In a period of time where the nature of hamburger consumption can rapidly change, there has been much tumult in the last year. Unfortunately, I was severely shocked to discover the closing of three of my favorite establishments for great burgers. (In particular,
That being said, we must move on and find the best and most stunning beef available. (Sorry, I’ve been watching a great deal of Master Chef and I was inspired by Gordon Ramsey who uses the word “stunning” quite often.)
On the bright side, two promising restaurants have opened who offer outstanding options:
Welcome Lafayette and Harlem Shake! Therefore, without any further adieu, here is my new list for 2013:
The Top Hamburgers in New York City:
- Little Owl (once again) What to order: Gus’s bacon cheddar burger. This hamburger is simply awesome and wins my award for the best in NYC. Here is their equation: short rib and brisket patty + house made maple cured bacon + aged cheddar plus homemade bun + twice cooked fries = the best burger in New York City.
- Shake Shack, what to order: Shake stack or double stack. Quality, value, and taste, what more can I say? I am a fan of their double stack (the hamburgers are relatively small so two is plenty for me but maybe more than enough for others). There are few things better in life than their shake stack: a hamburger topped with a Portobello burger. Now with several locations in Manhattan and even one in Brooklyn, you are no longer subjected to their extremely long lines. While many hamburgers on this list cost $10 and over, just try the Shake Shack closest to you if you are looking for an outstanding value.
- Bareburger: This mini-chain is producing excellent hamburgers of all varieties (from beef to boar and beyond). My current favorite is their grass fed beef burger with sautéed mushrooms, onions, and swiss cheese. Don’t forget about the sweet potato tater tots!
- Harlem Shake: This recently opened restaurant is so good that it immediately makes my top ten list! Try the BBQ burger, or any of their Pat Lafrieda sourced creations. With fries better than Shake Shack and a great vibe, this place is a sure winner.
- Minetta Tavern, What to order: the black label hamburger. I still recommend their Black Label hamburger, but you should be warned: it is very expensive. This is the highest quality blend of ground beef available, made from four different types of dry aged steak including ribeye which normally costs $100 for two people. Biting into one of these is like tasting a delicious grilled steak in a hamburger form; topped with caramelized onions and served with crispy pommes frites (shoestring French Fries), hopefully you won’t regret the price tag.
- Burger Joint: These hamburgers are reminiscent of those at summer time barbecues. I always enjoy my experience here and the ambiance is special (you would never expect an affordable burger joint in the back of a fancy Manhattan hotel). While I am a fan, I believe that there are far better selections.
- Lafayette: Go for the top notch Brisket Burger, topped with raclette cheese! (Ask for caramelized onions as well, which are mentioned on their online menu but not the actual one.) This amazing cheese from Switzerland is a perfect complement to the well charred beef, soft sweet onions and buttery brioche. Here is how much I was impressed by this burger: I added it to my top ten list on the very same day I devoured it!
- Rare bar and grill, what to order: T-bone burger. I only recommend one selection: the T-Bone hamburger, which features a patty containing a combination of ground sirloin and strip steak. It is pricy but well worth the money.
- Union Square Cafe: Despite being a destination for many tourists, their hamburger features a deep char and a succulent grilled smoky flavor. Their fries are also excellent (and they make the best fried calamari in the city!)
- Rue 57: Some people are not aware that this popular French restaurant makes a very good hamburger. I enjoy that it is charred and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside, and served with excellent pommes frites.
- Honorable mention: Parm! Ok, technically this outstanding Italian deli doesn’t serve a “hamburger”, but I wholeheartedly agree with Bloomberg News’ food critic Ryan Sutton, who notes:
“The menu says “meatball parm.” The voice inside your head says “one of the world’s best hamburgers.”
I hope you find this list to be useful, thanks for reading!
Until next time:
You only live once, if you have the opportunity to try out a new food or restaurant, go for it!
The Blind Food Critic