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my new hamburger ranking

  • g

1.corner bistro
2.j.g melon (just tried for the first time yesterday!)
3.burger joint (at le meridien)
4.mollies
5.donovan's (Woodside Queens)
6.bobcat bite (Santa Fe New Mexico)
7.louis' lunch (New Haven CT)
8.fanelli's
9. rare (bleecker street)
10.paul's (2nd avenue)
11.p.j. clarke's.
Shake Shack and Blue 9 don't even make the cut! Comments?

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  1. You haven't tried one at Coals I bet.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bronx Bill

      Won't even walk into Coals anymore. The pizza is now soggy, the meat tastes old & the service was awful. When told that the soup was cold, the waitress begrudgingly took it back & then almost "dropped" on the table in a huff. Faghetaboutit!!

      1. re: Fred

        I've never had any problems there. What meat tasted old, the burger? Give them another chance.

    2. nice to see pj clarkes get a little dap. the old place is pretty cool.

      1 Reply
      1. re: steve h.

        I give the worst burger rating in Manhattan to this place. I love the old time look and feel, but man was the burger not only overcooked, but clearly, a sign of meat that is not as fresh as it should be (i.e. ground fresh that very morning, every day for service) is when you really can't get a pink center no matter how quickly it is cooked. And that was on the second round, having sent back the first effort!

      2. I think Burger Joint crushes Corner Bistro, but not a bad list.

        1. No Luger Burger?

          S

          3 Replies
          1. re: CTownFeedR

            Blair Perrone has a great burger. Little expensive, but well worth it.

            1. re: BB

              How is Blaire Perrone overall?

              1. re: Fred

                Blair Perrone closed a cpl months back. the space was simply toooooo big. What could survive there. Ruth's Chris couldn't even survive there.

          2. You should put a HUGE caveat on the Corner Bistro burger. If you get a freshly made one its fantastic. If you get a pre-broiled and then reheated burger it is terrible. I think the inconsistency is enough to knock it down a few spaces.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ES

              Again you are absolutely right. But when its hot and fresh off the grill it is delicious. so I order in the bar and have them make it medium rare to rare. Then I know its fresh. I had one and ordered it medium and it was a re-heat job. Lucky my friend told me to go back and get it medium rare and fresh.

            2. Viva Molly's, my #1 "big burger"

              4 Replies
              1. re: M

                dry and overcooked was my experience with the Molly burger...

                1. re: rolypoly

                  tough break, has never once been my experience (and I've been a lot).

                  loosely packed, nicely chared, and they seem to hit desired temp with ease due to thickness of the patty.

                  1. re: rolypoly

                    been to mollys many times over the past dozen years...
                    the dry burger sounds like an aberration, always been
                    moist and delicious with a pint every thursday.

                  2. re: M

                    its okay, but hardly a destination burger.

                  3. Gutter, out of curiousity, was McHales (*sniff) formerly on this list? That was the best burger I've found in NYC, before they closed.. :(

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: CorgiLover

                      Corgi, I agree - no one did it better than McHales. I used to work around the corner and would have that burger at least once a week - be still my arteries!

                    2. I may be alone on this one, but I love the Wolfgang's burger and no one ever seems to mention it on this board. Not sure if people don't like it or if they just dont know it exists (only available at the bar at lunch), but it is awesome. It is a little pricey for a burger at around $13, but it is huge, juicy, and extremely tasty. It comes with great thick steak fries that get better when the grease from the burger soaks into them. Interested in other people's thoughts.

                      1. Great list Gutter, but i'd drop Corner way down, move PJs off the list (had one the other day at the new downtown location and wasn't overly impressed). I'd put Rathbones up there and give some thought to Delmonicos.

                        If you're going otuside of NY I'd seriously consider Maneros (deli counter) in Greenwich Ct.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Wingman

                          the only PJ's is the one in the e50s. the rest are cheap franchises.

                        2. This might sound odd, but Maggie's, the Irish pub in midtown, has a great burger.

                          1. Union Square Cafe has a great burger, which never gets any mention.

                            1. have you tried the Good World Burger? they put beets in the patty. it's really delicious.

                              1. i would add Spotted Pig's gorgonzola burger. To die for!

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: bchart
                                  n
                                  NativeNewYorker

                                  Disagree. The cheese overwhelms the other flavors.

                                  And the fries are too thin. Taste like those potato sticks out of a can. And did I mention that it's impossible to get a table?

                                  Four blocks away is Westville, the best 'alternative' (meaning unusual bun) burger in New York.

                                  1. re: NativeNewYorker

                                    Agree on The Pig. The Roquefort burger is sickeningly rich. The Westville burger is fantastic on that Portuguese bun. Also Blue Ribbon Bakery makes good regular and chicken burgers and the fries are regular, not like the Pig's which could be shoestring sticks from a can.

                                    1. re: sing me a bar

                                      Disagree. Even with the cheese, Spotted Pig has a juicy, well-seasoned and cooked burger. Which is my main issue with burgers - basic seasoning.

                                      As for fries... who cares. This is a burger list and how good or bad the fries are... well, who cares?

                                      1. re: cheftamara

                                        Actually, I do! The fries are part of the experience. I would weigh both values when choosing where I go. If the fries are absolutely awful, like the Pig's hard little sticks, I'd go where the fries are complementary to the burger. I like the fries at Westville and Blue Ribbon Bakery, and I don't get "a look" while asking them at the Pig to hold the "fort!

                                  2. If your list doesn't include Shake Shack or Spotted Pig, it is seriously lacking in my opinion....

                                      1. re: e.kaye

                                        the sirloin burger @ wollensky's is outstanding, very dif from a burger joint / melon's burger

                                      2. PJ Clarke's?? Really?? What am I missing here other than an even just decent burger? I'm from out of town and took my teen son there telling him it was "old NY" where the journalists hung out, etc. from what I had read. Bun was plain white and not toasted. No condiments offered except mustard in a squirt bottle. Mean mediocre at best and just plain slopped together. Give me a plain ole Chili's Bar and Grill chain burger any day.

                                        9 Replies
                                          1. re: steakman55

                                            I too was served a small, dry burger patty wedged in between a sliced un-toasted bun without any condiments at Pj Clarkes.

                                            I never went back and as I can listen to better classic rock music as loud as they play it at PJ Clarkes, and with better home made burger.

                                            1. re: RCC

                                              i got a totally different burger at pj clarks. came with a raw onion underneath and it was very good, if a little sloppy (not held together). they're fries are very good too. maybe it's the atmosphere though. you can't get it at too many more places in nyc (although you can try old towne tavern).

                                              1. re: jon

                                                Our burgers at PJ's were very juicy, tender, and flavorful. On the money when it came to seasoning.

                                              2. re: RCC

                                                Worst burger I ever had (at that price). It was sititng on the grill all day from the way it tasted. Couldn't eat it, told the waiter, left and came back later with a "new" one, same result.

                                                1. re: RCC

                                                  I had a burger at PJs many moons ago. I didn't feel any desire to return. I was surprised that the burger was just not that good. Maybe the place is more of a tourist attraction than anything else.

                                                2. re: steakman55

                                                  I'm with you. love the space and understand the "no frills" aproach, just didn't translate into a great burger.

                                                  1. re: steakman55

                                                    I couldn't agree more steakman- I can't stand the overhype Clarke's gets. Seriously- it's the size of a freakin' hockey puck, the bun is a wonder bread bun uncooked in any way, and it's ten bucks to take a bite. Hate the hype- glad to see someone agrees. Julius' on West 10th. Trust me, it's worth a very solid try.

                                                    1. re: steakman55

                                                      then you are clearly not a burger guy. it's about the simplicity.

                                                    2. As much as I hate to admit it, I had a great burger at Pastis. Great roll and their fries are very good. Jane also had an unexpectedly good burger.

