We all have our vices. For some of us it’s pizza, ice cream, a bottle of wine, or even binge-watching Narcos (guilty on all charges). Our ultimate vice though presents itself in the form of a juicy, meaty patty stacked between two golden buns. The amazing thing about burgers is they’re about as diverse as the New York population and you can find them on just about any menu out there. Pop into a French bistro and it’s there, stumble into a diner and you’re sure to get your medium rare patty fix. From elevated chef creations to humble originals, burgers are being served up in all imaginable ways to fit the needs for every unique burger lover out there. Vegan, veggie, double patty, make-your-own, and so on are proving that love really does come in all shapes, sizes, and ingredients.
But if you’re as devout as we are, you’ve probably already hit up all of the burger crazed spots like Near & Far Burger Bar, Superiority Burger, Boilermaker, Five Leaves, The Spotted Pig, and so on. These are just a select few of the restaurants that call their burgers their claim to fame. But being fans of the underdog, we took it upon ourselves to seek out some of the more underrated spots that’ll have you wondering how you’d never savored such cheesy, meaty goodness before. So rather than be a repeat offender at the nearest Shake Shack, try one, or preferably all of our modest faves for a standout burger that’ll satisfy that craving in the most unexpected way.
Known as one of the pioneers in seasonal, farm-to-table fare in the downtown scene, The Fat Radish is home to a lot more than rustic, sustainable dishes. They’ve got one of the best bacon cheeseburgers in town. Their patty is made from ground sirloin and dry-aged short rib then topped with aged cheddar, generous bacon slabs and of course, lettuce and tomato. The final touch is a gleaming brioche bun that brings joy to your eyes and tastebuds.
Location: 17 Orchard St, New York, NY
Hours: Monday 5:30pm-12am, Tuesday-Friday 12pm-12am, Saturday 11am-12am, Sunday 11am-10pm
Jersey City doesn’t get enough cred. It may have a lot to do with the fact that it’s in New Jersey but let us just say, they’ve got a scene worth checking out. Just a path train ride away, you’ve got access to a new set of bars and restaurants that’ll have you coming back for more. Dullboy is one of those rare gems that has a total New York feel but without the grit and grime of the city. Brought to us by the boys of Den Hospitality (they brought us the ultra cool Garret bars) and burger extraordinaire Brian Dowling of Park & Sixth, everything on their menu is eye candy but what really stands out is their Bone Marrow Burger. Talk about elevated classics. This thing of beauty is made of a dullboy house blend, bone marrow bacon shallot marmalade, raclette cheese, all cradled between a sesame brioche bun and served with some crisp, gilded chips.
Location: 364 Grove St, Jersey City, NJ
Hours: Monday-Wednesday 5pm-2am, Thursday & Friday 5pm-3am, Saturday 12pm-3am, Sunday 12pm-2am
Gramercy Tavern is a landmark for outstanding New American food and cocktails. But within their bustling bar area, better known as the Tavern, they offer an unexpected gem: a damn good burger made from a blend of brisket, short rib, and chuck beef that’s blanketed in cheddar and bacon. As if that wasn’t good enough, it’s served with a side of house made duck fat fries that will rock your world. It’s available off-menu only while supplies last during their lunch service, so make sure to get there early.
Location: 42 E 20th St, New York, NY
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 12pm-11pm, Friday & Saturday 12pm-12am
So what does a Jewish delicatessen know about a grade-A burger? Apparently everything. Combining their staple smoked meat and fresh beef, each of Mile End Deli‘s patties are ground separately and then run through the mill together to create the ultimate meld. Seasoned with a dash of kosher salt and then cooked on a smokin’ hot griddle, you’re guaranteed a juicy burger. Garnished with American cheese, a fried egg, red onion, pickle, and mustard-mayo sauce, you’ll find a whole new meaning to Kosher meals. Not a meat head? They’ve got a falafel burger with harissa slaw, pickled green tomato, hummus, and garlic yogurt sauce.
