New York City, NY

8 Best Burgers in NYC to Eat Right Now

Marco Feng

“No, I don’t want a burger. It’s boring and stuffing.” That’s me whenever my pal suggests ordering one for dinner, and don’t blame me. I have had some terrible ones in the past which were dry, stale, and greasy. So, no, thank you, next.

However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t great burgers in the city to try out and that’s why we put together this list so you can uncover the true beauty of this beloved American dish. Juicy, slightly charred patty sandwiched between toasted buns and dressed in mayo, ketchup, or the chef’s secret sauce. Yummy!

Note that this is a brief list of a complete guide, which you can check out here.

1. 4 Charles Prime Rib (4.8/5, 370+ Google Reviews)

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The NYC-counterpart to the Chicago’s famous Au Cheval, this Greenwich Village classic features crystal chandeliers, brown leather chairs, and a near replica of the famous burger without a trip to the Windy City. The griddle-smashed patties are crowned with American cheese and you can choose to add on a fried egg or slabs of maple-glazed bacon.

2. Gramercy Tavern (4.7/5, 3,000+ Google Reviews)

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Photo by FoodMento

At this beautiful, casual one-star Michelin restaurant with an a la carte menu and insanely good food, burgers may not be the main attraction that takes you all the way to the Flatiron District, but if you are there for whatever reason, be sure to try the Gramercy Tavern Burger.

This burger is only available for a narrow time window each day in the “Tavern” portion and has a lot going on - a chuck/brisket beef blend patty, smoky bacon, melted Shelburne Cheddar, and smoked onion aioli.

  • Location: 42 E 20th St, New York, NY 10003
  • What to order: Gramercy Tavern Burger, Sea Bass, Duck Breast, Lobster Salad, Smoked Trout, Beef Tartare, Amuse Bouche Rock Shrimp, Pork Loin, and Coconut Cake for dessert.

3. Union Square Cafe (4.6/5, 1,300+ Google Reviews)

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Photo by Noah Devereaux

Guessing from its name, this non-tipping, New American restaurant is only a few streets away from the crowds at Union Square markets. Though it has gone through a reboot, the burger, luckily, has not! One of their best burgers is USC Burger, which is a juicy blend of short rib and brisket is cooked to a perfect medium-rare and covered in cheddar and bacon, which don’t overpower the smoke or tang, but rather, add salt and texture while letting the meat shine.

  • Location: 101 E 19th St, New York, NY 10003
  • What to order: USC Burger, Ricotta Gnocchi, Prime New York Strip Steak, Grilled Lamb Chops, Pappardelle, and Yellowfin Tuna Burger.

4. Superiority Burger (4.6/5, 1,250+ Google Reviews)

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Photo by Ali Garber/Time Out

Well, its name says it all! The burgers here must be great and they are, indeed. But, if you’re a meat lover, you probably want to stay away from this tiny, white-tiled East Village eatery. Yup. The best burger here is a veggie burger, which has a char that’s reminiscent of the meatiest burgers. The nut-and-grain-laden patty is then topped by muenster cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato, and pickles.

5. Au Cheval (4.6/5, 750+ Google Reviews)

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Photo by Au Cheval

Chicago’s best burger now comes to the Big Apple, with its first store open on Canal street and while the city is filled with shops trying to invent the next big craze, the Au Cheval burger certainly lives up to its “best” title crowned in Windy City. Their Cheeseburger is a must and the “single” is actually a double, and the two patties are seared perfectly on the outside and it is still juicy inside, topped with gooey American cheese, mayo, and pickles.

6. The Long Island Bar (4.6/5, 350+ Google Reviews)

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Photo by Eric Medsker

Opened in 1951, this waterfront bar slash restaurant serves great cocktails and good burgers to dockworkers but shut down in 2007, leaving behind a big neon sign: a fossil of old Brooklyn. In 2014, the place reopened with new owners, but the same Art Deco ­diner-booth look and great burgers that diners used to flock here for.

One of their signatures is L.I. Burger, a two-patty stack coated in house-made American cheese and fancy sauce, the high-society cousin of special sauce.

7. Golden Diner (4.6/5, 300+ Google Reviews)

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Located underneath the Manhattan Bridge, this nouveau diner is from a Momofuku alum and offers a variety of classic New York diner dishes with an Asian twist. But, what you should be here for is their Golden Cheeseburger, which features a charred six-ounce, medium-rare beef patty, pickles from The Pickle Guys, lettuce, and tomato! All the usual suspects of ingredients.

  • Location: 123 Madison St, New York, NY 10002
  • What to order: Chinatown Breakfast Sandwich, Breakfast Burrito, Chicken Katsu Club, Thai Cobb, Matzoh Ball Soup, and Golden Cheeseburger!

8. Red Hook Tavern (4.6/5, 160+ Google Reviews)

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Photo by Red Hook Tavern

Much like the burger at Peter Luger Steak House, which we’re going to introduce in a bit, the one at Red Hook is all about the meat. It isn’t just a big patty topped with American cheese, lettuce, onions, and all your suspect ingredients. Instead, chef Allison Plumer uses dry-aged meat cooked to a red medium-rare and the result is surprisingly light for its size.

Alright, these are some of the best burgers in NYC we have tried so far. Hope you enjoy this post and know which to go next time you’re craving a stack of bread and meat.

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A recent New Yorker who is on his way to explore the best of the Big Apple.

New York City, NY
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