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Top 5 Burgers

  • m

1. J.G. Melon
2. Buger Joint (Le Parker Meridien)
3. P.J. Clarke's
4. Shake Shack
5. Martell's (though it apparently has closed)

Overrated: Corner Bistro (average), Jackson Hole (awful), Prime Burger (decent)

Always a fun debate. I excluded places like '21' because as great as the burger is there, it's really a steak. Donovan's is a great place, never had the burger though. I look forward to hearing your lists.

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  1. Any best burger list should include Mollys.

    4 Replies
    1. re: bobby06877

      Totally agree. Molly's is my number 1 favorite now that...weep weep...sniff sniff...McHale's is nothing more than a memory and a hole in the ground.

      Corner Bistro is overrated at 10pm. At 3am it shoots toward the top of the list :)

      And I always try to encourage those who find themselves on the UES to swing by Ratbones (2nd and 88th). Great burger served on an english muffin.

      I've become somewhat turned off by J.G. Melon. Tiny burger, tiny beers, all a-la carte. In the end, you end up spending upwards of $30.

      That's not 5, but Molly's carries enough weight to round out the list!


      1. re: bobby06877

        big nick's gotta be in there, walker's, soup burg

      2. 1. Shake Shack
        2. Blue Smoke
        3. Michael Jordan's
        4. Molly's
        5. Burger Joint

        Depending what burger you get at Corner Bistro (i.e., fresh or pre-cooked and reheated) it can be fantastic or it can be mediocre.

        1. 1. Shake Shack
          2. Shake Shack
          3. Shake Shack
          4. Shake Shack
          5. Shake Shack

          2 Replies
          1. re: Bob Martinez

            Puh-lease! I guess I can understand how a shack burger finds a place on someone's top 5, but if it occupies all 5 spaces I'm pretty sure you don't get around enough!

            BTW, I don't know if it makes the top 5, but I had the very good burger at Keens recently; I never see it mentioned.

          2. I'm not a big burger person, but the last burger I had that made me wish I ate them more often was at Daddy-O, a bar/resto on Bedford & Leroy in Manhattan. Juicy, with the works, and I could swear there way some homemade mayo on there. Yum!

            1. 1. Shake Shack
              2. Molly's
              3. Burger Joint
              4. PJ Clarkes
              5. Houston's

              Honorable mention: The Hideaway and Chumley's

              7 Replies
              1. re: Todd

                I am not the biggest burger boi in the city, however at someone's suggestion I tried the Judge at Hamilton Deli on Amsterdam Ave. and I must say, it is sooo bad for the heart, but oh sooo good for the soul :) Go deluxe with the curly fries and really wake up the cholesterol levels in your body, lol. Seasons Eatings everyone :)

                1. re: FOODJUNKIEVPC

                  Hamilton Deli? Do you mean the hole in the wall at Amsterdam at 116th?

                  1. re: gumnaam

                    Hamilton Deli? Seriously?

                    I go to grad school beside it. On a soul-crushingly chowless stretch of Amersterdam (113th-123rd), a Hamilton burger is arguably the worst single unit of food you can eat (save for everything at "Camille's" next door).

                    1. re: D...DF

                      As I stated in my post, it is NOT great for the body, but in my opinion, I happen to enjoy a Judge Deluxe, every once in a while. I did not state it was the *BEST* in the city, it is just one that I thought deserved some mention, obviously, you feel differently and that is great, diversity is what we need more of in this world! I agree with you on Camille's, great food, nice atmosphere and not too well known. Now, good luck on your finals!

                      1. re: FOODJUNKIEVPC

                        I think D...DF was trying to say that Camille's has the worst food on that stretch of Amsterdam. I'd go so far as to say that it's up there with the worst food you can eat in the city! Never eaten at Hamilton Deli but have it Apple Tree (same owners). No comment.

                        1. re: gumnaam

                          Oops. my bad ;( However, I think Camille's does a good job and once again we are all entitled to our own opinions. But then again, these are really just lunch spots after all, it is not like I would makie a reservation or anything for a Hamiltons Judge Deluxe, I mean that is what Chanterelle is for right?? Mmmmm Chanterelle, cannot wait. That is why I love NYC, you can make your heart work overtime with grease and goo from a burger joint or eat from some of the best cheeses in the world at Artisanal or have a nice a nice bowl of Pho at Thaison, mmmm Pho, aw well have a great day everyone!

                          1. re: FOODJUNKIEVPC

                            Thanks, gumnaam. Yes, I was saying that, IMO, Camile's is the worst "restaurant" on that stretch of Amsterdam and I agree that it is a contender for, well, worst restaurant in the history of modern civilization. Sorry to stray from the very timely and successful OP.

                            Thanks to Foodjunkie for the finals well wishes! Lord knows I need 'em.

              2. Has anyone tried the new burger place "brgr"? I also hear another one is opening tomorrow called Stand.

                2 Replies
                1. re: AndyNYC

                  Rumor has it that Stand may be open Friday or Saturday - 24 East 12th Street between 5th Ave & University.

                  1. re: AndyNYC

                    Peter has a very informative review of brgr here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/351386

                    Now that the shack is closed for the winter, I need to expand my burger horizons. The Corner Bistro certainly doesn't do it for me.

                  2. Balthazar
                    The Odeon
                    Shake Shack
                    Parker Meridien
                    Any one of several others depending on time of night and state of inebriation!

                    Jackson Hole should be avoided like the plague. PJ Clarke's is a mystery to me. It was named No1 Burger in New York by Time Out last year, so I hot-footed over there. Cold bun, skinny overdone burger. Yeuch. The beer tasted good, so I guess PJ Clarke's should be filed under my 5) above. Only good after midnight with at least 5 pints on board!

