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The Most Delicious Burgers NYC Has to Offer

Burger joints in the area that you don’t want to miss.

About eight million people live in New York City. New York has always been a culinary mecca. Indeed, in the 1800s, New Yorkers ate enough oysters that the shells paved Pearl Street. The “Big Apple” is known for its cultural diversity, impact on American history, and robust arts scene. 

Juicy cheese burger at a new york city restaurant

Visitors travel to New York by the hundreds of thousands to explore the city. With all of the hungry people circling Manhattan, restaurateurs have taken the development of casual eateries seriously, with a particular focus on building the best burgers. If you are searching for where to get a burger in New York, look no further than this list of the 27 best burger spots in NYC. 

Best Burgers in NYC

  1. The Happiest Hour
  2. Emily
  3. Minetta Tavern
  4. Peter Luger Steakhouse
  5. Red Hook Tavern
  6. Upland
  7. Shake Shack
  8. Raoul’s
  9. Donovan’s Pub
  10. Golden Diner
  11. Sin City Burger
  12. Brooklyn Burgers & Beer
  13. Boss Burger NYC
  14. CakeBurgers
  15. Superiority Burger
  16. Lekka Burger
  17. Corner Bistro
  18. Bareburger
  19. BK Jani
  20. Juanchi’s Burger
  21. Bronson’s Burgers
  22. The Long Island Bar
  23. P.J. Clarke’s
  24. 5 Napkin Burger
  25. Fairfax
  26. Mo’s Burgers
  27. Cozy Royale

The Happiest Hour

121 W 10th St, New York, NY 10011,
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The Happiest Hour offers visitors an award-winning burger and classically American foods in a chill and whimsical setting. The cocktail bar is unique and creative, with bartenders who craft specialty drinks to enhance the experience of dining at The Happiest Hour. The restaurant is in Greenwich Village near Washington Square Park. 

Try the loaded tater tots on the snack menu with cheddar, scallion, sour cream, and bacon; the tots are a great complement to the burgers! The renowned “the happiest burger” is made with two all-beef grass-fed patties, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, confit onions, and special sauce. Vegetarians can also enjoy a burger with a patty made of corn, black bean, and mushroom.


Emily

Multiple locations
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Emily was founded by a couple who shared a love for pizza, and the restaurant uses a wood-burning oven to cook most of the menu items. Chef Matthew Hyland attended the Institute of Culinary Education. Most locations of Emily are open seven days a week. 

The restaurant uses seasonal ingredients with menu shifts during the year to incorporate fresh components. The Emily Burger often sells out! It includes Pat LaFrieda dry-aged beef, EMMY sauce, caramelized onion, Grafton cheddar, served on a pretzel bun with a cornichon and fries. The menus vary slightly between locations, but an excellent burger awaits you in whichever Emily you enter! 


Minetta Tavern

113 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012,
Phone: 212-475-3850
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The Minetta Brook, an outlier of the Hudson River, is the restaurant’s namesake. In years past, poets and writers like Ernest Hemingway and E. E. Cummings visited Minetta Tavern. Since then, the establishment has been renovated, but it holds a classic, tavern-esque vibe while remaining a traditional steakhouse. The menu includes prime cuts of beef and heightened palate appetizers.

The Minetta Burger is an excellent entree with cheddar, caramelized onions, pommes frites. Another menu option is the Black Label Burger, with a selection of prime dry-aged beef cuts with caramelized onions. The burgers are served during brunch, lunch, dinner, and supper. 


Peter Luger Steakhouse

178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: 718-387-7400
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The establishment first took roots in the neighborhood in 1877, with Peter Luger as the owner. After his death, a regular customer, Sol Forman, purchased the restaurant, and Sol, alongside his wife Martha, has kept the steakhouse selling prime cuts since the 1950s. The restaurant even added on-site dry-aged beef to its menu! 

