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best burger

  • g

Went to Donovan's in Woodside (Queens) to try timeout's (and Jim Leff's?) #1 rated cheeseburger. Still prefer corner bistro and burger joint at the Meridien. Think I'll stay in Manhattan (unless I'm going to Sripraphai for Thai

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  1. Try the shack burger from Shake Shack. Ranks right up there.

    18 Replies
    1. re: Nina W.

      I'm skeptical but will try. Heard the fries and shakes don't cut it though. True?

      1. re: guttergourmet

        Corner and Joint are my faves, but I think Old Town belongs, have you been?

        1. re: toddb

          nope-always meant to. Do they also serve hot dogs? Around there I also like silver swan for German.

          1. re: guttergourmet

            Old Town is nothing special, and the patty is a little small. You might hit on a better burger in any random pub.

            1. re: Wilfrid

              I second that. I like the atmosphere - very Old New York, tile floor, high ceiling, and massive old bar. As I recall the beer list is decidedly underwhelming.

              The burger itself is pleasantly average - similar burgers can be had in dozens of pubs around the city. Certainly not a candidate for "best" lists.

        2. re: guttergourmet

          True. Fries and shakes are fine, but nothing extraordinary.

          1. re: guttergourmet

            I find the fries to be below average. Shakes are good - the root beer floats are phenomenal. For concretes...I suggest the concrete jungle. Yum. They also serve a well balanced Arnold Palmer.

            1. re: guttergourmet

              Love that Shack Burger. Got one the other night where the butter(?) had created a crisp outer coating to the patty. Delicious but deadly...

              The fries are tasty if freshly fried. Otherwise, they lose heat quickly and are average-to-below when cold. BTW: they were using shoe-strings instead of crinkle-cut recently. Does anyone know if the change is permanent or temporary?

              One last tip: try going at odd hours or when the weather is not as nice. Much as I love the food, it is not worth waiting in those ridiculous lines I've witnessed recently.

              1. re: a&w

                we were there just monday and had crinkly fries. they were fine, but as others have noted, nothing special. shack burger, on the other hand... yum.

                1. re: a&w

                  I generally find that the line dissipates pretty quickly at night. I've gone a couple of times around 7:30 and have had no wait at all. On the other hand, Monday at around 6:30, there was a decent, although not overwheling, line, so I chose to go elsewhere.

                2. re: guttergourmet

                  My two cents: Burgers and shakes are very good. The fries are AWFUL.

                  1. re: guttergourmet

                    This may be true, but you asked about the best BURGER! :-) Definitely give the shack a try!

                  2. re: Nina W.

                    by the way, how did you like ushi wakamaru? Very authentic and I like it but prefer others. I also always have to stop by DeMarco's next door for a slice afterwards.

                    1. re: Nina W.

                      I truly love the Shack burger but when the lines are too long, I'm on the run or just a bit peckish, my current fave is the "other" Burger Joint (on 3rd Ave near 20th)

                      check out the pretty accurate review from "The Gothamist" linked below.

                      Link: http://www.gothamist.com/archives/200...

                      1. re: bk

                        Had my first Shack burger this weekend.
                        Definitely a contender for best burger in the city.

                        1. re: AimeeD

                          I went Saturday for the first time as well. Although it was one of my favorite burgers (I am a PJ Clarkes fan too), ANYTHING tastes good after waiting over an hour for a burger and shake. Thank god the weather held up!!!

                      2. re: Nina W.

                        My view of the Shack Burger has improved considerably since my first one early in the season. I've decided to starve myself all day one of these days so I can do a burger joint/shake burger taste test. I think I prefer burger joint, but the taste test really is the only well to tell for sure!

                        1. re: Nina W.

                          P. J. Clarke's - 915 Thrd Ave. 212-317-1616
                          Delivers to 50th St. to 60th St., Sutton Place to Madison Ave.
                          They will not tell you the name of the butcher that supplies their ground beef,
                          even if you get down on your hands and knees and cry.

                        2. As long as you were traveling outside Manhattan, you shoulda gone to PETER LUGER'S for their hamburger. The BEST!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: BurgerBiter

                            I have to agree, its the best burger I've had in NYC (although I haven't eaten every single one -- yet).

                            My complaint with Lugers is you order the burger and the french fries, and they give you a tiny little thing of four french fries. I asked why so small, and the waiter got all huffy and said "well, what do you expect? you didn't order a whole order of french fries." Well, I expected to have more than four french fries if I ordered them, which I DID! Irritating. As great as their steak is, I must say I'm sick of their attitude....

                            1. re: bigskulls

                              I have never experienced bad attitude at Luger's, but that's another thread for another day.

                          2. i have to say that the corner bistro does nothing for me.

                            two burgers I like quite a lot are the cheesburger at A.O.C. on bleeker off 7th, and the spinach, goat cheese, red onion melange one at elephant and castle... more shi-shi than the corner b, but much tastier.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: kiki aru

                              I LOVE Corner Bistro. First went there back in 99 as an NYU freshman and have been going back ever since. The perfect toppings, great flavor, juicy, and a medium rare burger really is medium rare. It's also a favorite place of mine to take friends from out of town, what with the ambiance, latenight hours, decent jukebox, and McSorley's. I've had some great burgers in the city but still, nothing else has reached the ecstatic heights of burger heaven that CB can take me to.

                            2. In Manhattan Mollys on 3rd
                              outside Manhattan Waterfront Crabhouse in LI City (I kid you not)

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Jerry

                                molly's is good .
                                the place is very comfortable...especially when you play hookey on burger friday (afternoons)

                                tried it recently.
                                the burger is rather large. i split it with someone and was full....not so flavorful....i dunno it did not wow me ..although the service was great and so was the beer.....