Location: Boerum Hill 97A Hoyt Street Brooklyn, NY
Noho 53 Bond Street Manhattan, NY
Hours: Boerum Hill Monday-Wednesday 8am-10pm, Thursday & Friday 8am-11pm, Saturday 10am-11pm, Sunday 10am-10pm
Noho Monday 8am-4pm, Tuesday-Friday 8am-10pm, Saturday 10am-10pm, Sunday 10am-4pm
This funky Mediterranean-American eatery in art-centric Chelsea has an array of drool inducing items like their grilled salmon noisettes or their roasted broccoli with almonds. But the Tasty Burger is truly the undiscovered star at The Red Cat. Loaded with gruyere, bacon, and pickled onions, then sandwiched between an English muffin, you can get your meat fix without all the carb guilt.
Location: 227 10th Ave, New York, NY
Hours: Monday-Friday 12pm-11pm, Saturday 11:30am-11pm, Sunday 11:30am-10pm
If you’re looking for a swanky night out with the chance of a celebrity sighting (Karlie Kloss, Michael Keaton, and Kristin Wiig have been spotted) and a bougie burger then The Beatrice Inn is a great first choice. Culinary babe, Angie Mar, whose resume includes the ultimate burger destination, The Spotted Pig, has mastered their 45-day dry-aged eight ounce burger. If that doesn’t sound upscale enough for ya, it’s also got nine hour red wine-caramelized onions and d’Affinois cheese. Just make sure to go on payday. This fancier than Iggy beauty will rack your bill up $38.
Location: 285 W 12th St, New York, NY
Hours: Sunday-Thursday 6pm-11pm, Friday & Saturday 6pm-12am
It may seem like an odd place to go for a burger given that the specialty at Great Jones is a blatant ode to Cajun cuisine. Yes, we recommend you go and actually try the authentic Cajun food but while you’re there having your cultural escape, make sure to get a good ol’ American cheeseburger there too. All of their soups, entrees, chilis, and desserts are made from scratch in house, which means you’re getting the best of the best quality whether it be Cajun or classic American.
Location: 54 Great Jones St, New York, NY
Hours: Monday-Thursday 12pm-12am, Friday 12pm-1am, Saturday 11:30am-1am, Sunday 11:30am-12am
We said it before and we’ll say it again: Emily makes a damn good burger. But this isn’t “common knowledge” for some, which is why we’re throwing it back in the forefront of our food news. More familiarly known as a pizza joint, Emily is showing that they can master much more than just a pizza pie. Their dry-aged, seven ounce patties are a work of art. They’re seasoned with some salt and seared atop butter (I think an artery just clogged), which makes you feel like you’re biting into the best cut of steak your mouth ever did meet. But that’s not all folks. This bad boy gets a layer of Vermont cheddar, caramelized onions, and a touch of their flavorful special sauce, which consists of a house made aioli with red pepper. Rather than the overdone brioche roll, this burger is completed by a pretzel roll hailing from Tom Cat Bakery.
Location: 919 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY
Hours: Monday-Thursday 5:30pm-11pm, Friday 5:30pm-11:30pm, Saturday 5pm-11:30pm, Sunday 12pm-11pm
Yes, Peter Luger is essentially New York fame. It’s known to be one of the best steak houses in, oh, I don’t know, the whole damn state and yet also holds one of the city’s best kept secrets: it’s burger. Often overlooked for a prime rib, their burger patty is over ½ lb of dry aged, juiciness, which is topped with raw onion, some classic American cheese, and optional bacon (do it!). Served daily until 3:45 PM, you won’t regret choosing this underdog, plus it’ll save you some dough too.
Location: 178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY
Hours: Monday-Thursday 11:45am-9:45pm, Friday & Saturday 11:45am-10:45pm, Sunday 12:45pm-9:45pm
When you think of a contemporary gastropup with British flair, you probably assume there will be a burger somewhere on the menu. You’re right but it’s not exactly what you expect. The Ace Hotel’s restaurant, The Breslin, gives the classic burger a much needed twist. Instead of beef, they use chargrilled lamb, which is then finished with feta, cumin mayo and served with their thrice cooked chips.
Location: 16 W 29th St, New York, NY
Hours: Sunday-Saturday 7am-12am
feature photo via Fuji Water