nestled in a pretzel bun.
Greenwich Village, Manhattan
Don’t let $32 price tag scare you because this burger is worth every penny. There’s no cheese, but in this case there’s no need. The simplicity speaks for itself. Another dry aged beef beauty that is widely talked about in the NYC community.
4. J.G. Melon
Upper East Side and Greenwich Village, Manhattan
This burger is a no-frills kind of deal. It’s the OG and the real deal. All you need is meat, cheese and a whole lot of love.
5. Spotted Pig
West Village, Manhattan
In this burger, there’s no LTO, just a divine layer of Roquefort cheese paired with shoestring fries. What more could you ask for, really?
6. Brindle Room
East Village, Manhattan
The meat gods have answered all of our prayers with this burger. It’s composed of ground beef, steak trimmings and deckle. And to top that off, it’s finished in a cast iron skillet. You get me, Brindle Room.
7. Black Tap
Soho and Meatpacking District, Manhattan
Black Tap isn’t just milkshakes my friends. It’s hard to make a definitive choice on which burger they’re most known for. They have offerings like the Lamb Burger (shown above), the Spicy Mexican with chorizo or the Bison burger. With options like that, it affects all the indecisive people of the world. Skip the sweets and go for the meats.
Alphabet City, Manhattan
This is the kind of food you want to write a song about. It’s that good. This burger is sold exclusively at the bar, so if you’re seeking out this dish, you know where to go. The Virginia’s Burger is a blend of hanger steak and short rib, which makes for a beautiful meat marriage. They even cook the caramelized onions in beef fat. If that’s not enough there’s a dollop of bone marrow mayo on top. I now pronounce you delicious and mine.
Where else can you order a burger with meat bases like bison, elk and ostrich? Yes it’s a chain, but they stick to fresh, simple ingredients that keep people coming back for more.
Upper West Side, Manhattan
Joe, you’re a genius. This bite is definitely not for the weak of heart considering it’s topped with their house-made sloppy joe. It’s extremely hearty and messy, not to mention it will give you vivid flashbacks of your childhood. But this adult-sized version is something you need to add to your burger list. Make sure to buy a bib beforehand.
11. The Clocktower
Time is ticking, people. These burgers are a hot ticket item on The Clocktower menu. The burger has a generous 1/2 lb patty topped with bacon, cheddar and “Churchill sauce.” It’s a bacon cheeseburger we can all agreed with.
West Village, Manhattan
Ironically enough, there’s no happy hour at the Happiest Hour. But what they do have is this sinful double trouble of a burger. There’s twice the fun: two grass-fed beef patties, American Cheese, LTO and a “special sauce” that’s close to a Russian dressing flavor. I’ll take one please and thank you.
13. American Cut
American Cut’s in-house burger is a special one. It’s so special and so VIP that they make around 12 to 18 per day AND you’ll only know via their Twitter page. It’s a rib-eye blend with bourbon caramelized onions and a beer cheese. With that description, it’s no wonder that they’re a consistent favorite.
14. Shake Shack
There’s no question that Shake Shack is basically the Leonardo DiCaprio of burgers. It’s a celebrity for locals and out-of-town folks alike. Their Shack Burger is one of the most Instagrammed photos out there and it seems like a new location is popping up every month or so. They have an incredible following and for good reason. There’s no hormones or antibiotics in their beef, but there’s plenty of flavor to boot.
15. The Breslin
Midtown West and Flatiron, Manhattan
Lamb burgers. How often do you see those? These rare gems are hard to come by, so naturally that’s why this one at The Breslin is incredibly popular. This lamb patty comes with a nice smear of feta, red onion and cumin infused mayo. Yes, please.
16. Harlem Shake
The keys to success: two sirloin patties with American Cheese, onions, pickles, a secret sauce (this happens a lot, huh?) all on a fluffy bun. This 50s themed joint will bring you back in time and bring you to the future of flavor.
17. Mission Cantina
Lower East Side, Manhattan
The chili toppings on this burger is what makes it so unique. With the combination of both Serrano and Anaheim peppers, there is still some definite heat without sacrificing the layers and depth of flavors.