                    - Sean

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Sean Dell

                      1. Shake Shack
                      2. Burger Joint
                      3. Corner Bistro
                      4. Houston's
                      5. Clinton St. Baking Co.

                      1. re: nychowgirl

                        What's the Clinton St. Baking Co. burger like?

                      1. Definitely forgot about Houston's. That's a solid burger.

                        1. So I've tried what are generally considered the top few burgers in the city (Burger Joint at the Parker Meridien, Corner Bistro, Molly's, Shake Shack) and the only one that stood out in my mind was the Shack's. True, it's not really like the other ones (which were all solid, but I don't know if that's just cos I'm happy eating a burger, period), but I don't see what sets the other ones apart. I had Molly's for the first time last weekend, and it was good - big juicy medium-rare burger, but I didn't get the huge deal. Maybe I just prefer seasoned patties over plain meaty-tasting ones? But I don't remember one burger from the next in this league. And it's genuinely confusing me.

                          1. I've recently been working my way through my burger lists again - so here's my ever-evolving top 5 list that covers the last two months of burger eating...
                            1. Shake Shack - my taste buds just love this place more than any other
                            2. Blue Smoke - just ate there this week and it was a memorable burger - perfectly prepared
                            3. Molly's - I'm still super impressed that this great old Irish tavern has such a great burger.
                            4. Stone Park Cafe - simply excellent.
                            5. And my new #5 - Veselka - what a pleasant surprise.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: livetotravel

                              hmmmm I'm so in love with Blue Smoke's pulled pork sandwich I have yet to try their burger!

                              Definitely NOT a budget choice, but DB Bistro Moderne has a great burger....

                              1. re: ChefJune

                                The Blue Smoke burger is basically a Shake Shack burger - just bigger.

                                1. re: dkstar1

                                  Speaking of Shake Shack...when does it reopen?

                                  1. re: nychowgirl

                                    is Shake Shack that good???? Never been

                            2. I half agree, in that you can get a competently prepared bar-style burger (big, loose patty cooked to order) in lots of places. Small variations as to size, consistency and accompaniments, but otherwise no big deal.

                              Where I disagree is that Shake Shack stands out as unusually poor: grey meat, rancid aftertaste from the grill, yucky sauce, and it's tiny. But maybe I am wrong about that.

                              1. No one has mentioned Island Burgers on 9th Ave b/t 50th & 51st! I'm not sure if it's affiliated with Island Burgers in LA. That's an excellent burger joint with milkshakes so thick you'll suck yourself inside out...no fries, though. It's a weird quirk, apparently the kitchen doesn't have room for a deep fryer.

                                And I had an excellent bar style burger at Nancy Whiskey's on West Broadway in Tribeca this past summer. Great atmosphere too and ridiculously cheap. Go during the afternoon and it's really enjoyable.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: ballulah

                                  Island can indeed be great, but it's seriously iffy. If we're desperate for a burger, we head down to Cheyenne Diner, where despite the fact that loads of other things on the menu aren't great, at least the burger is always primo.


                                  NYCnosh* http://nycnosh.com

                                  1. re: ballulah

                                    it is definitely not affiliated with the Island Burgers in California.

                                    1. re: ballulah

                                      I've given Island Burgers a few shots, but each time the meat has been dry and flavorless.

                                    2. Still the Prime Burger East 50's NYC

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: marlie202

                                        I've had a bacon cheeseburger from there a few times for breakfast. They were all sort of bleh. It wasn't bad but it really wasnt good either.

                                      2. my new favorite burger is at the full shilling on pearl between pine and wall. it's absolutely delicious.

                                        1. I definitely miss the burger at Shake Shack - the shack burger never did it for me, but their cheeseburg & shroom were delicious. It annoys me to see them closed with weather in the high 50's.

                                          Anyways, the Burger Joint is the place to go to now. And JG Melon is good especially with some cottage fries.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: asdf

                                            Cottage fries, extra crispy, at Melon's is a treat.

                                          2. Shake Shack
                                            JG Melon
                                            PJ Clarks

                                            1. Wolfgang's makes a great burger.

                                              1. Tavern on Jane makes a great burger. 2 steps above your average bar burger. The Spotted Pig as much as I do not like the place also makes a top notch burger. Flight 151 is really good too for a bar burger. I think Shake Shack is overated and if you eat at Houston's or The Outback well, to each there own I guess. sad to say but the Corner Bistro has not been good the laast 3 times I ate there.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: Sweatshirt Guy

                                                  Have you ever had the burger at Houstons or Outback?
                                                  Secondly, it's a BURGER!!!!! Give me a break...we're not talking gourmet food here. Once again, so sick of the negative comments on this site. If it makes you feel any better I am heading to DONA and BABBO next week. Exactly, to each their own!!!

                                                  1. re: jenniebnyc

                                                    One of the reasons I live in Maanhattan so as never to have to eat at an Outback or Houston's. And yes I have had burger's at both.

                                                    1. re: Sweatshirt Guy

                                                      One of the reasons I go to Houstons in Manhattan is so that I can get away from the snobs.

                                                  2. re: Sweatshirt Guy

                                                    Agree with Tavern on Jane. Last 2 times i went, Corner Bistro was a zoo so I just crossed 8th ave and had a fine meal at TOJ.

                                                    Don't forget Old Town Bar either...

                                                  3. While I won't contest my top 3- 1) Shake Shack, 2) JG Melon and 3) Burger Joint, Uptown Bar & Grill on the UES also has a surprisingly good burger. Then again, if you've ever been to a Fuddrucker's, you might concede that one of the best burgers in the area is worth crossing a bridge or tunnel for.

