Best Burgers In New York City

Is there anything better than an ice-cold beer and a big burger with melty cheese? Maybe. But, for me, there usually isn’t. I live and breathe burgers — they are the perfect affordable, anytime meal. You can brunch, lunch, dinner and late-night munch on this all-American delicacy (yes, I’ll eat one with a fried egg in the early morning hours, what of it?).

And what better place to do that than in NYC? The city that never sleeps has certainly had ample time to perfect its grilling, topping, and bun-ing game. So I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite burger joints in the Big Apple — and since there are quite a few juicy options, I’ll be updating this story regularly with can’t-miss spots.

Lavender Lake

Venture to Brooklyn’s Gowanus hood and find this off-the-beaten-Manhattan-path eatery. Not only does Lavender Lake boast a beautiful and spacious backyard garden, but the LL burger is also something to be marveled at (and eaten within mere minutes). The burger is topped with melted cheddar, a beer-battered onion ring, some swiss chard, and an aioli-coated brioche bun.

Lavender Lake, 383 Carroll Street (between Bond and Nevins Street) in Brooklyn; 347-799-2154.

Photo: Via @lparavano.

Long Island Bar

LI Bar’s burger is something of an all-American type — the hearty two patty stack is slathered in melty Kraft singles, a creamy special sauce, and tucked between two buns cushioned by a circular crispy bacon disc and an iceberg lettuce leaf (all held together with an American flag toothpick, of course). And the fries that accompany this whopper are the double-fried kind you’d find in Southern school’s cafeterias. It’s lit.

Long Island Bar, 110 Atlantic Avenue (at Henry Street); 718-625-8908.

Photo: Via @coleoo.

Buttermilk Channel

Buttermilk is a bonafide Carroll Gardens gem. This elevated southern-fare-serving spot boasts a mean fried chicken and waffles — and their burger does not go without serious honorable mention: decked out in melty cheddar cheese, grilled onions, thickly sliced pickles, and a nice smear of secret sauce with hints of BBQ, all sandwiched between a toasted and buttery brioche bun.

Buttermilk Channel, 524 Court Street (at Huntington Street) in Brooklyn; 718-852-8490.

Photo: Via @beforetheeats.

The Happiest Hour

Stop by this West Village post-work watering hole and be sure to grab their Happiest Burger. With two patties pressed between a perfectly toasted bun and layers of melty american cheese, confit onions, and special sauce, happy hour has never been happier.

The Happiest Hour, 121 W. 10th Street (at Greenwich Avenue); 212-243-2827.

Photo: Via @jordanhar0.

Prime Meats

This Carroll Garden’s watering hole is classic steakhouse meets hipster haven. Drink your draft beers from thick glass mugs and order up the PM burger with black Angus beef, fermented dill pickles, and crispy hand-cut fries — and you can take your pick from gruyere, Grafton cheddar, or blue cheeses and thick cut bacon to boot.

Prime Meats, 465 Court Street (at Luquer Street) in Brooklyn; 718-254-0327.

Photo: Via @djchubakka.

Corner Bistro

Tucked away in the West Village, this establishment is far from a bistro; it’s a bar, darkly lit and buzzing. This is your ultimate anytime spot to grab a beer and a damn good burger. The classic Bistro Burger costs $10.75 and comes served on a paper plate with bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and sliced pickles. No frills, all flavor.

Corner Bistro, 331 West 4th Street (at Jane Street); 212-242-9502.

Photo: Via @partyfartman.

Bar Sardine

The Fedora burger at Bar Sardine is everything you want and more. The scene is small, chic, and comfortable — and the burger is uniquely and undeniably delicious: served on a pressed potato bun with smoked cheddar cheese, special BBQ mayo, thinly sliced pickles, and onions, all topped with crispy shoestring fries.

Bar Sardine, 183 W. 10th Street (at 7th Avenue); 646-360-3705.

Photo: Via @gothamburgersocialclub.

JG Melon

A true New York classic, the JG Melon burger is not messing around with fancy sauces and toppings. This perfect pile of bacon and melty cheddar on a bun is served up in a casual, checkered-cloth setting.

JG Melon, 89 Macdougal Street (at Bleecker Street); 212-460-0900.

Photo: Via @mollytavoletti.

Wilma Jean

If you’ve never been to Brooklyn, go now. Wilma Jean’s double bacon burger smothered in secret sauce and pimento cheese is the stuff dreams are made of. The sesame bun is pillowy and slightly toasted and the patties are charred to perfection. This Carroll Gardens joint is casual, friendly, and worth the trek.

Wilma Jean, 345 Smith Street (at Carroll Street) in Brooklyn; 718-422-0444.

Photo: Via @rgkuzma.


Don’t be fooled by the pizza-focused menu at Emily; the Emmy burger is legendary. Served on none other than a buttery pretzel bun, the Fleisher’s patties are lovingly pressed together with melty Grafton cheddar and adorned with caramelized onions, secret sauce, and cornichons. The $26 price tag is well worth the investment — it’s decadent.

Emily, 919 Fulton Street (at Waverly Avenue) in Brooklyn; 347-844-9588.

Photo: Courtesy of Emily.

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