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: bobby06877

                                                        interesting to hear.......you sound like a true devotee if you're ordering burgers @ either place.

                                                      2. the burger at ulysses on stone street happens to be very good. i actually think pop burger makes a decent burger, but i've only ever had them at 3 am after many drinks. agree with bistro and j.g. melon's. give good burger a shot. burgers aren't mindblowing, but they're good enough.

                                                        no list is complete without adding the blazers (purdys, ny), red rooster (brewster, ny) or mr. bartley's burger cottage (cambridge, ma).

                                                        2 Replies
                                                        1. re: jon

                                                          Don't forget to mention the Blazers *HUGE* steak fries. Unreal.

                                                          1. re: jon

                                                            jon, i was trying to find an old post about blazers--how do you need to order a burger? did you mention sometime that you needed to order a specific bun with their burger? (or preparation, for that matter?)

                                                            i went a year ago, and wasn't that impressed; i'd like to go back again and order correctly :)

                                                          2. Blue Smoke has a great burger as does the Westway Diner on 9th Ave (43/44).

                                                            1. It's hard to know which topic generates more passion on this board: burgers or barbecue. I had thought it was the latter, but this thread suggests that I was wrong!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Nor'easter

                                                                Neither can beat the pizza threads. And for my two cents best slice goes to Joe's. Sorry. Couldn't help it.

                                                              2. g
                                                                guttergourmet

                                                                I think everyplace on the list is subject to potential bad days. I'm actually more of a pizza guy than hamburger. McHales I went to once right before it closed, snagged a T-shirt, but the burger was dry. Probably my loss. Prejudice as to neighborhood may also play a part-I'm near Corner Bistro. Also, I'm sure that there are many great burgers at various restaurants, e.g. Lugers, but going to Lugers and ordering a burger rather than a steak is like going to Le Bernardin and asking for chicken.

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                  I think you are entirely incorrect on the Lugers point. Lugers only offers the hamburger for lunch.

                                                                  Most people I know, (wiht the notable exception of me) cannot handle a porterhouse for two for lunch and would opt for the burger which happens to be very reasonably priced as well, so, if you live or work around the area, it becomes an almost irresistable bargain.

                                                                  The luger burger is better than Corner Bistro btw.

                                                                  Personally, when I go to Lugers for lunch, I get the burger as an app, then the porterhouse :).

                                                                  1. re: T. Pigeon

                                                                    I'm pretty sure I could handle the burger AND the porterhouse for two at one seating. One night I went to Molly's for a burger and fries with a couple of pints of Guiness and then to shake Shack for a cheeseburger and chocolate concrete shake for dessert. By the way, the shack burger didn't compare to mollies but at least there were no lines at 11PM at night!

                                                                2. what about that new(ish) place over on 2nd ave and, i think it's 44th or maybe 45th? might be called goodburger or something like that. one local paper, maybe the times, gave it the #1 thumbs up shortly after it opened but saw no mentions on this entire thread, unless i missed (and sorry for all the vagaries but c'hounds know which place i mean..)

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: bklynbiker

                                                                    I agree with Corner Bistro. I also like the burger at Knickerbocker and at Pete's Tavern.
                                                                    Good meat, good size...and just plain good.

                                                                    1. re: bklynbiker

                                                                      It's called GOODBURGER. 43rd and 2nd

                                                                      Not bad. Similar looking and tasting to Shake Shack. But SS is better.

                                                                      1. re: bklynbiker

                                                                        good burger is ok-it was intended as a burger joint clone but I think they left out some critical DNA

                                                                      2. I can't believe Balthazar doesn't get a mention. Hands down the best burger in New York City, with the best fries too. Pastis is also great, mentioned above.

                                                                        And, although I rarely see it mentioned here, the last time I had a burger in the Odeon, it was heaven!

                                                                        Time OUt did a burger rating a couple of years ago, and PJ Clarke's came near the top, if not number one. I raced for their burger, and couldn't believe how bad it was.

                                                                        - Sean

                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Sean Dell

                                                                          Balthazar and the family warrant mention only cause of the height the fries bring the overall plate to. Meat is not fatty enough for me, have to order rare. Find myself getting the Lamb sandwich or Chicken Club more often at Balthazar these days.

                                                                          Would encourage ALL to trek to Diner in Williamsburg for the burger and fries. Top notch meat, perfectly cooked, stellar fries, and also a great alternative if Luger's is booked up.

                                                                          1. re: Info

                                                                            i agree with making the trek to williamsburg to have a diner burger. grassfed organic beef, house pickled red onions, housesmade mayo, perfect fries...its worth the journey. afterwards you can pop next door to marlow and sons for some dessert... delicious oysters.

                                                                          2. re: Sean Dell

                                                                            Yeah Sean, the Balthazar burger rocks. It's seasoned, French-style. You can order it with a fried egg on top also.
                                                                            Time Out isn't to be trusted for anything, btw, although the new food editor is a lot more critical than the old, so maybe there's hope.

                                                                          3. i agree with your top 3, order as well. nothing can beat the price and taste of a bistro burger medium, in my opinion. but i might be biased because i lived around the corner and used to do takeout (as opposed to waiting a year for a table). blue 9 is terrible, and inedible delivered. recently tried sascha's double burger, thumbs up. i'd add that to the list. good fries too.

                                                                            1. The best burger in NYC is at the Golf Center on Randall's Island. Weather permitting, a portly, long-haired dude kind of like from the Big Lebowski in a worn out white t-shirt wheels out a large steel outdoor grill. you pay inside the golf shop and get a receipt. you hand the receipt to the grill guy and he throws on a fat wad of balled up ground beef that hasn't been formed well enough and is probably falling apart into two pieces already. he lays it on the grill and you wait on a picnic bench outside behind the driving range stalls while it grills, maybe drinking a bottle of bud light. he serves it on a plain bun probably from costco's with some tomato and lettuce if you want it. condiments are heinz, french's mustard and bottled relish.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: awl

                                                                                Bless you, Awl. This is easily the most entertaining entry in this current thread. Right or wrong, no matter. It must be a singular pleasure to have a burger cooked for you at a golf center by a Big Lebowski refugee. Most intriging, indeed.

                                                                              2. fantastic conversation! i'm glad to have guidance about where to go next for good burgers.

                                                                                i'd say my top three favorites are blue ribbon, shake shack, and westville. i don't think westville has been mentioned, and it's consistently awesome, and the english muffin rules. too much bread totally obscures the burger for me. it's always a battle to decide between the niman dog and the burger there - they're both amazing.

                                                                                i've always been curious about the foie gras burger at db bistro moderne, is it worth it? especially for someone who's issued a personal moratorium on foie gras?

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: raybird

                                                                                  No the DB Burger was a disappointment and I don't mean because of price (I'd pay $200 for the ultimate burger) or because of foie gras concerns (to quote Mario Batali: "at some point you've got to get comfortable with being at the top of the food chain"). The ingredients just didn't meld for me.

                                                                                  1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                    I agree. This burger was really hyped up for me, and it was kind of a let down.

                                                                                2. I agree the english muffin does add something to the burger at westville

                                                                                  1. The Kinsale on 3rd ave at 94th is my favorite. I'm surprised I never see it on any of these lists. Nice and juciy and minimally seasoned. They also have really good fries (I like them well done) and beer battered onion rings.

                                                                                    1. My disappointment in the burger at Corner Bistro has yet to be alleviated. However, my love for Burger Joint (@ LPM) and Shake Shack remain unconditional. Walker's puts out a quality burger, possibly best in Tribeca?

                                                                                      1. Ditto on adding Spotted Pig, hungry just thinking about it. And Corner Bistro is always in the lead. Heading to DC? I would add the Tombs to the list. It is great and nostolgic. Also agreed that McHales was a big loss.

