In this patty-mad city, you can find high-end burger royalty (Minetta Tavern, the Spotted Pig), outstanding no-frills options (JG Melon, Shake Shack), iconic stand-alones that create their very own categories (the spartan, lunch-only Luger burger; the world’s most sought-after veggie burger), and there are always new contenders for connoisseurs to consider adding to the canon. The city’s latest batch of remarkable burgers runs the full gamut, from excellent $10 knockouts all the way up to patties that are painstakingly assembled in a Michelin-starred chef’s kitchen. These 13 newcomers are all poised to take their places, in one form or another, among New York’s hamburger mainstays.
The Rosette Burger
Nick Curtin tops his Pat LaFrieda aged-beef blend (a mix of brisket, chuck, and short rib) with cloth-bound Cheddar, tomato confit, and fancy Marie Rose sauce, which is essentially a blend of tomatoes, mayo, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and pepper. Bonus: The pain au lait bun is baked in house and brushed with beef fat.
Where: Cherche Midi
If you’re not going to splurge for the full-on prime rib, order Keith McNally’s excellent burger. The dry-aged, custom LaFrieda blend comes with bacon marmalade, roasted mushrooms, and Gruyère cheese.
Where: Fritzl’s Lunch Box
This Bushwick restaurant has been open for about a year, but Dan Ross-Leutwyler’s six-ounce burger already tops many “best” burger lists, and for good reason: It’s a blend of fatty chuck (60 percent) and cheek (40 percent), with chopped, housemade bread-and-butter pickles, onions, and special sauce (charred-miso mayonnaise, Ross-Leutwyler reveals). You definitely want to add melted Cheddar cheese for $1 extra.
Where: The Dutch
One of the tastiest burgers in this city is only available at lunchtime (and for special occasions, like the Fourth of July): The Dutch recently updated its burger offering with a dressed-up Shackburger — two, four-ounce, 20 percent dry-aged LaFrieda patties, housemade habanero pickles, and a bun made by James Belisle at Lafayette.
And right down the block from the Dutch, you can try Camille Becerra’s burger, too — technically only on the lunch menu, but available for dinner if requested. It’s an organic beef burger (the meat comes from the Lancaster Farms co-op) with caved-aged Cheddar and strips of “billionaire bacon” (roasted in maple and chili de arbol, which is definitely what you want).
Where: Wilma Jean
Price: $10 (or $6 for a single; cheese or bacon are $1 extra)
Rob Newton’s burger is definitely a steal — but that doesn’t mean it skimps on the quality: The patties are fashioned from grass-fed, antibiotic-free beef; the bun is a sesame-studded Martin’s variety that’s toasted in beef fat; and it all gets finished off with American cheese and Mississippi comeback sauce.
The prime-rib burger at Cherche Midi.Photo: Melissa Hom
Where: The NoMad Bar
Daniel Humm’s fancy-pants burger proves that chef burgers are back, in a big way: He starts with a custom blend of LaFrieda beef — 25 percent fat and a mixture of bone marrow and suet (raw beef fat) — and completes it with Cheddar, red onion, pickles, and a brioche bun.
This Clinton Hill restaurant is known for its pizza, but Matt Hyland’s monstrous burger, with barbecue aïoli, four-year Grafton Cheddar, charred onions, pickles, and a homemade bun, is also excellent. And, it’s worth noting, it comes with triple-cooked fries.
David Waltuck makes a “secret” off-menu burger, with bacon mayonnaise, caramelized onions, fig chutney, lettuce on a toasted brioche bun — and a side of crispy, smashed fingerling potatoes.
John Fraser’s been praised for his way with vegetables, but he can put together a truly solid burger, too: His pan-fried, short-rib-and-brisket LaFrieda burger — finished off with manchego, watercress, and guacamole on a brioche bun — is available during brunch.
Where: The Gander
Adam Platt’s a fan of chef Jesse Schenker’s burger, which is only served for lunch. The eight-ounce sandwich includes bread-and-butter pickles, but the real highlight is the rich bone-marrow mayo.
Blue Cheese-Stuffed Burger
For a strong finish to a deep-dish pizza dinner, order this burger — topped with caramelized onions and more blue cheese. There’s also a lighter (well, relatively) straightforward cheeseburger on the menu.
The Fedora Burger
Where: Bar Sardine (not Fedora)
Gabriel Stulman’s redo of Chez Sardine opens this week with a whole new vibe and menu, which includes an awesome, affordable burger. Chef Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly is serving his Fedora Burger — named after a burger he created for an event years ago while representing the restaurant, but never actually served at Fedora. It’s a chuck-and-brisket patty with barbecue mayo, raw red onions, smoked Cheddar, pickled cucumbers, and shoestring potatoes on a potato roll.