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Absolute best burger in Manhattan?

I must find the best burger in Manhattan! I realize that there are literally hundreds of choices and I continue to hear the same 10 to 15 names over and over again. Can someone narrow the list to the top 5 and be bold enough to say that it's the definitive burger list for Manhattan?

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    1. re: Bob Martinez

      Thanks for linking my rankings. I'd also give Royale, Good Burger and Stand honorable mention. Thumbs down to BLT except for the lamb burger.

    2. shake shack
      corner bistro
      burger joint at le parker meridian

      seem to most consistently make top lists... round out the other 2-slots depending on your preferred burger style.

      1. Im partial to:

        Blue Smoke
        Burger Joint
        Shake Shack
        Paul's Place

        1. This is well trodden turf. And it very much depends on whether you like the burger cheap and cheerful, with guess-what meat, cold bun and no frills. Or good beef, lots of frills and a heaping of perfect fries.

          burger joint at Parker Meridian
          The Odeon
          Cafe Luxembourg
          Number 5 slot is ever evolving, and depends on such variables as the weather, the R in the month, level of alchohol in bloodstream, Lent, hormone level of the missus, etc etc..

          - Sean

          1 Reply
          1. re: Sean Dell

            Haha, never ever eat an oyster burger in a month without an R!

            Whatever the month, I do like Paul's on 2nd and St. Mark's. The standard bun can fall apart quite easily, so your best bet is a Kaiser roll for 40 cents more.

          2. Looking at your post history, NTGF, it would appear that you're planning on a) touring the U.S. in search of the best burger, and/or b) writing about the best burgers. Care to tell us which it is?

            3 Replies
            1. re: jakew8

              Uh huh:

              Absolute best burger in Manhattan?
              NowThatsGreatFood in Manhattan

              Absolute best burger in Chicago?
              NowThatsGreatFood in Chicago Area

              Absolute best burger in Texas?
              NowThatsGreatFood in Texas

              South Florida - The Best Burger?
              NowThatsGreatFood in Florida"

              In each case, what one will find is a large number of outlets offering good burgers in different styles. It's like asking for the "best sandwich": the burgers at Wolfgang's, Paul's Place, and Shake Shack - for example - are so different in composition, size, and indeed price, that there's not much point comparing them.

              1. re: jakew8

                That's a fair question and pretty reasonable assumptions. I'm planning an event that features burgers and I want to invite the best in the country to participate. I chose a few geographic areas which I'm sure could lay claim to being the home of the best. Realizing that personal preferences will dictate favorites, I have to imagine that those of you who take the time to reply to my inquiry are foodies and therefore your input is valuable and helpful. So I offer my thanks to you for responding.

                1. re: NowThatsGreatFood

                  Being called a foodie makes me sad. I'm a chowhound.

              2. please try daddy-o on bedford street. i will go to bat, as a i have several times, for this great bar burger.
                corner bistro
                pj clarkes

                3 Replies
                  1. re: serious

                    Ditto. Twice. At 54th St. and Third Avenue.

                  2. re: jsmitty

                    Daddy-O's on Bedford does have a burger that is pretty damn amazing. Comes with tater tots, too.

                  3. I am somewhat stunned by chowhound's lists of the best burgers in NYC because the very best burger is never even mentioned in the top ten. I don't quite understand it. What am I missing? The best burger in New York City is at the Union Square Cafe. No doubts abouts. . I've had all those burgers people rave about and some of them are very very good. But none is in the league of the USC

                    6 Replies
                      1. re: jsmitty

                        Just had the burger at Luger's. Extremely juicy and tasty and worth the trip over the bridge.

                      2. re: duffyeater

                        And I never understand why the Old Town burger so rarely shows up on these lists--I'd take one of those over Corner Bistro's burger most any day.

                        1. re: duffyeater

                          I just had the USC burger and Burger Joint burger last week. USC burger is very good and has nice fries.

                          1. re: duffyeater

                            I gotta say Burger Joint, but this weekend I may try Shake Shack, but then I think, What if it's not up to Burger Joint par? Maybe I'll stick to BJ, why mess with perfection?

                          2. Rare. It's amazing! Best meat quality, cooked to your preference with phenominal condiments to choose from.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: LFeinberg

                              Corner Bistro, Donovan's, Molly's, in no particular order.

                            2. Wollensky's Grill-On the side street from the main restaurant on Third Ave.

                              They use Filet tips to make the burgers.

                              1. I have eaten and enjoyed burgers at almost all of the above mentioned places, and "best" wholly depends on my mood, company, and budget. My father worked at Peter Luger's for many years, but when I go to White Castle with that in mind, it's a good day as well!

                                For a (grilled) burger of excellent quality meat, perfect large but managable size for very low price, I have become a big fan of The Burger One on Lexington bet. 79th & 80th. It's a hole in the wall with about 8 seats, and they are one of my current "Bests."

                                1. i gotta say i like JG melon's burger. plain & simple. but kinda small. Shake Shack obviously. i'm dying to try Luger's burger... but i can never pass up a porterhouse for a burger :(

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: christinaemcc

                                    You don't have to, get the burger as an app and share it. Lunchtime only.

                                  2. Had an awful burger at RARE and never gave it a second chance, perhaps unfairly. My burger at Union Square Cafe was OK, not great (although I did love the generous helping of fries!) My top 5 would be:

                                    Shake Shack
                                    JG Melon
                                    Spotted Pig
                                    Burger Joint

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Kanger

                                      JG Melon's my favorite....Brasserie Julien has a good one too

                                      1. re: Popsicle81

                                        Mmm... Brasserie Julien's burger and Leffe on tap. Good times. And by way of comparison, off I go to The Burger One...

                                        1. re: sebastianxx

                                          Well... The Burger One wasn't too bad. I ordered the Burger One Special, a 7oz cheeseburger with grilled onions and diced jalapenos and was having second thoughts on the toppings. Until it was served. Then I was glad I did as the burger was thick, expertly cooked, and completely lacking in seasoning. Salt, onion powder, pepper, I dunno, it needed something. The toppings perked it up, but with an inch-thick burger, that's a lot of meat. Fries were good though. Sticking with B. Julien for now...

                                    2. Chumley's
                                      Paul's Place
                                      Burger Joint
                                      BLT Burger
                                      Silver Spurs

                                      (and Shake Shack - if I could name 6)

                                      1. Burger Joint, Corner Bistro, Shake Shack, Rare

                                        1. I know you all are going to roll your eyes and sigh when I say this....but...the Kobe burger sliders at The Stanton Social are the best burgers in town, IMO.

                                          1. Say no to Kobe sliders. Say yes to Corner Bistro. And following that, in order: Shake Shack, Burger Joint, Molly's, and Old Town Tavern.
                                            Stoned Crow is on my list to try.

                                            1. Westville, Westville East

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


                                                Now you can get your burger by proximity. Enjoy.

                                                2 Replies
                                                  1. re: imbrettjackson

                                                    Wow! Thanks for taking the time to map this out. I plan on visiting a number of these places in May and you just made it a lot easier for me. Much thanks!!

                                                  2. Two from NY Magazine:
                                                    The Burger Register: New York’s 82 Most Notable Burgers-Slide Show:

                                                    Burger Kings
                                                    The best of the bunch in a town suddenly overrun by beef.

                                                    1. I like Corner Bistro and Lugers. Has anyone tried the "Kobe" burger @ Old Homestead?