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A hand clutches a double cheeseburger from 7th Street Burger, a smash burger restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood.
The double cheeseburger from 7th Street Burger
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

NYC’s Top 15 Burgers Right Now

From the simple Joe Junior diner burger to a head-turner at Rolo’s

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The double cheeseburger from 7th Street Burger
| Luke Fortney/Eater NY

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. So it’s no surprise that 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 head-turning burger at Rolo’s to the trendy smash burgers at 7th Street Burger, here are the ones we recommend ordering.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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P.J. Clarke's

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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 burger has been popular for years.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

White Mana Diner

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Looking like a spaceship that landed by a nest of highway overpasses long ago, this spot has been located in Jersey City since 1946. Before that, the building started off as a minor attraction at the 1936 World's Fair in Flushing, Queens. Today, it serves classic sliders with cheese and pickles, small enough that you can eat two or three at its curving Formica counter. It was once open 24/7, but hours are now 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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

Antique Bar & Bakery

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Antique Bar has one of Hoboken’s few coal-burning ovens from which flew, a century ago, the focaccias that were the forerunner of the modern pizza. Five years ago, this place was reconfigured as a bro-bar, retaining much of the original decor. The burger is fantastic — served rare, mantled with white cheddar, made with beef so fresh you won’t be able to put the thing down between bites.

Reading from left to right, french fries, burger with cheese melting over it, purple pickled onions, and pickle.
Antique rib-eye burger.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Joe Junior

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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’s diner favorite.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

7th Street Burger

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Smash burgers are taking off in New York City right now. Leading the pack is 7th Street Burger, an East Village burger shop consisting of little more than a counter for ordering and a few outdoor tables. Its simple, smashed patties are buttery, charred, and cheesy all at once, overflowing with sauce from their Martin’s Potato Roll buns. Despite their size — small enough to fit in one’s palm — the rich burgers here can constitute a full meal.

A hand clutches a double cheeseburger from 7th Street Burger, a smash burger restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood.
Patties overflow from their potato roll buns at 7th Street Burger.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

First offered at the late 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, kimchi mayo, and a hulking pickle skewered on top.

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.
The Nowon cheeseburger, elegantly topped with a pickle spear.
Katie Harman

Krug's Tavern

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Founded in 1938, Krug’s Tavern has been an Ironbound fixture since way before the neighborhood was Portuguese and Brazilian. Antique fixtures and end-to-end barrooms combine with bar food unrivaled in the city of Newark. The Taylor ham cheeseburgers is a favorite — a thick, thick patty cooked to a perfect medium, with slices of the national meat of New Jersey (a Spam-like luncheon meat) on top along with the usual onions, lettuce, and tomatoes. And make sure you get onion rings on the side.

A cheeseburger cut in half with sliced luncheon meat on top.
Taylor ham cheeseburger at Krug’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Balthazar

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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 several cheeses, pick the gruyere — this is a classic brasserie, after all — and slather on plenty of the homemade mayo, reserving some for the fries. These twice-fried spuds 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.
The Balthazar burger, cloaked in white cheese.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Golden Diner

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The cheeseburger at Momofuku alum Samuel Yoo’s charming Two Bridges diner comes with a crisped, 6-ounce chuck and brisket blend and all the regular toppings like tomato, onions, and lettuce. But there’s also an unusual addition, as well — a mushroom gochujang sauce — that makes this burger spicy, earthy, and utterly electric.

A cheeseburger with three pickles on top, plus fries, on a white plate with a striped lining.
The simple cheeseburger at Golden Diner.
Adam Moussa/Eater NY

BK JANI

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The burgers served at this Brooklyn Pakistani restaurant were so popular that owner Sibte Hassan outgrew his original home in Bushwick. He relocated to this expanded space in Williamsburg two weeks before the pandemic, where his fat, juicy patties now live on. The burgers here pack heat, without feeling heavy, and come zhuzhed up with a grilled tomato slice and schmear of mint chutney. There are additional locations inside Dekalb Market and at the Hugh food hall.

A white paper plate sitting on a table at Pakistani restaurant BK Jani featuring spicy fries, tamarind ketchup, and a burger
A burger from BK Jani with spicy fries and tamarind ketchup.
Tanay Warerkar/Eater NY

Rolo’s

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When a burger creeps toward the $20 mark — without fries — it’s held to a different standard: We expect better beef, a cheese that holds its own, and maybe a spoonful of jammy, caramelized onions to tie things together. Rolo’s in Ridgewood hits all the marks with its double cheeseburger, throwing a pickled hot pepper on the side like it’s an old-school Brooklyn deli. It’s rich and deeply satisfying, the kind of burger you might not want to share but will be glad you did.

