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A white plate with a blue outline with a burger on top that’s covered in cheese. Sliced pickles sit on the side of the plate
The Meat Hook burger at Threes Brewing
Eater Video

The 27 Juiciest, Beefiest Burgers in NYC

From the simple Joe Junior diner burger to the charcoal-tinged one at Maison Yaki

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The Meat Hook burger at Threes Brewing
| Eater Video

Yes, there’s reason to believe the hamburger as we know it may have been invented in New York City in the 1820s, named after a North Sea port and sold as street food to German sailors along the docks around Chambers Street. By midcentury, it was a staple of Delmonico’s and other fancy places, making it no surprise that a burger — even if it goes by another name — is again a signature at Via Carota. So, too, has the burger at Luger’s become legendary.

Yes, New York City is a hamburger town, and the city loves to eat them whether expensive or budget friendly — in every part of town. Some options on this list are NYC icons, while other newfangled ones have become must-tries. From the simple Joe Junior diner burger to the charcoal-tinged one at Maison Yaki, here are the ones we recommend ordering.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

Note: This is an updated version of a map originally published in 2015.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Jackson Hole

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6935 Astoria Blvd N
East Elmhurst, NY 11370
(718) 204-7070
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Cryptically named after a ski destination in Wyoming, Jackson Hole is a streamlined chrome diner just west of LaGuardia Airport founded in 1972, replacing a restaurant previously called Airline Diner, which originated in the early 1940s, soon after LaGuardia opened in 1939. Jackson Hole was one of the pioneers of the metal-dome style of burger, in which especially thick patties are cooked under a metal bowl to ensure even cooking.

An open-faced burger topped with cheese
Jackson Hole
Nick Solares/Eater

2. Burger Joint

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119 W 56th St
New York, NY 10019
(212) 708-7414
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This boutique burger spot with additional branches in Brooklyn and Brazil is hidden behind a curtain in the ritzy Le Parker Meridien New York hotel. The original opened in 2002, serving flame grilled burgers with the works — lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mustard, mayo, ketchup — to droves of hungry tourists and New Yorkers alike.

A cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle in a to-go wrapper
Burger Joint
Nick Solares/Eater

3. P.J. Clarke's

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915 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10022
(212) 317-1616
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Nat King Cole dubbed the bacon cheeseburger at P.J. Clarke's “the Cadillac of burgers” back in the 1950s. It has remained the bar's signature dish and one of NYC's most famous hamburgers. Nowadays, there are falafel, lamb, and wagyu variations of the burger, as well.

A tall cheeseburger and side of fries sit on a table with a checkered tablecloth
P.J. Clarke’s
Nick Solares/Eater

4. White Mana Diner

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470 Tonnele Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07307
(201) 963-1441

Looking like a space ship that landed by a nest of highway overpasses long ago, this spot has been located in Jersey City since 1946. White Mana’s building started off as a minor attraction at the 1936 World's Fair in Flushing, Queens. It serves classic sliders with cheese and pickles, small enough that you can eat two or three at its curving Formica counter. Plus, it’s open 24 hours.

A thin cheeseburger sits on top of a cupcake wrapper, with a stack of pickles on its bun
White Mana
Nick Solares/Eater

5. Donovan's Pub

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57-24 Roosevelt Ave.
Woodside, NY 11377
(718) 429-9339
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In Woodside, Queens, find the quintessential pub-style burger in the quintessential Irish pub. The half-pound, loosely packed burger is cooked in a steak broiler to a nice char on the outside, making for a slightly smoky flavor, and served with tomato slices and lettuce on the side, as is conventional. The place dates back to 1967.

An open-faced burger, lettuce and tomato, and thick-cut wedge fries sit on a plate
Donovan’s Pub
Nick Solares/Eater

6. Upland

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345 Park Ave S
New York, NY 10010
(212) 686-1006
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The burger here is like a Gramercy ode to California. Available only for lunch and brunch, it is a blissful interpretation of a California-style fast food cheeseburger. It’s a juicy double patty from topped with American cheese, peppadew peppers, avocado, and lettuce and tomato. Barack Obama is also a fan.

A side of thinly-cut french fries, ketchup, a quarter pickle, and a sesame seed burger with the works (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and cheese) sit on a ceramic plate
Upland
Nick Solares/Eater

7. Shake Shack

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11 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10010
(212) 889-6600
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Danny Meyer's Shake Shack, which started off as a seasonal hamburger stand such as one might find by a lake in the Midwest, has grown into an international chain. It has also arguably defined the new New York style of burger: griddle-cooked, American cheese-topped patties served on potato rolls, greasy as hell but delicious.