                                                      1. PJ Clarke's? surely you jest. Took my teenage son there (from out of town) and perhaps worst burger ever ordered, anywhere. Cold non toasted bun; lifeless tasteless burger; etc.

                                                        1. 1. Balthazar
                                                          2. Burger Joint at the P-M
                                                          3. Five Points
                                                          4. Old Town Bar
                                                          5. Molly's

                                                          I love the Shack, but have two qualms: 1) the patty is often so small, thin, and cripy (which is not a bad thing), that it lacks a certain "burger-ness" (but I'd certainly rank it number 1 in terms of snack-y sandwiches) and 2) I simply can't justify waiting on line that long (during the busy season).

                                                          1. I don't know if there are any West Coast natives on board here but if you want a comparable burger to IN-N-OUT then you have to check out Blue 9.


                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: worldfamous

                                                              As a native San Franciscan, I agree IN-N-OUT burgers with animal style fries are pretty much the best it gets. Blue 9 however has experienced a marked drop in quality since they expanded their menu. I've never had good fries there either.

                                                              To be perfectly honest, I really like McSorleys for the following reasons. First, a cheeseplate of Saltines, sharp white cheddar, onions, and really hot mustard. Second, a burger cooked but well charbroiled on the exterior. Finally, a double dose of dark to finish it all out. As a plus, it's all usually quite accessible and non-crowded without any frills.


                                                            2. somebody said no to pj clarkes they clearly didnt order a bernaise burger cause all that sauce doesnt make a dry burger...one spot over looked by all is donovans pub in woodside queens. it was rated best burger in ny by time out and others. plus its near the best thai place sriphaphai, so you can make it a double header.

                                                              1. Though the rankings may change, I stand by my post of 6/13/06

                                                                  1. re: D...DF

                                                                    It really is a great burger. Have no idea how a tiny restaurant did it..but it's one of my top three.

                                                                    1. re: D...DF

                                                                      totally agree about the burgers at westville- so tasty! their fries and milkshakes are also delicious to round out the meal.

                                                                      also, know it's not in mahattan but the burgers at Peter Luger are fabulous and not as expensive as you'd think (about $9.00 if i remember correctly).

                                                                      1. re: hopalong

                                                                        Eater.com (12/15):

                                                                        East Village: More microexpansion. Charming West Village microeatery Westville is heading east. Notes a tipster, "I walked by the corner of 11th and A yesterday and saw a sign touting Westville - coming soon! I am extremely excited, as I live only two blocks north. However, I wish it better luck than the two former residents, an awful Italian restaurant called Angelo della Pasta that shuttered after 6 months and a junky pizza joint." [PLYWOOD]

                                                                        1. re: D...DF

                                                                          Then you can walk just down the block and have an awesome Cannoli for dessert at Veniero's.....ummmmm Cannoli :)


                                                                    2. Gallaghers on w 52nd st serves the finest burger in Manhattan.

                                                                      1. I like the Shack's burger for it's taste but, I do have to say that I find it quite thin for my to categorise it as number 1.

                                                                        1. my vote goes to Goodburger at 2nd Ave/43rd Street. They also have great meal on it's own shakes. luckily this is close to my work. the fries are also not bad; they stay pretty crispy on the way back to the office (if they make it that far). quite a few ppl in my office like this better than Shake Shack...

                                                                          1. I was the one who posted the original burger list (new login now). I just tried Molly's, after many solid recommendations from you all, and I have to say I was impressed. Certainly worthy of top 5 consideration (though still not in the same class as a Melon's/Burger Joint). Molly's is bigger than most burgers, nice & fresh roll. Pretty juicy. Onion rings come with it and are excellent. My only complaint is that I ordered medium-rare (as any burger eater ought to) and my friend ordered medium, yet they mixed up our orders. Serves me right for hanging out with people who order their burgers overcooked.

                                                                            Next up: Burger Joint on 3rd Avenue and 20th (not Parker Meridien) where they apparently serve a mean burger, but it's a slider.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: TheNewYorker

                                                                              That Burger Joint is excellent (and they deliever!). If they were open later, though, they'd get a whole lot more business from me and myt apartment-mates.

                                                                            2. I just wanted to strongly agree with the earlier poster who mentioned Uptown on the Upper East Side. This isn't the kind of place on most Chowhound's radar, but the burger is definitely as good or better than many of the usual suspects that turn up on every list. I had one yesterday in fact... two drinks and a burger for a $15 brunch special... best deal around. As for the best burger.. I vote Blue Smoke.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: Michael Ambrosio

                                                                                Speaking of UES burgers, totally random, but I adore the burg at Mustang's, even though I don't really like that place. It's incredibly juicy and addictive, and the fries are thin-cut and perfect. Cheap, too!

                                                                              2. Is the Wolfgang's burger essentially the same as Luger's?

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: ceftazadime

                                                                                  No, it is completely different. It is an enormous extremely flavorful burger that comes with fries. Much more consistent and much better imho.

                                                                                2. In no particular order:

                                                                                  Wollensky's grill
                                                                                  Zip Burger
                                                                                  JG Melon's
                                                                                  PJ Clarke's
                                                                                  Corner Bistro
                                                                                  Burger Joint

                                                                                  1. I totally agree with all of the Top 5's that include PJs and Mellon's and Corner Bistro. But I just want to throw it out there that I had an amazing Mexican style burger(with avocado, mexican cheese, and onion) at La Esquina. Downstairs is pretty sweet but not really the atmosphere to dig into a burger, but if you don't make a reservation, no chance you're getting down there, so just order it from the counter. Lafayette and Cleveland. Give it a try. I have been blow away the two times I've had it.

