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May 19, 2010 02:15 PM

downtown brooklyn lunchtime burger round-up

Been working on livingston street betwixt cobble-hill and downtown brooklyn/brooklyn heights for a while now and have been doing some lunchtime hamburger recon that I thought may benefit others working in the area (or on jury duty).

There are basically three paths one can take: montague street, smith street, and atlantic avenue. Montague street offers 5 guys burger and fries, which is admittedly a delicious super greasy bomb of a burger but a bit pricey for fast food IMO. There is also grand canyon and the happy days diner on Montague, both of which are decent but nothing to shout about.

Atlantic avenue offers the waterfront ale house, which is my #2 choice, as well as numerous non-burger options (banh mi at Nicky's, middle-eastern offerings at Sahadi's and waterfalls cafe.)

Smith street offers the "New" St. Clair diner which is a better diner burger than that of the Happy days diner on Montague and the New Apollo diner on livingston st, but lo and behold I discovered the best lunchtime burger is at Bar Tabac. Delicious, done to perfection on a light toasted bun with fantastic fries and salad.

I was surprised by this because Bar Tabac always struck me as the kind of faux-french clip joint that would be annoying and have overpriced/bad food, but for this purpose, anyway, it came out #1 in my semi-exhaustive study.

Anyone think of anyplace notable I missed within these boundries?

187 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Bar Tabac
128 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

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  1. If walk down Atlantic Ave the other way (towards Flatbush), Downtown Atlantic has decent burgers. They are open for lunch everyday except Monday.

    Downtown Atlantic
    364 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

    2 Replies
    1. re: parkslopemama

      If you are going to go all the way to Downtown Atlantic, you might want to check out the burgers at Building on Bond (Pacific & Bond). They are mixed with chorizo and super delicious. The place is lovely, with outdoor cafe seating.

      And not a burger, but the smoked meat and pastrami sandwiches at Mile End on Hoyt between Atlantic & Pacific definitely greasy, meaty delights. Seating can be challenging, but take it to go and make your officemates green with envy.

      These are a bit far for jury duty, but great for longish lunches.

      Downtown Atlantic
      364 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

      Building on Bond
      112 Bond St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

      Mile End
      97 Hoyt St, Brooklyn, NY 11217

      1. re: parkslopemama

        IMHO, the burger at Downtown Atlantic is overground and lacking in flavor, love the rest of the menu there, except for the pulled pork

        Downtown Atlantic
        364 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11217

      2. Assuming they're still in business, I can't recommend Ultimate Burgers and Dogs enough! They're on Degraw between Court and Clinton. I'll warn you now, though -- opinion in the blogosphere/chowsphere is quite divided. They don't ask what you want on it and the bun is an untoasted potato roll. It's a perfectly seasoned, remarkably tasty, slightly greasy burger. Perfect as far as I'm concerned, but YMMV.

        Word is the place in the old Patois spot -- JB's Burger -- is "not even trying."

        Ultimate Burgers and Dogs
        243 Degraw St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

        JB's Burger
        255 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231

        1 Reply
        1. re: rhodes553

          went last night for dinner, so, yes, they are still in business. They custom-made my burger, so not sure what is meant by "they don't ask you what you want on it". I had it exactly as I requested and it was fantastic.

        2. The Burgers and Fries /.Fried Onion Rings at HEIGHTS CAFE on Montague Street are excellent. Sitting outside on their terrace in balmy weather is delightful. Great salads as well.

          A very good Burger and Fries at a much lower price can be found at TERESA'S on Montague Street. They, too, have a charming outdoor terrace Cafe.

          1. Union Pacific (I think that's the name) on Smith Street makes a delicious burger and great fries.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Claire

              I went to JB's burger about 2 weeks ago and actually had a very solid burger there - cooked perfectly medium rare. I got bleu cheese, if it matters. Though, it was nearly empty and I don't think they will last! I could certainly see them being inconsistent. But for what its worth: when they are on, its definitely one of the better burgers in the area.