A griddle-cooked patty sits between two thin potato rolls over a bed of french fries
Shake Shack
Nick Solares/Eater

8. The Happiest Hour

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121 W 10th St
New York, NY 10011
(212) 243-2827
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The Happiest Hour burger manages to combine the best of both In-N-Out Burger and Shake Shack. Two beef patties, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, confit onions, and a special sauce that’s similar to Russian dressing — only with mustard to temper the sweetness — are stacked on a potato bun. It’s a messy endeavor, and be prepared to brave a loud space.

A burger with two beef patties, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, confit onions, and special sauce
Happiest Hour
Nick Solares/Eater

9. Joe Junior

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167 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 473-5150

Joe Junior has been serving the quintessential diner burger since the mid 1970s, well seared on both sides and mega flavorful. Some burger experts have dubbed it as one of the best hamburgers on earth.

A beef patty sits on a burger beside a side of diner fries, tomatoes, and iceberg lettuce
Joe Junior
Nick Solares/Eater

10. Via Carota

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51 Grove St
New York, NY 10014
(212) 255-1962
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How audacious! Via Carota serves a bunless burger and it’s so good you won’t miss the bun. Or the ketchup and pickle. This high-quality mass of hand-chopped steak is seared crisp on either side and drenched in spectacular olive oil, then well-salted and surmounted by a confit garlic clove and sprig of rosemary. But did it really originate in Tuscany, or is it the restaurant’s invention? No matter the origin, it’s worth ordering.

A hamburger patty naked with clove of garlic and rosemary on top.
Svizzerina
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

11. Oscar's Place

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466 Hudson St
New York, NY 10013
(212) 741-6479
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Patronized mainly by locals and rarely noted by outsiders, this West Village favorite produces an admirable loaded bacon cheeseburger of the bistro sort. If you’re a fan of crisp bacon, American cheese (other cheeses also available), and a patty of good beef that’s bigger than it needs to be, this could be your new destination — with a tiny premises, but lots of outdoor seating.

In the foreground a giant burger with top bun not affixed, showing yellow cheese and piled up bacon.
Bacon cheeseburger
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

12. Minetta Tavern

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113 Macdougal St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 475-3850
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NYC's love of the hamburger reached a fever pitch when Minetta Tavern unleashed the Black Label burger on an unsuspecting city in 2009. With a custom dry-aged rib steak blend, the Black Label represents the zenith of classic hamburger architecture — no truffles, no foie gras, not even cheese. Just beef, onions, and bun.

The Minetta Tavern burger, called “The Black Label” is just beef, onions, and bun on a plate
Minetta Tavern
Nick Solares/Eater

13. Burgers by Honest Chops

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99 Macdougal St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 677-2110
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Honest Chops, part restaurant and butchery, serves halal burgers and pays extra attention to the sourcing of its meats. Its lamb burgers are some of the best in the city. But there are standout beef burgers, too, topped with a house-made lemon aioli.

A close-up picture of a burger with tomato and iceberg lettuce
Burgers By Honest Chops
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

14. Paul's Da Burger Joint

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131 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003
(212) 529-3033
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This East Village mainstay has been serving fat, juicy burgers since 1989. The style is similar to that of Jackson Hole, where a metal dome is placed over the burger while it's on the flattop, to speed up cooking due to the size of each patty. Here, there are a multitude of topping combinations to choose from — bacon, fried egg, jalapeños, etc. — but it's best to take the simplest route.

An open-faced cheeseburger rests on a plate, topped with bacon
Paul’s “Da Burger Joint”
Nick Solares/Eater

15. Nowon

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507 E 6th St
New York, NY 10009
(646) 692-3867
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First offered at East Village bar Black Emperor, this simple burger now lives on at chef Jae Lee’s Korean-American restaurant Nowon. Eater critic Ryan Sutton extolled the cheeseburger for its simplicity: a blend of chuck and short rib on a sesame bun with American cheese and kimchi mayo. “The level of umami is sublime,” he writes.

A cheese burger placed on a white plate with a pattern along the border. The cheese burger is sandwiched in a sesame bun with a giant sliced pickle on top held together by a toothpick Katie Harman

16. Lure Fishbar

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142 Mercer St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 431-7676
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While loosely based on an In-N-Out Burger, the Lure burger is a classic in its own right. Chef Josh Capon, who appears to have recently left the restaurant group that runs Lure, has won numerous Burger Bashes and even opened his restaurant Burger & Barrel (now closed, at least temporarily) on the success of this burger, made with pickle, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and “special sauce.”

