Best burgers in New York

Gotham's all-time greatest patties.

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New York’s burger wars are infamous, making a civic obsession of boutique meat blends, thoughtful toppings and the perfect bun to hold the whole messy package together. But with so many new contenders popping up at a head-snapping pace, it can be tough to keep track of NYC’s must-try burgers. Happily, we’ve done the legwork for you, and compiled our findings in this list of New York’s all-time greatest patties. Did we miss your favorite NYC spot? Join the conversation in the comments.

RECOMMENDED: All of NYC's best burgers

The Cardinal

  • Price band: 2/4

This refreshingly simple cheeseburger reminds us of the best kind of backyard cookout. While there’s no charcoal grill hiding in his kitchen, North Carolina native Curtis Brown does right by the proprietary Ottomanelli Brothers patty, trapping its copious juices with a sear in a cast-iron skillet, then serving it with American cheese, onions, Bibb lettuce and a Martin’s potato roll. A zingy mustard-BBQ sauce adds some understated Southern flair, and house-made pickles and chips complete the platter.

  1. 234 E 4th St, (between Aves A and B)
Book online

Petey’s Burger

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

West Coasters love to tout the burger-building prowess of California drive-ins, but this Astoria fast-food spot gives them a run for their money. The addictive “double cheese”—a squishy toasted bun sandwiching two juicy patties cloaked in melted American cheese and brightened by raw onion, iceberg lettuce and tomato—is a gloriously greasy retort to Golden State smugness. A Thousand Island–like special sauce, slightly acidic, with a hint of ketchupy sweetness, drips through the whole messy package.

  1. 30-17 30th Ave, (at 31st St)
More info

Shake Shack

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

Danny Meyer’s wildly popular Madison Square Park concession stand is still mobbed with hour-long lines during the summer; in chilly weather, heat lamps provide the warmth for you to get your burger fix. Sirloin and brisket are ground daily for the excellent patties, and the franks are served Chicago-style on poppy seed buns with a “salad” of toppings and a dash of celery salt.

  1. Madison Square Park, 23rd St, (at Madison Ave)
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Back Forty

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

The gastropub fare from chef-restaurateur Peter Hoffman (Savoy) is uniformly solid and we’re particularly partial to the juicy grass-fed burger, which comes on a seeded challah bun with house-made pickles and proprietary ketchup. (Fries, farmhouse cheddar and heritage bacon can be added for an additional $2 each.)

  1. 190 Ave B, (between 11th and 12th Sts)
More info

Peaches HotHouse

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Co-owner Craig Samuel named his layered house burger, the Full JimCade, after his insatiable uncle-in-law. Black Angus beef from Creekstone Farms and a springy Il Forno bun form the spine of the over-the-top burg’. Samuel piles it on with sharp Swiss, sautéed onions and two meaty strips of applewood-smoked bacon, plus a crispy, tart disc of fried green tomato.

  1. 415 Tompkins Ave, (at Hancock St)
More info

Roberta's

Chef Carlo Mirarchi has amassed acclaim for his composed plates at Roberta’s, but for his purist patty he leaves well enough alone. The burger sports just American cheese, onion and romaine, letting the quality of its main ingredients shine. The pan-seared round, a custom blend from Pat LaFrieda, bursts with complex dry-aged flavors. Equal attention is paid to the accompanying roll: The house-made beauty boasts a moist buttery crumb.

  1. 261 Moore St, (at Bogart St)
More info

Steak 'n Shake Signature

  • Price band: 1/4

When this pedigreed Midwest import made its triumphant NYC debut earlier this year, it became an instant contender for the city’s best under-$5 burger. The original Double ’n Cheese Steakburger features two patties smashed thin and crispy on the griddle, then draped with just-melted American cheese and sandwiched inside a soft, buttery bun. Since the Gotham storefront maintains the same prices as the chain’s nationwide locations, the whole greasy package will set you back just $3.99, including fries.

  1. 1695 Broadway, (between 53rd and 54th Sts)
More info

Saxon + Parole

  • Price band: 3/4

For a splurgeworthy steakhouse-style burger, look to Saxon + Parole’s meaty half-pounder. While chef Brad Farmerie (Public) pimps it out with plenty of upmarket tweaks—a fried egg, nutty Pennsylvania Havarti, maple bacon and a house-made “everything” brioche bun—they all play supporting roles to the deeply flavorful dry-aged Angus beef blend. Order it medium-rare to best appreciate the distinct mineral tang of the meat, which remains juicy and pink beneath a thick, gorgeously charred crust.

  1. 316 Bowery, (at Bleecker St)
Book online

Corner Bistro

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

The burgers at this dimly lit Village standby are legendary, and the New Yorkers who love them legion. You may have to wait in line for a good hour to get your hands on one (and you will need both hands). Fortunately, several $2.50 drafts (including McSorley’s Ale) will help you bide your time, as will the Yankees on the tube, and a jukebox that plays everything from Calexico to Coltrane. Go for the Bistro Burger, a fat patty of broiled beef, cheese and smoky bacon on a sesame-seed bun for $6.75. A plate of crisp shoestring fries will run you $2.50, but they’re totally beside the point.

  1. 331 W 4th St, (at Jane St), 10014
More info

The Spotted Pig

  • Price band: 2/4
  • Critics choice

Blame consulting chef Mario Batali and talented toque April Bloomfield for the inevitable wait at this still-hopping West Village gastropub. The burger is a must-order: A top-secret blend of ground beef is grilled rare (unless otherwise requested), covered with a heap of Roquefort cheese and plated under a tower of rosemary- and garlic-kissed shoestring fries. Wash that down with the Pig’s proprietary cask-drawn ale.

  1. 314 W 11th St, (at Greenwich St), 10014-23
More info


Users say

8 comments
Alyssa
Alyssa

My personal favorite that did not make the list are the burgers in the Village Joker (St. Marks between 1st and Ave A.) Soooo underrated!

ken
ken

Jackson Hole burgers are some of the best in the city

jenifer
jenifer

So great to enjoy ! Love burger so much! I think they should be listed in http://restaau.co.uk/ to find it easily. Because it helps you to get the latest information for nearly 90,000 restaurants across most of cities in UK.

Joe Kowalczyk
Joe Kowalczyk

Pipers Kilt in the Bronx. Their "Bronx Bomber" is the best of all-time!

Oliver
Oliver

Most underrated burger, and best in Brooklyn (so far) is the burger at the Gordon Bennett in Williamsburg. S6th and Bedford...

Ben
Ben

I like the range of burgers represented here. The Spotted Pig's burger is a delight. I think people should know about and be talking about the Roebling Tea Room burger. I haven't been that moved by a burger in a while. Get it with American Cheese and their special sauce and however you want it cooked. It comes out looking so sexy. The bun is a real treat too.

Dawn
Dawn

"Five Napkin Burger" @ 45th and 9th .... is still my choice!!

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