I’m not going to lie to you. This was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.
Choosing a favorite burger in NYC is like choosing a favorite child (I bet). There’s so many good ones, but I’ve been eating here for a long time, and I think these are my favorites. Some have been on my list since the dawn of time (Minetta Tavern), and some have been added within the past 2 years (Emmy, Hard Times Sundaes). My burger intake has steadily increased over the years (along with my waistline), so I may even be missing one or two, but this is a solid place to start.
Top 10 Favorite Burgers - NYC
- Emily – The Emmy Burger has been at the top of most “best burger” lists for at least 2 years now. There’s a reason. Perfectly seasoned, cooked, and topped with the signature Emmy sauce. I promise you, this is not one to miss.
- The Beatrice Inn – one of my favorite places in NYC is the Beatrice Inn. Chef Angie Mar is a savage in the tiny West Village kitchen, creating things like Bone Marrow Creme Brûlée and Sticky Buns with Foie Gras Caramel. But in terms of savory, the burger will forever be one of my all time faves. Red wine caramelized onions, d’affinois cheese, truffle, and a duck egg. It’s super rich, but wash it down with a smoked Manhattan and you have my death row meal right there.
- Black Iron Burger – the Mushroom Truffle burger is AMAZING, but the namesake Black Iron Burger might be my favorite. They do not skimp on the cheese in this place, and they do not skimp on the char. Double grilled patty, double horseradish cheddar, stout caramelized onions, and their special horseradish mayo. Drool city.
- Mister Dips – in the William Vale park sits this retro airstream RV with burgers, floats, fries, and ice cream cones by Andrew Carmellini. The Special Dip burger with hatch chilies and jack cheese and sriarcha verde is my favorite, but believe it or not they make one of my favorite veggie burgers too. If you can stand the wind up there, you should try one of the ice cream cones or “Dairy Dips” – the Jacker Crax is my jam.
- Shake Shack – if you can bear the long lines, it’s worth the wait. Hands down one of my favorite thin patty, smash-style burgers in town. The Shack Sauce also goes great with the fries, FYI. And yes, this one was at Citifield for a Mets game.
- 2nd City – the Fil N Out Burger is chef Jordan Andino’s take on the In N Out burger and you know what? It’s got some brawn behind those buns. I love In N Out burger (as most New Yorkers do, because we want what we can’t have), and I will happily say that this is different, but just as delicious. Get there now.
- Midnights – Bacon. Torched Cheese. Perfect Patty. Just head to Williamsburg and try it. I housed it within maybe 5 minutes during a shoot for a video I was working on. Beer + burger = happy Dara.
- Hard Times Sundaes – If you find yourself in the Grand Central area and hungry, skip the concourse downstairs and head over to Urban Space Vanderbilt, where they have a brick and mortar spot. Easily one of my favorite new burgers I tried in the past year or two. Get a double with jalapenos, cheese, and bacon. You’re welcome.
- Vaucluse – I love a good Michael White restaurant, and I usually love it for the pasta, but the White Label Burger at Vaucluse is damn good. A little greasy maybe, but in that meaty, good way that makes you take a nap right after.
- Minetta Tavern – I haven’t actually been back to Minetta in years (so no pic – sorry), but this has been consistently one of my top burgers in NYC. I had friends go recently and they confirmed it still lives up to the hype. No confirmation on whether or not they let you add cheese though. When I first visited in 2009 (wow), I was told they do not “allow” ketchup or cheese on their burger. It doesn’t need it, but still that’s a bit pretentious in my opinion. LET THEM EAT CHEESE.