Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right New York State icon-chevron-right New York icon-chevron-right Meet your meaty contenders for Battle of the Burger 2016

Meet your meaty contenders for Battle of the Burger 2016

It’s that time, burger lovers—feast your eyes on the beefy challengers of this year’s Battle of the Burger

Battle of the Burger 2016
By Christina Izzo |
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Burgers are some of New York’s most beloved and democratic eats, rivaling fellow crowd-pleasing comforts like pizza and bagels. So when it came time to vote for the best burgers in NYC, it was only natural that we left the judging up to you burger-loving New Yorkers. From top-rate cheap burgers to old-school classics and upmarket riffs, these are your 69 Battle of the Burger contenders, presented by Budweiser.

RECOMMENDED: See more on the Battle of the Burger

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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, Steakhouse

American Cut

icon-location-pin Tribeca

The cat’s out of the bag for Marc Forgione’s off-menu burger: Every day, the Tribeca steakhouse tweets out the day’s availability of burgers—sometimes 10, a dozen if the team’s feeling generous. (It’s first come, first served and only available at the bar.) You’ll understand what all the fuss is about when you nab one, with a melt-upon-contact beef blend loaded on a house-made bun with beer cheese and caramelized onions. 

2
barboulud1
Restaurants, French

Bar Boulud

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

The mostly humble niche eateries—whether it’s ChikaLicious Puddin’ or the dueling mac-and-cheese emporiums—have got haute company. With Bar Boulud, the formidable Daniel Boulud tackles meatier French fare like terrines, bistro standards (coq au vin, blood sausage) and a Francophilic burger crowned with pork-belly confit and raclette.

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3
Battle of the Burger 2014
Restaurants, American

Bill’s Bar and Burger

icon-location-pin Midtown West

The menu at this chain's flagship centers on an intensely juicy burger, a custom mixture from Pat LaFrieda served on a soft, simple bun. Other offerings include hot dogs, chicken wings, onion rings, milkshakes and crispy veggie fries. The no-frills space offers refuge to local workers and tourists alike, with a bar area resembling an old-school pub lined with local paintings.

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blackironburger2
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Black Iron Burger Shop

icon-location-pin East Village

This East Village hole-in-the-wall serves fine budget burgers, griddled to order by a grease-splattered cook. The house-special Iron Horse burger—two patties with grilled onion and strong horseradish cheddar—is a delicious, sinus-clearing concoction. It goes awfully well with a side of extra-crispy onion rings and a thick chocolate shake, blended behind the bar by the waiter (who is also the bartender and host).

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5
All-American Burger at Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer
Photograph: Courtesy of Black Tap Craft Burgers & Beer
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Black Tap: Craft Burgers & Beers

icon-location-pin Soho

Michelin-starred chef Joe Isidori (Chalk Point Kitchen, Las Vegas's DJT) grills hefty sandwiches, like a chorizo burger with pico de gallo and a blue-cheese–topped steak au poivre, at this low-key patty joint.

6
Blarney Rock
Bars, Sports Bars

Blarney Rock

icon-location-pin Midtown West

The Rock’s proximity to Madison Square Garden isn’t the only reason to visit this bar: There’s a sizable selection of tap and bottled beers and enough TVs to keep you abreast of the action. Elbowroom is plentiful most nights (unless the Knicks or Rangers are hosting a team worth watching), and the burger is no-frills and respectable.

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7
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Blue Collar

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

This cheery hole-in-the-wall is the Bruce Springsteen of burger stops—a no-fuss nod to the greasy-spoon glory days of roadside diners. The Flat Top burger—griddle-pressed à la In-N-Out—is swaddled in a squishy Martin’s potato roll with gooey American cheese, lettuce, tomato, chopped onion, pickles and mayo-based special sauce. Split-and-seared beef franks get a zippy lift from tangy kraut; shoestring fries are salty and crisp; and thick milk shakes are hand-spun.

