Think you’ve had the best burger in New York already? Think again! With so many new restaurants—and so many opinions—there’s always a new list featuring the top burgers in every borough. It's a lot to sift through, so we’ve simplified the burger search process. Now you can spend less time reading, and more time eating.
Between the 10 burger roundups listed below, there are over 100 recommendations to choose from. We decided to make your quest to find the ultimate New York burger easier by taking both a qualitative (picking one burger from each of the lists, to represent CHOW’s top 10 burgers in New York) and a quantitative (tallying the number of times each burger is mentioned on one of the 10 lists, as shown in the infographic above) approach.
And the honors go to …
CHOW Pick: MINETTA TAVERN The rumors are true: The obscenely expensive burger ($28) at Manhattan’s Minetta Tavern is as good as you’ve heard. I didn’t believe it until I’d tried it, but the juiciness and velvety Pat LaFrieda beef is the stuff meat dreams are made of.
CHOW Pick: JOSEPH LEONARD Joseph Leonard: A juicy burger with tomato marmalade, ricotta, and a grilled brioche bun tastes just right at this cute West Village restaurant.
CHOW Pick: THE DRAM SHOP Head to Brooklyn for one of the best “elevated fast-food” burgers: The Dram Shop in Park Slope lets you decide between one or two thin patties with ample condiments and amazing fries. For an extra-special treat order one of the side sauces: chipotle mayo, garlic aioli, ranch, or bbq.
CHOW Pick: THE SPOTTED PIG April Bloomfield’s Roquefort burger at the Spotted Pig is truly decadent. Served with shoestring fries, the chargrilled cheeseburger is made from a special blend of Pat LaFrieda’s best, and if you eat at least a half of one you should consider it a personal victory—it’s that rich.
CHOW Pick: MILE END DELI The smoked meat burger at Mile End Deli (now with two locations in Boerum Hill and NoHo) is something special. Not quite a burger, not quite a pile of smoked meat, Mile End’s burger is ground from their own house-smoked meat, and with the addition of a fried egg it’s unbeatable.
Check it out on Tuesday’s Burger Night: burger with choice of fries or small poutine (for those of you unfamiliar with this Canadian delicacy, it consists of fries, cheese curds, and roasted chicken gravy) with a Labatt for only $19!
CHOW Pick: WHITEHALL Whitehall’s generously sized Angus brisket patty is enough to bring burger fanatics to this British pub, but it’s their house-made toppings (poppy-seed brioche bun, red-wine-vinegar-pickled beet root, and caramelized onions) that really make it worthy of our best burgers list. Oh, did I mention that there’s also an over-easy egg slipped into the mix? Sold.
CHOW Pick: BURGER JOINT At this classic spot (behind the red velvet curtain at Le Parker Meridien), the retro booths are always packed and the fries are fantastic. Be prepared to wait in line at peak times.
CHOW Pick: THE DUTCH The Orwasher’s bun is what distinguishes this hefty burger with special sauce at the Dutch, in SoHo. The spicy pickle is a nice touch (not available at dinner).
CHOW Pick: SHAKE SHACK I’d be lying to myself if I didn’t include Shake Shack’s Shack Burger on the list. Although there are numerous Shake Shacks all over the East Coast now and even one in Dubai, the chain's simple, classic cheeseburger is an old friend. Black Angus beef with a just-squishy-enough potato bun and American cheese go great with “Shack Sauce” no matter what time of day it is.
CHOW Pick: J.G. MELON
A favorite of the post-college Manhattan frat scene on the Upper East Side, J.G. Melon’s cheeseburger is a consistently reliable pick.
Photo Credits: Minetta Tavern Burger / Flickr, Joseph Leonard Burger / Serious Eats, Dram Shop Burger / Serious Eats, Spotted Pig Burger / Food Smackdown, Mile End Burger / Snackish, Whitehall Burger / Eat Big Apple, Burger Joint Burger / Open Places, The Dutch Burger / Flying Fourchette, Shake Shack Burger / Serious Eats, J.G. Melon Burger / Serious Eats
Caitlin M. O'Shaughnessy is a New York City–based food writer and editor at Penguin who has worked on and recipe-tested several cookbooks. She is currently in search of NYC's best ramen, and is one of the few people who admit to disliking brunch.