National Hamburger Month is once again upon us. Herewith our favorite places for burgers (of all kinds!) in the city. Your taste buds will thank us! By Jessica Allen.
33-21 31st Avenue
Astoria, NY 11106
Since opening in 2009, Bareburger—with its mission of merging organic, natural ingredients, a fun, fast casual atmosphere, and American classics/comfort food—has proven so successful that we’re willing to wager there’s a location near you, wherever you are in the five boroughs. Meat comes from Vermont Country Farms and Fossil Farms, where cattle mosey all about eating grass all day. (Yes, you can definitely taste the difference.) But Bareburger burgers go beyond the tried-and-true. Along with beef, you can try elk, duck, bison, sweet potato and wild rice, and lamb.
1571 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10028
We might as well make our allegiance clear: we wholeheartedly support the so-called BurgerFication of the Nation. We were overjoyed when this Florida-based chain opened on the Upper East Side, and hope and pray that someday a sister location will open down the block from our house (or, you know, in our house). The 100% natural Angus burgers come from grass-fed, humanely raised animals, are free of hormones and antibiotics, and pair excellently with hand-cut fries. We recommend the BurgerFi cheeseburger, a double dose of yum yum yum.
Burke & Wills
226 West 79th Street
New York, NY 10024
In 1860, two gentlemen by the names of Burke and Wills led a 2,000-or-so-mile expedition across Australia. Burke & Wills, on the Upper West Side, pays homage to those explorers with a menu full of Australian favorites, including a kangaroo burger. It has pickled onions, tomato jam, and arugula, and it will absolutely expand your concept of what a burger can be. And then there are the cocktails, each named for a well-known Australian rock song: Midnight Oil’s “Beds Are Burning,” for example, gets reimagined as the restaurant’s take on a cucumber margarita, accented with Thai chili agave.
100 West 124th Street
New York, NY 10027
In honor of National Burger Month, both locations of Harlem Shake are offering the Harlem Biggie. It’s a quadruple-decker, stacked with avocado, tomato, Nueske bacon, onion, housemade pickles, and a fried egg. Not to be missed! Or you can order a custom-blended Pat LaFrieda burger a la carte; options include the Harlem Jerk, with jerk mayo and jerk fries; the Pigskin Classic, with fried pork rinds; and the Hot Mess, featuring a pickled cherry pepper and bacon relish. Do we even need to say it? Well, just in case: order a shake too. Among many options is a luscious red velvet.
230 East 51st Street
New York, NY 10022
For years and years, folks have flocked to The Spotted Pig, a gastropub run by April Bloomfield and Ken Friedman, to try, among other things, the chargrilled burger with Roquefort cheese. It’s no surprise, then, that they opened a burger-focused restaurant, nor should it come as any kind of shock to learn that the meat gets both butchered and blended at a butcher shop that’s also owned by the pair. Talk about keeping it all in the family. The Salvation Burger features smoked bacon and beer cheese, while the Classic boasts its very own secret sauce and housemade cheese. Even more joy is to be had via the Veggie Burger, a tasty mix of carrots, lentils, garam masala, and tomato chutney.
235 West 12th Street
New York, NY 10014
Wallflower proves that you don’t have to specialize in American food to make a terrific American dish: this lovely restaurant in the West Village primarily puts out seasonal country French fare. Nevertheless, the Tom Sawyer Burger is a marvel of the form: it starts with a hefty 70-ounce hunk of ground Black Angus beef, gets topped with layers of bacon, dill aioli, pickles, and pimento cheese, and then gets sandwiched between a potato dill roll. By all means, nod to France and order a side of asparagus with parmesan and fine herbs, or salt-baked beet with chevre and watermelon relish as well.
Jessica Allen is a New York-based writer.