                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: lbs9

                                                                                          does the spotted pig burger still stand up? i'm headed there shortly. tia

                                                                                          1. re: TBird

                                                                                            It's a great burger--had it just a couple of months ago.

                                                                                        2. i like this list and generally agree with you.

                                                                                          however, you have a few more spots to try. add luger's burger to your mix. one more too, an oft-forgotten bronx gem for you to consider: doyle's pub in the westchester square in the bronx.

                                                                                          also, if mini-burger's are in their own category i would say the PATRIOT bar on chambers at church has the best for the best value (i'm sure the beer clouds my judgement on this - heh ***).

                                                                                          4 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: mrnyc

                                                                                            Are the Patriot burgers made to order? I'd choose Sassy's on 86th & 3rd or the burger joint on Bleeker.

                                                                                            1. re: kwanito

                                                                                              yes. a little cheaper than SASSYS and esp someplace like POP BURGER.

                                                                                              however, remember to factor in the beer/booze and ear crushing country music!

                                                                                            2. re: mrnyc

                                                                                              "an oft-forgotten bronx gem for you to consider: doyle's pub in the westchester square in the bronx."

                                                                                              Knowledge that obscure impresses me greatly. I tip my cap. :-)

                                                                                              1. re: Bob Martinez

                                                                                                bob, i'm lucky in the sense that i travel to all the boroughs for work ;). DOYLE'S makes the mega huge style burger, cancel all appointments and make all preparations for a nap afterward.

                                                                                            3. I was surprised to find that Home has one of the most delicious hamburgers I've had. They might only have it available at lunch time, though.

                                                                                              1. I would definitely drop Corner Bistro and P.J. Clark's, way overrated, and add Diner in Williamsburg and Peter Luger's.

                                                                                                1. yeah man 'burg burgers rool. heh.

                                                                                                  seriously i'd like to hear more about those that didn't make the top ten. the next ten maybe? i am not totally convinced he has tried a wide enough range of area burgers here.

                                                                                                  ya can't eat'em all, but still i would like to see some 'top misses.'

                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                  1. re: mrnyc

                                                                                                    I've always loved the burgers at All State on W 72nd, but other than Luger's (love it) and Corner Bistro (wasn't impressed), I haven't tried those on this list. I'd be curious to hear how those who have tried All State think it compares.

                                                                                                  2. JG Melon has to be number one for the buns alone. a place that serves burgers on a sesame seed bun automatically ostracizes a significant segment of the population. on the other hand, no one complains about a seedless bun. i also believe the burger is much better at jg's but surely people will debate that.

                                                                                                    1. also, if you ever make it out to new rochelle. go to Leno's (755 Pelham Road, New Rochelle, NY 10805
                                                                                                      (914) 636-9869) and treat yourself to best burger in the country outside of JG Melon's.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: mstatt54

                                                                                                        I'll second the Leno's call - though most up in Westchester know it as Greasy Nick's. That said, the best buger in the county is served at The Piper's Kilt in Eastchester. There is a branch in Inwood, though I can't seem to find any mention of the place on these boards.

                                                                                                      2. One need not leave Manhattan to have that incredible burger. Nobody seems to mention the burger at TJ O'Brien, on Columbus and 82nd. Toasted brioche roll, quality beef seasoned with onion and herb. Divine with swiss cheese. Even more memorable than the Shack Burger or the falling-apart juicy goat cheese burger at Viceroy. Plus they have Delirium Tremens on draught along with other great beers.

                                                                                                        I am surprised that so many Chowhounders keep swearing by places like Corner Bistro, where the burgers are mediocre at best.

                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                        1. re: kf2150

                                                                                                          I prefer to keep it simple. Your burger reads more like meatloaf and that is fine.

                                                                                                          1. re: patolig76

                                                                                                            Meatloaf it isn't... I assure you.

                                                                                                          2. re: kf2150

                                                                                                            Yeah, what are places in Santa Fe doing on the Manhattan boards. Best NY burger or just best burger?

                                                                                                            PJ Clarkes? Ugh...I will take Shake Shack's eight million health violations before I'd go there.

                                                                                                          3. there's a little scrappy diner on madison ave in the 60's, near barney's across the street. really good burgers there too. the name escapes me

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: jungirl

                                                                                                              i've walked by that palce i don't know how many times. must go in.

                                                                                                              1. Loud classic rock at P.J. Clarke's? What the hell happened to that place?

                                                                                                                1. Cannot beat Donovan's...And, as I recall, was only $5.95.

                                                                                                                  1. I hadn't mentioned Bonnie's in Park Slope, because this is after all the Manhattan board, but the list seems to be devolving into an all-borough affair. Bonnie's is one of my favorites. I don't see the need to pick a single favorite place.

                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: Peter Cuce

                                                                                                                      yeah and PETE'S WATERFRONT too on atlantic. heck that one often tops my fav burger list, but i have not been there in a few months (i dk anything about the manhattan outpost).

                                                                                                                      1. re: mrnyc

                                                                                                                        this post was on my mind so afdter a day at rockaway beeach we stopped off at PETE'S today. i got a rare burger w/swiss and an anchor liberty draft and it was mighty mighty fine. i think maybe the meat used to be better, but not sure since i had cheese on it.

                                                                                                                        i noticed they had a kobe beef burger on the specials board. i'm sure its just waygu steer meat not real imported kobe beef. it came with a miso sauce or some other weirdness so i stayed away from that.

                                                                                                                    2. Zaitzeff's kobe burger

                                                                                                                      Surprisingly Le Monde (UWS) - with brie and bacon and fantastic fries.

                                                                                                                      Looking forward to trying a few on this list. Know if any server organic beef?

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. BTW, the one time I had a burger at Fanelli's (about a year ago), the meat wasn't that great. It didn't do it for me.

                                                                                                                        1. JG Melon's is my wife's favorite; mine is Soup Burg's. Corner Bistro was a total letdown for me as well on my last visit. Jane's burger is wonderful; Paul's is perfectly adequate; Fanelli's didn't do anything for me.

                                                                                                                          One real question is whether and how much to take into account other factors: quality of fries, service, atmosphere, etc. For instance, some may prefer Melon's cottage fries to regular french fries, but I don't. Everything at Shake Shack is pretty great, but I don't know that I'd wait an hour for it again. P.J. Clarke's is just too expensive to justify.

                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                          1. re: MatthewB

                                                                                                                            Update: Just re-visited P.J. Clarke's, and that is a damn fine burger, especially with bearnaise. Not even as expensive as I remembered: The basic burger is $8.60.

                                                                                                                          2. I don't eat enough hamburgers to have a top 10 (or perhaps: most of the hamburgers I have eaten wouldn't make the cut) but ones I like are:

                                                                                                                            1)Pacific Dining Car--they know how to make a RARE burger;
                                                                                                                            2)Palm dt LA--ditto
                                                                                                                            3)Shake Shack--just tried the shack stack for the first time last week and I know it is considered virtually pedestrian here but I thought it was amazing if not the sort of thing I would order more than once a year as it is so over the top (at Dining Car & the Palm I generally just have the plain meat with nothing but a taste of relish at DC and a pickle at the Palm).

                                                                                                                            Imagining I might replicate my LA Palm experience I recently got a hamburger at Keen's and was disappointed. Dry and flat. I was also disappointed by the DB burger when I had it a few years ago. I don't remember in detail but it was just a burger with a bit of foie gras on it and the foie didnt make the burger any less prosaic and the burger didn't extenuate the foie. I thought Goodburger's hamburger was fine but am not likely to pursue it in future. Has any one tried Zip Burger?

                                                                                                                            I find the french fry question interesting as to me, the ideal accompaniments to a burger are creamed spinach and a properly made caesar salad (which may explain a lot of my hamburger issues).

