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Restaurant Burger Recs

Hi everyone, looking for solid recs for burgers in a restaurant setting.

Enjoy thicker style patties and just straight up regular burgers - no fancy versions with things like foie gras added etc.

On the list to try is Stand - we'll certainly hit them up. But where else is chow worthy? A friend enjoyed Landmarc's burger but I'm open to all suggestions $15 or under. Any place.

Thanks :)

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  1. Wolfgang's Steakhouse - at the bar. My favorite burger in town. Not sure if they serve them at dinner or only lunch.

    5 Replies
    1. re: gutsofsteel

      Howdy gutsofsteel,

      What makes it special? My colleagues and I are always in the market for a great burger. Sitting at a bar for lunch only makes it that much better.

      1. re: steve h.

        I really like the space, the room, the bar. I like the vibe at lunchtime there. The burger itself is juicy and really beefy tasting and the meat is excellent quality. Also it gets a good char on it and when I asked for medium rare...it's perfect for me. What can I say, I love the burger and I love sitting at that bar. It's a great burger in a bullshit-free, comfortable steakhouse bar environment, and I love that.

        1. re: gutsofsteel

          Sounds good. I'll pop it onto the stack. I'm assuming this is the Park Avenue shop. How are the fries?

          1. re: steve h.

            Cottage style fries, and I ask for them well done. Nice.

    2. I think for a really great thick-style but straightforward burger, you'll need to up your price limit. There are lots of good burgers in sit down restaurants but the price tends to be $15+ especially if they're using good beef. I like Primehouse, Blue Smoke, Ma Peche, Lure, Spotted Pig. Heard good things about the RUB burger, too. Minetta Tavern, too, if you can actually get in and are willing to pay, heh.


      (If you're willing to go to Brooklyn, you can add even more to your list like Peter Luger (lunch only), Diner, etc.)

      1. pub setting - finnigan's wake on 1st ave @ 73rd street. basic burger, done right, in an old irish pub.

        1. I just enjoyed a great burger at The Smith on 3rd Ave between 10th and 11th....it was $14, but if I had dined after 5pm, they have a Sunday dinner deal where you pay $15 for the same burger with a beer included. The burger had a white cheddar and great, smoky bacon. It also came with an In-n-Out style sauce, which I requested on the side. The waiter described it as a ketchup-mayo, but it was definitely more thousand island-y. The sauce made for a great dipping sauce for the fries that came alongside the burger (included in the price). The bun was brioche I'm pretty sure, and it was really buttery and flavorful. The burger itself was a big piece of meat, cooked to the right temperature, and pretty juicy. They also bring free bread before the meal that's actually really tasty! I'm not one to pay this much for a burger regularly, but for a splurge it's pretty solid. I also liked the ambiance of the room, I didn't feel like we were sitting right on top of other customers, which tends to be the case in most Manhattan restaurants.

          The Smith
          55 3rd Avenue, New York, NY 10003

          2 Replies
          1. re: Jess321

            That sounds great - I've heard good things about the Smith in general. Is it casual because we much prefer casual dining to anything fussy and formal. We're jeans and t shirt people!

            1. re: kansel

              It is definitely more of a casual restaurant. The waiters are even dressed casually. I wouldn't be surprised if people did dress up to dine there, but it is certainly not expected/necessary.

          2. IMO the burger at Stand is not *that* great, I like their shakes (toasted marshmallow shake, of course) and sweet potato fries more so than their burgers. I'm actually not a big fan of restaurant-style burgers (as opposed to fast-food style burgers) but I had a GREAT one at P.J. Clarke's a couple years back.

            1. I have gone on the record here as having had not one but three bad experiences at J.G. Melon, however, I've seen others on Chowhound rave about their burgers. The place itself is always populated by a bunch of characters -- it's UES people watching at its best.

              Pete's Tavern on Irving Place serves a delicious, very juicy burger. It ain't La Frieda beef, but it's good and not too much $$. Cool neighborhood scene there, too.

              I always like what gutsofsteel has to say about places. I've never ever been to Wolfgang's and now have yet another reason to go.

              2 Replies
              1. re: shaogo

                5 Napkin Burger at Nice Matin, or 5 Napkin Burger at 45th & 9th Ave. Thick patty, gobs of juice, compte/gruyere....great burger, and in your price range.

                1. re: shaogo

                  Totally disagree with you on Pete's Tavern. A mediocre, often overcooked burger. No better than millions of other generic bar burgers out there.

                2. I never had it and I know this is a manhattan thread but my friend told me the burger at Luger's is to die for.
                  Brooklyn diner has my favorite thick patty burger.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: daffyduck

                    Yes, the burger at Luger's is very good. Wolfgang's comes very very close to it. Wolfgang's is owned by an ex-Luger person.

                    1. re: gutsofsteel

                      Why is a Peter Luger burger tastier than a Wolfgang burger?
                      Ignoring logistics for the moment, can you shed some light on this? I understand this is all subjective. I'm just curious in your opinion.

                      1. re: steve h.

                        You know honestly, I'd have to eat them both in the same week to be sure. I haven't had a Luger's burger in a while. They're both really really good.

                  2. Check out the burger at Walkers in Tribeca. It meets all of your criteria and the setting is great. I would recommend either the fries or the mashed potatoes with the burger.

                    1. I really like the burger at Bouley Upstairs, although you may have to order any sides separately, which would push it over $15. It just tastes like good, flavorful, steaky beef (with very good bread, too). They're also really good at getting both a solid sear and a consistent dark pink but not raw medium rare through the whole patty. They must finish it in the oven given the thickness.