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Best Hamburger

  • j

I know that this has been brought up before but which place has the Best Hamburger in New York?

I prefer the burgers that are not big slabs of beef, but the smaller patties that used to be found in the old-style diners. Thanks for your help.

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  1. "Burger Heaven" makes the smaller, crispier burgers that you mentioned, and they are very good. They have several locations on the east side. I usually go to the one on Madison Ave. at 54th Street.

    1. JG Melon. The burgers are not "thin" but they are not too wide either; thus some people, myself included, order 2.

      1 Reply
      1. re: sam

        Had a burger at JG Melon recently. Quite good. As for Corner Bistro...well, as the old saying goes, "you shoulda' been there 20 years ago." I was really disappointed recently with the burger there. Price is fine, as we all know it is for imported beer (how do they sell the beer so cheaply? All I can say is traffic, traffic, traffic -- kinda same as "location, location, location." In any case, beer good, burger, so-so.

      2. s
        Steve Harrington

        I like to sit down when I eat. Being comfortable and made to feel welcome is a big part of the "best" experience to me. Molly's Pub gets my vote.

        1. the best burgers I think are found at The NoHo Star, Fanelli's, and Corner Bistro.

          1. I would have to say that the best are
            1. Spotted pig (1/2 the normal cheese)
            2. Corner Bistro
            3. Westville

            But thats just the west village, usually dont have an urge to travel for a burger......
            pizza on the other hand, well thats a totally different thread

            1. certainly not the best, but Prime Burger on 51st certainly fits the old style diner description.

              I don't think a thing has changed since 1964.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Iggy McCool

                if you go to prime burger, don't miss the onion rings (thoughs rings is probably misleading, freeform jacksonpollock fried onion beast is probably closer)

                and they have have what i always thought of as high chairs for business men up front

              2. certainly not the best, but Prime Burger on 51st certainly fits the old style diner description.

                I don't think a thing has changed since 1964.

                1. Corner Bistro

                  1. What about Jackson Hole...........

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Ike!

                      Nah. Jackson Hole steam-grills the burger in an upside down sundae dish. They're big, but not really all that good.

                    2. I don't know about the old-style burgers, but one of the best burgers I've had lately in Manhattan was at Balthazar. Seasoned, salty beef with onion, tomato on a nice roll. Crispy, very tasty fries. This was on the weekday afternoon menu. $11.50, $12 with cheese.

                      1. I can't believe nobody has suggested the Burger Joint in the Parker Meridian Hotel yet. In reference to your size concern, a friend of mine says he needs two of their burgers, but I find the modest girth and restrained bun-age to be perfect (especially when paired with a milkshake or a pitcher of Sam Adams).

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Prof.Plum

                          That's the only left to try on our list. Time and planning has always interrupted potential visits. And the one time we were almost @ the door, it was closed for a privata function! Oy! But we can't wait to try out.

                          1. re: Prof.Plum
                            Spock's Brain

                            I'll second the Burger Joint! Besides the outstanding burger I love the whole "speakeasy" feel of the place.

                          2. My husband and I did a burger search over the city. And of 10 places we visited (from research) we settled on PJ Clarke's & Paul's Palace.

                            PJ's is a smaller burger, with a nice soft bun, small patty, that is full of flavor and juiciness; literally melt in your mouth texture.

                            Paul's is more of those big slabs, but yet great!! And a huge variety!!

                            Then there's the 'California Style' BLUE 9 BURGER. When they're on, they are great. When the kitchen's sleepy, they aren't wow. It's sort of hit and miss. I've been there like 10 times, and 60% of the times they were money. But if you have a Cali craving, they will do the job nicely.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: TP

                              Paul's is good...but slightly under the Shake Shack's in my personal ranking.

                              1. re: TP

                                I really like Blue 9, too, though I prefer Burger Joint and Shake Shack--in that order of preference.

                              2. Tavern on Jane and Walker's both have terrific burgers. Had a decent burger at Blue Ribbon Bakery recently and have Union Square cafe and Peter Luger's on the list of lunch burgers to try. And can Silver Spurs really be a good burger? That's on the list too.