                                                                                                                            1. Unfortunately, i think you are way off about a couple of things. There is no way burger joint rates better than shake shack. The rolls alone, not the mention the meat used is consistently better at the shack. I would agree regarding the corner bistro, but jg melons has been way off for a long time, and coasting on a reputation that hasn't been accurate in years.

                                                                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: simplefare

                                                                                                                                i was at JG's last wednesday (and have been there 1-2 times a quarter for the past six years) and nothing has been "off" there in those 6 years. it is, simply put, the best burger in the city bar none.

                                                                                                                                1. re: simplefare

                                                                                                                                  You write as though matters of taste are matters of fact. There are lots of us out here who would choose burger joint over shake shack any time, and you can't convince us that our taste is wrong just by being emphatic.

                                                                                                                                2. I'm surprised Burger Heaven (various midtown locations) never makes these lists... I get the roquefort burger every time, with relish. (you have to ask for relish now, they used to have pickle/relish trays but I guess that was too germy...)

                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                  1. re: The Engineer

                                                                                                                                    Reliably delicious burger with great frites at florent.

                                                                                                                                    Since others mentioned out-of-town burgers, the pan-fried-in-butter burgers at Yankee Doodle on Broadway in New Haven are fantastic. Then get a donut split and fried in butter for dessert. (Louis' Lunch burgers in New Haven, on the original poster's top 10, are too greasy, the main draw is the contraption they are cooked on and the quaintness of being forced to eat them on white bread with no choice of condiments.)

                                                                                                                                  2. I have to cast my vote for Bosna Express, hidden away under a rusty old elevated in Ridgewood, Queens. Many will argue that this is not a traditional burger. I say, so what? For that matter, neither is Shake Shack's (how many burgers are made with brisket?), or the one at DB Bistro (foie gras). The gargantuan Pljeskevica (or "bosna burger"), though a tad dry, is loaded with flavor. To get the full effect, take one over to the tiny tree-covered town square, just a few yards away, and listen to the deafening train rumble as you chow your way to Balkan heaven. Wash it down with a reasonably priced beer at the dive next door.

                                                                                                                                    1. Prime Burger - between Fifth and Madison across from St. Pat's.

                                                                                                                                      Best burger in Manhattan - hasn't changed for decades: same seats with hinged eating trays, same better counter scene, same cash register with automatic change dispenser, same aging hipster wait staff (I mean hipster in the original, 1940s sense of the word - these guys dig jazz), burgers priced as burgers, and don't leave without a piece of pie. Who knows how long it can last?

                                                                                                                                      Remember: " a burger is a burger is a burger: ours is prime"

                                                                                                                                      6 Replies
                                                                                                                                      1. re: hellgate

                                                                                                                                        Hellgate, this sounds like my kind of place. What are the prices like?

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Polecat

                                                                                                                                          in addition to being a trip in the wayback machine, it's a mighty fine burger -- which will run you four bucks (five if you add cheese, but i like these enough to keep the toppings at bay). if you want to go all out -- and why shouldn't you -- a combo platter of two burgers with fries and "assorted relishes) is in the 8-9 dollar range. fries, on their own, are excellent and cost around two-fifty.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: david sprague

                                                                                                                                            "the wayback machine". now we're talking. cant' wait. thanks, dave.

                                                                                                                                        2. re: hellgate

                                                                                                                                          Not sure if I call Prime Burger best in the city, but it is a great lunch. I've never waited, burger is reasonable, and Wayback Machine is on full-tilt. Great diversion in the middle of the work-day.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: tailfins

                                                                                                                                            Rrrghhh!! On my burger safari, my pal and I have tried twice unsuccessfully to get in to Prime... We're giving it one more shot (maybe, if he can be convinced) and then seriously (considering) giving up.

                                                                                                                                          2. re: hellgate

                                                                                                                                            I've been going for years. Recently took my 9 year old who loved Prime Burger especially the "high chairs" and the apple crumble pie! I also wouldn't call their burgers a contender but you can't argue with :1.James Beard Award winner; 2.across the street from St. Paddie's (get it? duh-hamburger paddies;) ); 3.homemade pies. Some additional Prime burger trivia-it was originally part of the original 30s Burger Heaven chain when it declared independence in the 50s and haven't changed the decor since.

                                                                                                                                          3. While we're re-writing history here, ha ha, I would throw in a vote for 'behind the curtain', the burger joint at the Parker Meridien on 57th St. I had two visits recently, and the burgers were just excellent, and unbelievable value. True, you don't hang around for the view, and the novelty wears off. But for a great burger in mid-town, this really is hard to beat.

                                                                                                                                            - Sean

                                                                                                                                            6 Replies
                                                                                                                                            1. re: Sean Dell

                                                                                                                                              I've taken the liberty of posting the burger joints commended here all on a map.

                                                                                                                                              http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?f=q&am...

                                                                                                                                              Now you can get your burger by proximity. Enjoy.
                                                                                                                                              -Brett

                                                                                                                                              1. re: imbrettjackson

                                                                                                                                                really great idea, imbrettjackson. much appreciated!!!

                                                                                                                                                1. re: imbrettjackson

                                                                                                                                                  I can't help noticing that Bobcat's Bite and Louis' Lunch are not marked on the map...
                                                                                                                                                  (and if we're allowing Santa Fe burgers, what about Horseman's Haven?)

                                                                                                                                                  Awesome tool! Thank you for your humanitarian efforts, sir. The world is now a better place.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ratatosk

                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the map! And the idea for Horseman's Haven!

                                                                                                                                                    As a New Mexican, I can't help but disagree with Bobcat Bite. I tried it last Thanksgiving and it just doesn't measure up to either Santiago's (Albuquerque, NM) or the original Owl Cafe (San Antonio, NM). My family has tried them all and Santiago's is our undisputed favorite. Owl Cafe comes in second ... and Bobcat Bite is not in the top 10. I'd like to see these on more top 10 lists (at the top!).

                                                                                                                                                    -----
                                                                                                                                                    Santiago's New Mexican Grill
                                                                                                                                                    1911 Eubank Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87112

                                                                                                                                                    Owl Bar & Cafe
                                                                                                                                                    215 San PO Box, Antonio, NM

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: MsJacksonNM

                                                                                                                                                      Haven't tried those but Motz and Edge mention the Owl in their burger books. I assume we're talking green chile burgers for all of them/

                                                                                                                                                  2. re: imbrettjackson

                                                                                                                                                    Brilliant. Best GIS work I've ever seen.

                                                                                                                                                2. Gotta say...solid list, except for Corner B. I live near there...have always been disappointed. Best burger I've had in New York this year: Peter Luger...(at lunch, and a bargain at around $8.)

                                                                                                                                                  1. Also, I'd give a nod to burger at Westville. Not as superlative as many of these, but a big plus: if you order it rare for delivery, it arrives at your house rare. That's rare.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Union Square Cafe makes a pretty good burger. And I like Jackson hole too. My old favortie was Ottomanelli Cafe but no place I have evern eaten out beats what I (or anyone for that matter it ain't brain surgery) can make at home in about 10 minutes.

                                                                                                                                                      1/2 pount lean ground chuck, salt, pepper, toss from hand to hand to form a ball. flatten to 1" patty very hot grill 4-6 minutes on side depending on how you like it. dress with roll, tomato etc as you see fit.

                                                                                                                                                      1. "Home" has a GREAT burger....Agree that Union Square does as well...Enjoyed Burger Joint as well...

                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                        1. re: jinet12

                                                                                                                                                          agree with majority of list. but i would include Shake Shack, of course. just got back from having a double shack burger, 1st of the season for me, excellent and no lines due to the easter sunday holiday and cold temps. i also like Pop Burger quite a bit and Le Express at park/20th makes a very good one too. Rare on lexington rates very high as well, only been to the bleecker st place once.

