19 Best NYC Burgers in 2022

Published on October 3, 2022 | 0 Comments
We've got the 19 best burgers in NYC for your tasting pleasure.
Published on October 3, 2022 | 0 Comments

The best NYC burger is more than just bun, meat and cheese. When it comes to New York City’s culinary scene, chefs are always looking for a way to be creative and make a dish that stands out from the crowd. It’s the ideal city for foodies who want to try their favorite meals in a new way.

Have you been searching for the best burger that NYC has to offer? Try these 19 restaurants around the city and judge for yourself. You might find a burger you can’t stop craving.

 

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Find the Best Burger Places in NYC 

New York City is full of amazing restaurants, and choosing just one to try can seem like an impossible choice. But with food tours in NYC, you can explore the city’s culinary scene with an expert local guide who will take you around to restaurants to sample some of the most incredible food world-class chefs have to offer. Your guide can also customize the tour to best fit your tastes to help you find your new favorite dish.

19 Best NYC Burgers 

1. Emmy Burger at Emily

You wouldn’t think that one of the best burger places in NYC is many locals’ favorite pizza place. Emily has artisan-crafted pizzas but also burgers and sandwiches that are the restaurant’s hidden gem. Emily has two New York City locations, each with slight variations to the menu.

The Vibe

Both Emily locations are cozy with dark wood and brick finishes. But don’t let the small space fool you; the food is gourmet and casually chic.

What to Order

The Emmy burger has NYC buzzing. It starts with dry-aged beef, so it’s tender and has a deep, meaty flavor. It’s topped with caramelized onions and cheese on a pretzel bun. The Brooklyn location has Grafton cheddar cheese and is served with fries on the side. In the West Village version, you can get a double-stack burger, which has American cheese and waffles fries. 

Emily | Multiple Locations | $$

Emily serves one of the best burgers in NYC.
via Emily

2. Steak Burger at Nowon 

This Korean restaurant is serving dishes infused with plenty of traditional Korean flavors, whether you’re going for authentic Korean dishes or one of the fusion meals. Nowon elevates classic bar food and cocktails to an art form, which makes them one of the best NYC burger places.

The Vibe

Nowon is undoubtedly cool, with old-school rap and hip-hop playing over the speakers, a disco ball in the dining room and vibrant, artistic décor setting the mood for this upscale casual eatery.

What to Order

The Steak Burger has had a cult following among both NYC locals and tourists since it first appeared as an item on the pop-up menu. Made with a thick Pat LaFrieda dry-aged steak patty and dripping with tangy kimchi mayo, this is an unforgettable burger. But quantities are limited, so get there early.

Nowon | 507 Sixth St., New York, NY 10009 | $$

a cheeseburger with a sesame seed bun
via Nowon

3. Luger Burger at Peter Luger Steak House

Peter Luger Steak House was iconic in the restaurant scene even before they earned a Michelin Star, so it’s not hard to see why they’re one of the best burger restaurants in NYC. Diners should know that burgers are only served at lunch, so schedule accordingly.

The Vibe

Peter Luger mixes old New York with a classic German ale house. It’s upscale and impressive, perfect for entertaining guests or for special occasions.

What to Order

The Luger burger is surely one for meat lovers. The half-pound of dry-aged beef is flavorful and juicy. The meat is so good it’s only served with a slice of raw onion, but that’s all this burger needs to be one of NYC’s best.

Peter Luger Steak House | 178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211 | $$$$

Peter Luger Steak House has an outstanding NYC burger.
via Peter Luger Steak House

4. Bistro Burger at Corner Bistro

When you need classic greasy food to hit the craving spot, head to Corner Bistro in the West Village. It’s fun to try creative takes on your favorites, but sometimes you simply need a no-frills option. It’s the comfortable familiarity of their ingredients and style that makes their burger one of the best in NYC. 

The Vibe

This dive bar hasn’t changed much since it opened. You’ll enjoy a cozy space with a wood bar and wood booths. Stop by for a casual weekday lunch or dinner with casual meals served on paper plates.

What to Order

The Bistro Burger is a customer favorite. The construction is simple: an 8-ounce beef patty, bun and the standard condiments. While it might not sound like much, there’s something to be said for simplicity: The common consensus among many NYC diners is that Corner Bistro’s burger is the best in town.