                                1. In order of greatness:

                                  Smith & Wollensky
                                  JG Melon
                                  Corner Bistro

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: falseteeth

                                    Wollensky's Grill serves an amazing burger. They make them out ground Filet tips. It will be hard to top this burger anywhere. Corner Bistro is a legend and there are others. I would stay away from Kobe burgers, they lack the right consistency to be great.

                                  2. Jackson Hole is a big tastless blob. Corner Bistro, PJ Clarkes, Westville, Blue Smoke (sirloin, chuck & brisket) make this burger really good and Shake Shack I hear is even better.

                                    1. If you're looking for smaller burgers, definitely go to either Burger Joint in the Parker Meridien or Shake Shack in Madison Square Park.
                                      For larger burgers, Corner Bistro, Molly's Pub, Blue Smoke or Peter Luger's are my favorites.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Evan

                                        EXACTLY!! you nailed it (with the exception of Blue Smoke for me:-)

                                        Link: http://cityrag.blogs.com/main/2004/07...

                                      2. Old style diner burgers, griddled, not flame char-broiled, are the best. I search high and low, and found them at the corner of 7th Ave and 28th Street. An unassuming little luncheonette/coffeehouse that goes by the name "The Greek Corner". A burger a week from them is heaven on a bun. In fact, I love all their food.

                                        1. Of the places mentioned so far my faves are Shake shack and Burger Joint.

                                          Places that haven't been mentioned that I liked are Pop Burger -for $5 you get two mini burgers that were really good when I tried it.

                                          For a more expensive burger - I love the burger at Aix on the upper west side. It comes with house made pickles and great french fries on great bread.

                                          4 Replies
                                          1. re: ak

                                            Where is Shake Shack? What's the burger like there?

                                            1. re: Bernke

                                              Like a Wendy's burger with better quality ingerdiants. Which is not to say bad, it is good, but you might want to pause before waiting for a half an ahour to get one.

                                              1. re: joeyz

                                                I'm sorry, but Shake Shack burgers are *nothing* like "a Wendy's burger with better quality ingerdiants [sic]." They are made with fresh beef, have a grilled flavor (being flame grilled and all), are a bit crunchy on the outside, and are not as bland and fully-cooked as Wendy burgers.

                                                Bernke, Shack burgers are real burgers and are quite tasty, as the overwhelming general consensus goes.

                                                1. re: drmoze

                                                  Hey, as we all know, popularity equals quality. I guess McDonalds must make the best burger of all!

                                                  Shake Shack is good, but nowhere near worth the absurd wait. For a much quicker and more reasonably priced burger of the same style and similar (better in my opinion) quality, try Blue Nine Burger.

                                          2. Burger Joint and Shake Shack would be my choices, as well. Another place I love but haven't seem mentioned is McHale's on 8th Ave at 46th. Excellent chicken sandwiches, too.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: a&w

                                              See my top 10 burger list. McHale's is long gone, unfortunatley =(

                                            2. I'll second J. G. Mellon if you're on the East Side, but if you're in the theatre district / Hell's Kitchen, try Island Burgers and Shakes on 9th Ave. between 51st and 52nd. They have about 50 kinds of treatments (like Cajun, Blackened, etc.) or make up your own, and any burger you can get, you can also get a similarly treated "churasco", which is a chicken breast. If this sounds hokey, don't worry-- the burgers themselves are really great, and they know what rare means. :-) Warning: no fries, and it's not a bar, so no drinks -- except for those really great shakes or a soft drink. It's a hole in the wall and quite busy pre-theatre; come before 6:30 or after 8:30. Two can eat well for under $20.

                                              1. Corner Bistro!!

                                                Another good place you may not have been too is Jumbo Hamburgers in Harlem. Sietsema turned me on to it. Yum!

                                                6 Replies
                                                1. re: joeyz

                                                  I believe you mean Jimbo's, a mini chain with most locations at 125 and north. good hamburger, not a destination spot but good if you arte in the area.

                                                  1. re: stuartlafonda

                                                    No, there is a Jumbo's on at least 116th st. There may be others. Perhaps it is Jimbo's, a more popular chain's, Papaya Dog?

                                                    1. re: stuartlafonda

                                                      The one I go to is on 145th street near Frederick Douglas, and is called Jumbo Hamburgers (formerly Wille's). To be honest, Jimbo's looks like the exact same place with a different name, but I've never tried it. I went to the locale described in the Voice.