The cross-section of a ground beef patty, <span data-author="-1">topped with pickle, tomatoes, shredded lettuce, and </span>“special sauce”
Lure Fishbar
Nick Solares/Eater

17. Balthazar

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80 Spring St
New York, NY 10012
(212) 965-1414
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The newly reopened Balthazar cranks out a pretty amazing burger, and the great ground beef, cooked medium rare and oozing juices, is only one aspect of the picture. From a choice of cheese, pick the gruyere — this is a classic brasserie, after all — and slather on plenty of the homemade mayo, and the fries are good enough to eat all at once before taking a bite of the burger.

A patty cloaked in white cheese along with mayo and ketchup in separate cups, and the usual vegetable matter.
Hamburger
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

18. Cozy Royale

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434 Humboldt St
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 734-2792
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Corner tavern Cozy Royale takes its inspiration from country joints in West Virginia and Pennsylvania, but the cheeseburger served there channels the more immediate influence of Bushwick’s late, lamented Fritzl’s Lunch Box. It’s a compact burger, to be sure, but one bursting with flavor, cooked to an ideal medium rare. Smear on the homemade mayo.

A whole burger cut in half with rare ground beer, chopped onions, and orange cheese seen.
Hamburger
Robert Sietsema/Eater

19. Golden Diner

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123 Madison St
New York, NY 10002

The easygoing burger at Momofuku alum Samuel Yoo’s charming Two Bridges diner comes with a crisped, 6-ounce chuck and brisket blend and all the regular suspects like tomato, onions, and lettuce. But there’s a secret ingredient as well — gochujang, a Korean chile paste, with a punch of mushrooms. The combination is earthy, spicy, and utterly electric.

A cheeseburger with three pickles on top, plus fries, on a white plate with a striped lining. Adam Moussa/Eater

20. Peter Luger Steak House

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178 Broadway
Brooklyn, NY 11211
(718) 387-7400
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The quintessential New York steakhouse serves a lunch-only burger made from the same prime beef as its legendary dry aged steaks. While Peter Luger dates back to the 19th century, the hamburger first appeared on the menu in the 1990s. There was, however, a chopped steak on the menu since time immemorial.

Thick-cut fries sit on a plate next to a charred beef patty with and vintage salt and pepper shakers
Peter Luger Steak House
Nick Solares/Eater

21. BK Jani

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276 Knickerbocker Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11237
(347) 460-5110

This Bushwick Pakistani restaurant from Sibte Hassan particularly excels at meats, and that goes for its burger, too. A fat, juicy patty looks deceivingly simple — but Hassan’s burger is a spicy flavor bomb. It’s accompanied by a grilled tomato slice and mint chutney, and it packs heat without being heavy. There’s also a location inside the Dekalb Market in Downtown Brooklyn.

A blackened thick burger on a sesame seed bun with cubed potatoes on the side.
BK Jani
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

22. Emily

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919 Fulton St
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(347) 844-9588
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When a burger becomes the sleeper hit of a cult-favorite pizza restaurant, you pay attention. Matt Hyland’s so-called Emmy burger at Emily is a dry-aged blend, blanketed in American cheese with a handful of caramelized onions. It’s served on a pretzel roll and makes for a particularly rich rendition of a burger.

The cross-section of a dry-aged burger, blanketed in American and a handful of caramelized onions
Emily
Nick Solares/Eater

23. Threes Brewing

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333 Douglass St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(718) 522-2110
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Some very good grass-fed meat goes into the classic fast food-style patty at Threes Brewing, considering it’s created by butcher shop the Meat Hook. Finished simply with American cheese, a special sauce, pickles, and onions, this burger is a study in simplicity that lets the beef shine. It’s best enjoyed on a sunny day in this Gowanus brewery alongside a beer made on-site.

A person holds a medium-rare cheeseburger
Threes Brewing
Eater Video

24. Victor

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285 Nevins St
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(347) 889-6588
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Nearly everything on the menu benefits in some way from the black-domed, wood-burning oven at Victor’s, a new place a bun’s throw from the Gowanus Canal. It has quickly become a neighborhood hangout, where patrons sit in the open air and enjoy this burger, the patty of which is juicy and cooked perfectly to order. A smoky taste prevails, along with the flavors of comte cheese, caramelized onions, and a green relish incorporating whole grain mustard and cornichons.

A burger cut in half with a puffy brioche bun and green relish, with aioli and fries in the background.
Le burger
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

25. Red Hook Tavern

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329 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(917) 966-6094
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Red Hook Tavern — a throwback, New York-inspired venue from Hometown’s Billy Durney — serves a take on the Peter Luger burger. It uses dry-aged meat cooked to a red medium rare and tops it with salty American cheese, tangy raw white onion, and a hefty but not overwhelming bun. It’s a simple, but well-executed burger that doesn’t even need a condiment.