                                1. re: namreb

                                  Had our second Molly's burgers last night. We were just as impressed as the first time and will definitely be back.

                              2. The Southern fried Chicken burger at Royale on Ave 9 is ridiculous. Not your beef burger but you gotta try it. Fried crispy chicken, melted american cheese, and slices of jalepeno peppers for a nice kick.

                                1. My GF is a few blocks from Donovan's and I have had the burger several times. I would concur it is not good enough to travel for. The Dumont/Dumont Burger and Relish in Williamsburg all out do the Donovan burger by a fair amount. There is another Irish bar whose name eludes me at the moment. It is on Queens Blvd and has a #1 rated burger signs out front all the time. Anyway maybe someone else will know the place. It is down near 40th/41st on the QB. This bar makes a great, straight forward, hamburger. Better than Donovans and saves you 2 minutes off your trip :)

                                  1. I used to live in the Wet Village, and The Corner Bistro was my go-to burger joint (after the Cookie Bar closed -- does anyone remember The Cookie Bar?), but since I have moved to Wetchester, I think that Piper's Kilt in Eastchester and Burger, Shakes and Fries in Byram, CTgive the NYC joints a run for their money. I've never had the burger at The Shake Shack though, something about standing on line for a cart takes too much away from the enjoyment...

                                    1. I agree 100%.
                                      Burger Joint is good for a classic on the go or for a quick lunch, if you can find a seat. But Corner Bistro is my #1 still. $3 Pints and big juicy cheese burgers is how i get down after work.

                                      I also must recommend Island Burgers, which is around the corner from Lucky Burger. Island Burgers has the best churrasco chicken sandwiches i've tried so far. They have a huge list of burgers and churrasco to choose from, the only down side is that they only have baked potatoes. No fries here guys.
                                      What I do is get the sandwich from Island Burger and the fries from Lucky and grab some of that lucky special sauce for the fries and the burger. MMMmmmm mmmm. I think I know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: andimsonice

                                        Corner Bistro is the best but has been slipping lately. Try Pual's Burger Palace on St Marks Place (I know the name is so stupid) but the burgers are just juicy, messy to eat and DELICIOUS. Plus they serve steak fries.

                                      2. PJ Clarke's is very good. Also I love Five Guys. I think the secret to both of them (and probably shake shack too, though I've never been) is that they cooks on a flattop! Not a grill! Keeps it all so JUICY.

                                        1. Royale on Ave. C is great, plus when ordering a cheeseburger you get to say, "Royale with Cheese". I feel like Burger Joint is more of a novelty item-the location is great and surprising, but it's not the best burger in the city. I'm pretty loyal to Shake Shack but that is inextricably linked to the entire experience/locale, recently tried Dumont Burger for the first time, very good but not the best I've had. They do offer gruyere though, big plus.

                                          1. Have anyone been to a place called Jimbo's? It's a tiny hole in the wall on 1st and I think 54th. I was only there once but have a memory of a decent burger. Not comparable to Corner Bistro but still pretty good.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                                              I tried jimbo's about a year ago, OK greasy spoon burger. Nothing to go out of your way for but if you are in the neighborhood, and in the mood, it could be satisfying.

                                            2. Donovan's has good burgers ans fries but great shepards pie. Donovans is donovan's, the old Irish waitress can be nasty or as sweet as mom. The owner who use to meet all diners at the front was always gracious.(it's been almost 15 years since i was last there) but the memories of good meals and times, will remain a lifetime. stuffed swordfish was really good till they took it off the menu.

                                              1. JG Melon makes a great buger with phenomenal cottage fries. I love a good juicy burger with a soft bun, they perfect thi. Perfect cripsy exterior, with a beefy-juicy center

                                                1. the Half King on 23rd and 10th also has a great burger. lots of other yummy food, too, and a great beer selection.

                                                  1. the best burger i've had so far in nyc is at sweetwater, a cozy little resto in williamsburg. The burger is served with caramelized onions & cheddar on a toasted english muffin. The fries are delicious, too. Wash it down with a pint of sixpoint sweet action. yummy.

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: tastyandyummy

                                                      i think shake shack is super overrated. I love jg melons on the UES. cottage fries are awesome also. Just an all around good burger

                                                      1. re: hamburglar

                                                        I agree, shake shack is good but overrated. I don't understand the lines it generates.

                                                        1. re: hudsonvalleyfoodblog

                                                          well i am glad people at least mentioned J. G. Melon.. probably my second fav burger in the city. i really go there for their chili tho, its world class. However the best burgers in the city by far are the blue cheese burgers at Spotted Pig.

                                                    2. Try Danny Myers Blue Smoke, mouthwatering. Rate it over Joint, Corner, Melon and PJ.

                                                      Also Burger Shakes and Fries off Exit 2 on 95 in Greenwich is worth the trip. On toast, like Louie's in New Haven, only thicker, better, and grilled. Served medium rare to perfection. A noted food critic told me he would rate it as one of the top hamburgers in America.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: louuuuu

                                                        BSF does a really good job. It's a nice business and they turn out a quality burger.

                                                      2. I'm surprised no one has mentioned J.G. Mellons on 74th and 3rd. Tradtional Upper East side landmark, best quality burger I've consistenly ever had. Straight up classic burger - the meat is so rich and well cooked, you can't even talk until it's done.

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: jdtanenb

                                                          Great burgers but you need to order a few b/c they are so tiny. Great late night spot if you're on the UES where everything closes early!