                                                                                                                                                          Havent been to Molly's yet. is that on 3rd in the low 20's? PJ Clarkes was no big deal for me and Blue Nine is too greasy.

                                                                                                                                                        2. I like Mollies burger and the onion rings, also Burger Joint and fries. PJ Clarke's has become a disappointment and Paul's I will never go back to. Paul's is just not my kind of burger - it's a very old fashioned type like they used to make at Soupburg on Madison Ave (now closed).

                                                                                                                                                          I agree with the poster who likes Hamburger Heaven (various locations). They are best at lunchtime on weekdays - medium rare with cheese and a slice of raw.

                                                                                                                                                          But I was just back in Donovan's last weekend and had a great cheeseburger - asked for raw onion and got plenty of fresh slices. As usual the fries and the onion rings are the type from the big fifty pound bag in the freezer. Nevertheless you can't beat the Guinness - they do know how to pour.

                                                                                                                                                          1. Just curious, how come nobody ever mentions the Burger Joint on 3rd Ave (not to be confused with the one in the Parker Meridien)? They're slider-style on a potato bun, very cheap. They're pretty flavorful, kinda like mini Shack burgers. Thoughts?

                                                                                                                                                            1. I liked the burger from the bar menu at Marseille. Worthy of a mention at least. Also right down the street (9th ave) is (was?) Island Burger ,which was great to eat there but not great as take out, and Rachels, which was surprisinly good.

                                                                                                                                                              1. Update- put Stoned Crow at #2 and Telepan (Thanks AHT's Adam Kuban) at #3. Throw Spotted Pig, Royale, Stand, BLT and brgr in there at #s 14,15,16,17 and 18, respectively.

                                                                                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                  gutter, you ever tried the kobe beef burger at megu downtown? it's mighty good and also mighty expensive ($30 as part of a lunchtime bento, may be available on its own for cheaper, i can't recall). owing to cost + venue, it's not an everyday burger but i think it's worthy of any top 10 or top 20 list.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                    just had a pj clarke's burger, not good at all, how can it be #11? your 14 through 17 are all way better than the pj clarke's one.

                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: jacques gaudet

                                                                                                                                                                      I'd probably agree with that but pj's is respectable-better than BLT and brgr

                                                                                                                                                                  2. "Comments?"

                                                                                                                                                                    sure, your #1 & #3 would not make my top 20 list!

                                                                                                                                                                    8 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: TBird

                                                                                                                                                                      Let me guess-you like Shake Shack.

                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                        you'd have to be insane not to. ;-)

                                                                                                                                                                        i do like your #9 tho.

                                                                                                                                                                        :-)

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                            Agreed on shake shack. It's good, I'd wait 10 minutes, but never 45. And why is there a constant need to crush Corner Bistro. If it's not your number 1 I understand, but take it off the list is ludicrous. I had a burger at esquina on a recommendation and totally doubted it would be half good. It was extremely salty but everything else about it was fantastic and I gotta try again figuring someone dropped the shaker. Meat had excellent flavor, avocado onions a really nice bun. All over an excellent burger. Not a top 10, but it's worth a trip if you're near by.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: 2slices

                                                                                                                                                                              "Corner Bistro.If it's not your number 1 I understand, but take it off the list is ludicrous."

                                                                                                                                                                              if you are really into ordinary bar burgers, i am not here to change your mind. GG asked for "Comments?", and i complied...what's "ludicrous" is the "Shake Shack don't even make the cut!" statement. but again, this topic is like the difara/grimaldi/totonnos topic. there is no end in sight. ever.
                                                                                                                                                                              :-)

                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: TBird

                                                                                                                                                                                Comparing Shake Shack to Corner Bistro is like comparing Dominos to Difara.

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                  That's a bit much. And you don't have peter luger's in your ranking? I don't know about that. It is easily a top 3 and possibly deserving of a 1.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                    "Comparing Shake Shack to Corner Bistro is like comparing Dominos to Difara."

                                                                                                                                                                                    i completely agree. corner bistro ='s domino's. shake shack ='s difara.

                                                                                                                                                                      2. I found nothing remarkable about corner bistro's burger. Very whatev's....
                                                                                                                                                                        Shake shacks burger.....BOOOO.
                                                                                                                                                                        LOVE the burger at Donovans but the bun needs help, it needs the buns from Stand
                                                                                                                                                                        Spotted Pigs burger is YUM
                                                                                                                                                                        Someone told me the other day that Nic&Stef's has a really good burger?!?!?
                                                                                                                                                                        The Macho Burger from Chris Madrids in San Antonio, Tx!!!!

                                                                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: meldrom

                                                                                                                                                                          Wolfgang's serves one of the finest burgers in NYC. Ranks just after Luger's.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: meldrom

                                                                                                                                                                            Totally disagree. I went to Donovan's this weekend and was completely disappointed with the burger. I found there to be nothing remarkable about it at all. Standard pub burger. Shake Shack, on the other hand, I think is delicious. The winter is definitely nice for not waiting on line and getting a quick burger there. I thought Luger's was terrific too.

                                                                                                                                                                          2. Sullivan Diner, which is not really a diner ,has one of the best burgers ive had. Big, juicy and with a house made pickle and fries with crispy burnt onions. Thought the service was good, and the space really nice. For $10 you get a mouthful. The only onther one that comes clos is Donavans, but thats in queens.

                                                                                                                                                                            1. Hi guttergourmet, I am Skip the Burgermaven. Travel the USA for the great burger. Agree on Corner Bistro. Bistro burger at the bar so you get it hot. Medium Rare with Cheddar. Fantastic. Went to NYC last month to try two more places. Bobby Flay and Anrew Zimmern love JG Melon's. it was very very good.. bun sucked.
                                                                                                                                                                              A better burger: ARthur Schwartz sent me: go to original BLT Steak on 57th around 2 pm when its quiet. Get the regular burger (about $12) not the foie gras one at $35. This burger is excellent. Just looking at it is special. And the fries come with Bernaise sauce and you get the best ever cheese popover to start. I could only eat half and took other half back to hotel. Put in frig and had it cold that night. Still excellent (ok I put some bearnaise sauce on it). But a cold hamburger that retains its taste has to be good.

                                                                                                                                                                              Lastly: you cannot be a burger critic and still put the burger joint on any list. What a phony place. "what's the grind/meat in the burger? Hamburger boss!" The only thing good is the price and you can get served in less than 20 minutes. It truly sucks. Not worth any list. I told Nina and Tim already. By the way the Green Chile Cheeseburger at Bob Cat Bite is one of my top 10. Tell everyone the hours though.

                                                                                                                                                                              will be trying the Dumont Burger this May...

                                                                                                                                                                              chef from Sola in Chicago is cooking at James Beard house. Her burger in Chicago is one of the top in Chicago and could make a top 20 in USA..

                                                                                                                                                                              be well and keep eating. (Oh I drive 250 miles for the best burger once a month: 125 miles there; have a burger and relax; then drive back home) (now you know I'm crazy.

                                                                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: burgermaven

                                                                                                                                                                                If you have not tried Peter Luger's burger (lunch only) you really must...

                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: burgermaven

                                                                                                                                                                                  Nice to meet you Maven. I drive hundreds of miles for everything. BBQ, pizza, hot dogs and certainly burgers. Bobcat was great. If you liked Corner you'd like The Stoned Crow too. I recently had the steak tartare at BLT Steak which was great, so I'll have to try the burger next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                    I actually just had the PJ Clarks burger for the first time and it was amazing. Before that I agree that Stoned Crow is great but think PJ Clarke blew it out of the water.

                                                                                                                                                                                    nyctastes.blogspot.com

                                                                                                                                                                                2. IMHO there are two types of burgers.....grilled and charbroiled.....
                                                                                                                                                                                  a two types of places: steakhouse and not steakhouse

                                                                                                                                                                                  Blue 9 makes a great burger.....TO GO....
                                                                                                                                                                                  hard to compare it to the list above....