A steakhouse is a great place to eat a refined and delicious burger. Popular with the lunch crowd, the Luger-Burger is a half-pound beef patty served on a bun with cheese and bacon. For an appetizer, try the Caesar salad with housemade dressing, and for dessert, Luger’s Special “Holy Cow” hot fudge sundae is unbeatable. 


Red Hook Tavern

329 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Phone: 917-966-6094
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Red Hook Tavern highlights traditional American foods in the Brooklyn borough. With a warm wood bar and matching tables, the vibe of the restaurant is cozy and welcoming. Red Hook Tavern is open from Tuesday to Sunday, with extended lunch hours on the weekend. 

Try the Dry Aged Red Hook Tavern Burger with American cheese, white onion, and fries for the perfect tavern meal. Wash it down with a beer on tap, most of which are from local Brooklyn breweries. For an extra bite, try the kale salad or the French onion soup. 


Upland

345 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010
Phone: 212-686-1006
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Upland focuses on “California-style” seasonal cooking, so its menu varies depending on the types of ingredients readily and locally available. The restaurant is the perfect blend of casual and sophisticated, with wood tables and chairs topped with checkerboard linens. It is open daily for lunch and dinner, located near the Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park. 

The Upland Cheeseburger is a grass-fed beef patty topped with American cheese, peppadew peppers, and avocado. The burger is only available during lunch hours. The Affogato is a perfect dessert to satisfy your sweet tooth and give you a boost of energy; it is a combination of espresso and vanilla ice cream. 


Shake Shack

Multiple locations
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While Shake Shack has expanded to other coastal and metropolitan cities along the East Coast and worldwide, its origin story is New York. With the idea of making the “smash burger” a more commonly ordered item, a modest hot dog stand began selling the burger around 2001 and has developed into a burger and shake empire. 

The ShackBurger is the original offering perfect with cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a housemade ShackSauce. The menu has grown to include other options like the SmokeShack, a cheeseburger with applewood-smoked bacon, chopped cherry peppers, and ShackSauce, and the Shack Stack, a cheeseburger topped with a ‘Shroom Burger with lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce. Every bite is a perfect bit of burger! 


Raoul’s

180 Prince St, New York, NY 10012
Phone: 212-966-3518
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Two brothers moved from France to New York and first purchased what would become Raoul’s. Using French cooking techniques, the brothers cooked delicious steaks and offered cheap drinks at the bar. Now the restaurant is open for brunch and dinner and is a SoHo neighborhood staple. 

The menu remains heavily influenced by French cuisine. The steak tartar is an excellent appetizer selection for brunch or dinner. Still, the Burger au Poivre is only available for brunch—with a green peppercorn sauce and St Andre cheese, it is a perfect meal for earlier in the day. 


Donovan’s Pub

57-24 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, NY 11377,
Phone: 718-429-9339
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A New York City Firefighter, Joe Donovan purchased the Clover Leaf Bar on 58th Street, renamed the place, and soon the restaurant became a popular hotspot for the Irish community. For a Guinness and a traditional Irish meal, Donovan’s Pub became the first place people thought to visit. Longtime employee Jimmy Jacobson purchased the bar and has been keeping its tradition alive since 2013. 

With various burgers on the menu, “The 58 Special Burger” is the most famous; it is topped with peppers, onions, and mushrooms. Other options include “The Woodsider Burger” with sharp cheddar and bacon, “The Sunnyside Burger” with a sunny-side-up egg, and “The Divine Bovine Burger” with sweet and spicy candied bacon and brie cheese. You’ll have to visit Donovan’s multiple times to try all the burgers on the menu! 


Golden Diner

123 Madison St, New York, NY 10002
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The Golden Diner is an Asian Diner near the Manhattan Bridge in Chinatown. The restaurant aims to serve classic diner dishes with a fusion style. The Golden Diner is open for dinner from Tuesday to Thursday and has extended hours between Friday and Sunday. It is a fun restaurant to enjoy when visiting New York. 

The Golden Cheeseburger is a beef patty with mushroom gochujang sauce and BBQ pickles. While not quite a burger, the Chicken Katsu Club is a popular menu item. Try the vegan nachos or the Korean Fried Chicken wings to top off your meal. 


