Who wants a simple burger from New York? If it’s the classic you’re after, NYC will gratefully oblige in their corner delis and diners, but the flip side is a skyrocketing burger scene that has now become its own art form. All over Manhattan, Brooklyn and progressively hip-happening Queens, there are culinary creations that cause the mind to boggle at just how far the humble beef patty-and-bun combo has come. Of course we wouldn't expect these culinary creations to come cheap in NYC either but happily, even some of the lower-end burger offerings here are competitively creative. This city is known for extreme measures, so the delicacies at some of the best burger joints in the city boast the very highest quality meats or the very oddest and most ingenious flavor combinations. Burger fans will likely need help to make a choice among the very varied options in the Big Apple, so we've narrowed it down to these five of the best burger joints in New York.
The bohemian, cutesy styling of the Spotted Pig contrasts with the hip West Village crowd who frequent this in-demand restaurant. The menu here is varied, gourmet and just short enough to be an easy read. But burger fans are recommended to zero in on the reasonably-priced entrée of burger and shoestring fries. The tasty beef patty isn’t overwhelmed by the risky addition of Roquefort cheese, and the skinnier-than-skinny fries enhanced with salt and rosemary make for a satisfying meal that’ll warrant the inevitably lengthy wait for a table.
Tucked away just off the lobby at Le Parker Meridien hotel, this elusive and hard-to-find burger joint is a hidden gem. The menu is about as tiny as the place itself, with a rare simplicity that traditional burger fans will appreciate. Essentially, your choices are cheesy or plain, rare or well done; so what puts this little Burger Joint in the running for best burger restaurant in NYC? Simply, the quality. The meat is cooked to perfection, the cheese sumptuously melting over the fresh bun, and the burger is packed with crispy lettuce. Just a great burger, with yummy crispy fries on the side.
The Brindle Room’s current lunch menu is the perfect for burger lovers to sample truly gourmet meat on a budget, without compromising on quality. The restaurant’s buzzed-about Steakhouse Burger is an indulgence of juicy, fatty meat usually served medium-rare (and best tasted that way, in most foodies’ opinions) packed with sweet caramelized onions and served with chunky, floury fries. The other "between bread" options on offer include a veggie-friendly Portobello burger, three-herb chicken (with a delicious garlic and horseradish aioli) or a peppered steak for a traditional beef patty with a kick.
Zaitzeff burgers are known across New York City as some of the best examples of prime meat. With a location in NYC’s financial district, be warned that Zaitzeff gets particularly packed during lunch hour. The burger restaurant’s staple organic beef burger – sirloin or the more expensive Kobe – is hormone and antibiotic free, and is packed full of delicious, fatty juices that are perfectly absorbed into the burger’s porous bread (of a consistency similar to a muffin). Generous, thick-cut tomatoes and hefty chunks of cheese make these burgers filling, satisfying and an all-round great experience for any meat lover.
Unique, fresh and memorable, the legendary burgers at Korzo Haus are served on bread "made according to an old Slovak family recipe". It’s a sweet bread which entirely envelops the meat and absorbs all the flavors – with the convenient side effect of making the whole burger-munching process a lot less messy. The original burger, filled with beef and bacon and underpinned by Lorzo’s special blend organic mustard, has enough flavors to make it memorable. However, some other more unique blends include "the Slav", which features pork neck and juniper berries among its numerous fillings. There are daily specials at this joint on Tompkins Square Park which tend to be even more unique and exploratory than the standard menu.