Is there anything better than an ice-cold beer and a big burger with melty cheese? Maybe. But, for me, there usually isn't. I live and breathe burgers — they are the perfect affordable, anytime meal. You can brunch, lunch, dinner
and late-night munch on this all-American delicacy (yes, I'll eat one with a fried egg in the early morning hours, what of it?).
And what better place to do that than in NYC? The city that never sleeps has certainly had ample time to perfect its grilling, topping, and bun-ing game. So I've rounded up a few of my favorite burger joints in the Big Apple — and since there are quite a few juicy options, I'll be updating this story regularly with can't-miss spots.
A small and altogether lovely West Village eatery offering French gastropub fare — and more importantly, one killer burger. Wallflower's Double Black Burger takes ground black Angus beef and balsamic onions with melty fromager d'affinois, and then presses it all together between a roasted garlic aioli-smothered brioche bun. Served with a side of fingerling potatoes and salad, it's just delightful.
, 235 W. 12th Street (at Greenwich Avenue); 646-682-9842.
HP's burger is of the tired and true gastropub variety — meaning it's all in the kick-ass flavorful simplicity. Take a nice charred brioche bun with a thick patty and coat it in the meltiest of white cheddar cheeses. Oh, and serve all that with a side of hand cut fries, a frosty draft beer, and maybe even an order of the bone marrow. And
you can call it a night.
, 329 Henry Street (at Pacific Street) in Brooklyn; 718-852-8630.
Lulu & Po
This Clinton Hill restaurant is small, rustic, and packed with new American comfort cuisine. Specifically, the hamburger. Two griddled patties pressed together between a toasted bun, stacked with caramelized onions, goat cheese, and spiralized pickle shavings — Lulu & Po's burger serves simple but savory satisfaction.
Lulu & Po
, 154 Carlton Avenue (at Myrtle Avenue) in Brooklyn.
April Bloomfield at it
with the seriously savory burger spreads. Salvation pumps out 8oz. wood-fired patties that are stacked high with melty American cheese and slathered in the best seasonal ingredients. And if that doesn't sound tantalizing enough, did we mention that that you can also finish it off with a slice of homemade pie? Oh, and then wash it all down with a boozy milkshake too? Bring it on, Bloomfield, bring it on.
, 230 E. 51st Street (between 2nd and 3rd Avenue); 646-277-2900.
This Cobble Hill cafe has already secured a special place in our coffee and breakfast-loving hearts. And so it comes as no surprise that Tekoá's El Doble burger is another NYC eats hall of famer. Slapped together with a slab of melty Idiazabal cheese that's been pressed between two beef patties, topped with pickled red onions, special sauce, and a toasted bun — this burger is packed with Spanish sabor.
, 264 Clinton Street (at Verandah Place) in Brooklyn; 347-987-3710.
This Little Italy gem boasts a mean soggy bun, melty cheese, pounded-patty burger (with pickles). Genuine Superette's "Spicy Smokehouse" presses it all together with a stack of bacon, smoked gouda, charred jalapeño mayo, sweet pickles, and chipotle BBQ for a Flavortown explosion — Guy Fieri would certainly approve.
, 191 Grand Street (at Mulberry Street); 646-726-4633.
April Bloomfield's famed West Village gastropub is home to one of NYC's most famed burgers — go figure! If you happen to snag a table, firstly congratulations and I applaud your resolve. And secondly, order the chargrilled burger with Roquefort cheese and shoestring fries. At $25 dollars, it's pricey but wholeheartedly worth it.
, 314 W. 11th Street (at Greenwich Street); 212-620-0393.
An NYC saloon that's been around since 1884 — so you know it
be good. With well over 100 years of practice, P.J. Clarke's serves up famed bar fare and brews in a casual rustic setting. Opt for the classic Clarke Burger with lettuce, tomato, cheese, and some sweet bread and butter pickle perfection.
, Multiple locations in Manhattan.
