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Burger recos please (NOT shake shack)

Im a new SF/Cali/LA transplant to NYC and Im lookin for a great burger, super casual.

I tried Shake Shack thru recos/research on here chowhound and to be honest was very disappointed. It was decent at best: bun was mediocre, cheese was bleh, fries were awful generic crinkly things. The good thing about it was it had a similar style and taste to an In-N-Out burger (with a thicker patty), but oh no In-N-Out fresh cut fries :(

Anyone have good burger recos similar from what im used to in SF? 21st amendment, Mo's burger, Metro cafe, heck, even the Burgermeister chain.

Also, fries are pretty important: must be super fresh, cut to order if possible.

Thx :)

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  1. DuMont Burger in W'burg is my favorite. Molly's does a great bacon cheeseburger on 22nd & 3rd.

    Both are really low-key places not sure on the fries at either place because I always opt for the onion rings.

    1. blue 9 burger is a west coast style burger, it's over on 3rd ave downtown.

      people also really like Five Guys, but I;m not sold on it

      2 Replies
      1. re: ginsbera

        Blue 9 is very similar to In'n'Out in terms of a "special sauce" they put on the burgers. However, they use really cheap buns, iceberg lettuce, and watery tomatoes.

        1. re: ginsbera

          IMHO Blue 9 = Eww. It used to be niceer, but last time I went it was filthy

        2. As a California transplant I recommend, and swear by, the burger at Blue Smoke on E. 27th between Park/Lexington. Easily one of the best I've had anywhere. It is, of course, brought to you by the folks that own Shake Shack, only it's larger, cooked to preference and accompanied by fresher toppings and condiments.

          My other favorite is Burger Joint, 116 W. 56th, in the rear of Le Parker Meridian.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Hurner

            FYI - Blue Smoke is on 27th btwn Park and Lex.

            1. re: Hurner

              Second what Hurner wrote. Burger Joint is one of my faves, as is the Blue Smoke burger -- which is a bigger, better shack burger.

              1. re: apple342

                Third Blue Smoke. Peter Luger makes a damn good burger, too.

                www.thelunchbelle.com

            2. spotted pig, corner bistro, molly's pub are three places i like. san francisco's own bunrabs like burger joint in the parker meridien. the original p.j. clarke's on 3rd avenue and 55th (?) also works for me.

              spotted pig might remind you a little of zuni: quality burger topped with roquefort cheese and the fries are shoestrings! corner bistro and molly's are neighborhood joints with tons of character. burger joint is the insider thing that everyone knows about. p.j. clarke's, the original, is an icon.

              1. Westville, Westville East, Veselka, and the Little Giant all have amazing burgers not yet mentioned. LG is probably the least casual of the bunch, but it's exceedingly laid-back at lunchtime.