These are a few of my favorite … burgers

When you live in Manhattan, the choices for cuisine are so vast, you get spoiled.  That’s why I’m super picky when it comes to burgers because I truly believe I’ve had some of the best the city has to offer.  In fact, a couple of these places seem to have the perfect formula down  – and not just because they have two letter initials in their names and red or green checkered table cloths (hint, hint, wink, wink), although I’m convinced there must be something to this.

1. J.G. Melon – 1291 Third Ave (at 74th Street) – By far, the best burger I’ve had.  A few things to keep in mind: They don’t take reservations, it’s cash only and the space is tight, so you’ll have to wait quite a while to get a table here. But if you hit it at the right time (around 1 or 2 a.m.), or don’t mind sitting at the bar, you can get in reasonably quickly.  Plus, I can say it’s definitely worth the wait.  I opted for the burger with bacon and cheese and you can’t pass up the side of cottage friend potatoes.  (Green-checkered tablecloths here).

2. P.J. Clarkes – 915 Third Ave (at 55th Street) – Any location will do, but I personally like midtown. This place was established in 1884, so you know they’ve got something going on. The Web site says, ” Its colorful history has entertained the famous, the infamous and everyone else who appreciates the ambiance and food of a real saloon,” which is certainly fitting. One of my native New Yorker friends refuses to sit with his back towards the door here as legend has it some of the most infamous mobsters often ate here (a.k.a. if you know what’s best for you, you have to see who’s walking through the door).  I recommend the burger with blue cheese (medium), a side of fries, and the creamed spinach, which is to die for. Finish it off with a Hoegaarden on draft and you’re set. (Note: Red checkered tablecloth).

3. Upstairs at Bouley – 130 W. Broadaway (at Duane Street) – Chef David Bouley just knows how to do it right and I won’t ever forget the “Bouley Burger” I had here over a Sunday brunch. The burger is made on a toasted english muffin and served with cucumber, lettuce, red onion, fresh herbs, french mustard and ketchup with cheese (swiss, cheddar or blue).  Amazingly delectable.  (FYI: Upstairs also serves up sushi, sashimi and a selection of sake if you’re not craving a burger). 

Runners-up:

4. Five Guys  Famous Burgers and Fries – I like the one on 296 Bleecker Street (near 7th Ave.). Burgers and fries (and a few other selections like grilled cheese if you’re not feeling meaty) – tasty, simple menu and you see the stacks of the bags of potatoes from the outside … I like it.

5. The Burger Joint  at the Le Parker Meridien Hotel – 119 W. 56th Street (between Sixth and Seventh Aves.) – Don’t be confused that it’s in the Le Parker Meridien. It’ s not fancy at all, but there is some weird charm to this place because people are all lined up in a small corridor inside a luxury hotel since there are only about four booths inside. Fun fact: Time Out New York’s recent issue says that they go through 150,000 pounds of beef per year.

Some other burgers/burger joints still on my list to check out:

  • Pop Burger – 60 Ninth Ave. (at 15th Street) – It’s in the Meatpacking District and it’s called Pop Burger. Curious.
  • DBGB – 299 Bowery (between Houston and First Ave.) – I can’t wait to try “The Yankee.” (FYI: The Web site music is kinda rad).
  • Noho Star – 330 Lafayette Street – The “Popeye Burger” comes recommended.
  • Burgers & Cupcakes – 265 W. 23rd Steet (at 8th Ave.) – I think this is a fascinating concept.
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3 Responses to “These are a few of my favorite … burgers”

  1. Jim Says:

    I have had 5 popeye burgers @ Noho star in the past 2 months.

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