Dry-aged burger with American cheese, white onions, and wedge fries Daniel Krieger/Red Hook Tavern [Official Photo]

26. Maison Yaki

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626 Vanderbilt Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11238
(718) 552-2609
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Maison Yaki, an offshoot of Olmsted across the street, specializes in Japanese skewers with French elements cooked over Japanese binchotan charcoal. Also on the menu is an amazing wagyu burger with melting raclette cheese and crisp shiitake mushrooms, drenched with a hollandaise colored dark gray with the same type of powdered charcoal used to cook it. This may be one of the more dramatic burger presentations in the city.

A cheeseburger in brilliant sunlight on a plate with black sauce spilling out.
Wagyu burger with raclette cheese
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

27. Duffy's Tavern

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650 Forest Ave.
Staten Island, NY
(718) 447-9276

Named after a radio serial broadcast in the 1940s, this old-school Irish pub happens to serve a half-pound burger that is consistently voted the best burger on Staten Island, with cheese melting top and bottom. They’re served on a toasted english muffin with a profuse haystack of waffle fries.

A cheeseburger with exposed top and waffle fries on the side.
Cheeseburger
Via Duffy’s Instagram

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1. Jackson Hole

6935 Astoria Blvd N, East Elmhurst, NY 11370
An open-faced burger topped with cheese
Jackson Hole
Nick Solares/Eater

Cryptically named after a ski destination in Wyoming, Jackson Hole is a streamlined chrome diner just west of LaGuardia Airport founded in 1972, replacing a restaurant previously called Airline Diner, which originated in the early 1940s, soon after LaGuardia opened in 1939. Jackson Hole was one of the pioneers of the metal-dome style of burger, in which especially thick patties are cooked under a metal bowl to ensure even cooking.

6935 Astoria Blvd N
East Elmhurst, NY 11370

2. Burger Joint

119 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019
A cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle in a to-go wrapper
Burger Joint
Nick Solares/Eater

This boutique burger spot with additional branches in Brooklyn and Brazil is hidden behind a curtain in the ritzy Le Parker Meridien New York hotel. The original opened in 2002, serving flame grilled burgers with the works — lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mustard, mayo, ketchup — to droves of hungry tourists and New Yorkers alike.

119 W 56th St
New York, NY 10019

3. P.J. Clarke's

915 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022
A tall cheeseburger and side of fries sit on a table with a checkered tablecloth
P.J. Clarke’s
Nick Solares/Eater

Nat King Cole dubbed the bacon cheeseburger at P.J. Clarke's “the Cadillac of burgers” back in the 1950s. It has remained the bar's signature dish and one of NYC's most famous hamburgers. Nowadays, there are falafel, lamb, and wagyu variations of the burger, as well.

915 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10022

4. White Mana Diner

470 Tonnele Ave, Jersey City, NJ 07307
A thin cheeseburger sits on top of a cupcake wrapper, with a stack of pickles on its bun
White Mana
Nick Solares/Eater

Looking like a space ship that landed by a nest of highway overpasses long ago, this spot has been located in Jersey City since 1946. White Mana’s building started off as a minor attraction at the 1936 World's Fair in Flushing, Queens. It serves classic sliders with cheese and pickles, small enough that you can eat two or three at its curving Formica counter. Plus, it’s open 24 hours.

470 Tonnele Ave
Jersey City, NJ 07307

5. Donovan's Pub

57-24 Roosevelt Ave., Woodside, NY 11377
An open-faced burger, lettuce and tomato, and thick-cut wedge fries sit on a plate
Donovan’s Pub
Nick Solares/Eater

In Woodside, Queens, find the quintessential pub-style burger in the quintessential Irish pub. The half-pound, loosely packed burger is cooked in a steak broiler to a nice char on the outside, making for a slightly smoky flavor, and served with tomato slices and lettuce on the side, as is conventional. The place dates back to 1967.

57-24 Roosevelt Ave.
Woodside, NY 11377

6. Upland

345 Park Ave S, New York, NY 10010
Read Review |
A side of thinly-cut french fries, ketchup, a quarter pickle, and a sesame seed burger with the works (lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, and cheese) sit on a ceramic plate
Upland
Nick Solares/Eater

The burger here is like a Gramercy ode to California. Available only for lunch and brunch, it is a blissful interpretation of a California-style fast food cheeseburger. It’s a juicy double patty from topped with American cheese, peppadew peppers, avocado, and lettuce and tomato. Barack Obama is also a fan.

