There was a time not too long ago when serious burger buffs scoffed at New York’s burger scene. Of course, this is no doubt difficult to believe for anyone who has visited our city in the past decade or so–fifteen years into the new millennium and New York is home to some of the most delicious, distinctive, and innovative hamburgers on the planet. Everywhere from the holiest hole-in-the-wall to the Frenchiest bistro seems to be getting in on the trend, and we here at Harden have put in hours of exhaustive research (not to mention gained a pound or two) in order to bring you a list (in no particular order) of the ten best hamburgers in New York City today.
1) The Best Classic Burger: J. G. Melon’s Cheeseburger, $11
There’s nothing fancy about either this Upper East Side staple or its no-frills burger, but trust us when we say its worth the trek uptown.
2) The Best Upscale Pub Burger: The Spotted Pig’s Char-Grilled Burger, $21
The short-rib heavy half-pound burger goes so perfectly well with the salty-creamy Roquefort cheese that we wouldn’t be surprised if this universally lauded burger got April Bloomfield her Michelin Star.
3) The Best Dry-Aged Burger: Minetta Tavern’s Black Label Burger, $28
The Black Label’s patty–a Pat LaFrieda original–is simply the best patty you will ever taste. No cheese allowed.
4) The Best Burger at a Keith McNally Owned Restaurant that isn’t Minetta Tavern: Cherche Midi’s Prime Rib Burger
The dry-aged prime-rib patty is cut with chuck and short rib, covered with melted Gruyère, fixed with roasted mushrooms, and topped off bacon marmalade. Mr. McNally strikes again.
5) The Best Intentionally Scarce Burger With Seriously Devoted Following: Raoul’s Burger au Poivre, $19
With only twelve available each day, competition is fierce for the au Poivre burger, which features a pepper crusted patty, triple-crème Saint-Andre Cheese, and some of the best au jus we have ever tasted. The effort it takes to get this elusive burger is well worth the reward.
6) The Best Down To Earth Highbrow Burger: The Brindle Room’s Sebastian’s Steakhouse Burger, $15
The dry-aged, pan-seared patty is smothered with American cheese and caramelized onions and topped off with a run-of-the-mill commercial bun. Magic.
7) The Best Bar Burger: The NoMad Bar’s NoMad Burger, $18
The patty’s flavor is out of this world thanks to the extra fat in the stealthy form of bone marrow and beef suet ground into the dry-aged blend.
8) The Best Double Double (Sorry In-N-Out): The Dutch’s Double Cheddar Burger, $21 Two four-ounce dry-aged patties, two slices of perfectly melted cheddar cheese, a rich and tangy sauce, and an Orwasher’s sesame-bun. This burger is double delicious (and double trouble).
9) The Best Off-the-Wall Burger: DB Bistro Moderne’s The Original DB burger, $35
$35 for a burger may seem like a lot, but consider that this ground sirloin burger is stuffed with braised short ribs, foie gras, and preserved black truffles. Daniel Boulud, we salute you.
10) The Best Fast Casual Burger: Shake Shack’s Shackburger (Duh), $5.19
The level of consistency at Danny Meyer’s universally beloved (and soon to be universally located) burger joint is what really makes the Shackburger special. No matter where you are you know that this burger is going to taste amazing.