Corner Bistro | 331 W. Fourth St., New York, NY 10014 | $$

a cheeseburger and toppings served open face
via Corner Bistro

5. Impossible Burger at 7th Street Burger

Need a good burger and quick? 7th Street Burger should be your go-to. This is one of the best NYC burger places to get a fast bite that’s as good as the upscale restaurants. The burger might be simple, but you can tell by the crowd of fans always waiting outside that it’s one of the best.

The Vibe

If you see a line gathered out on the sidewalk, you’ve found 7th Street Burger. Like many of the spots where you can find the most iconic NYC foods, the restaurant is only open for takeout and delivery, but the classic smash burgers are worth the wait outside.

What to Order

The menu is simple: cheeseburger, double cheeseburger and Impossible burger. All are smashed thin with a spatula and topped with sweet onions, melty American cheese and the one-of-a-kind house sauce. Their Impossible burger might also be one of the best veggie burgers in NYC.

7th Street Burger | 110 Macdougal St., New York, NY | $$

a hamburger with onions and cheese
via 7th Street Burger

6. Double Cheeseburger at Au Cheval 

Take the traditional diner, add a bar and elevated recipes, and you have Au Cheval. The restaurant takes diner food to a whole new level, and its signature cheeseburger is worth all the hype it’s received from both Chicago and New York City diners. Locals and experts agree that this burger in NYC is a must-try.

The Vibe

An upscale diner with exposed brick and a metal ceiling, Au Cheval is a go-to location for when you’re craving creative and elegant versions of your favorite meals. Happy hour, late-night meals, date night and birthday dinners in NYC are the perfect opportunities to head to Au Cheval.

What to Order

The burger from Au Cheval was a favorite in Chicago before becoming one of the best burgers NYC has to offer. The double cheeseburger features two patties, seared and crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Melted American cheese, Dijonnaise, onions and pickles top the burger. Add bacon or eggs to get the true Au Cheval experience.

Au Cheval | 33 Cortlandt Alley, New York, NY 10013 | $$$

Au Cheval serves one of the best burgers in NYC.
via Au Cheval

7. The Cadillac at P.J. Clarke’s

This wouldn’t be a list of the best NYC burger places without featuring P.J. Clarke’s. Old-fashioned in the best way, P.J. Clarke’s is a favorite restaurant for locals and celebrities alike for its fresh take on traditional American fare. With references to pop culture, P.J. Clarke’s serves one of New York City’s most famous cheeseburgers.

The Vibe

An old-school dive bar with a modern take on traditional American food. Stop in at P.J. Clarke’s for a laid-back — but a little upscale — lunch or dinner.

What to Order

Nat King Cole dubbed P.J. Clarke’s burgers the “Cadillac of burgers” back in the 1950s. The restaurant has since featured a bacon cheeseburger on the menu with the name The Cadillac. The double-smoked bacon adds a unique blend of flavors to what’s already one of the best NYC burgers.

P.J. Clarke’s | Multiple Locations | $$

The Cadillac is one of the all-time best burgers in NYC.
via P.J. Clarke's

8. Jani Burger at BK Jani

A casual Pakistani restaurant is one of the most unexpected best burger spots in NYC. This tiny restaurant might seem unassuming, but they serve Pakistani street food over the counter that’s better than most sit-down restaurants. And BK Jani’s burgers, with a bit of a Pakistani twist, are one of the stars of the show.

The Vibe

BK Jani is fast casual, but it doesn’t feel that way. The inside has beautiful murals, and there’s relaxing outdoor seating. It’s ideal for a casual meal with friends after work or for a weekend lunch.

What to Order

If you haven’t been to BK Jani before, you have to start with the Jani burger. You can customize the spice level, which runs from mild to crazy spicy. It’s also topped with a mint chutney that makes you wonder why all burgers aren’t made this way. The delicious fusion elements of the Jani burger make it a uniquely NYC creation. 

BK Jani | Multiple Locations | $$

a thick burger with mint chutney and white sauce
via BK Jani

9. Balthazar Cheeseburger at Balthazar

Balthazar is a French brasserie that has been a SoHo institution since its opening in 1997. Recommended by the Michelin Guide, they feature eclectic French dishes, including their famous steak frites, but their signature burger is one of the best you’ll find in NYC. 

The Vibe

Both casual and romantic, Balthazar is one of the best burger places in NYC for a weeknight dinner or for a date night in NYC. The space has cozy booths, ambient lighting and warm wood ceilings that’ll make you want to settle in for the night.

What to Order

The Balthazar cheeseburger is one of the juiciest you’ll find in the city, so it’s no wonder it’s one of the best NYC burgers. Have it topped with melty gruyère for an authentic French brasserie meal. The burger is served on one of their fresh baked buns with homemade mayonnaise and Balthazar’s famous frites.