                                                                                                                                                                                  Cedar's had the best charbroiled burger around un
                                                                                                                                                                                  till it closed......

                                                                                                                                                                                  still love Wollenski's Grill for a steakhouse burger

                                                                                                                                                                                  any suggestions on the BEST charbroiled burger

                                                                                                                                                                                  corner bistro- hit or miss
                                                                                                                                                                                  jg melon- good but bun is soggy
                                                                                                                                                                                  burger joint is quite tasty but i think they fry them
                                                                                                                                                                                  PJ Clarke- good not great
                                                                                                                                                                                  fanelli's- hocky puck like but tasty
                                                                                                                                                                                  paul- heavy, greasy not so flavorful

                                                                                                                                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: chundi

                                                                                                                                                                                      Molly's burger is not good, it's big but not well seasoned, that's my main problem with most of the places mentioned here, good meat is an important part for a great burger but seasoning is also crucial for me, i like cheeseburgers but I don't think that all the burger's flavor should come form cheese &ketchup, the meat needs seasoning.

                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: namreb

                                                                                                                                                                                      burger joint grills the patties

                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Guttergourmet, ever had a burger from Soup Burg on 77th & Lex?
                                                                                                                                                                                      The buns are so-so but the burgers (which are grilled, not charbroiled) are fantastic.
                                                                                                                                                                                      Funny that the place looks like a regular full-service diner but has amazing burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                      10 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                        No but hate to be the one to tell you that I'm pretty sure they're gone ;(. Cozy soup and burger isn't bad and happens to be located in my building!

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                          I just had a burger at Soup Burg 3 or 4 days ago. They're steps from the subway stop.

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                            What's the relation to the one that was on Madison that closed awhile back?

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                              Hey racer x- just lost my soup burg virginity. Very decent burger though burger to bun ratio was ridiculous. Reminded me of Nick's on the UWS which I slightly preferred though very good. Has anyone tried the Lexington Candy Shop's "Butter Burger"? That's next on my burger radar.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                I haven't been to Soup Burg in ages. Almost exclusively going to Ottomanelli's now for burgers and fries (thanks, MMRuth).

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                                  I went to P.J. Clarke's for lunch today for the first, and probably last, time. My husband suggested we go so that I could try the burger after the Woody Allen movie up the street. We both had burgers - his rare, my medium rare, and an order of fries. Burger itself - decent, cooked to temperature, could have used a little seasoning. Bun - disgraceful - like a supermarket one. Lettuce, slices of tomato and onion - quite good. Liked the fries, but too salty. Great Bloody Mary. Ottomanelli still wins out in my book with a hamburger and waffle fries at about $8.00, vs. $9.00 for a hamburger and about $4.00 for the fries.

                                                                                                                                                                                                2. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                  What's the butter burger? I've been having the burger at LCS recently ....

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                    A burger with butter on top! Bob at LCS suggests their Angus burger I think...

                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                wow- i used to spend lots of time in your building- my ex lived there! Cozy is great for a late night bite.

                                                                                                                                                                                              3. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                                Racer X, So glad you brought up Soup Burg- I've been raving about their burgers for over a year now. I defy anyone to try their Bacon Cheeseburger (medium rare) and not agree that it is waaaaay above the average great burger. Just bursting will crisp juicy deliciousness in every bite. Normally I do not get anything but cheese on my burgers, but Soup Burg puts two very thin, very crisp bacon strips on the burger without negatively affecting the texture in any way (like Corner Bistro where the bacon is piled so high that it alters the whole dynamic of the burger). In short, take the 6 train to 77th St, walk a few steps to Soup Burg, grab a stool at the counter, and order up a gorgeous, glistening burger. It most certainly deserves a place on the City's Top 10 Burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                              4. two not mentioned:

                                                                                                                                                                                                Resto
                                                                                                                                                                                                Burger Shakes Fries (byram, ct)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Move Corner Bistro way down, Fanelli closer to the top.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Maybe put Shopsin's sliders on the list. (only when Zack is at the grill)

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Guttergourmet, I'd like to submit the following burgers for your consideration, as I think they would be more than worthy of your list:
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Daddy-O Burger at Daddy-O on Bedford St. in the W. Village
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Goodburger, locations around the city
                                                                                                                                                                                                    BRGR on 7th Ave. @ 26th (or 27th)

                                                                                                                                                                                                    Do you think that Corner Bistro has maintained its position as #1 over the past couple of years? I was disappointed the last couple of times I went (both in '07).
                                                                                                                                                                                                    I see (on a different thread) that you are now looking into Market Table- please keep us posted, as I'd like to hear about that one.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks!

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: vvvindaloo

                                                                                                                                                                                                      I have already commented on Goodburger and BRGR on this thread. Don't know Daddy-O. Just tried 5 Guys on Bleecker which is consistent with the originals I've had in DC, i.e. a good sloppy double cheese overcooked burger ideal if your're drunk. Corner Bistro still reigns supreme-never been disappointed though the Stoned Crow does a good impersonation. I just expanded my Market Table review on the other thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Being that the list is a little outdated, could someone help me as I will be visting NY for the first time in July? Could you veterans throw up a few more updated top ten lists?

                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. imho, corner bistro is the driest, mealiest, most overrated burger currently lauded by ny'ers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      i've tried 'em sober and tipsy (tipsy does improve the flavor), early and late, and they've never failed to unimpress me.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      my own rankings would go something like this:
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1)Shake Shack
                                                                                                                                                                                                      2) Dumont Burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                      3) Burger Joint
                                                                                                                                                                                                      4) Lure (yes, lure)
                                                                                                                                                                                                      5) Blue 9

                                                                                                                                                                                                      naysayers about the supremacy of the shake shack (to my reckoning) are not fans of west coast style burgers (i.e., in and out) and equate size with quality. a shake shack burger is west coast in style, and nearly the equal of an in n' out, while a Dumont burger is more typically east coast--a massive, delicious hunk of beef. both will kill you, and both rock. i remain mystified by the fans of the CB: i'd rather eat wendy's.

                                                                                                                                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: davy

                                                                                                                                                                                                        Onthe corner of 62nd and Madison a street vendor named tony dragone makes a burger over charcoal that is one of the best I have ever had.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: davy

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I don't think you can even compare an in n' out burger to a shake shack burger, except to say they are made in the same thin patty style, let alone say that a shake shack burger is nearly the equal of an in n' out.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          I think in n out burgers are great burgers, miles ahead of their fast food competitors.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Shake Shack burgers are some of the best burgers in NYC; only their thin patty style, price (kinda), and setting make them fast-foodie in nature.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          That line, however, does not make for fast food, though if their burgers were more similar in quality to those at in n out, then maybe it would be considerably shorter. I wouldn't even consider waiting more than 30 min for an in n' out burger

                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Ottomanelli's is now my favorite.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Great fries too.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: racer x

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Stand's burgers cannot be beaten. Shorty's comes close but Stand rocks...

                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. WILL SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME WHY THE FUSS OVER THE BURGERS AT RESTO. ALL FOUR IN OUR PARTY DID NOT GET IT. BURGER JOINT AND THE CORNER BISTRO WIN BY SIX LEGNTHS. THE ONLY WAY TO JUDGE A GOOD BURGER IS TO ORDER IT RARE TO MEDIUM RARE IF YOU LIKE THE TASTE OF FATBACK GO TO RESTO BUT BE SURE TO BRING ALONG A LARGE BOTTLE OF PRILOSEC

                                                                                                                                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: PAULSCOHEN

                                                                                                                                                                                                              The resot burger is good, but it's not a burger. it's really a meatloaf/meatball of sorts. tasty, but not a burger

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. MUST include shake shack. . .whether it's woprth a 30 minute wait, that a different story. but GOOD burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              remember schnacks? they let that place got to hell. and now it's gone.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              what about the buger shoppe in wall street?

