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Day-trip to NYC, 3 of NYC's best burgers in one day

I wanted to do a Burger Tour of NYC for my blog and wanted some opinions of where I should visit. Please keep in mind that I don't care for Shake Shack. Not at all.

Where would you have me go and why?

My first itinerary featured The Spotted Pig, Peter Luger's, and either JG Melon or Corner Bistro. What would you recommend? Also, this could be during the week or the weekend, either way.

As always: thanks for replying.

Peter Luger
255 Northern Blvd, Great Neck, NY 11021

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  1. minetta tavern
    peter lugers
    burger joint

    1. I have never had a burger at Lugers but I think you should keep that one. I would also suggest.

      Donovans Pub in Woodside Queens. It is an excellent burger without the hype or price of a steakhouse.

      If you want to all out try Old Homestaed a bit pricey but once in a lifetime it needs to be done. The prime burger is a real treat but like 80 bucks. They have a Kobe burger for about 20 bucks and worth every penny.

      There are so many great burgers in NY. Minetta Tavern, City Hall & Black Iron are also first class. IMO you will not regret any of these.
      Let us know what you end up with.


      1. lugers is lunch time only,never had it though, possibly try something like schnippers and shake shack .schnippers seems to get glossed over and i haven't been for awhile, but the supplier is now la frieda, and it was already very good (imho). probably go to schnippers and then just subway ride to shake shack or the other way around *L*

        1 Reply
        1. re: rich51

          You fail at reading. Thanks for the reply though!

          Right now it's looking like Shopsin's (so I can try their sliders and the monstrocity that is the Mo'Jemima) and then Luger's and my favorite burger as a benchmark The Spotted Pig. It just sucks that they don't take reservations so scheduling our return bus trip will be tough.

          Thanks for the replies!

        2. For sure The Corner Bistro!!!! That place has been one of my favs for the past 12 years. Its a great old school bar with the best burgers, simple. There maybe a long line early evening into the night, so I would always go in the afternoon to avoid the crazy line. But the line does move quick.

          Walker's is another must!! Another one of my favs. A good local restaurant/pub with excellent food. Its been around a long time.

          Just recently went to BLT Berger, and it was very good. Lots of deferent kinds of burgers.

          Black Market too has very good burgers! And good vibe.

          The Spotted Pig and Peter Luger's have very good burgers too. I don't like the Spotted Pig's fries, and you can't substitute for something else. Luger's you can only get at lunch time, but good. And they have thick cut bacon by the slice which is a must try.

          I don't know JG Melon or the Shake Shack.

          2 Replies
          1. re: messhall77

            There are waay too many burger joints in this town!!!

            1. re: messhall77

              I think the spotted pig is really good so I second that reccommentdation. My favorite burger is now at the monkey bar. I really think it's the best!! The corner bistro is too big and greasy.

            2. The burger at DB Bistro is supposed to be pretty amazing...haven't checked it out myself but have heard great things

              2 Replies
              1. re: jp10509

                DB Bistro burger is AMAZING short ribs and foie
                got me eating meat after 12 years

                1. re: Asumnuthin

                  Wow- that sounds wonderful. Will put it on the list for next week.


              2. We've made a few burger runs to NYC and have tasted 6 of the seemingly hundreds of burgers NYC has to offer.

                Even though you should have already made your day trip months ago, I'll throw in my $.02 in case you go back or for anyone else who may be reading and interested.

                Listed in best to worst:

                BareBurger - We had visited the 514 3rd Ave location in Manhattan (they have a few other locations sprinkled throughout the boroughs) and were extremely happy.
                It has a modern hippy vibe with a heavy thought to being green, all natural, hormone free and organic. They have excellent burgers and it's quality you can actually taste. As an added bonus, they not only have beef, turkey, and veggie, but (for a small additional price) they offer elk, bison, lamb, and ostrich (I highly recommend the ostrich!).

                Big Nick's Burger & Pizza Joint - Their Broadway location (between 76th and 77th) has a more fun ‘burger dive’ feel. They have a seemingly endless list of burger varieties, use only 100% Angus beef, and are one of the few places that will still cook it the way you like it (including extra rare). I’ve been going there for years and I’m a huge fan of both their bistro and garlic burgers, but any from their lengthy list will be excellent.

                Shake Shack - I’m surprised you didn’t care for it as both of us definitely enjoyed ours. It offered fast food speed and price, but offered a higher level of quality/ taste. The downside is that, like many places, they only offer their meat cooked one way (charred and well done), but, for us, their seasonings and ability to keep it juicy made up for that.

                Jackson Hole - They have a few locations, we had visited their spot at 521 3rd Ave. It was a decent burger, but a little pricey. Unfortunately, they seemed to favor quantity over quality so we ended up with a whole lot of mediocre burger. I’m usually a fan of a big and juicy burger, but theirs seemed extra heavy and greasy (which essentially turned their bun into a soggy, slimy mess).

                Corner Bistro - (331 W 4th St) I don’t understand all of the praise this place receives. It’s a good burger, no doubt, but that’s all it is. Their ‘beef:bun:toppings’ ratios were spot on which made every bite enjoyable, but their ingredients tasted fresh from the freezer and nothing special. The ambiance was nice, if a little over crowded, and them using the bacon grease for the fries was a nice added touch, but it’s the $2.50 draft beer that makes this place a stand-out... not the burgers as many claim.

                The Burger Joint - Tucked and hidden away in the Parker Meridian Hotel (119W 56th) is the Burger Joint. While it has it’s share of fans and great reviews, we were left wondering how that was possible. It was barely an average burger, charred beyond recognition, and grossly over covered in their mixture of condiments (an obvious and poor attempt to mask that any other flavor is missing). Finding the place is an experience in itself, but the burger was barely a step above a Big Mac.

                Big Nick's Burger & Pizza Joint
                2175 Broadway, NY 10024

                Manhattan, NY 10024

                2 Replies
                1. re: 50BurgersOrBust

                  "The downside is that, like many places, they only offer their meat cooked one way (charred and well done),"

                  The POS has keys for rare, medium, and well-done, at least in Madison Square Park and on the Upper West Side. The times I haven't specified, it has generally come medium.

                  1. re: meatme

                    Thank you for correcting me. We didn't see the option listed anywhere and they definitely didn't ask us, but if we can specify how we want them to cook them, that will definitely make us want to raise our already high review of 'Shake Shack' higher. I'm now eager to try it.