345 Park Ave S
New York, NY 10010

7. Shake Shack

11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010
A griddle-cooked patty sits between two thin potato rolls over a bed of french fries
Shake Shack
Nick Solares/Eater

Danny Meyer's Shake Shack, which started off as a seasonal hamburger stand such as one might find by a lake in the Midwest, has grown into an international chain. It has also arguably defined the new New York style of burger: griddle-cooked, American cheese-topped patties served on potato rolls, greasy as hell but delicious.

11 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10010

8. The Happiest Hour

121 W 10th St, New York, NY 10011
A burger with two beef patties, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, confit onions, and special sauce
Happiest Hour
Nick Solares/Eater

The Happiest Hour burger manages to combine the best of both In-N-Out Burger and Shake Shack. Two beef patties, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, confit onions, and a special sauce that’s similar to Russian dressing — only with mustard to temper the sweetness — are stacked on a potato bun. It’s a messy endeavor, and be prepared to brave a loud space.

121 W 10th St
New York, NY 10011

9. Joe Junior

167 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10003
A beef patty sits on a burger beside a side of diner fries, tomatoes, and iceberg lettuce
Joe Junior
Nick Solares/Eater

Joe Junior has been serving the quintessential diner burger since the mid 1970s, well seared on both sides and mega flavorful. Some burger experts have dubbed it as one of the best hamburgers on earth.

167 3rd Ave
New York, NY 10003

10. Via Carota

51 Grove St, New York, NY 10014
A hamburger patty naked with clove of garlic and rosemary on top.
Svizzerina
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

How audacious! Via Carota serves a bunless burger and it’s so good you won’t miss the bun. Or the ketchup and pickle. This high-quality mass of hand-chopped steak is seared crisp on either side and drenched in spectacular olive oil, then well-salted and surmounted by a confit garlic clove and sprig of rosemary. But did it really originate in Tuscany, or is it the restaurant’s invention? No matter the origin, it’s worth ordering.

51 Grove St
New York, NY 10014

11. Oscar's Place

466 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013
In the foreground a giant burger with top bun not affixed, showing yellow cheese and piled up bacon.
Bacon cheeseburger
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Patronized mainly by locals and rarely noted by outsiders, this West Village favorite produces an admirable loaded bacon cheeseburger of the bistro sort. If you’re a fan of crisp bacon, American cheese (other cheeses also available), and a patty of good beef that’s bigger than it needs to be, this could be your new destination — with a tiny premises, but lots of outdoor seating.

466 Hudson St
New York, NY 10013

12. Minetta Tavern

113 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012
The Minetta Tavern burger, called “The Black Label” is just beef, onions, and bun on a plate
Minetta Tavern
Nick Solares/Eater

NYC's love of the hamburger reached a fever pitch when Minetta Tavern unleashed the Black Label burger on an unsuspecting city in 2009. With a custom dry-aged rib steak blend, the Black Label represents the zenith of classic hamburger architecture — no truffles, no foie gras, not even cheese. Just beef, onions, and bun.

113 Macdougal St
New York, NY 10012

13. Burgers by Honest Chops

99 Macdougal St, New York, NY 10012
A close-up picture of a burger with tomato and iceberg lettuce
Burgers By Honest Chops
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Honest Chops, part restaurant and butchery, serves halal burgers and pays extra attention to the sourcing of its meats. Its lamb burgers are some of the best in the city. But there are standout beef burgers, too, topped with a house-made lemon aioli.

99 Macdougal St
New York, NY 10012

14. Paul's Da Burger Joint

131 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003
An open-faced cheeseburger rests on a plate, topped with bacon
Paul’s “Da Burger Joint”
Nick Solares/Eater

This East Village mainstay has been serving fat, juicy burgers since 1989. The style is similar to that of Jackson Hole, where a metal dome is placed over the burger while it's on the flattop, to speed up cooking due to the size of each patty. Here, there are a multitude of topping combinations to choose from — bacon, fried egg, jalapeños, etc. — but it's best to take the simplest route.

131 2nd Ave
New York, NY 10003

15. Nowon

507 E 6th St, New York, NY 10009
A cheese burger placed on a white plate with a pattern along the border. The cheese burger is sandwiched in a sesame bun with a giant sliced pickle on top held together by a toothpick Katie Harman

First offered at East Village bar Black Emperor, this simple burger now lives on at chef Jae Lee’s Korean-American restaurant Nowon. Eater critic Ryan Sutton extolled the cheeseburger for its simplicity: a blend of chuck and short rib on a sesame bun with American cheese and kimchi mayo. “The level of umami is sublime,” he writes.

507 E 6th St
New York, NY 10009

Related Maps

16. Lure Fishbar

142 Mercer St, New York, NY 10012