The definition of “sleeper” when used in this context, is “something that’s an unexpected success”. So when I say “sleeper burger”, I mean burgers that are delicious but fly under the radar at places you wouldn’t expect. Not burgers that will put you to sleep. Just wanted to be clear on that.
I have been blogging and eating in this city for a long time, and by far one of the most asked questions is “what’s the best burger in NYC?” And while I have plenty of places for you, there’s also 10 other publications that created nearly the same lists as mine – the Infatuation crew did a nice roundup of best burgers in NYC and I can safely say I agree with all of them, I would just add in Hard Times Sundaes.
So without further ado, here is my list of places with burgers that are surprisingly awesome.
Top 5 Sleeper Burgers in NYC
- La Pecora Bianca. This modern Italian restaurant with locations in Midtown and Flatiron is always packed with people drinking their house rose and twirling some of the best pastas in town. But if you go during lunch, you MUST try their LPB Burger (featured photo): two short rib and brisket patties, fontina cheese, pancetta, pickled peperoncini, and Calabrian chili aoili served with crispy smashed potatoes ($18). It’s so flavorful and the smashed potatoes on the side are so crispy you could probably cut someone with them. But don’t do that. Eat them instead. Menu here.
- Flip Sigi. This Filipino street food joint is known for their Plan B-Rito (aka the morning after drinking burrito to cure those nasty hangovers), chicken and pork adobo bowls with garlic and coconut fried rice, and more. But their burger is a twist on the In-N-Out burger, with two patties, american cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and secret fili-style banana pepper ketchup. $10.95. Menu here.
- Lure Fishbar. Ok, I’ll admit I haven’t been back here in a while, but I remember this seafood-centric spot had an amazing burger. You get it with “The Works” and it comes with caramelized onions, bacon jam, shaved pickles, and two big, crispy onion rings on top. $22. Menu here.
- Le Rivage. The main reason I like this burger is because it’s on an English Muffin. Full disclosure. The French Onion Soup Burger is a double patty topped with stewed onions (a la classic French Onion soup), Emmental cheese, and bechamel sauce. This burger was the winner of the NYCWFF 2013. Menu here.
- Jack & Fanny’s. This cocktail bar on the UES has shockingly good food. It’s so unassuming inside with it’s laid back 70’s vibes, I would have never guessed that the burger would be so tasty. The double patty Pat LaFrieda short rib and chuck blend is cooked perfectly, then piled high with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and a special sauce that had a sweet kick to it. Bonus: they have a bocce ball court in the back of the bar. What a time to be alive. Menu here.