The Big Apple is known for many things. Lady Liberty. The Yankees. Times Square. Oh and of course, having some of the best burger joints in the world. When navigating your way through the complicated world of quarter-pounders, it’s best to have a map or compass of some sort. Don’t worry Weekendtrippers, that’s why we are here to help. Here are our top five burgers in New York City.
Black Label Burger – Minetta Tavern
113 MacDougal St at Minetta Ln (212-475-3850, minettatavernny.com). $26.
While you are used to spending $26 on a steak, it might raise a few eyebrows to spend that much on a burger. That is until you taste the Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern. The burger weighs in at nine ounces and is comprised of dry-aged Pat LaFrieda beef. The burger’s signature taste primarily comes from it’s cooking process as the chef uses a lot of butter during its preparation. The burger is topped off with onions on brioche bread. The burger does not come with cheese and the remaining condiments are placed on the side of the plate to let you finish it off as you desire. Scrumptious!
Cheese Burger At P.J. Clarke’s
915 Third Ave at 55th St (212-317-1616, pjclarkes.com). $11.15.
Known as a hangout for celebrities of the golden age including Frank Sinatra and Jackie Onassis, P.J. Clarke’s originally opened in 1884. While there are a variety of different options available including the “The Cadillac” bacon-styled burger, the straight-up cheeseburger is our personal pick for being one of the best burgers in the Big Apple. The burger is six ounces of chuck meant on a standard bun. Toppings can be selected by the customer and they include palette-pleasing options including fried egg, béarnaise sauce and avocado. You can also choose your preferred type of cheese, but we recommend the Vermont cheddar.
Burger At The Dram Shop
339 9th St between Fifth and Sixth Aves, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-788-1444, dramshopbrooklyn.com). $12.
While The Dram Shop Burger might not be as much of a fine-dining option as our other choices, it’s fast-food style reminds us again of why the West Coast’s In-N-Out Burger is so popular. The Dram Shop opened in 2008 and while their signature burger weighs in at an underwhelming three ounces, that is quickly forgotten under tons of classic topics including lettuce, tomato, dill pickles and mustard. While we are simply evaluating burgers here, we’d also recommend pairing this one with the homemade fries and scotch that is available. This one might be the most unheralded on the list but certainly one of our faves.
The Classic At Donovan’s Pub
57-24 Roosevelt Ave at 58th St, Woodside, Queens (718-429-9339, donovansny.com). $9.
When your establishment features a sign that proclaiming it is the home of the #1 rated hamburger in New York City, it better deliver. Donovan’s certainly does. Opened in 1966, the tavern is usually packed with regular customers who can’t get enough of the half-pound meat sandwich that is made from ground New York steak and is topped with lettuce and tomato (cheese and onion can also be added). The delicious lunch has been making top burger lists for years and there is no sign of the Donovan’s Pub slowing down.
Cheeseburger At Shake Shack
E 23rd street and Madison Ave New York, NY 10010 Single $4.10, double $6.70.
Sorry that our top pick isn’t a big surprise, but can you blame us? The Shake Shack has become one of the must-stop destinations on any trip to New York and it is for good reason. While locations now exist all over the world (including Dubai!), the ShackBurger is simply the best. It combines all three burger meats (brisket, chuck and short rib) and weighs in at a quarter-pound (trust me, the name is just about the only thing it shares with McDonald’s). Regulars know about the signature ShackSauce and the delicious potato bun. In fact, the only bad thing about the burger is that you can expect to wait at least an hour if you visit the Madison Square flagship location.