Venture to Brooklyn's Gowanus hood and find this off-the-beaten-Manhattan-path eatery. Not only does Lavender Lake boast a beautiful and spacious backyard garden, but the LL burger is also something to be marveled at (and eaten within mere minutes). The burger is topped with melted cheddar, a beer-battered onion ring, some swiss chard, and an aioli-coated brioche bun.
, 383 Carroll Street (between Bond and Nevins Street) in Brooklyn; 347-799-2154.
Long Island Bar
LI Bar's burger is something of an all-American type — the hearty two patty stack is slathered in melty Kraft singles, a creamy special sauce, and tucked between two buns cushioned by a circular crispy bacon disc and an iceberg lettuce leaf (all held together with an American flag toothpick, of course). And the fries that accompany this whopper are the double-fried kind you'd find in Southern school's cafeterias. It's lit.
Long Island Bar
, 110 Atlantic Avenue (at Henry Street); 718-625-8908.
Buttermilk is a bonafide Carroll Gardens gem. This elevated southern-fare-serving spot boasts a mean fried chicken and waffles — and their burger does not go without serious honorable mention: decked out in melty cheddar cheese, grilled onions, thickly sliced pickles, and a nice smear of secret sauce with hints of BBQ, all sandwiched between a toasted and buttery brioche bun.
, 524 Court Street (at Huntington Street) in Brooklyn; 718-852-8490.
The Happiest Hour
Stop by this West Village post-work watering hole and be sure to grab their Happiest Burger. With two patties pressed between a perfectly toasted bun and layers of melty american cheese, confit onions, and special sauce, happy hour has never been happier.
The Happiest Hour
, 121 W. 10th Street (at Greenwich Avenue); 212-243-2827.
This Carroll Garden's watering hole is classic steakhouse meets hipster haven. Drink your draft beers from thick glass mugs and order up the PM burger with black Angus beef, fermented dill pickles, and crispy hand-cut fries — and you can take your pick from gruyere, Grafton cheddar, or blue cheeses and thick cut bacon to boot.
, 465 Court Street (at Luquer Street) in Brooklyn; 718-254-0327.
Tucked away in the West Village, this establishment is far from a bistro; it's a bar, darkly lit and buzzing. This is your ultimate anytime spot to grab a beer and a
good burger. The classic Bistro Burger costs $10.75 and comes served on a paper plate with bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and sliced pickles. No frills, all flavor.
, 331 West 4th Street (at Jane Street); 212-242-9502.
The Fedora burger at Bar Sardine is everything you want and more. The scene is small, chic, and comfortable — and the burger is uniquely and undeniably delicious: served on a pressed potato bun with smoked cheddar cheese, special BBQ mayo, thinly sliced pickles, and onions, all topped with crispy shoestring fries.
, 183 W. 10th Street (at 7th Avenue); 646-360-3705.
A true New York classic, the JG Melon burger is not messing around with fancy sauces and toppings. This perfect pile of bacon and melty cheddar on a bun is served up in a casual, checkered-cloth setting.
, 89 Macdougal Street (at Bleecker Street); 212-460-0900.
If you've never been to Brooklyn, go now. Wilma Jean's double bacon burger smothered in secret sauce and pimento cheese is the stuff dreams are made of. The sesame bun is pillowy and slightly toasted and the patties are charred to perfection. This Carroll Gardens joint is casual, friendly, and worth the trek.
, 345 Smith Street (at Carroll Street) in Brooklyn; 718-422-0444.
Photo: Courtesy of Emily.
Don't be fooled by the pizza-focused menu at Emily; the Emmy burger is legendary. Served on none other than a buttery pretzel bun, the Fleisher's patties are lovingly pressed together with melty Grafton cheddar and adorned with caramelized onions, secret sauce, and cornichons. The $26 price tag is well worth the investment — it's decadent.
, 919 Fulton Street (at Waverly Avenue) in Brooklyn; 347-844-9588.