Balthazar | 80 Spring St., New York, NY 10012 | $$$$

The Balthazar cheeseburger is one of the best burgers in NYC.
via Balthazar Restaurant

10. Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern

Admittedly, this burger is a bit of a splurge, but there’s no question that Minetta Tavern serves one of the best burgers NYC has to offer. This restaurant has been a favorite among celebrities since its start, hosting famous writers like Ernest Hemingway and actresses such as Brooke Shields.

The Vibe

The tavern serves fare straight from a French bistro. The atmosphere is cozy and vintage, making it ideal for a meal where you want to impress your guests.

What to Order

If you’re going to go all out to find the best NYC burger, the Black Label Burger is a must. It features tender dry-aged beef topped with caramelized onions, and true to traditional French cooking, the burger is basted in butter. No wonder this juicy burger is one of the best in NYC.

Minetta Tavern | 113 MacDougal St., New York, NY 10012 | $$$$

a hamburger with caramelized onions
via Minetta Tavern

11. Cheeseburger Deluxe at Joe Junior

There’s something about a classic American diner: They just get food right. And that’s the case with Joe Junior, which many have said has boasted the best NYC burger since the 1970s. Joe Junior, like several other spots on this list of greats, proves that sometimes a simple preparation is the best when it comes to burgers.

The Vibe

An old-school diner with Formica counters and all. Come here after work, for lunch on the weekends or for a late-night bite. A true diner welcomes all, no matter what.

What to Order

The cheeseburger deluxe gives you all the classic fixings. Pulled fresh from the griddle, the patty has a perfectly charred crust and a tender, juicy center that’s simple and flavorful. Top it with melted American cheese on a plain burger bun. No frills; just a perfect, nostalgic burger.

Joe Junior | 167 Third Ave., New York, NY 10003 | $

Joe Junior serves one of the simplest but best burgers in NYC.
via Joe Junior

12. Bahn Mi at Saigon Social

You can taste the passion in this Vietnamese comfort food. Saigon Social takes Vietnamese classics and street food and makes them decadent meals. Get a taste of these authentic dishes with a fresh modern take.

The Vibe

Cool and casual, if you’re looking for unique places to eat in NYC, then Saigon Social is it. Enjoy a relaxing and beautifully designed atmosphere for a dinner or a quick bite.

What to Order

The city has been raving about the Báhn Mì burger being one of the best in NYC. It starts with a thick, juicy patty made from short rib and dry-aged rib eye. Adorning it are traditional báhn mì toppings like pickled carrots and daikon. It also features pâté and jalapeño slices for a bit of a kick.

Saigon Social | 172 Orchard St., New York, NY 10002 | $$

a Vietnam fusion hamburger with bahn mi ingredients
via Saigon Social

13. Burger at Brooklyn Ice House

Don’t be fooled by the tiny exterior of Brooklyn Ice House; it has plenty of space both inside and out for you to enjoy one of the best NYC burger places. Brooklyn Ice House proves that cheap eats can be just as good as gourmet.

The Vibe

Classic dive bar with a grunge aesthetic. A no-frills menu with items you can enjoy as a quick meal, a casual dinner or a late-night bite. The backyard patio is a nice place to spend the afternoon in rain or shine — they cover the space on wet days.

What to Order

The burgers may be simple, but they aren’t lacking flavor. Brooklyn Ice House makes classic bar food that just hits the spot. Their burgers, some of the most craveable in NYC, are topped with perfectly melted cheese, salty pickles and crisp lettuce.

Brooklyn Ice House | 318 Van Brunt St., Brooklyn, NY 11231 | $

Some dive bars happen to serve the best burgers in NYC.
via Brooklyn Ice House

14. Red Hook Tavern Burger at Red Hook Tavern

The owners of Red Hook Tavern also have a barbecue place, so it’s not a far cry to expect that the meat here is good. This restaurant in Red Hook doesn’t have barbecue, but rather upscale American food served with handcrafted cocktails and beers on draft.

The Vibe

Warm and inviting, Red Hook Tavern is the perfect place to gather with friends and share a bottle of wine while catching up.

What to Order

Locals, visitors and experts alike agree that Red Hook Tavern serves one of the best NYC burgers. It’s elevated by focusing on the meat: a large, dry-aged patty that’s tender and juicy with every bite. The construction is minimal, with only American cheese and onions on top.