Pera Ždera (Peter Eater)

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A pljeskavica is a Balkan burger that features a combination of meats, often pork, lamb, and beef — though Muslim versions omit the pork. This particular rendition from a newly opened snack shop in Glendale features the onion-laced patty on a round bread called pogacha, dressed with a spicy red-pepper relish called ajvar. The mascot is Popeye’s hamburger-eating friend Wimpy, who is known as Peter in Belgrade.

A burger in a mottled and irregular bun with some angry looking red sauce visible on the bottom half of the bun, lettuce, too.
Pljeskavica is a Balkan burger.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The Long Island Bar

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In 2013, Joel Tompkins and Toby Cecchini restored and re-opened Long Island Bar, a neighborhood fixture since 1951. Today, in addition to offering fabulous mid-century design — there’s the diminutive single dry-aged patty burger ($17) served with pickles, cheese, fancy sauce, and fries. If you’re really hungry you can get the double-patty Long Island burger ($20), but the former hits the spot and doesn’t weigh you down.

Read Review |

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’s pretzel bun burger.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Korzo shot to stardom roughly a decade ago, when the New York Post and others debated whether a fried burger could be one of this city’s best. (It can, and it is.) This Park Slope tavern makes its unconventional burger by blackening a thick beef patty on both sides, loading it with toppings — the original comes with bacon, Emmentaler cheese, pickles, and mustard — then encasing it in lángos, a Hungarian pastry dough that’s almost sweet. The creation is finished in the frier, resulting in a light, airy pastry and a medium-rare patty that’s plenty juicy.

A medium rare burger is encased in fried dough. Mussels, french fries, and other dishes are visible in the background.
The fried burger at Korzo.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

P.J. Clarke's

A tall cheeseburger and side of fries sit on a table with a checkered tablecloth
P.J. Clarke’s burger has been popular for years.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

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 burger has been popular for years.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

White Mana Diner

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

Looking like a spaceship that landed by a nest of highway overpasses long ago, this spot has been located in Jersey City since 1946. Before that, the building started off as a minor attraction at the 1936 World's Fair in Flushing, Queens. Today, it serves classic sliders with cheese and pickles, small enough that you can eat two or three at its curving Formica counter. It was once open 24/7, but hours are now 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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

Antique Bar & Bakery

Reading from left to right, french fries, burger with cheese melting over it, purple pickled onions, and pickle.
Antique rib-eye burger.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Antique Bar has one of Hoboken’s few coal-burning ovens from which flew, a century ago, the focaccias that were the forerunner of the modern pizza. Five years ago, this place was reconfigured as a bro-bar, retaining much of the original decor. The burger is fantastic — served rare, mantled with white cheddar, made with beef so fresh you won’t be able to put the thing down between bites.

Reading from left to right, french fries, burger with cheese melting over it, purple pickled onions, and pickle.
Antique rib-eye burger.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Joe Junior

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

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’s diner favorite.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

7th Street Burger

A hand clutches a double cheeseburger from 7th Street Burger, a smash burger restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood.
Patties overflow from their potato roll buns at 7th Street Burger.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Smash burgers are taking off in New York City right now. Leading the pack is 7th Street Burger, an East Village burger shop consisting of little more than a counter for ordering and a few outdoor tables. Its simple, smashed patties are buttery, charred, and cheesy all at once, overflowing with sauce from their Martin’s Potato Roll buns. Despite their size — small enough to fit in one’s palm — the rich burgers here can constitute a full meal.

A hand clutches a double cheeseburger from 7th Street Burger, a smash burger restaurant in Manhattan’s East Village neighborhood.
Patties overflow from their potato roll buns at 7th Street Burger.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Nowon

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.
The Nowon cheeseburger, elegantly topped with a pickle spear.
Katie Harman

First offered at the late 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, kimchi mayo, and a hulking pickle skewered on top.

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.
The Nowon cheeseburger, elegantly topped with a pickle spear.
Katie Harman

Krug's Tavern

A cheeseburger cut in half with sliced luncheon meat on top.
Taylor ham cheeseburger at Krug’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Founded in 1938, Krug’s Tavern has been an Ironbound fixture since way before the neighborhood was Portuguese and Brazilian. Antique fixtures and end-to-end barrooms combine with bar food unrivaled in the city of Newark. The Taylor ham cheeseburgers is a favorite — a thick, thick patty cooked to a perfect medium, with slices of the national meat of New Jersey (a Spam-like luncheon meat) on top along with the usual onions, lettuce, and tomatoes. And make sure you get onion rings on the side.