                                                                                                                                                                                                              jackson hole make a mean one. a little big, but good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              oh. and no 5 guys??? c'mon awesome burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              burgers i still need to try: stand, blue 9, brgr, 5 napkins

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chrispypanfry

                                                                                                                                                                                                                i really want to like burger shoppe, but it's just not good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. I am so surprised that Tavern on Jane has not gotten a mention. After too many long waits and some mild disapointments at CB, I started going to Tavern on Jane and have not looked back since!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: 180macd

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Good idea to try Tavern on Jane. I love their rotisserie chicken but I should branch out and try their burger!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jackieparis

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Walkers in Tribeca...ordered medium-rare...eaten at the bar....bloody/beefy yumminess, big on flavor that NEVER disapoints and it comes with fries or homemade mashed potatoes...leaves you speechless.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. I'm in a burger conundrum. I start my new job on Monday, which means this Thursday and Friday are my last days of unemployed freedom. I'm celebrating the new gig by treating myself to a burger for lunch one of these days. My toss up is between Shake Shack, which i've been to at least half a dozen times, or testing the waters at Ruby's in SoHo.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Chowhounds - decide my destiny!!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. People just really don't know. It's amazing. Ok here goes in no particular order:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    GREAT BURGERS:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    J.G MELON, SHAKE SHACK, LITTLE OWL(LUNCH ONLY), DUMONT BURGER,

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    WORTH MENTIONING:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    PJ CLARKES, BONNIES GRILL, BURGERS & CUPCAKES, UNION SQ CAFE, UPSTAIRS AT FAIRWAY ON BROADWAY, BALTHAZAR

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: noneforyouatall

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Good grief.. you guys make me feel so old. For 45 years if I've wanted a burger fix I've gone to Hamburger Heaven...bleu cheese, glass of red wine-:) Recently I've had good burgers at Cafe D'Alsace and Fiorello. (but I like them with a really rare center.) Also, the Soup Burg on 77th. Hamburger Heaven used to show a pic of Jackie Kennedy chowing down at the branch on Mad and 55th.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. I think dumont burger has one of the best in the city. I think it was ranked number 1 by zagat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Warren14

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        i think dumont's burger burger is better than dumont's burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Must give a shout out to Veselka's burger. Always great and a top 10 contender. Honorable mention to Big Nick's Burger Joint on the UWS.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          just had veselka's couple nights ago; it is monster! ordered medium rare, bacon and meunster; perfectly cooked on a great sturdy bun, blood leaking all over in a good way; needed a couple shakes of salt but amazing, esp. dipped into a nice big pool of ketchup.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. I'd like to add in Uncle Jack's Kobe beef burger. Pricy but just had and it is amazing.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. YO! Where's Walker's Tavern on your list?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: chocolatebirthdaycake

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Yo, Chocolate.... Walkers should be right up on top. My opinion of the places on the list is that most are not even close to Walker's. Some are actually bad. Burger Joint is terrible. JG Melon and PJ Clarke for some reason have a reputation for great burgers but they are just OK. big Nick's beats those easily. Corner Bistro is good. Donovan's is barely OK as is their other food but its a good place if you want a good deal. Soupburg is better than most. Cercle Rouge has a good burger as well. The hype that goes with burger places amazes me how off they are. Same with cupcakes, probably same hypsters that like Magnolia like Burger Joint , and why does 5 guys get such good reviews? IMHO dare I say lol

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Be on the lookout for a new burger place that didnt open yet called "4 Food", They will have different varieties of burgers. Beef, Lamb, Tuna, Turkey, Veggie. Each with a hole in the center that is filled with an "ingot" of things like ( not exactly these) rattatouille , salsa,balsamic sundried, wasabi oshinko ,, various more solid veggie type fillings ,then sealed with choice of cheese or daikon. then choice of condiment ,served on a sesame flat bread or brioche or bun. they have yucca fries, sweet potato fries and russet fries. All I know is it;'s coming toward the end of the year. Something different .. Good quality.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. UrbanSpoon just sent an email stating that Burger Joint (@LPM) has closed. Any truth to this?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Mr Conlin

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Burger Joint is/has been open...just a rumor

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. My new nyc hamburger rankings. All burgers are ordered Rare if possible and most were bacon cheeseburgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1) Shake Shack
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2) BLT Burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3) Peter Lugers
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    4) Dram Shop
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    5) PJ Clarkes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    6) Burger Joint
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    7) Pauls
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    8) 5 Guys
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    9) James
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    10) Resto
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    11) Donovan's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    12) Soda Bar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    13) The General Greene
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    14) Rare
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    15) 5 Napkin Burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    16) Corner Bistro

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    I intend to try Bonnie's, JG Melon, and Minetta Tavern very soon. In fact, I'll be revising these rankings after tomorrow night when I will have had the black label burger. Lastly, Corner Bistro should just stay off the list as I prefer a million random burgers over it but due to it's notoriety I included it at the bottom.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    9 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: demigodh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i thought that Paul's closed. is this the one on 2nd ave at about 8th street?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      i also really enjoy the burger at black iron burger. i think that's the name. on 5th between A and B.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: magfitz

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I went to Pauls (2nd ave) a couple weeks ago for the first time. unless they closed very recently, they're still open

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. re: demigodh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        While I obviously disagree with your ranking, I appreciate many of the places on your list. I just tried the Minetta Black Label and while it was very very good, I was a bit underwhelmed. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/623550

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          gutter, Count me as underwhelmed by the black label burger too. Nowhere near worth the price or the hype.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. re: demigodh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm a bit surprised that you order your burgers rare, yes have Resto at number 10. I thought the cooked through, salty hockey puck they served was one of the more overrated burgers I've had in the past few years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: demigodh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Demigodh - you rank 5 guys that highly? Interesting. A thread on the tristate board provoked some spirited opinions on 5 guys. I for one have enjoyed them the 3 times I've eaten them but I would not go over-the-top about them. The one glaring omission from your list is Stand. I rate them top 5 in the city. Have you tried them?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Scotty100

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Agreed. All cred is lost when Five Guy's well done crumbly and cold patties make a top burger list. No need to try to re-invent the wheel on GG's thread.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. re: demigodh

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              james's burger is a disgrace for the price. entirely mediocre.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: oystersallday

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                The James burger is half off during happy hour. It's a total ripoff in the evening but at $7 during happy hour, it 's one of the better burger deals in the city.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I was reading you guys' comments regarding five guys and had to re-look at my list as I never thought the world of five guys either. In fact, I ate it frequently in DC and thought it was good but never understood the rave reception it got here in NY. That said, when looking at my list, I think I would keep it exactly where it is. The ones below it are just not as enjoyable to me.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Quick Update: I had the Black Label Burger and did not enjoy it. the two friends I was with (who also ordered the BLB) thought it was the best burger of their life but I was not impressed. On my list above, it would go right above RARE and below General Greene.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I have not been to Stand yet, i'll try that as soon as possible.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            3. Favorites: Waterfront Ale House and Jamesons
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Honorable mention: Burger Heaven blue burger and Prime Burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Not impressed and wouldn't go back: Burger Joint and P.J. Clarkes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: misshamburglar

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Fully agreed with Burger Joint it really isn't a good burger at all.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Finally got in to Minetta. The bone marrow app was good but I've had better value at Blue Ribbon. The Black Label burger was just shy of phenomenal although, on the whole, I've got to give it an "emperor has no clothes" type review, I'm sorry to say. The no cheese policy and mandatory onions annoyed me, the bun couldn't make up it's mind whether it was a brioche, a croissant or something else. Hard to live up to the hype. Reminded me of my slight disappointment with the $50 DB burger. Had the same meaty funk which I liked but I've enjoyed other burgers more particularly if price and wait are a factor.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  This is how I'm feeling as of late:
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Shake Shack
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Piper's Kilt
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Black Iron Burger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  JG Melons

