Long before they had their name, smash burgers were being flung from the grills of burger joints in Midwestern cities like St. Louis and Kansas City. Intense searing and a paper-thin press turned what might have been average-quality ground beef into something charred, caramelized, and deeply flavorful. Those patties found a name after the international Smashburger chain launched in 2007.
New Yorkers have been gobbling down smash burgers for years at chains like Five Guys, founded in 1986, and Shake Shack, in 2004. But something changed during the pandemic: Independent restaurants got in on the fun, cashing in on nostalgia and taking cues from the smash burger scene in Los Angeles. Their patties are smaller — around two ounces each — with crisp, lacy edges that spill over their buns.
Smash burgers in multiple styles can now be found at restaurants across the city, including those devoted entirely to their craft. These are some of our favorites.Read More