                                                                                    1. Royal on Avenue C is pretty fine as well. The burgers are a little on the small side, but priced accordingly. You can easly enjoy a nice nosh and a pint for about 11 or 12 bucks. Not bad!

                                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: earla3

                                                                                        Ok, pony up the $ and have Daniel Boulud's burger at DB Bistro Moderne on West 44th. Not your everyday burger, but a very occasional treat. It's worth it.

                                                                                        1. re: cortez

                                                                                          I found it difficult to eat and on the dry side...the fries were great though!

                                                                                      2. What about Rare bar and Grill...2 locations...one on lex, other on Bleeker. Burgers are great...definitely not of the "less is more" school but tasty nonetheless. Their Murrays cheeseburger is interesting...

                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: Scotty100

                                                                                          Rare blows. Burger Joint or Shake Shack is where its at. Also went to Stand last night and in the mediocre category, we have a new winner.

                                                                                          1. re: Scotty100

                                                                                            I agree with AndyNYC, my burger at Rare was pretty terrible.

                                                                                            1. re: Kanger

                                                                                              I'm gonna agree with scotty on this one. I've been to rare a few times as its right by my office and both times had great burgers. I had the burger trio just the other day and it was medium-rare like i asked and juicy as hell. although it's not in the same league as burger joint in my opinion, it was still darn good and flavorful.

                                                                                          2. Add Stoned Crow to the list. Amazing burger.

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: Sweatshirt Guy

                                                                                              I had the Stoned Crow burger last night. I think it's a great bang for your buck (less than $10), but it didn't blow me away.

                                                                                            2. Burger Joint
                                                                                              JG Melon
                                                                                              Corner Bistro
                                                                                              Shake Shack

                                                                                              1. Burger Joint
                                                                                                Shake Shack
                                                                                                Spotted Pig

                                                                                                I've been trying Corner Bistro on and off over the years and still don't like it...not sure if it had something to do with not drinking beer.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: nyufoodie

                                                                                                  You are right. A Bistro burger needs a beer. I have had them with soda and it just not the same.

                                                                                                2. In my experience, the beer is simply to kill the taste of the burger, one of the most over-rated food items on the NY scene!

                                                                                                  - Sean

                                                                                                  1. Spotted Pig is my new Favorite - just a damn good burger and worth the extra money than PJ clarks. Unless im mistaken isnt Corner Bistro much cheaper? Like $5? Maybe i was too bombed when I paid the check. I tried BRGR - while good - the vibe of the place struck me as shopping mall like and the burger is not that big for the money . . .

                                                                                                    1. Based upon several favorable reviews on this board I hit Molly's tonight. What a great pub. The burger was huge! Pretty decent although I wouldn't put it in my top five. Fries were good too. I had the bacon cheese burger and thought it was a little on the bland side. Always nice to try something new.

                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                      1. re: jwobkk

                                                                                                        they have good onion rings there!

                                                                                                      2. in order:
                                                                                                        Burger Joint (Le Parker Meridien), Shake Shack, Goodburger, JG Melon, Blue Smoke

                                                                                                        overrated: CORNER BISTRO (don't get the hype)

                                                                                                        1. Prune easily has one of the tastiest burgers in the city. The 80/20 chuck/lamb combo is perfect and it's the only burger on an english muffin that I can get behind. Not a huge burger but it's so juicy and flavorfull that making it any larger would be overkill. The catch is that they only serve it during lunch on the weekdays.

                                                                                                          Tried Royal and thought it was nothing special. PJ O'Clarkes didn't do much for me either.

                                                                                                          1. i have to say kool bloo turkey burgers are really tasty

                                                                                                            1. Number one is Dumont Burger in Williamsburg....just a little tip from me to you my friends. Very cute and cozy as well. has that "6 people allowed in here at a time" thing going on... lol

                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                              1. re: ACknowsStyle

                                                                                                                That's BIG Nicks. And that's my top burger too. 24 hrs, always open. most crazy added over the years menu.

                                                                                                              2. Uncle Nick's on the Upper West Side around 76th and B-Way has a one-lb "Sumo" burger that's pretty great at two in the morning...

                                                                                                                1. Blue Smoke is my favorite
                                                                                                                  Westville burger is also very good

                                                                                                                  1. I'm always surprised that Fanelli doesn't show up more in the perenial burger debate. It's consistently divine, especially in the land of high-fashion anorexia. And the Dumont burger in Williamsburg indeed is dynamite -- available at Dumont as well as DB.

                                                                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                                                                    1. re: fat ass

                                                                                                                      In this case "DB" means Dumont Burger, not DB Bistro Modern

                                                                                                                    2. That right, NativeNewYorker, thanks. But I would love to see what the Dumont boys would do with an injection of foie...

                                                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                                                      1. re: fat ass

                                                                                                                        It would ruin a pure American masterpiece sandwich, as it does at DB Bistro.

                                                                                                                      2. I agree with most of those but I also need to add the two Silver Spurs down in the Village.


                                                                                                                        1. Burgers Bar in Brooklyn makes amazing spicy hamburgers with an interesting array of dipping sauces

                                                                                                                          1. J.G.Melon and Rare top the list for burgers in NYC!!!

                                                                                                                            1. 1. Burger Joint
                                                                                                                              2. SoHo Park (Wow! SO GOOD. unexpected!)
                                                                                                                              3. Shake Shack
                                                                                                                              4. Royale

                                                                                                                              I am trying to fill out the 5th spot but i have recently tried brgr, Pop Burger, Burger Joint (on 3rd Ave around 20th), NY Burger Company, BLT Burger, Corner Bistro, DuMont, etc. and I haven't found that perfect burger that I so desperately strive towards!!