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  There are others out there but I'd be lying if I put them in a top 5. I enjoyed City Burger's Black Label burger but I don't get the urge like the other places. I prefer a smaller more mobile patty, i.e. Shack Burger and Black Iron. Hate black irons sesame overload buns, but their patty is no joke.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Don't understand why Piper's Kilt is never in the conversation. If Donovan's is, PK's needs to be also.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: HowfreshEats

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    We will never all agree about burgers that is for sure. However, I have noticed that no one mentioned the burger at Schnipper's in Times Square. My office is near there and I go alot. The place is packed and much to my surprise they have one of the best burgers in town. It reminds me of JG Melons a bit (one of my favs). I like it better than Shake Shack which I just find too greasy and a single shack burger leaves me hungry. The Schnipper's burger is just the right size with lots of beefy flavor and always juicy. They will cook to temp and I like mine medium rare which they usually get right. At the very least, I think these guys deserve a mention and I think everyone should try their burger. Besides JG Melon, I like Stand and I just tried Black Iron which was great. And as for Corner Bistro and 5 guys, like many others, I don't think they should be on any best list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: HowfreshEats

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Here are my most recent rankings (in no order):
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Peter Luger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Marseille
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      La Esquina

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      www.thelunchbelle.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      If I am not mistaken they recommend you don't have it with the cheese but if you want it they will oblige your preferences.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. Anyone had the burger at Hodad's in San Diego? It's pretty darn good. Although I love going, I think Corner Bistro is completely overrated. But I love J.G. Melon and Burger Joint. And yes the Minetta Tavern burgers are something special.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: jive1178

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        My recent ranking;

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Mollys
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Royale
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Wollensky Grill
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Stand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        PJ Clarks

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Lure and Resto are still great, as is BRGR

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: brians77

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          The Black Label burger at Minetta Tavern is for me the new standard.....really in another league.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: drumwine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Would you mind describing the Black Label burger. There is a ton of talk about it on this board and the reviews are quite mixed. For $26, it has to be special.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: princeofpork

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              I feel like Molly's has kinda come out of nowhere with huge burger buzz lately, about time i head over there... it's really that good? anything else good there?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              www.immaculateinfatuation.com

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: iFat

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                You wont be disappointed. The onion rings are fantastic and if you are with someone who does not want a burger, the fish and chips are best in the city IMO.Please let us know what you thought.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. re: princeofpork

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                princeofpork....it IS special.....imagine your favorite dry aged steak put through a grinder, pampered on a plancha & served on a brioche w/caramelized onions....here's a description of the process from A Hamburger Today:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                http://aht.seriouseats.com/archives/2...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: drumwine

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Just read this article and my mouth is actually watering and its 10AM. I am going here this week and will report back.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. I just got back from a burger at the bar of JG Melon's an hour ago. I have been craving a burger since yesterday afternoon. I told a friend it was not going to be as good as I was hoping for - and was pleasantly surprised. I ordered a medium rare, bacon cheddar cheese burger with cottage fries. The burger came with pickles n raw purple onions and was not overcooked, but I may try it rare next time.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            I made sure to have some purple onions with it. Perhaps a true test would be to have it without the onions. As i am enjoying a little alone time, I felt i would enjoy my raw onions.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            It was not the greatest burger ever but it did hit the spot and satisfy a craving. I used my fries to catch the burger juice which was present but not abundant.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Fwiw, I was not tipsy (as one sometimes is when ordering/imbibing a burger) - so I think my assessment is accurate. The bun is okay, but nothing special. I can enjoy a burger on a brioche bun or muffin, but there is merit to serving it on a neutral plain roll - no distraction from the contents. I also would have preferred a bigger selection of cheese - my favorite burgers are with some sort of blue cheese or a very sharp cheddar. They offered American, Swizz, mozz and cheddar. I am sorry but "American cheese" is not my thing. While I don't expect Melon's to offer a Stiltonburger (my fave), I think they might consider some sort of accessible blue cheese and perhaps a sharper cheddar.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Open late is a plus. However, bring cash. (They don't take plastic.) Everyone was polite, professional and I felt comfortable. JG Melon's is a good local, not a 'destination' burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. i've tried some of these burgers... burger joint is just the best.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              they cook it right, the bun's good, the condiments works or just lettuce and tomato are all great.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              it's well-seasoned, well-cooked, etc.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              i like shake shack too but not as good as burger joint. will have to try lugers and stand for sure.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Why has no one mentioned the burger at Petes Tavern. I am going here tonight and figured someone must rank it in their top 5 but no one did. any feedback?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: princeofpork

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  its not in anyones top five cause its pretty mediocre. That's about the best I can say about it. Every time I've been there (after the first time, not by choice), the burger has been overcooked, mealy and just not good.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: ESNY

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Thanks for the heads up. I am going to JG Melon tonight instead.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: princeofpork

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I can't remember - have you tried the Ottomanelli burger?

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        I have not. Dont hear much talk of it on this board.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Went to JG Melon last night. Walked in at 6PM and sat down right away. Ordered the burger medium, fries and a Stella. I actually like the smaller mugs over the larger pints. The fries were good, hot and crisp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The burger was a nice size and a good consistency. It came slightly overcooked which I was dissapointed with. No pink at all in the middle. The flavor was OK but seemed under seasoned. Based on this experience I would say this is a good burger but not one I would hop on the subway for. My new ranking is as follows. If its not on my list, I haven't tried it.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Royale
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Mollys
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Spotted Pig
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  JG Melon
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Stand
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Waterfront Ale House

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: princeofpork

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    You really should try Ottamenelli, as per MMRuth's suggestion above: better, bigger, cheaper, and cooked as ordered...plus the best waffle fries -- too good!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: City Kid

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I certainly will try Otomanelli. However, bigger is not necessarily a plus for me although, better and cheaper are.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: princeofpork

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Yes - do try it. It's really my favorite burger in town, though I have by no means done the "surveys" that many others have. I do think it is far better than the JG Melon and PJ Clarke's burgers. I love Shake Shack, but think of it as a different kind of burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Re: your other comment about not reading much about it on the boards - it's up at 94th or so & Lexington, and I don't think that many hounds other than the few (?) who live in the area trek up this far north!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. re: MMRuth

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          Also not a hip and happening spot by any means, just good food & nice service, which may help to account for the lack of buzz. But the meat they use if first rate and the fries are sinful.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2. re: princeofpork

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      I went to Mollys last weekend- have been a fan for a long time. My burger ( ordered rare) came out medium. My fellow burger orderer's medium rare was well done. The people at the table behind us said that what they ordered was inedible. Service was slow. Really disappointed!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    3. I don't order bugers enough to come up with a list, but I had a pretty damn good burger at Les Halles recently. Everything about it was pretty perfect, and it came with a lovely bit of foie gras on top...yummmm

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Just out of curiosity how come Florant (if that is how its spelled) on gansevort st. isnt on any of these lists

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. SLIDERS? I hope it's okay to report on the sliders I've enjoyed recently. In that handsome little bar at Plaza Athenee hotel on East 64th St just off Madison (Park) - very good sliders. Enjoyed them a lot. I think I like them better than burgers because they are easier to handle.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          At a place called Wine 30 41 E 30th Street (Park) - I had some 'grass fed beef sliders' with cheese which really hit the spot. http://www.wine30nyc.com/menu.asp

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          I liked everything I tried at Wine 30 - I will return soon and have the sliders again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          At both, quality of the beef was good and the meat was not overcooked. Had medium rare.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1 Reply