8
Bobby's Burger Palace
Photograph: Daniel Krieger
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Bobby’s Burger Palace

icon-location-pin Long Island

Celebutoque Bobby Flay (Gato, Mesa Grill) is behind this regional American chain, with a location inside New York’s Roosevelt Field shopping mall. Here, diners can choose their burger base—certified Angus beef, ground turkey or whole chicken breast—and toppings, with options like Philly-style provolone and grilled onions, or a West Coast-repping version with avocado relish and watercress. Make it “crunchified” with crispy potato chips on top.

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9
Breslin
Photograph: Michael Alexander
Restaurants, British

The Breslin Bar & Dining Room

icon-location-pin Flatiron

The third project from restaurant savant Ken Friedman and Anglo chef April Bloomfield offers the most opulently fatty food in New York—served in medieval portions in a raucous rock-and-roll setting. Here, as at the Spotted Pig, the burger is the most frugal main course—which only partly explains its popularity. A puck of lamb, gorgeously charred and deftly spiced, is a delectable handful, layered with feta and cumin mayo inside a pliant bun. The thick golden “chips” served with it are fried three times, until they’re crunchy on the outside and like mashed potatoes within.

10
Steak House Burger at Brindle Room
Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson
Restaurants, American

Brindle Room

icon-location-pin East Village

New York City chefs are caught in a comfort-food holding pattern—what’s a restaurant these days without a porkcentric menu, fried-chicken specials and classic cocktails? In this era of culinary regression, unassuming Brindle Room offers something audacious: well-executed international fare that’s mature and refined without being stuffy. The team has compiled an equally disciplined menu, featuring a list of “spreads," small plates and entrees that include a burger boasting pedigreed meat (dry-aged and deckle trimming).

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burgerandbarrel02
Photograph: Virginia Rollison
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Burger & Barrel

icon-location-pin Soho

Restaurateur John McDonald and chef Josh Capon, the pair behind Lure Fishbar, shift their focus from surf to turf at this gastropub. Capon's signature burger is on the menu here—a combination of a ground beef patty topped with American cheese, caramelized onions and bacon jam. There's also a simpler "Classic" cheeseburger, crowned with American cheese and pickles. Regardless of the toppings, it's Capon’s proprietary LaFrieda beef blend that stands out; the patties are fattened with marbled flat-iron steak mixed in with chuck and short rib.

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Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Burger Joint

icon-location-pin Midtown West

Kitsch and chichi mingle at this tiny, hidden spot in the posh Parker Meridien. It’s a perfectly re-created burger emporium circa 1972, down to the “wood” paneling, vinyl booths and iconic ingredients, such as Heinz ketchup and Arnold’s buns. The burgers are picture-perfect, too—juicy and flavorful with the perfect degree of char. Get “the works,” with tomato, lettuce, pickle, mayo and red onion. The fries are only fair, but milk shakes are thick and good.

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13
Restaurants, American creative

Church Street Tavern

icon-location-pin Tribeca

This 1900s-inspired den churns out American fare (tomato-cheddar pie, brick chicken), with dry-aged burgers dominating the food menu, from traditional hamburgers and cheeseburgers to a house creation loaded with bacon-onion jam, aged cheddar and arugula on toasted brioche.

14
The Clocktower
Restaurants, American

The Clocktower

icon-location-pin Flatiron

British chef Jason Atherton focuses on no-fuss tavern fare done well at the Clocktower, his handsome, mahogany-trimmed partnership with Philadelphia restaurateur Stephen Starr inside the New York Edition Hotel. There’s no toad-in-the-hole Anglicism on the menu (only imported Dover sole and upmarket fish-and-chips tip to the chef’s English heritage), but there’s a beautifully seasoned, ruby-centered skirt steak with triple-cooked chips and a gravy boat of thick béarnaise ($33), and a duteously funky dry-aged burger, laden with salty bacon, melted cheddar and Churchill sauce ($24).