                                                      1. re: joeyz

                                                        Years ago I went to the outside shed that was Willie Burger, decent but not special. The Voice article describes Jumbo's as a place down the block that is "Jackson Hole like" in that it is grilled and steamed under a metal pan. I hate Jackson Hole and the giant lump of wet steamed meat they call a burger. I was at Shake Shack yesterday and arrived at 3:02, placed my order at 3:08 and after relaxing at a table for about ten minutes picked up my food. That burger is great. Timing is everything.


                                                        1. re: stuartlafonda

                                                          Though that is how the buger is cooked, "Jackson Hole like" is your comparison, not Sietsema's. Jackson Hole is basically the uptown cousin of Cozy Soup and Burger. Both are much bigger and tend to fall apart, and don't have the same texture. I've had both - trust me, Jumbo's is MUCH tastier than at JH or Cozys. My fave is the bacon, egg, and cheeseburger.

                                                          Of course, we might just enjoy different kinds of burgers.

                                                          1. re: joeyz

                                                            Did you read the link? Sietsema says, "Acting like the old Jackson Hole chain...then partially steaming it under an old pot lid..". His analogy, I merely point it out to the hounds. On another burger thread you cite Blue Nine as at least the equal of Shake Shack. I find Blue Nine to serve thin, overcooked tasteless patties in just about the dirtiest restaurant I have ever been in. You are right about one thing though,we enjoy different kinds of burgers.

                                                  2. Harriet's kitchen on the UWS has the best burger. Nice and juicy. Not too big, not too small.

                                                    1. It never gets the recognition it deserves for its burger, but Veselka on 2nd ave. and 9th st. has an amazing one. the toasted sesame bun is their secret weapon...it's a little flaky almost like challah bread or something. i don't know how to describe it, but it makes for a great burger. And in the time it takes to get your check from the waitress, you'll be hungry enough for another one!

                                                      1. In order of preference:
                                                        PJ Clarke's
                                                        Burger Joint
                                                        White Horse
                                                        Corner Bistro
                                                        JG Melon

                                                        1. Pete's Tavern, gramercy...Best burgers, hands-down!

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: kcijones001

                                                            Pete's used to be my favorite until I had JG Melons. They are smaller, but so much flavor.

                                                          2. Have you tried the foie-gras infused burger at db Bistro? It's so incredible decadent and tasty. I've recently vowed to never eat foie gras in light of the all the horrible animal abuse that goes down at foie gras farms, but the very thought of this burger makes me want to go back to the way things were....sigh.

                                                            You like to eats?

                                                            1. Blue Smoke - 116 E. 27th St
                                                              Shake Shack - in Madison Square Park

                                                              1. If ya'll don't have a What-a-Burger, then chances are you haven't had a great burger.

                                                                1. I like Cozy Soup and Burger on Broadway near Astor Place. Huge burgers, cooked to order, lots of traditional toppings, really reasonable prices. Nothing fancy, just a good burger.

                                                                  1. and one must mention the kobe beef burger at buzina pop...

                                                                    1. I went to the Shake Shack yesterday, and I have to say, the burgers were great. perfect size, for me anyway. My friend and I both had the Shack Burger and fries, and vanilla milkshakes. Fantastic is all I can say. The burgers were moist and melted in your mouth. The fries were nice and crispy on the outside and reall soft and creamy inside, just how I like them. The food was served pipng hot!! The milkshake was something out of my childhood memories of what a good shake should be. Smooth, not icy or slushie, not overly sweet, and not so cold it gives you a instant brain freeze. Perfection. I would highly reccomend this little gem. Do go early, as the line gets real long after 12.

                                                                      1. Wow, I just wen to Landmarc in TW for the first time. Their burger is serious! It is the best I've had in the city so far. Now I have to get over to Spotted Pig.

                                                                        1. Burger Heaven is too pricey, but they're pretty good.

                                                                          My favorites in NYC are Lunasa (which is a bar on First Avenue between 7th & 8th) and the little joint inside the Le Parker Meridian hotel in Midtown.

                                                                          1. the burgers at Royale, on the lower east side, are some of the best i've had in a while - great bun, patty was perfectly seasoned and juicy, and *very* reasonably priced - definitely worth a visit