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

burger joints

Photo courtesy of Umami Burger

Various locations

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.

2. Emily

burger joints

Photo courtesy of @infatuation_nyc on Instagram

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.

3. Minetta Tavern

burger joints

Photo courtesy of @johnnyprimecc on Instagram

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

burger joints

Photo courtesy of @hungrygrls on Instagram

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

burger joints

Photo courtesy of The Infatuation

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

burger joints

Photo courtesy of @djneilarmstrong on Instagram

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

burger joints

Photo courtesy of @blacktapnyc on Instagram

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.

8. Virginia’s

burger joints

Photo courtesy of @tastesofny on Instagram

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.

9. Bareburger

burger joints

Photo courtesy of @Bareburger on Instagram

Various locations

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.

10. Joe’s

burger joints

Photo courtesy of @jillish_ on Instagram

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

burger joints

Photo courtesy of The Infatuation

Flatiron, Manhattan

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.

12. The Happiest Hour

burger joints

Photo courtesy of @katieeatsburgers on Instagram

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

burger joints

Photo courtesy of @americancut on Instagram

TriBeCa, Manhattan

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

burger joints

Photo courtesy of @burgerbomb on Instagram

Various locations

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

burger joints

Photo courtesy of @thebreslin on Instagram

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

burger joints

Photo courtesy of 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

burger joints

Photo courtesy of @missioncantinanyc on Instagram

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.