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The Commodore
Bars, Gastropubs

The Commodore

icon-location-pin Williamsburg
The Commodore in Williamsburg, with its old arcade games and stereo pumping out the Knight Rider theme song, offers the city’s best cheap-ass bar eats, served in a seedy venue where folks come to get blotto. The short menu reads like a classic collection of beer-soaking comforts: Fried chicken is extra-crisp, with peppery skin and tender brined flesh, and the burger is dutifully messy, with blankets of melted cheese, chopped raw onions and shredded lettuce.
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Corner Bistro
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Corner Bistro

icon-location-pin Long Island City

Locals will find the beloved Bistro Burger (broiled beef, cheese and bacon on a sesame-seed bun) at the Long Island City outpost of the West Village institution, along with 12 draft beers (Bud Light). The decor also takes its cues from the flagship location: The laid-back 75-seat tavern features a mahogany wood bar and booths, antique brass chandeliers and a pressed-tin ceiling.

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Croton Reservoir Tavern
Photograph: Tiffany Loria
Bars, Pubs

Croton Reservoir Tavern

icon-location-pin Midtown West

This relaxed midtown spot hosts a variety of events (pre-theater prix fixes, social hours) and serves elevated American fare, like Maryland crab cakes with roasted-corn salsa, macaroni and cheese with garlic-kale cream and a truffle burger with baby arugula and crispy leeks.

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Bars, Pubs

Dave’s Tavern

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen

The Budweisers are cold and the burgers are big—a whopping ten ounces—at this Hell’s Kitchen hang. Get that beefy patty tricked out California-style with guacamole and ranch dressing; basted with hickory barbecue sauce and topped with bacon; or covered in buffalo sauce and crumbled blue cheese.

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Grassfed Burger at Diner
Photograph: Dominic Perri
Restaurants, Diners

Diner

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

Located in a tricked-out 1920s dining car that was once home to a greasy spoon, Diner has earned iconic status as the pioneer of Williamsburg’s restaurant scene. Locals steam up the windows in the winter and cram the patios during the summer for stylish, seasonal dishes. Even the burger is elegant: A plump patty of short rib, chuck and round is seared on the grill and crowned with mild Vermont white cheddar, red onion and bread-and-butter pickles.

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Doc Watson's
Photograph: Courtesy Doc Watson’s
Restaurants, Gastropubs

Doc Watson’s

icon-location-pin Upper East Side

Continue your search for the perfect pint at this uptown Irish pub. Beer-battered chicken fingers join more classic fish-and-chips and a slew of burgers (one's topped with a fried egg and Irish bacon; another, with smoky BBQ sauce and onion rings), which you can munch in a small, tranquil garden. Take your bottled Bud with you and check out live music on Sunday nights.

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The Classic at Donovan's Pub
Photograph: Michael Rudin
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Donovan’s Pub

icon-location-pin Woodside

Woodside, Queens, bustles on, but this worn Irish pub stays the same. Well-lubricated old-timers line the front bar, while the wood-paneled dining room—made all the more classic with stained-glass adornment—recalls an honest age of prechain family dining. Irish-American pub fare like steak, roast beef and shepherd’s pie dominate the menu, but it’s the renowned burger that justifies the trek: loosely formed from freshly ground New York strip, broiled to a perfect char and simply decorated with lettuce and tomato—cheese and raw onion optional. In a city lousy with buzzworthy patties, this simple warhorse is still among the best.

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Dorrian's Red Hand
Photograph: Kerry Cheeseboro
Bars

Dorrian’s Red Hand

icon-location-pin Upper East Side

Settle in at a checker–table-clothed two-top for a pint (or two) and dependable bar bites at this Upper East Side bar, which takes its name from the flag of Northern Ireland. The food menu traipses between across-the-pond classics like cottage pie and fish ’n’ chips and stateside favorites like cheeseburgers hooded with bacon-bourbon jam.

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Photograph: Jessica Lin
Bars, Sports Bars

The Dram Shop

icon-location-pin Park Slope

Copious amounts of Scotch, whiskey and bourbon are the poisons of note at this woodsy, two-floor watering hole—though a frosty mug of beer is an ideal match for Dram’s solid griddle-cooked double cheeseburger. Settle in at the 33-foot bar or bring your brew to a spacious booth. Attractions like pool, darts and shuffleboard, favored by the postcollegiate crowd, stand to give the bocce courts at nearby Union Hall a run for its money.