                                                                                                                              If BLT burger used real buns instead of Pepperidge Farm's (and this is literally what they use) I would put them towards the leading position. The burger itself was delicious. The buns are so horrific I will never return.

                                                                                                                              1. I've never understood everybody's thing for Corner Bistro. I'm not going to argue that their burgers aren't good, I just don't think they're transcendant as some people treat them. I'm not even sure that they serve the best burger of any place with "Corner" in the name - I think Corner Shop Cafe at Bleecker and Broadway may beat it.

                                                                                                                                But I'll defer to Shake Shack and Burger Joint at the top.

                                                                                                                                1. Hi, I joined this forum specifically to reply to this thread.

                                                                                                                                  When listing top burgers I always make room for Soupburg on 74th and Madison and Jimbo's on 55th and 1st. They your thinnish greasy spoon style burgers, but quite tasty.

                                                                                                                                  Molly's I eat lunch there once a week, but their fries are better than the burgers (which are good)

                                                                                                                                  Shake Shack was delcious, but their terrible health rating scared me off them.

                                                                                                                                  PJ Clarkes has not been as good since the remodelling.

                                                                                                                                  I live on 3rd, and am tryingto place what Burger Joint is. Is that the little counter shop that makes tiny burgers reminiscent of white castle? I wasn't impressed.

                                                                                                                                  Fun topic!

                                                                                                                                  1. Recently, I have been leaning more towards the Spotted Pig as being the best burger in the city. Also, I don't know if anyone has been there, but the McGee's Burger at McGee's Pub on 55th is definitly one that should be considered.

                                                                                                                                    1. i'll give 2 i like... jg melon upper east side and daddy-o in the west village

                                                                                                                                      1. I don't know how many of you have tried Goodburger yet; I was skeptical especially as it cops it's brand from a stupid movie, but I found it better than corner and PM so now the best in the city. The fries were flavorless. I don't care though, I'll pick fries up at MickeyDs on the way home, Goodburger takes the cake.

                                                                                                                                        I think PM is totally overrated. It's diminuitive and pretty close to the shake shack burger. Which is great and very greasy/tasty, but I have 15 years of Corner Bistro burgers that on average have been better and therefore #1 in the city. I've only had one Goodburger and I was breaking an insane fast so I want to go back when I can give it a fair assessment, but I'm pretty sure it was just that good. And big. And medium rare

                                                                                                                                        1. OK -I've said it many times before-Corner Bistro still reigns supreme and Shake Shack is one notch above White Castle sliders. Period. End of discussion.

                                                                                                                                          1. Luckily, on Chowhound, the discussion never ends..

                                                                                                                                            - Sean

                                                                                                                                            1. DuMont in Williamsburg has to be on that list.

                                                                                                                                              1. It's a crying shame you don't have In-N-Out in NYC.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: Lau

                                                                                                                                                    Molly's Pub & Shabeen
                                                                                                                                                    287 3rd Ave
                                                                                                                                                    New York, NY
                                                                                                                                                    Phone: (212) 889-3361

                                                                                                                                                    287 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10010

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Greg

                                                                                                                                                      HURLEY'S on 48th and Broadway. Best burger hands down. Perfect.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ostate24

                                                                                                                                                        AMEN! best little secret in the city. hot bartenders too, if you're into that kind of thing.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Let me just say I think Burger Joint is terribly overrated. Went there for lunch one day and while the burger is pretty tasty it is nothing special. On the small side, and perfect for a quick bite for lunch but I would never reccomend it as a top 5 burger or a destination spot. The toppings are pretty basic and the bun is just your run of the mill hamburger roll from Pathmark. And for the price they charge there are much better burgers to be had. On a side note their brownies are delicious.

                                                                                                                                                    1. I agree that BJ at PM can be a little pricey for what you get, that Spotted Pig is surprisingly good.
                                                                                                                                                      I also like Stand's cheesburger - cheddar not bleu - quite a bit, and their onion ring. The homeade ginger ale is the reason to go, IMO. It seems I am alone in liking Stand, but that doesn't bother me....

                                                                                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                                                                                      1. re: elizabeththinks

                                                                                                                                                        You are not alone. My husband and I, and many of our friends, are big fans of Stand. It doesn't hurt that we live down the street from Stand, either. :)

                                                                                                                                                        1. re: elizabeththinks

                                                                                                                                                          I am also a big fan of Stand. Their Toasted Marshmallow Shake is reason enough for a visit!

                                                                                                                                                          1. re: newfoodie

                                                                                                                                                            I need to know -- what is a Toasted Marshmallow Shake? It sounds like heaven in a glass. It's always good to have another thing to do with toasted marshmallows...

                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DJS

                                                                                                                                                              Stand has a bunch of different flavored milkshakes. Toasted Marshmallow has toasted marshmallows on top. I didn't love the shake itself, but the marshmallow on top was good. Sesame and peanut butter shakes are good.

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: Lucia

                                                                                                                                                                Two seconds after I read "toasted marshmallow milkshake" I was on the phone. We're going there tonight! My husband loves the idea of a soda with Cel-Ray and strawberry ice cream. I can't wait!

                                                                                                                                                        2. I rather like the burgers at Ottomanelli's on 93rd and Lex.

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                                                                                                                                                          1. re: Fozzie_Bear

                                                                                                                                                            I go to the Ottomanelli on York between 85th and 86th (and like their burger).

                                                                                                                                                            Anyone know if it's the same food/burger as 93rd and Lex?


                                                                                                                                                          2. Paul's, on the corner of Second Avenue and St. Mark's Place. It's right next to Gem Spa (home of the original egg cream).

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                                                                                                                                                            1. re: DJS

                                                                                                                                                              They make the big greasy falling apart griddle jobs, right?

