New Yorkers craving a big juicy burger this summer are in luck. While suburbanites are lighting up their backyard grills for a holiday barbeque, the city has no shortage of burger joints that will satisfy your deepest red meat craving. Some of the city’s most celebrated burgers at establishments like Corner Bistro and P.J. Clarke’s have become staples in New York guidebooks. But a number of hip new places that have recently opened are making a name for themselves in one of the world’s most competitive burger scenes. Lucky for you – we’ll give you the scoop on where you can find the city’s best burgers. And if you head out soon, you might even beat the lines.
- Shake Shack
It’s no secret that this Madison Square Park hot spot serves up a hefty single ($4.75) or double ($7.25) Shackburger with American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and shack sauce. Bonus points if you can handle some frozen custard for dessert. Unfortunately, when the weather is nice the lines can stretch for more than two hours. While nothing beats eating outside in the park’s carefree ambience, we suggest avoiding the lunch and dinner rushes in favor of a mid-afternoon snack or late night craving. Either way, it never hurts to plan ahead by checking out the live webcam that monitors the line on the Shake Shack website.
Location: Southeast corner of Madison Square Park
- Corner Bistro
Crowds are also abundant at this West Village landmark which serves up its famous Bistro Burgers ($6.75) with lettuce, tomato, cheese and bacon. Throw in a few mugs of McSorley’s for $2.50 and call it a night. Although the service can be sub-par and the noise level a few decibels too high, it’s the juicy burgers that consistently land this joint among New Yorker’s favorites.
Location: 331 West 4th Street, between 12th St. & Jane St.
The East Village spin-off of this Financial District joint is a welcome addition to the New York City burger scene. Served on a deliciously soft Portuguese muffin, try out their half pound sirloin burger for $13.50 or half pound Kobe beef burger $15.25 (the quarter pound versions will save you about five dollars each). The crowds that flock to other burger joints in the city have yet to descend upon Zaitzeff, making it a great spot for a date or a quiet meal with some friends after work. Although the burgers are pricier than you might care to shell out for a slab of red meat, we’re sure you’ll be hooked after a few bites.
Location: 18 Avenue B, between 2nd St. & 3rd St.
- Burger Joint
Located inside the elegant lobby of Le Parker Meridien hotel, this not so hidden gem more closely resembles a rowdy Midwestern bar than the type of upscale food establishment you might expect inside of a chic New York hotel. The $7.00 burgers aren’t as thick and juicy as those at other spots, so it might take a side of fries ($3.00) and a shake ($5.00) to fill you up. Take some out of town friends here during an off hour and they’ll think you found the city’s greatest hidden treasure. But if you happen to get stuck in the lunchtime crunch, you’ll end up waiting between businessmen in an hour long line that stretches through the hotel lobby.
Location: 118 West 57th St, between 6th Ave. & 7th Ave.
- P.J. Clarke’s
Arguably New York’s most famous burger joint, this city staple now has locations in a number of different neighborhoods. None, however, rival the original which has been situated on a modest Upper East Side corner since the late 1800s. While the bar in the front attracts droves after work, see if you can snag a table in the back room which seats about 60 people. The servers are as friendly as they come and the food arrives faster than you can say “another burger please!” Try a one with sautéed mushrooms for $10.05, or take your chances on the baker’s dozen mini burgers for $30.25.
Location: 915 3rd Ave. at 55th St.