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The Dutch
Photograph: Noah Fecks
Restaurants, Contemporary American

The Dutch

icon-location-pin Soho

The follow-up from the team behind Tribeca sensation Locanda Verde attracts a cross section of the downtown social scene. Right from the get-go the restaurant lived up to its preopening hype, bringing real heat to Soho as Balthazar and Blue Ribbon did in the '90s. The Dutch seems destined to join the ranks of those neighborhood classics. Like the diverse crowd, the food—from virtuoso Andrew Carmellini—is eclectic: His rollicking menu reflects our increasingly free-form eating habits with loving homages to Chinatown, the barrio, Little Italy and all-American comforts like a midday double cheeseburger with secret sauce.

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Photograph: Sean Ellingson
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Dutch Boy Burger

icon-location-pin Crown Heights

Matthew Roff opened this burger joint connected to his Crown Heights bar, Franklin Park. Until 11pm, diners can order from a menu that includes grilled seven-ounce burgers like the Dutch Boy (cheddar, mushrooms, caramelized onions); after the restaurant closes, bargoers can continue to order the full menu at the bar.

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Eats on Lex

This jazzed-up corner pub turns out casual crowd-pleasers like burgers (dry-aged steak, Atlantic salmon), oysters and fruit-flavored martinis (sour cherry, mango).

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Emily
Photograph: Courtesy Emily
Restaurants, Pizza

Emily

icon-location-pin Clinton Hill

The heat of the wood-fired oven at Clinton Hill's Emily welcomes you into the cozy dining space, indicative of the charred crusts and inventive toppings to come. Though it’s a pizza joint, however, much has been said of Emily’s burger. Believe the hype and get one: Made with grass-fed, dry-aged beef, Emmy sauce, caramelized onion and Grafton cheddar served on a Tom Cat pretzel bun, it’s worth ordering even if you’re also having pizza.

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Five Guys
© Andrew Fladeboe
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

icon-location-pin Midtown West

The red-and-white–tiled burger chain—born in Arlington, VA, in 1986—opened its first NYC branch in College Point, Queens in 2007 and has since expanded with 20-plus locations throughout the five boroughs, earning a cult following with its brown-bagged fries, bottomless shell-on peanuts and local-beef burgers.

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5 Napkin Burger
Restaurants, Hamburgers

5 Napkin Burger

icon-location-pin East Village

At the upscale burger chainlet, offbeat offerings like sushi, fish tacos and French onion soup bolster the menu, which also includes the signature ten-ounce patty topped with caramelized onions, Gruyère cheese and rosemary aioli.

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Freehold
Photograph: Courtesy Freehold Brooklyn
Restaurants, Coffee shops

Freehold

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

The grassy, spacious outdoor area of this bumping Williamsburg hangout is an apt setting for a cold Bud and a house burger, finished with pickled onions, American cheese and special sauce. Once you’ve had your fill, you can challenge your bargoing buds to a match of outdoor Ping-Pong.

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Restaurants, Food court

Genuine Roadside

icon-location-pin Hell's Kitchen

You won’t find a breakdown of farm-bred meat sources on the menu at this burger joint. No organic purveyors or artisanal condiments either. Instead, you’ll find dripping, dutifully sloppy burgers flipped off the flattop—the kind that fuels family road trips along Route 66.

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The Grand Bar and Grill
Photograph: Courtesy The Grand Bar & Grill
Bars, Gastropubs

The Grand Bar & Grill

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

Post up at the restored 1870s bar at this Williamsburg gastropub for a four-buck mug of Bud and the bar’s destination-worthy eight-ounce burger, a short rib and brisket blend layered with white cheddar and pickled jalapeño mayo on a sesame-seeded bun.