                                                                                                                                                              1. re: raji212

                                                                                                                                                                Yup -- the diner classic. They offer dozens of toppings, sides, etc. They're best known for their burgers, but the rest of their menu is more classic diner food. The place has a real East Village charm about it.

                                                                                                                                                                By the way, while you're in the neighborhood you should walk down a block and make a stop at Moishe's Bakery. Old fashion Jewish treats -- great breads (try the corn rye -- you can't find it many places any more), kichel (better than any I've ever had, including my bubbe's), Hamentashen, teglach; you name it. The line often extends out the door, but don't be discouraged; the women at the counter keep it moving fast.

                                                                                                                                                            2. Anyone have any strong feelings either way towards Blue 9? I used to live around the corner and eat there pretty often.

                                                                                                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                              1. re: southern transplant

                                                                                                                                                                Yep--I don't like the burgers, and the unhelpful staff and dingy dining area don't help.

                                                                                                                                                                1. re: Lucia

                                                                                                                                                                  Not yet mentioned is "The Allstate Cafe" on 72nd st. between B'way and Amsterdam. Great tasting beef w/meunster cheese as an option. above avg. roll and great zucchini chips on the side. For those of you old enough, it was the actual location that the story "Looking for Mr. Goodbar" took place.
                                                                                                                                                                  By the way, I haven't been there for a couple of years, so I hope all is till well there.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: jnk

                                                                                                                                                                    Not so much - according to a recent post they're scheduled to close soon (tomorrow) due to, what else, escalating rent. I live a couple of blocks away and have not verified yet.

                                                                                                                                                                    And yes, I will greatly miss their burger.

                                                                                                                                                                2. re: southern transplant

                                                                                                                                                                  I've never been to grungier dive - filthy table tops and floors and a scary-ass kitchen - no potential love of the burger could overcome those gross-outs.

                                                                                                                                                                  1. re: awesnawes

                                                                                                                                                                    A guilty pleasure -- the red relish at Burger Heaven. The burger is average, but the relish is delish.

                                                                                                                                                                  2. wollensky's grill is good and wicker park (which replaced Martell's) is a very decent burger

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                                                                                                                                                                    1. re: EastCoastWineMan

                                                                                                                                                                      I did a two day tour for burgers near my office. First was the cart on W. 56th Street and 7th Avenue. 4 dollar cheesburger. Huge. Excellent bang for the buck and really, really tasty.

                                                                                                                                                                      That was my low-end venture. High-end was Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien. Stood on line with the rest of the burger junkies for fries and a cheeseburger with the works for 10 bucks. All-in-all, very good but yes, on the small side, Pathmark bun. A bit overrated now that I know the four dollar one is a block away and just as good, if not better and bigger and the bun is more substantial. And, the bonus, the guy there actually puts in a bag for me. They just kind of throw it at you at Burger Joint. And the fries are pre-packaged so you get a greasy splotch of a paper bag.

                                                                                                                                                                      That being said, I am going to say Shake Shack, the guy on 56th and 7th, Blue Smoke are my top three.

                                                                                                                                                                    2. 1. Corner Bistro (juicy and delicious. medium rare truly is medium rare).
                                                                                                                                                                      2. Jimbos (fantastic Harlem chain, so flavorful).
                                                                                                                                                                      3. Outback (gotta give credit where it's due)
                                                                                                                                                                      4. Choo-Choo's (this is in Astoria so not sure if it counts. great fries and other sides too).
                                                                                                                                                                      5 ?

                                                                                                                                                                      Over-rated: yes, I'll say it. SHAKE SHACK. It's good but nowhere near as good as any of these places, nor anywhere near worth the line or prices. I do like their cheese fries though. Their Chicago dog is shyte compared to a real Chicago dog but at least they're trying.

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                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: joeyz

                                                                                                                                                                        I hate to admit it, but on the road I had the Ruby Tuesday's triple prime burger... and it was damn good, probably thanks to copious amounts of fat, but isn't that the story behind all burgers....

                                                                                                                                                                      2. 1. JG Melon (although, i agree: too small!)
                                                                                                                                                                        2. Michael Jordan's
                                                                                                                                                                        3. Uptown Lounge (on the UES - seriously. go. it's good)
                                                                                                                                                                        4. PJ Clarkes
                                                                                                                                                                        5. Shake Shack

                                                                                                                                                                        i haven't been to burger joint (every time i drag myself to LeParker, i end up at Norma's...) or blue smoke. peter luger's has a phenomenal burger, but it's not in nyc. i'm not kidding about uptown lounge.... it's random, but i always get a great burger there!

                                                                                                                                                                        1. I eat my burgers well done. I go to wendy's for a classic triple or double. Nothing beats wendy's for the price and taste. It's probably the fact that the meat in the patties are loosely packed and that if you get a double or triple, you get multiple patties which makes the meat even more loose. Multiple patties also absorb more grease on the griddle making it juicier.

                                                                                                                                                                          Shake shack uses multiple patties too but I don't like waiting on line.

                                                                                                                                                                          Your neighborhood deli may have a superior burger if they cook it freshly for you.

                                                                                                                                                                          Most of the other burger joints when ordered well done come out dry and lukewarm when served to me especially places with 1/2 lbers , though I've had a good burger at corner bistro. But for consistency I go to wendys.

                                                                                                                                                                          I've tried.
                                                                                                                                                                          Parker merdien
                                                                                                                                                                          shake shack
                                                                                                                                                                          island burgers
                                                                                                                                                                          jackson hole
                                                                                                                                                                          corner bistro
                                                                                                                                                                          mchales when it was still around.

