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Peter Luger burger
Photograph: Courtesy Peter Luger

The 19 best burgers in NYC

Classic cheeseburgers, smashed stacks and unconventional favorites are all among the best burgers in NYC.

Amber Sutherland-Namako
Written by
Bao Ong
&
Amber Sutherland-Namako
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The battle over burgers in NYC is only slightly less contentious than the enduring argument over where to find the best pizza and bagels. There are so many fat, smashed, doubled and uniquely blended patties, they are almost resistant to comparison. But the very best steakhouse, dive bar, fast casual, fancy, simple and elaborate burgers in New York City all have one thing in common: they’re so good they override our desire for any other menu item time after time. 

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NYC's most trusted meat purveyor is welcomed into Time Out Market

  • Restaurants
  • DUMBO

If there’s such a thing as a celebrity butcher, Pat LaFrieda, whose name is on more great menus than Benedict and his eggs, is it. From the vaunted Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern to the Shake Shack patties, the local purveyor rules the country as the undisputed king of meat. Chefs, butchers and customers alike get their red-meat fix with a mouth-watering array of premium prime cuts. At our Dumbo market, the Brooklyn native will be serving his own signature selections of meat featured in superb cheesesteaks, burgers and ‘the world’s greatest hot dog. 

Best burgers in New York

  • Restaurants
  • Red Hook

This fancier followup to Brooklyn’s perennial favorite barbecue destination Hometown Bar-B-Que first opened its doors in 2019 with the best new burger in New York City. The quarter fat, dry-aged NY strip and chuck patty is griddled to medium rare, and sandwiched between raw white onion, American cheese and an Italian-style bun of secret origin. The accompanying few wedge fries are merely the notion of a side, but the burger is so good we don’t mind a paucity of pommes. 

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  • Bars
  • Wine bars
  • West Village
  • price 2 of 4

When we're looking for a burger, we're looking for the perfect harmony of flavors and textures to meld and sing. That's just what the Bar Sardine burger (which rose to fame at the now shuttered eponymous spot) does, balancing the savory notes of the patty with smoked cheddar and BBQ mayo for smokey and sweet highlights. Add the shoestring fries nestled under the bun and you've got yourself a symphony.

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Burger au Poivre at Raoul’s
  • Restaurants
  • French
  • Soho
  • price 4 of 4

A neighborhood staple since 1975, Raoul’s has a spendy steak, foie gras and fine wine on it’s dinner menu, but at brunch and only brunch its burger au poivre makes an appearance. The limited offering is topped with Saint-André cheese and plated with a pile of pommes frites. The restaurant famously formerly only made a dozen a day, and only served them at the bar, so the burger’s spot on Raoul’s brunch menu is kind of a big deal. 

  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • Red Hook
  • price 1 of 4

Dim and Divey, Brooklyn Ice House’s menu could have easily been an afterthought, but its burger, topped with American cheese, pickles, lettuce and tomato, is bar food at is best. Pair one with a High Life and snag a spot in the backyard for an ideal afternoon of day drinking. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Steakhouse
  • Williamsburg
  • price 4 of 4

A steakhouse landmark, Peter Luger knows as thing or two about beef. So it's no surprise that they make a killer burger, stacking over 1/2-pound of beef on a bun. While you can add American cheese or a thick slice of bacon, we're perfectly happy with keeping it simple, especiall when it tastes so good. 

  • Restaurants
  • Hamburgers
  • Lenox Hill
  • price 1 of 4

It’s an oldie but a goodie: The corner tavern has been flipping some of the best burgers in town since 1972. Griddled diner-style on a flattop, the eight-ounce, medium-rare beaut is served open-faced with melted American cheese on a lightly toasted bun with the classic fixings.

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  • Restaurants
  • Hamburgers
  • Flatiron
  • price 1 of 4

What started as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in 2001, Shake Shack has evolved into an international burger powerhouse. Thin patties of a proprietary Pat LaFrieda blend (brisket, chuck and short rib) are shellacked with tangy ShackSauce and American cheese before getting nestled in a griddled potato bun for a classed-up classic.

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  • Bars
  • Cocktail bars
  • Cobble Hill
  • price 2 of 4

At this Cobble Hill bar, you'll come for the drinks and stay for the burger (or maybe it's the other way around). Either way, just be sure to order this two-patty stack coated in housemade American cheese and fancy sauce, the high-society cousin of special sauce.

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The Original at Korzo
  • Bars
  • Beer bars
  • South Slope
  • price 1 of 4

Locally beloved for its $4 house draughts, Korzo is also famed for its langoš-wrapped burgers. The original takes a proprietary beef patty blend, Emmentaler cheese, applewood bacon, house-made beet mustard and the pickle of the day and encases it all in fried dough. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Israeli
  • Chelsea
  • price 1 of 4

In addition to some Middle Eastern classics, Miznon offers up its version of a cheeseburger, all wrapped up in a pita (making it extra portable). The pocket’s stuffed with white cheddar, garlic aioli, sour cream, tomato and pickles

Looking for more griddled grub?

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