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Where are the Best Gourmet Burgers? [moved from Manhattan]

Cheeseburgers are probably one of my most favorite foods to eat, and I have to say, I think of myself as quite a connoisseur. With all of the new gourmet burger places popping up, I was wondering if anyone had a favorite. Some of the best I've been to are Bobby Flay's Burger Place, Five Guys Burgers, and Red Robin would top my favorites list. I hope there are more out there that I missed, so I can check them out.


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  1. Black label at Minetta Tavern

    1. If Five Guys is a gourmet burger, what category does something like the DB burger belong in?

      5 Replies
      1. re: Bkeats

        Hi, sorry I should have been clearer. Gourmet means it is a high-quality product, and/or prepared with a high level of skill. When Bobby Flay's opened, the reviews were "everything is great except the meat."

        Bobby produced a show on Food Network called Meat Men, and one of the things they do is make custom grinds for burgers. I suspect, they did a grind for Bobby, shortly after the launch of this restaurants, because his gourmet burger went on to win the People's Choice award at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival Burger Bash in Feb 2013.

        So I would call these gourmet because of the grind and the preparation. It's one of the few places I have been to that will cook a rare burger. Here's a picture.

        I've never been to DB.

        1. re: NicoleDiLayne

          I think you'll find this to be quite a knowledgeable group. We have been enjoying Pat Lafrieda custom blends for quite some time.

          1. re: thegforceny

            That's great =) Do you know if they are supplying the meat for the burgers at Bobby Flay's? I'm just dying to know.

          2. re: NicoleDiLayne

            "It's one of the few places I have been to that will cook a rare burger."

            What? I think you have been going to the wrong places. Try Shake Shack, Blue Smoke, Burger & Barrel, Diner, Spotted Pig, Market Table, DBGB, Landmarc, Minetta Tavern, any good steakhouse...

            Have you done any burger research on this board, Grub Street, Time Out, or Serious Eats?

            1. re: NicoleDiLayne

              Your list isn't what comes to mind when I think gourmet burgers. The list is more like what burger chains do you like that are not McD, BK, WC or Wendy's. Five Guys, Red Robin? Sure those are better than McD but really, that's the best you have had? You haven't even listed Shake Shack or In and Out as among the better chains. Never had a 2x2 animal style or a Shack Stack? If that's the best you have had, I would not wear the badge of a connoisseur just yet. You've missed a quite a bit but I suspect you may get a shock with the DB Burger at $32.

          3. Burgers are one of the most subjective and divisive topics on these boards.

            Maybe you could clarify what you mean by "gourmet burger" since, love it or hate it, I doubt many would put Five Guys in that category?

            1 Reply
            1. re: lexismore

              Noted, and sorry for the lack of detail. Here's a Business Insider article on the expanding gourmet burger business, of which Five Guys is featured. But I do realize it is all a personal taste, no pun intended.


            2. Agree with others - you list fast food burgers. (Is there even a Red Robin in NYC? Or a Bobby Flay's for that matter?) For NYC, 'gourmet' burgers are db Bistro Moderne, Minetta's Black Label, maybe Spotted Pig.

              1. At a similar price point to those you mentioned nyc now has a fat burger (i can't vouch for it myself)

                1 Reply
                1. re: Ttrockwood

                  I have heard a lot about Fat Burgers and I didn't know opened locally, thanks for the tip!

                2. Too bad we don't have Carl's Jr in the city.

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: zeeEats

                    ... or Sonic.

                    I'd love to take a car service through their drive-in.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Sonic is coming to us in Staten Island. I'll drive you there ipsedixit


                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I went to the Giants-Patriots Superbowl in AZ and stayed right across the street from a Sonic. I thought the ads over promised and under delivered a little bit.

                        1. re: NicoleDiLayne

                          It's a $5 burger (with fries and a drink incl.), what were you expecting?

                        2. re: ipsedixit

                          Why? Its no different from any other fast food burger...actually there are many that are better.

                        3. re: zeeEats

                          Love Carl's (used to be Hardee's if I remember correctly) I go there when I'm in North Carolina, but I would put them at the top of the fast food list. It is a frozen burger.

                          1. re: NicoleDiLayne

                            I'm not trying to be rude, but may I ask why you posted this on the Manhattan board? None of the places you're mentioned, or touting, are Manhattan-centric at all, nor in the same as what many of us would agree to be the best burgers in the city.

                            1. re: NicoleDiLayne

                              Carl's Jr and Hardee's are similar, but not the same, or "used to be". They've always been separate. Carl's in the west, Hardee's in the midwest/east.

                                1. re: juliejulez

                                  Carl's bought Hardee's a few years back...

                                  1. re: carolinadawg

                                    The company that owns Carl's purchased Hardee's in 1997.

                                    I ate at a Hardee's at the end of 2010 and some things were similar... especially the style of the restaurants, the logo etc, but the food was different. For example, Carl's has criss cut waffle fries, Hardee's has curly fries. Burgers were a bit different too.

                                    1. re: juliejulez

                                      "The company that owns Carl's purchased Hardee's in 1997."

                                      Yeah, I know, that what I said in my post.

                                      1. re: carolinadawg

                                        I am aware. Although 16 years ago is more than "a few" :)

                              1. re: zeeEats

                                I'd like a MOS Burger in Midtown.

                                Pfuh. More like the East Village.

                              2. considering your baseline, i suggest you move in stages. maybe start at Burger Joint, then move up to Shake Shack, and leap into Corner Bistro. You'll then be ready for Spotted Pig, then The Dutch, and finally Minetta. you could do permanent damage going from Red Robin to Minetta in one move.

                                2 Replies
                                  1. Umami
                                    although I only know the LA restaurants

                                    1. Well its safe to say now I spoke too soon ;)
                                      I like coasts' answer the most but something tells me the OP isnt talking about NYC

                                      1. never tried it myself, but would definitely suggest peter luger, at lunch time only-they serve a burger that is ground from the trimmings of their steaks- supposed to be and i'm sure it is very good. (brooklyn)

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: 51rich

                                          Great idea, the steaks are very good. I would have never thought of them for burgers.

                                          1. re: NicoleDiLayne

                                            again, they only serve them at lunch and possibly only during the week.

                                        2. might want to consider white manna in jersey- well known for sliders. also check out road food.com for suggestions in your area

                                          1. "gourmet" and burgers should not be in the same sentence...kobe this and duck liver that, bleah. A hamburger should not be fru-fru. And Minetta's? I believe that was in the NYTimes recently, $20 something for a burger. And they think country folk are rubes

                                            4 Replies
                                            1. re: BiscuitBoy

                                              Meh. I got no problem with high-end ingredients. My problem is when you put kung pao shrimp on a bun and call it a "burger."

                                                1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                  If I were a cynical hound I would probably believe that they offer a $28 burger just to make their $19 burger seem reasonable... (g)

                                                  1. re: Servorg

                                                    cynical nothing. it's called marketing.

                                              1. Burger Joint -- no, i mean it. go to this place.
                                                you will enjoy, and it will be totally silly, and fun!

                                                Classic hole in the wall (can't you tell from the name)
                                                buried discreetly in Le Parke Meridien(sp?).

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: Chowrin

                                                  burger joint is definitely worth a try, almost a "club" as the entrance is partially hidden by a curtain and unless you know about it, may not find them, although nowadays the line is usually long enough that you see it, be forewarned there is a hallway (and more waiting) once past the curtain. also close to there is rizzoli books- definitely a place to explore