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Bars, Cocktail bars

The Happiest Hour

icon-location-pin West Village

Picture Don Draper on vacation: rum cocktail in hand, wind blowing through that meticulous coif. While you may never have Jon Hamm’s cut-from-glass jawline (sorry), you can make like a Sterling Cooper adman at leisure in this retro-kitted tiki lounge, from Tijuana Picnic partners Jon Neidich and Jim Kearns. The bi-level bar is crammed with mid-20th-century curios—a ’60s pop soundtrack; mod, half-moon booths; waitresses in Chuck Taylors—but it’s the customizable cocktails, breezy vibe and hulking Happiest Burger that win over the crowd.

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Hard Times Sundaes
Photograph: Clay Williams
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Hard Times Sundaes

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

Formerly parked in tucked-away Mill Basin, Brooklyn, this serious burger truck quickly achieved a cult status among patty aficionados that propelled it onward and upward to easier-to-access Williamsburg. Ground beef purist Andrew Zurica now slings his improbably juicy single-, double- and triple-stacked burgers from behind the Pfizer Building. Get 'em hot with free raw or grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles and jalapenos.

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Houseman
Photograph: Courtesy Houseman
Restaurants, American creative

Houseman

icon-location-pin West Village

Family-style dining is encouraged at this Hudson Square spot, where Prune vet Ned Baldwin and Marco’s alum Adam Baumgart serve unfussy, crowd-pleasing dishes that range from the familiar (a char-grilled double cheeseburger) to the unexpected (grilled beef tongue with scallions and sumac).

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The Irish Pub
Photogrpah: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Katie Killary
Restaurants, Gastropubs

The Irish Pub

icon-location-pin Midtown West

Through the red-painted facade of this Theater District watering hole, find a quartet of Pat LaFrieda beef burgers: the Irish Pub Burger made with cheddar and applewood-smoked bacon; the Diablo with pepper jack and sautéed jalapeños; the Sunrise with a fried egg and Irish bacon; and a DIY burger, which you can trick out with toppings like mozzarella, avocado and buffalo onions.

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The Chori burger at Jeepney
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Restaurants, Filipino

Jeepney

icon-location-pin East Village

Jeepney, the honky-tonk sequel to Maharlika, serves Filipino plates fueled by lowbrow nostalgia, reminiscent of the street eats and dive bars of urban life in the East Asian archipelago. The kitchen's standout Chori Burger comes shellacked in banana ketchup and Maggi aioli, and topped with chorizo-esque longganisa. 

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Jeremy's Ale House
Time Out, Photograph: Jessica Lin
Bars, Sports Bars

Jeremy’s Ale House

icon-location-pin Financial District

After work, you’ll find off-the-clock Wall Streeters and hard hats comfortably sharing the bar. Join them to nibble grilled cheeseburgers and crispy fried clams while catching up on the game, broadcast on five televisions. (In the morning, it’s happy hour in reverse: Jeremy’s 8 to 10am “eye opener” is just the ticket for day traders seeking liquid assets. The deal offers 32-ounce Styrofoam buckets of beer for just $5.)

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The cheeseburger at JG Melon
Photograph: Michael Rudin
Restaurants, Hamburgers

J.G. Melon

icon-location-pin Lenox Hill

The signature offering is a burger that invites comparisons to the revered Corner Bistro’s. Melon’s is pricier, at $11.25 for the very basic model, but it’s arguably just as tasty. Served austerely with a few slices of red onion and pickle, these handfuls must be eaten quickly, before the juice soaks through the bottom of the bun. Several of the genial bartenders, hosts and servers (in genteel ties and sweater vests) have been greeting patrons by their first names since the pub opened in 1972.

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KETTLE BLACK texas dunk burger
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, American

The Kettle Black

icon-location-pin Bay Ridge

This Bay Ridge mainstay is popular for its 60-cent boneless wings every Monday and Wednesday and its Tuesday burger deal, where you can buy one build-your-own, char-grilled burger (toppings include chipotle mayo, fried onions and chili) and get one half off.