                                                                                                                                                                          1. Molly's rules!! Corner Bistro is awful. Same w/ PJ Clarke's:horrible and way overpriced. Shake Shack? Are you serious? They should be behind bars for what they perpetrate on the unsuspecting consumer who drinks their kool-aid. Beer Bar @ Grand central is a terrific burger. Odeon's OK-their fries are awesome! Stand's OK, but I really despised the roll; made handling tough. None of 'em touch Molly's

                                                                                                                                                                              1. 1. Chelsea Gallery (7th Av/14th)
                                                                                                                                                                                2. BLT Burger – lamb merguez burger, but with ketchup or BBQ sauce (6th Av/12th)
                                                                                                                                                                                3. Deluxe (Broadway/113th St) – used to have great burgers, haven’t been recently
                                                                                                                                                                                4. PJ Clarke’s – amazing fries, burger is passable but overpriced

                                                                                                                                                                                Vastly overrated:
                                                                                                                                                                                Molly’s, JG Melon’s (great bun though), Island Burgers, Jackson Hole (way too much meat), NY Burger Co

                                                                                                                                                                                Don’t get me started!:
                                                                                                                                                                                Corner Bistro, Shake Shack (wait on line for that?- puhleeze!)

                                                                                                                                                                                From the suggestions on this thread, hoping to try Spotted Pig, Goodburger, Jimbo's. Maybe even, dare I say it, Outback. I never eat burgers with alcohol, so not sure how beer or other drinks may affect others' burger preferences.

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                                                                                                                                                                                1. re: hoopsmccan

                                                                                                                                                                                  Cant sleep on Royale on 8th and Ave C. Fantastic burger for $5

                                                                                                                                                                                2. 1. Shake Shack (double Shack Burger only)
                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Dumont (at Dumont restaurant, not at Dumont Burger)
                                                                                                                                                                                  3. Donovan's
                                                                                                                                                                                  4. Burger Joint

                                                                                                                                                                                  I don't have a No. 5 yet. I don't think much of Corner Bistro, Fanelli's, Old Town, P.J. Clarke's, or In-N-Out (in Calif.). Have not tried the others.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Agree Shack Burger stands out. This must be because the whole thing is a New York gourmet send-up of St. Louis-style custard stands and fast food. (Right?) Whereas the other burgers are traditional bar-burger style.

                                                                                                                                                                                  Burger Joint is a bit of a hybrid. It's a French send-up of an American dive, complete with grafitti'd paneling imported whole as the robber barons used to do with French chateaux. Once you figure out how to order to your doneness preference, the Burger Joint burger is tasty, good quality and very consistent. But half the charm has to be that you can have a whole dinner there in midtown for $12.

                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I am a big fan of Luke's Bar & Grill burgers. Their fries remind me of the Original Hot Dog Shop's fries in Pittsburgh. JG Melon is always so crowded and there's always a wait! I think Luke's is a great burger alternate. I think they butter the buns too. Mmm.

                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Don't have a top five still enjoying doing the research. When I do have one I am sure J.G. Mellons will be high on it.

                                                                                                                                                                                      But I do have to say that I think Shake Shack is way over rated. It's decent but nothing special. There isn't anything you really can't get elsewhere, and certainly not worth the huge lines. I'm sure the appeal is do to the park setting which is fun. Perhaps it is an example of that of old camping adage that all food tastes better outdoors.


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                                                                                                                                                                                      1. re: Withnail42

                                                                                                                                                                                        Which burger did you have at Shake Shack? The one plain burger on a bun is a very different experience from the double burger with cheese, special sauce, etc.

                                                                                                                                                                                      2. Spotted Pig - Outrageous (Rosemary shoestring potatoes!!!)
                                                                                                                                                                                        Prune - Elegant and refined

                                                                                                                                                                                        1. JG Melon is the only truly great one!

                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Some updated thoughts:
                                                                                                                                                                                            Public House: solid
                                                                                                                                                                                            Island: actually really good (despite the many haters out there)
                                                                                                                                                                                            Resto: Up there with Melon's (and I say this after only one try, so it has to be good)
                                                                                                                                                                                            J.G. Melon's: still the King

                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Burger lovers please try the burger at La Esquina on Lafayette. It's a modest and homemade approach without tons of bells and whistles, but absolutely delicious every time.

                                                                                                                                                                                              1. Corner Bistro
                                                                                                                                                                                                Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridien
                                                                                                                                                                                                JG Melon
                                                                                                                                                                                                DoJo's soy burger (the only time I go meatless)

                                                                                                                                                                                                1. 1. Rare
                                                                                                                                                                                                  2. Petite Abeille
                                                                                                                                                                                                  3. PJ Clarke's
                                                                                                                                                                                                  4. JG Melon
                                                                                                                                                                                                  5. Spotted Pig

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Other notable burgers: Burger Joint (LPM), Westville, Houston's

                                                                                                                                                                                                  Rare is a must in your Top 5. The Murray's burger is a daily special that always has a shot to be worth trying along with the "regulars" on the menu. You can also build your own burger to customize your fancy.

                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. I can't believe no one had Big Nicks on the list

                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. Just tried 24 Prince-located at 24 Prince-how clever-the burger was outstanding!! Not a huge burger but the taste was just purely delicious. BTW they made the best bloody maries I have ever had in NYC!! Go for both of them-enjoy! Location is just off intersection of Mott and Prince

                                                                                                                                                                                                        1. Just fyi....Martell's is now "Wicker Park"....not as good.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          You really think JG Melon's burgers are that good???
                                                                                                                                                                                                          I'm not getting the big deal over their burgers.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          I agree with you about Jackson Hole.

