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.
Favorite NYC 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.
- 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, back when baseball was a thing.
- Flip Sigi – 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.
- Andrew’s Classic BKLYN Luncheonette – Otherwise known to some as “Hard Times Sundaes”, they have a brick and mortar spot in Brooklyn. Easily one of my favorite burgers, with that classic comfort burger feel wrapped in paper. Get a double with jalapenos, cheese, and bacon. You’re welcome.
- Minetta Tavern – I revisited Minetta last December, and the Black Label Burger has been consistently one of my top burgers in NYC. It’s a very large, meatball-looking patty, which I’m usually not a fan of, but it’s somehow still excellent and melts in your mouth. No pic from me though, because it just was too dark inside so I pulled this from their IG. When I first visited in 2009 (wow), I was told they do not “allow” ketchup or cheese on their burger, but they do allow cheese now! YES. LET THEM EAT CHEESE.
- Bond St Cafe – this cafe in Gowanus is a hidden gem that has an amazing selection of sandwiches, breakfast options, and an amazing burger collab with Lucali (known for their pizza). It’s called The Lucali Burger and it’s a double cheeseburger made with Paisano beef, topped with American cheese, diced onions, and a bit of yellow mustard and ketchup. So simple, like an elevated fast food burger. GO.
- The Gotham Smash – this isn’t from a restaurant, but rather from the Gotham Burger Social Club. They do pop-ups a lot in the city, so keep your eye on the Instagram (@gothamburgersocialclub) for the next one. It’s a “smash burger” with onions, American cheese, pickles, mustard, and ketchup on a potato roll. It’s divine.
- Pastis – I was so happy to hear that Pastis is back in action after a long hiatus. One of the best burgers in town, for sure. It’s the Cheeseburger a l’Americaine, served with perfect, skinny, salty fries. Double beef patty, cheese, pickles, onions, and special sauce.
- Raoul’s Restaurant – the Au Poivre burger is a must and definitely one of those sleeper burgers you didn’t see coming. Coated in coarse black pepper, topped with melted triple cream Saint-Andre cheese, watercress, onions, and cornichons on a challah bread bun. Drool. And comes with a side of Au Poivre sauce. More drool. I haven’t been in a while so no pic, but again, pulled from their IG. And I believe now you can order their burger kits from Goldbelly!
- Nowon – first off, before we get to the burger, don’t sleep on the honey butter tots. Ok, glad we got that out of the way. Now onto the burger. Absolutely delicious dry aged Pat LaFrieda steak burger with American cheese, Kimchi mayo, and a pickle.
- Pig Beach – there is so much good food happening here, but I have to put their burger on my list. You can get it with a single or double patty, but I recommend going double. Don’t sleep on the mac n cheese or the wings either! Also a great place to eat and drink outdoors in Brooklyn! Photo cred: @nycwff
- Peter Luger – the burger at Peter Luger is only served during lunch, but it’s worth the extra long lunch break. The patty is a blend of top grade sirloin and dry aged Porterhouse trimmings, perfectly cooked (and in the case of Peter Luger, broiled perfectly) on a sesame seed bun. I do enjoy it with American cheese, but plenty of people like it without it. Your call, but I’m a cheeseburger gal.