Sin City Burger

311 E 76th St, New York, NY 10021
Phone: 212-321-0744
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Sin City Burger is open for lunch, dinner, and late-night bites daily. Located on the Upper East Side, about 4 blocks northwest of John Jay Park, the restaurant has rave reviews from guests who enjoyed their unique and delightfully messy burgers. For a New York City burger, Sin City Burger is your spot! 

The S.I.N. burger has double patties with cheddar, caramelized onion, pickle relish, sin sauce, and bacon—it is one of the best sellers on the menu. Customers also enjoy the Temptation, which is just like S.I.N. but without bacon. Also, try the sweet potato fries as a side dish with your burger selection! 


Brooklyn Burgers & Beer

259 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Phone: 718-788-1458
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The ultimate combination of food and beverage is a burger paired with a beer. Brooklyn Burgers & Beer is located in the heart of Park Slope and serves burgers made with local and seasonal ingredients and craft beers from neighborhood breweries. For lunch on Tuesday through Friday, guests can build their own burger with various toppings and sauces. 

On the dinner menu, try the signature B&B Burger with bacon, brie, and an onion ring on top. While guests can still build their own burger during dinner, other house specialties include the Buffalo Mania with blue cheese and hot sauce, the Rama Lama made with a lamb patty and fried goat cheese, or the BlackJack composed of a black bean patty and topped with pepper jack cheese and an avocado. 


Boss Burger NYC

Black Door, 3371 Shore Pkwy, Brooklyn, NY 11235
Phone: 929-666-1090
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Boss Burger NYC opens daily at 11:00 am for lunch and dinner. It is located between Coney Island and Brooklyn. The restaurant has rave reviews from customers who argue that this is the best spot for a burger in New York. Boss Burger NYC offers delivery options by partnering with various apps, like DoorDash and UberEats.

The Boss Burger is served on a brioche bun with American cheese, caramelized onion, caramelized jalapeno, and chipotle sauce. The Falafel Burger and the Veggie Burger are wonderful vegetarian options. Burger combos are served with fries and a drink. The restaurant also serves wraps and salads. 


CakeBurgers

400 E 120th St, New York, NY 10035
Phone: 646-799-9507
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If you combine cakes, burgers, and the vibe of a 1950s diner, then you’ll be at CakeBurgers, where the owners have successfully merged the concepts. Visitors can watch cake decorators work through the front window of the restaurant. Cake Burgers is located in East Harlem. 

The All-American Cheeseburger is a best seller with American cheese, sautéed onions, tomatoes, pickles, and a homemade sauce. The T-Bird is a turkey burger made with sautéed onions, lettuce, tomato, melted cheddar cheese, and CakeBurgers’ special roasted garlic mayonnaise. Add cheesy fries for a fun and filling meal. 


Superiority Burger

430 E 9th St, New York, NY 10009
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Superiority Burger is located in the East Village and is open Wednesday through Sunday. Everything on the menu is vegetarian, and many items are entirely vegan, so if you are looking for an NYC burger minus the beef, this restaurant is the place to visit. 

Try the Superiority Burger or the MegaMouth; both top the list for most popular items on the menu. Other burgers include the Sloppy Dave and the New Creation. Add an Arnold Palmer to wash down your meal, then finish with a sweet bite of gelato. 


Lekka Burger

81 Warren St, New York, NY 10007
Phone: 646-678-5367
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Lekka Burger is entirely vegan and uses plant-based products for their menu items; specifically, the restaurant uses five vegetables and a few grains and spices. “Lekka” is a slang term that is a combination of awesome and delicious, exactly like the food being served up at this hip spot. 

The Lekka Burger is the restaurant’s version of a basic burger topped with lettuce and tomato. Also, try the Frickle Burger, which is topped with fried pickles! The Guacamole Burger does not shy away from avocado and is a filling and delicious option. 

