April Bloomfield's sandwich at The Breslin might not have been the first lamb burger in NYC, but it the one that has had the biggest impact on the trend. Justifiably famous for the The Spotted Pig burger, Bloomfield decided to go in another direction when she opened The Breslin back in 2009 and crafted a lamb burger instead. It has proved immensely popular, accounting for as much as a third of all orders. The grass-fed lamb patty comes served with a slab of feta cheese, thin slivers of red onion, and a mayo spiked with cumin. $22.
The Torrisi Boys' play on the global reach of Gallic cooking finds expression in the lunch-only lamb burger at Dirty French. The buxom lamb patty is topped with Bûcheron cheese, a goat's milk variety from the Loire valley, and onions cooked with cumin, evoking the flavors of the Middle East and North Africa. $21.
Cocktail hot spot Clover Club serves a six ounce lamb burger on a toasted roll with sliced red onion and chevre goat cheese, with a choice of potato chips or a green salad on the side. The patty is impressively seared and at first blush looks like a regular old hamburger patty, but it tastes a lot earthier, with that pleasing richness that lamb fat brings to the table. $14.
David Waltuck's brunch-only spiced lamb burger is topped with bacon mayonnaise and chutney made with fig and caramelized onion. It's served on a brioche roll with chickpea fries on the side. The patty is so loosely packed that it crumbles easily yet has an impressively dense crust from the pan searing, giving it some serious Maillard flavors. $22.
Five Napkin Burger
The kofta burger at Five Napkin Burger is a good entryway into the world of lamb burgers for those unfamiliar them. It contains a blend of beef and lamb making it more approachable to novices. While it might not display quite the level of artistry of the other burgers here, it still makes a compelling case for lamb as a burger meat. Evoking the flavors of a gyro, it comes topped with chopped tomato, cucumber, a pepper and onion salad, and tahini sauce on a soft white roll. $16.75.