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Minetta Tavern
Photograph: Filip Wolak
Restaurants, French

Minetta Tavern

icon-location-pin Greenwich Village

For three decades Keith McNally’s New York restaurants have defined effortless cool, generating the sort of overnight buzz—and long-running exclusivity—institutions are made of. His hot spots have become pop culture touchstones—delivering intangible pleasures that go far beyond food. That’s not to say there aren’t gastro pleasures to be had: The restaurant’s Black Label Burger, with caramelized onions and a mountain of pommes frites, is a modern-day New York legend.

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Restaurants, Mexican

Mission Cantina

icon-location-pin Lower East Side
Like Michael Jordan in his prime, It chef Danny Bowien—who rocketed to culinary superstardom for his revelatory Szechuan at Mission Chinese Food—up and switched disciplines. Bowien’s got more talent for Mexican than MJ had for baseball, however: his green-chile burger features a short rib–focused blend from Pat LaFrieda, a mix of serrano and Anaheim peppers, white onions and feta cheese.  
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Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Bars, Hotel bars

The NoMad Bar

icon-location-pin Flatiron
For the white-collared wayfarers wandering the streets north of Madison Square Park, NoMad is a depressingly apt name. Sure, the neighborhood has seen a much-welcome rise in upstanding restaurants, but finding an any-day gastropub that doesn’t reek of postgrad brewskies is harder to come by. Who better to fill the void than Daniel Humm, Will Guidara and Leo Robitschek, the James Beard Award–winning trio behind neighborhood stunners Eleven Madison Park and the NoMad, who expanded the latter to include this elegant saloon inside the NoMad Hotel.
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Peter Luger
Restaurants, Steakhouse

Peter Luger

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

Although a slew of Luger copycats have prospered in the last several years, none have captured the elusive charm of this stucco walled, beer-hall style eatery, with well-worn wooden floors and tables, and waiters in waist coats and bow ties. Excess is the thing, be it the reasonably health- conscious tomato salad (thick slices of tomato and onion with an odd addition of steak sauce), the famous porterhouse for two, 44 ounces of sliced prime beef, or the decent apple strudel, which comes with a bowl full of schlag (whipped cream). Go for it all—it’s a singular New York experience that’s worth having.

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Photograph: Karen Brocke
Bars, Pubs

Peter McManus Café

icon-location-pin Chelsea

Irish pubs are a dime a dozen, but very few possess a history as star-studded as this one. The family-owned saloon, among the city’s oldest, has been at its present location since 1936 and appeared on classic NYC shows like Seinfeld and Law & Order. Sidle up to the oak bar for a few shots chased with a cold pint; if you get lonesome, slip into one of the two old-school telephone booths and drunk-dial.

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Petey's Burger
Photograph: Roxana Marroquin
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Petey’s Burger

icon-location-pin Long Island City

The Astoria fast-food spot takes its "double cheese" to Long Island City. Find the original's menu of single, double and triple burgers, plus fries and milk shakes. New to this location: healthier alternatives including turkey burgers and sweet-potato fries.

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Pig 'n' Whistle
Photogrpah: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Flickr4jazz
Bars, Pubs

Pig 'n' Whistle

icon-location-pin Midtown East

Owned by Ireland natives John Mahon and Ken McCoy, the spot dishes out Celtic staples like shepherd's pie, bangers and mash and fish-and-chips, along with requisite pub grub such as buffalo wings and burgers. The wood-laden watering hole is decked out with antique mirrors, stained glass and waist-high swinging doors.

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Photograph: Cinzia Reale-Castello
Restaurants, American

P.J. Clarke’s

icon-location-pin Midtown East

The celebrated saloon is long in the tooth (132 years old), but a modern-day face-lift (augmented menu, nightly specials) revitalized the old boy. The bar up front attracts the after-work pinstriped crowd, while the dining room pulls in a slightly older, blazer-wearing set. The hamburger is still honest and juicy; go ahead, customize it with cheese, bacon, chili or béarnaise sauce.

