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Help me find "burger bliss" in New York!

I'll be visiting New York next week and one thing I'm looking forward to eating is a good burger. Although there is In N Out all over where I'm from, there are no good pub/white napkin burgers, which I prefer over the fast food style.

I've done a ton of research in the "best burgers" threads and looked through A Hamburger Today, and so far it looks like Molly's, Blue Smoke, Minetta Tavern (the regular burger, because the Black Label is too pricey for me) or Five Napkin Burger might have what I'm looking for, but I'm having a hard time picking one of them.

Here is my perfect burger criteria:

-patty between 7-10 oz.
-patty at least .75" thick
-crumbly meat texture
-crunchy exterior crust

Which of my choices do you think would make me the happiest? Also, if Minetta is the best bet, can a solo diner drop in to eat at the bar?

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  1. Several suggestions:
    -DBGB has excellent options
    -Minetta If you go - go early, yes you can go alone and dine at the bar or a table
    -Five Napkin is a good choice, not my personal favorite
    -Lure does a In and Out Style burger you may enjoy to compare
    -Corner Bistro just for the nostalgia

    1. my fav is jg melon...they're crispy on the outside and perfectly moist on the inside. the fries are a perfect match. it's def a pubby place.

      3 Replies
      1. re: smokeandapancake

        I read on A Hamburger Today that Melon's has underseasoned meat and poor quality buns. Do you find that this isn't the case? I definitely don't want an undersalted burger (which is a beef I have with the upscale burger chain The Counter) and I don't really care for grocery store type fluff buns.

        J.G. Melon review at AHT (scroll down about 1/4 of the way):

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

        1. re: Humbucker

          my favorite burger...never dissapointed.

          1. re: smokeandapancake

            Have you tried the one at Ottomanelli? I really think that if you like the J.G. Melon burger, you'll like their burger even more.

      2. I haven't tried the burger at Blue Smoke but all the others are great choices.

        The Black Label at Minetta is actually worth the $26 IMO. It's made from 40-day dry aged rib-eye and has caramelized onion on top served with fries. A spot at the bar usually opens up fairly easily.

        The best burger and deal in NY is probably at Peter Lugar's in Brooklyn. The burger is $8 and made from their porterhouse trimmings. Only served at lunch.

        The piggie at DBGB is very good but I think is $18. 8oz patty with pulled pork on top.

        Shack Shack and the Burger Joint are contenders. Along the lines of In-N-Out but taken to the next level... more gourmetish.

        I've always liked the burger at the restaurant above the cash registers in the Fairway super market on B'Way & 74th but it's not a destination place like all the others.

        1 Reply
        1. re: paul8292

          I'll definitely head to Shake Shack because I've heard so much about it, but I should clarify that I'm actually not crazy about In N Out/fast food style burgers.

          Luger's isn't an option because I probably won't be leaving Manhattan.

          Are DBGB's burgers really 8 oz.? The DBGB site says their burgers are 6 oz., which is smaller than my ideal.

        2. Based on your criteria and not what I think makes a good burger, Mollys fits your taste perfectly. Meets all the above criteria, best onion rings in the city (ask for them well done), true pub atmosphere and a perfect pint of Guinness.

          6 Replies
          1. re: princeofpork

            Agreed, its as if the OP was describing Molly's burger

              1. re: meatme

                Looks like Molly's will be my destination then! I'll be sure to report back what I thought.

                1. re: Humbucker

                  Oh, and I should add that I like pub-style burgers, but they need not be accompanied by an actual pub or pub atmosphere.

                  1. re: Humbucker

                    Molly's is the real deal. The burgers can be a tad dry, otherwise, this is exactly what you're looking for, in atmosphere and burger.

                    Waterfron Ale House, Walkers, and possibly Spitzers, and Lillies are some contenders nobody has mentioned yet.

                  2. re: Humbucker

                    Molly's will do you well. A big meaty burger with a good char on it. They have HP Sauce and malt vinegar for the fires or onion rings.

            1. JG's is not under seasoned, high fat ratio, but cooked very well. I like PJ clarks. its a cleaner burger, but not as juice. bloody bulls at JG's is a good novelty. I think you would be disappointed with burger joint.