A cheeseburger cut in half with sliced luncheon meat on top.
Taylor ham cheeseburger at Krug’s.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Balthazar

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

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 several cheeses, pick the gruyere — this is a classic brasserie, after all — and slather on plenty of the homemade mayo, reserving some for the fries. These twice-fried spuds 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.
The Balthazar burger, cloaked in white cheese.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

Golden Diner

A cheeseburger with three pickles on top, plus fries, on a white plate with a striped lining.
The simple cheeseburger at Golden Diner.
Adam Moussa/Eater NY

The cheeseburger at Momofuku alum Samuel Yoo’s charming Two Bridges diner comes with a crisped, 6-ounce chuck and brisket blend and all the regular toppings like tomato, onions, and lettuce. But there’s also an unusual addition, as well — a mushroom gochujang sauce — that makes this burger spicy, earthy, and utterly electric.

A cheeseburger with three pickles on top, plus fries, on a white plate with a striped lining.
The simple cheeseburger at Golden Diner.
Adam Moussa/Eater NY

BK JANI

A white paper plate sitting on a table at Pakistani restaurant BK Jani featuring spicy fries, tamarind ketchup, and a burger
A burger from BK Jani with spicy fries and tamarind ketchup.
Tanay Warerkar/Eater NY

The burgers served at this Brooklyn Pakistani restaurant were so popular that owner Sibte Hassan outgrew his original home in Bushwick. He relocated to this expanded space in Williamsburg two weeks before the pandemic, where his fat, juicy patties now live on. The burgers here pack heat, without feeling heavy, and come zhuzhed up with a grilled tomato slice and schmear of mint chutney. There are additional locations inside Dekalb Market and at the Hugh food hall.

A white paper plate sitting on a table at Pakistani restaurant BK Jani featuring spicy fries, tamarind ketchup, and a burger
A burger from BK Jani with spicy fries and tamarind ketchup.
Tanay Warerkar/Eater NY

Rolo’s

When a burger creeps toward the $20 mark — without fries — it’s held to a different standard: We expect better beef, a cheese that holds its own, and maybe a spoonful of jammy, caramelized onions to tie things together. Rolo’s in Ridgewood hits all the marks with its double cheeseburger, throwing a pickled hot pepper on the side like it’s an old-school Brooklyn deli. It’s rich and deeply satisfying, the kind of burger you might not want to share but will be glad you did.

Pera Ždera (Peter Eater)

A burger in a mottled and irregular bun with some angry looking red sauce visible on the bottom half of the bun, lettuce, too.
Pljeskavica is a Balkan burger.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

A pljeskavica is a Balkan burger that features a combination of meats, often pork, lamb, and beef — though Muslim versions omit the pork. This particular rendition from a newly opened snack shop in Glendale features the onion-laced patty on a round bread called pogacha, dressed with a spicy red-pepper relish called ajvar. The mascot is Popeye’s hamburger-eating friend Wimpy, who is known as Peter in Belgrade.

A burger in a mottled and irregular bun with some angry looking red sauce visible on the bottom half of the bun, lettuce, too.
Pljeskavica is a Balkan burger.
Robert Sietsema/Eater NY

The Long Island Bar

In 2013, Joel Tompkins and Toby Cecchini restored and re-opened Long Island Bar, a neighborhood fixture since 1951. Today, in addition to offering fabulous mid-century design — there’s the diminutive single dry-aged patty burger ($17) served with pickles, cheese, fancy sauce, and fries. If you’re really hungry you can get the double-patty Long Island burger ($20), but the former hits the spot and doesn’t weigh you down.

Emily

Read Review |
The cross-section of a dry-aged burger, blanketed in American and a handful of caramelized onions.
Emily’s pretzel bun burger.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

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’s pretzel bun burger.
Nick Solares/Eater NY

Korzo

A medium rare burger is encased in fried dough. Mussels, french fries, and other dishes are visible in the background.
The fried burger at Korzo.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

Korzo shot to stardom roughly a decade ago, when the New York Post and others debated whether a fried burger could be one of this city’s best. (It can, and it is.) This Park Slope tavern makes its unconventional burger by blackening a thick beef patty on both sides, loading it with toppings — the original comes with bacon, Emmentaler cheese, pickles, and mustard — then encasing it in lángos, a Hungarian pastry dough that’s almost sweet. The creation is finished in the frier, resulting in a light, airy pastry and a medium-rare patty that’s plenty juicy.

A medium rare burger is encased in fried dough. Mussels, french fries, and other dishes are visible in the background.
The fried burger at Korzo.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

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