Red Hook Tavern | 329 Van Brunt St., Brooklyn, NY 11231 | $$$

a thick cheeseburger and fries
via Red Hook Tavern

15. Burger au Poivre at Raoul’s 

A Soho institution since the 1970s, Raoul’s is a French bistro with a storied past, a classic establishment that’s still one of the best restaurants in the city. After a meal here, you’ll understand why it’s one of the best burger places in NYC. They serve upscale French fare that locals can’t get enough of.

The Vibe

This bistro is lively, with eclectic art hanging above classic booths. Always bustling, it evokes a Parisian atmosphere. On casual nights, eat at the bar. Bring guests here for any occasion and linger over delightful cuisine at a table.

What to Order

The Burger au Poivre is only available at brunch, which just makes it more special. What also makes it special is the peppercorn crusting on the outside of the patty. Topped with St. Andre cheese, the burger is creamy, buttery and unforgettable. Undoubtedly, one of the best burgers in NYC.

Raoul’s | 180 Prince St., New York, NY 100012 | $$$$

Raoul's is a French restaurant that serves one of the best burgers in NYC.
via Raoul's

16. Grass-Fed & Finished at Diner 

You can’t miss Diner; it’s located in a vintage railcar in Brooklyn. Just like the location, the food here is fun and interesting, and though it may be said a lot, it’s a fresh take on American fare. The chefs are committed to crafting food that’s local, sustainable and seasonal, creating a burger in NYC you’ll travel across the city for.

The Vibe

Diner is laid-back and tiny, but it’s worth the wait if there happens to be one. Located under a bridge, it’s a funky gathering place for friends, or you can sit solo at the bar. 

What to Order

In charming small-town-diner style, the nightly menu gets scribbled on butcher paper tablecloths, but you know what you’re here for: a thick NYC burger made with meat from local farms with sharp cheddar cheese, all resting on a soft sesame seed bun.

Diner | 85 Broadway, Brooklyn NY 11249 | $$

a man holding a thick hamburger
via Diner

17. Upland Burger at Upland

California cuisine features fare that’s inspired by the seasons and made fresh. And that’s what Upland in the Flatiron District serves, plus some Italian dishes, all infused with California flavors and ingredients. They also happen to provide NYC residents with a burger they can’t stop talking about.

The Vibe

Chic but casual, Upland has high ceilings and comfortable booths that create the perfect setting for a weeknight meal or an impressive place to take guests.

What to Order

The best burger places in NYC have to find new ways to make a burger exciting. The Upland Burger accomplishes this with grass-fed beef topped with American cheese, sweet peppadew peppers and slices of avocado.

Upland | 345 Park Ave. S., New York, NY 10010 | $$$

Upland serves one of the best burgers in NYC, Cali-style.
via Upland

18. The Classic Cheeseburger at Donovan’s Pub

Dubbed Woodside’s landmark gathering place, Donovan’s Pub has been a neighborhood hangout since it opened. This is where you want to go to eat classic Irish pub fare like shepherd's pie.

The Vibe

With wood paneling on the walls and stained glass details, Donovan’s Pub is well-worn in a good way. You’ll instantly feel welcomed among local regulars.

What to Order

The half-pound burger is charbroiled and has continuously earned the title of best NYC burger. Simply topped with lettuce and tomato, it’s the perfect pub fare.

Donovan’s Pub | 57-24 Roosevelt Ave. Queens, NY 11377 | $$

a simple burger and toppings with potato wedges
via Donovan's Pub

19. Miss Keen Burger at Keens Steakhouse

It’s not surprising that a steakhouse would have one of the best NYC burgers. This restaurant has been a favorite of Garrick Theatre actors and is a landmark in the Herald Square Theatre District.

The Vibe

The interior and bar in Keens Steakhouse are paneled in dark wood that makes walking into this legendary spot feel like stepping back in time. Head here when you want a more upscale burger experience.

What to Order

What puts this restaurant on the best NYC burger list is the decadent way it’s prepared with steak trimmings that make for a particularly juicy patty. Place it on a toasted bun with aged cheddar, and you have the perfect meaty burger.

Keens Steakhouse | 72 W. 36th St., New York, NY 10018 | $$$$

Keens Steakhouse serves one of the best and most elevated burgers in NYC.
via Keens Steakhouse

A burger is the go-to for many people, and there are endless ways to put a spin on the classic. Casual or upscale, you can find a burger worth craving in New York City’s vibrant culinary scene. Try one or try all nineteen of these best NYC burgers and let us know what you think. Who makes the best burger in NYC? 

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