In my mind, there is nothing quite like a beefy, juicy burger. No matter how we may try to substitute or find an alternative, the real thing is truly a thing of beauty. In a city where burgers are offered at so many establishments, sometimes alongside sushi, alongside pasta, or alongside guacamole, these are the best of the best, from someone who’s tried a LOT of burgers.
JG Melon – This NYC classic is so old school but so good. Get the bacon cheeseburger and a side of cottage fries (NO sharing), plus a bloody bull if you’re there for a weekend lunch.
Raoul’s – I have two words for you: au poivre. This burger is peppercorn encrusted, seared in butter, and served with a beautiful French au poivre sauce alongside it for dunking. The duck fat fries will also get dunked. Go early for this bar-only burger (they make 12 per night) and wear stretchy pants.
Salvation Burger – I officially got my soul saved at Salvation Burger. This spot lives up to all of the hype, and the burger is classic and juicy and pickle-topped. The desserts here were also quite epic so save some room.
Emily – My only exception to the “stick to your swimlane” rule is Emily. This incredible Clinton Hill pizza joint is home to one of the most incredible burgers I’ve ever sampled. I don’t know if it’s the pretzel bun, the Emmy sauce (it’s secret), or the caramelized onions, but this cheeseburger is an absolute flavor bomb.
Polo Bar – There are no hip ingredients or trendy flavors in this cheeseburger, but it is truly a home run. I split this burger with a sibling, and saved room for the amazing popovers, tuna tartare, and brownie sundae at this upper east side institution.