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THE POLO BAR
Restaurants, American creative

The Polo Bar

icon-location-pin Midtown East
The menu is as classic American as anything owner Ralph Lauren has ever put down a runway, with a premium placed on comfort over luxury—a towering burger loaded with cheddar and crispy bacon, pan-seared Dover sole spritzed with Meyer lemon and a pounded veal chop, festooned with fennel and arugula.
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Photograph: Melissa Sinclair
Restaurants, American

Pork Slope

icon-location-pin Park Slope
Former Top Chef contender Dale Talde launched his own dive bar, Pork Slope, not far from his hot Pan-Asian eatery, Talde. The project, opened with his partners in the first restaurant, was designed as a trashy homage to Patrick Swayze’s schlocky classic Road House, complete with a pool table, a PBR sign and taxidermied boars’ heads. The menu, a survey of bar-food classics, includes crisp, golden tater tots and better-than-average wispy, sweet onion strings, along with ribs, chili, fried chicken and wings. There’s also a too-faithful replica of a McDonald’s cheeseburger, right down to the thin-smashed patty.
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Restaurants, Gastropubs

Rathbones

icon-location-pin Upper East Side

An Upper East Side staple since 1976, this taproom and grill offers four varieties of burgers: a hamburger, a cheeseburger, a turkey burger and a house special with ham and melted American cheese.

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Reynard
Photograph: Liz Barclay
Restaurants, American creative

Reynard

icon-location-pin Williamsburg
Reynard is the new cool kid on the block without ever trying to be, a Balthazar for Brooklyn, urbane and ambitious, mature and low-key. Its kitchen serves casual breakfast and lunch to a drop-in crowd, including a terrifically earthy grass-fed burger (served at the bar between 3–6pm). The menu, which changes often—sometimes daily—becomes much more serious at night. There’s no fanfare at any time to the spare list of dishes, no trendy buzzwords, and barely any descriptions at all. Reynard's thoughtful food, portioned to satisfy and priced to move, mostly speaks for itself.
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Roebling Tea Room
Photograph: Jeff Harris
Restaurants, Tea rooms

Roebling Tea Room

icon-location-pin Williamsburg

This high-ceilinged, light-filled restaurant is a pleasant place for a calming cup of brew. In addition to the dozens of greens, reds, blacks and yerba matés, Roebling Tea Room offers cocktails and a full menu, so come during the day if you want to spread out on one of the couches with their excellent burger and fries before the dinner-and-drinks crowd rolls in.

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Burger at Rose's Bar and Grill
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz
Restaurants, American

Rose’s Bar and Grill

icon-location-pin Prospect Heights

Perusing the chicken-scratch scrawl on the chalkboard at Rose’s, you’ll feel like you’re being punked. The “menu” is a 15-items-or-less spread (well if 15 items or less counts as a spread) of bar snacks (nuts, pickles), barely four main courses and a $14 vegetable plate that warrants a Saturday Night Live “Really!?!” rant. But a survey of the humble dining room confirms that everyone’s ordering Feinberg’s burger ($14, add cheese for a buck extra) and for good reason—it’s a thing of unfussed beauty: juicy, grass-fed beef kissed with wood-fired funk between a spare, toasted sesame-seed bun.

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<p>Salvation burger at Salvation Burger</p>
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Salvation Burger

icon-location-pin Midtown East

At Salvation Burger inside the Pod 51 Hotel—the patty analogue to chef April Bloomfield and partner Ken Friedman’s midtown Mexican canteen Salvation Taco—the Michelin-starred toque serves a worthy counterpart to the Spotted Pig’s starring dish, the Rocky Balboa to its Apollo Creed. It might not better its opponent outright, but boy, what a fight. The strapping house burger clocks in at $25 (sans fries, mind you—you’ll have to pay an extra seven bucks for those), but you’ll forget about the markup once you get your fangs around an eight-ounce puck of sublimely tender, downright steaky beef, butchered and dry-aged in-house and fired over wood.

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Shake Shack; Photograph: Roxana Marroquin
Photograph: Roxana Marroquin
Restaurants, Hamburgers

Shake Shack

icon-location-pin Upper West Side

Perennial burger powerhouse Shake Shack continues to be one of the most sought-after pit stops in the city for its nostalgic beef patties, crinkle fries and frozen custard. Thankfully, the usually long queue moves fairly fast.

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