                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. Those of you who read Time Out (http://www.timeout.com/newyork/articl...) might think I'm a little late to this party, but I just had the burger at Market Table and had to add it to my list of top five. The burger itself was excellent - juicy but not too much, and well seasoned. Apparently it's the Shake Shack blend but in a larger form - think of it as a Shack Burger all grown up. The burger is served with caramelized onions and a nice slice of cheddar, full-sour pickle slices, two slices of plum tomato and a leaf of boston bib lettuce. The bun is hearty and looks crusty, so I was put off when I saw it, but it ended up being soft and worked well with the burger, though it may have brought slightly too much bread to the mix. Overall, I'd have to say it was one of the best burgers in the City. I wouldn't put it at the top of my list as Time Out did, but it's definitely in the top five.

                                                                                                                                                                                                            Market Table
                                                                                                                                                                                                            54 Carmine Street, New York, NY 10014

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                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. re: Greg

                                                                                                                                                                                                              Market table also puts the burger on a grill and gets it nice and charred while Shake Shack is a griddle and it's not about crustiness

                                                                                                                                                                                                            2. I had an awesome burger at Rare Bar and grill tonight. The T-bone burger and Stuffed American Kobe Burger are fantastic. French fry tasting basket is awesome too- sweet potatoes, shoestring fries, and sweet potato fries with three dipping sauces. Great rings as well.

                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. I work right next to Le Parker Meridien and do go to the burger joint every once and a while, but I still get my burgers and churrasco chicken sandwiches from Island Burger. That place has a great selection and huge sandwiches.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                Island burger is your place if your looking for a juicy meaty burger to sink your teeth into.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                I don't think Burger Joint cuts it. Honestly the burgers are like Johnny Rockets burgers. They are flat and small and the line to get into the place is insane. All the yuppies love paying $15 for a burger, fries, and a drink I guess.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. I had Shake Shack -- Double Shack Burger -- and a Stand burger -- with blue cheese and bacon -- this past weekend when I was in NY. I have also had many of the others listed by others (PJ Clarke, Burger Joint --LPM, JG Melon, etc.) and I have to say the Double Shack Burger is the best burger I have ever eaten. It was like heaven. The meat was delicious and juicy and the sauce and cheese oozing over the burger could almost make me cry it was so good. The only think I am regretting is that I waited so long to try it and I have to wait another month before I am back in NYC and can try it again.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  The Stand burger was pretty good, but knowhere close to Shake Shack or the others I mentioned above. The toasted marshmellow shake, on the other hand, was probably the best shake I have ever had.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                  1. Melon's is so over -rated...I think it's lost it's luster

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1. I love the following burgers, imo the best in the city, but they do have some drawbacks...

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      spotted pig - the wait can be long since they don't take reservations, but they have the best fries from this list (even used to be cooked in duck fat). i usually ask to have my cheeseburger topped with prosciutto

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      shake shack - the wait is even worse than the spotted pig, hopefully their new UWS location will aleviate this. Their fries are adequate, but their shakes more than make up for it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      burger joint - fries suck, but they have cheap beer relative to the other places on this list.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      cafe d'alsace - awesome burger, good fries, horrible location

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      good burger - Pretty much identical to Burger Joint

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      1. 1. Market Table
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        2. Peter Luger
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        3. Westville
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        4. Back forty
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        5. Blue smoke

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        JG Melon, Old Town Bar, Corner Bistro, McSorley's, PJ Clarke's are all terrific, but more for the atmosphere and the beer than the actual burgers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Have yet to try Molly's, will definitely go.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          1. re: guttergourmet

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            my own personal "research":

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            and i am doing it again today. had bj at lunch, headed to ss in less than an hour.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2. JG Melon is awesome as are the burgers at The Odeon!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            1. Odeon has to be added to the list!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              1. re: bac528

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                I think City Hall around the corner from Odeon blows 'em away. Had the burger at City Hall last night...albeit a bit pricey ($15) it's an incredibly flavorful Pat LaFreida short rib and brisket mix, served on a home made onion bun. Came perfectly done as ordered (medium rare) with a slice of onion, lettuce, and tomato on the side. Comes with fries, cheese is optional. A truly tasty and delicious burger.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              2. Has anyone tried the Dirty Burger at Thunder Jackson's? Went there totally randomly with my parents a few weeks ago, and had one fo the best burgers ever! It comes with truffle mayo and is VERY well seasoned, just burger and mayo was enough for me (didn't miss the lettuce and tomatoes.) It's a bit salty, but has a sweet flavor to it, too. Newly added to my top burgers!!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. still waiting for the PERFECT burger!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                2. Burger Joint
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                3. Thunder Jackson's
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                4. Shake Shack
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                5. Big Nick's

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                1. Just got back from our vacation in NYC and would have to agree that Shake Shack has no equal back in my home town (Toronto). The Double Stack was pure heaven - a total flavour orgasm in my mouth! I loved the oozy cheese that burst from the perfectly fried portabello. It was well balanced between the meat and mushroom/cheese components. Flavour unlike I've ever experienced from a burger. The fries are also hard to rival - though I was not a fan of the cheese sauce that drenched the cheese fries. I would not get cheese next time. The fries were light and golden and the crust was so thin, not batter-laden at all. They were also fun and bite-sized.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Double Stack Burger + Cheese Fries:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Tried the custard, would have to say that the melty-mess I received was not what I pictured when I ordered 'frozen' custard. Definitely would stick to the burger and fries next time. (no wonder they have a shorter 'express' line for just custards...


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Non-Frozen Custard:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Would have to say that my opinion is NOT as informed as a local of NYC as I only had time for a few meals here (5 days - ate at Degustation, WD50, Jean Georges, Nougatine, Perilla and managed to squeeze in Shake Shack), however, from my experience of burgers from Canada...this burger takes the cake.