Check them out in Lower Manhattan, just north of One World Trade Center on Warren Street.


Corner Bistro

331 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014,
Phone: 212-242-9502
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Corner Bistro is self-described as the last bohemian bar in Greenwich Village. Since the turn of the century, the restaurant has had the same vibe and substantially the same menu. The restaurant opens at 10:00 am daily and even serves a burger with an egg on top for the early birds! 

The Bistro Burger is served with American cheese, crisp bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles. The Bistro Bello is a mushroom patty burger with cheese and bacon. Also, try the Chilli Burger topped with housemade chili and add the tater tots as a side to any burger dish.


Bareburger

Multiple locations
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Bareburger partners with local farmers to craft seasonal menu items. About thirty percent of the menu is vegetarian and plant-based; many items are also gluten-free. Bareburger has multiple locations throughout the city, and all of the restaurants are decorated with repurposed and upcycled objects to promote sustainability. 

The Blazin’ Bacon Burger is an organic beef patty with pepper jack, smoked bacon, organic green leaf, pickled jalapeños, and habanero mayo. The So-Cal Burger is an all-natural turkey patty with organic cheddar, avocado, alfalfa, pickled red onions, and a sprout bun. The Forager is an impossible burger patty with truffle frizzled onions, organic wild mushrooms, organic baby kale, and smoke sauce. The menu offers nearly twenty different burgers! 


BK Jani

679 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: 347-460-5110
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BK Jani is open for dinner during the week and has extended lunch hours during the weekend. The restaurant is Pakistani cuisine specializing in burgers and preparing kebabs, lamb chops, and various vegan options.

The Jani is the restaurant’s signature burger with mint chutney, grilled tomato, and a touch of raita. Also, try the “Backyard,” a classic American burger with American cheese, secret sauce, pickles, lettuce, and tomato. The Javani is a 6oz beef patty with spicy mozzarella, spicy pesto, and balsamic reduction.


Juanchi’s Burger

225 S 1st St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: 929-295-0147
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Juanchi’s Burgers uses fresh ingredients to craft specialty burgers for its guests. Burger components are locally sourced and handcrafted; the restaurant is open from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm. With a Venezuelan infusion, the burgers are delicious for every member of your family.

Try the homemade mozzarella sticks or the beer-fried pickles to start your meal. Then, for the burger portion of lunch or dinner, try the Cheddar Jalapeno Step Child, a beef patty stuffed with cheddar and grilled jalapeños and topped with lettuce, pickled red onion, and salsa verde. The Faux-Real is a vegetarian option made with a Beyond Burger patty, pepper jack cheese, sauteed cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, fresh thyme, and balsamic vinegar.


Bronson’s Burgers

250 Mulberry St, New York, NY 10012
Phone: 212-888-6280
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Bronson’s Burgers is open daily for lunch and dinner. The restaurant has a casual vibe and offers craft burgers for a reasonable price. The best part is that the name of the establishment is for manager Grace Rivero’s dog. They are pet people – the restaurant’s logo is a sketch of the pup. 

Try the Bronson’s Burger with caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, and pickles, or build your own. To customize your burger, you can select three options from this condensed list: caramelized onions, smoked bacon, pepper jack cheese, avocado, BBQ mayo, or sauteed mushrooms. The restaurant also offers beef and veggie patties. Add a side of skinny or sweet potato fries! 


The Long Island Bar

110 Atlantic Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11201
Phone: 718-625-8908
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The Long Island Bar is owned and operated by Emma and Buddy Sullivan, who acquired the restaurant from Emma’s father, Ramon Montero. Opened initially in 1951, the restaurant has grown to become a local favorite in Brooklyn, located near the Regal UA Court Street & RPX movie theater and the New York Transit Museum.

Two high-quality burgers are available for both lunch and dinner. The L. I. Burger is two dry-aged beef patties, pickles, cheese, fancy sauce, and fries, and the option is the single patty burger, which is more traditional and includes one dry-aged beef patty with all the toppings. If interested in an alcoholic beverage, try the Paloma with Blanco tequila, grapefruit soda, and lime. 


P.J. Clarke’s

Multiple locations
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P.J. Clarke’s has been open since 1884 and has been serving a similar menu for over one hundred years. At the Third Avenue location, celebrities have often visited. Indeed, Buddy Holly proposed to his wife at this restaurant! The name originates from a once bartender turned owner, Patrick “Paddy” J. Clarke, an Irish immigrant. 

The Clarke Burger comes with lettuce and tomato, but some add-on options include Vermont cheddar, aged gruyere, béarnaise, smoked bacon, and avocado. The “Cadillac” is served with double-smoked bacon and American cheese, and the “BBQ Bleu” is made with crispy shallots, BBQ sauce, and buttermilk bleu cheese crumbles. All burgers can be made gluten-free!


5 Napkin Burger

Multiple locations
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The restaurant prides itself in crafting big burgers and requires the eater to use a table, knife, fork, and at least five napkins—thus, 5 Napkin Burger. The restaurant has four NYC locations: Hell’s Kitchen, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, and Union Square. 

The most popular menu item is the original 5 Napkin Burger, a 10-ounce all-beef patty topped with gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and rosemary aioli on a potato roll. Many guests enjoy the Patty Melt with imported gruyere, white American cheese, caramelized onions, and rosemary-garlic aioli. The Impossible is a vegan cheeseburger with an Impossible Foods vegan patty, a vegan sauce, and a vegan potato bun. With a selection of more than ten burgers, the menu offers something for everyone! 


Fairfax

234 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014
Phone: 212-933-1824
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Fairfax is a neighborhood tavern that is open all day with breakfast, lunch, snack, and dinner menus. In April 2018, Fairfax was selected as one of ten restaurants to receive the Best New Restaurant of the Year award by Food & Wine. 

For dinner, try the burger with BBQ mayo, smoked cheddar, and crispy potatoes. Even add the Old Bay tots for a bit of spice. The burger is on the brunch and lunch menus as well, so any time of day is the right time for this tasty meal. Try the ‘No Resolutions’ IPA from Bronx Brewery with your burger. 


Mo’s Burgers

153 Malcolm X Blvd, New York, NY 10026

Mo’s Burgers is located in South Harlem and is open from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm from Monday to Saturday. Mo’s Burgers is a no-frills food stand serving a limited menu to neighborhood regulars. The line for burgers starts just after opening and lasts all day. 

The menu consists of a burger, cheeseburger, hotdog, and hot sausage, and for less than five dollars, you have an entire meal from this street vendor. Enjoy your burger with refreshing lemonade or homemade fruit punch. Look for the umbrella and green menu, and you’ve found Mo’s.


Cozy Royale

434 Humboldt St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: 718-734-2792
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Cozy Royale aims to be a neighborhood pub with room for all located on Humboldt Street near Brooklyn Steel and Cooper Park. 

The restaurant specializes in using overlooked and underused cuts of meat. For instance, the bar steak with demi-glace is uncommonly delicious! The kitchen is open from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm daily. 

The smoked trout dip with capers and dill is an excellent appetizer. For your entree, try the cheeseburger with charred onion aioli and fries. Threes Logical Conclusion IPA is a great drink pairing. Menu honorable mentions include the shishito peppers and the hippie salad. 


Final Thoughts

New York is a culinary hotspot. With instructional institutions and historical restaurants, the pairing of chefs to kitchens is incredible, and the public benefits from excellent burgers popping up in stand-alone restaurants and famous steakhouses. 

To find the best burger spot in NYC, look no further than this cultivated list of 27 restaurants from Brooklyn to the West Village. If you want a Smashburger from ShakeShake or an Impossible Burger from Bareburger, the Big Apple offers ample options for burgers!

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Written by Brian N

Brian has been an influencer in the food and beverage industry for over 20 years. He not only loves to eat and drink at restaurants on a regular basis, he also knows the business inside and out.