Are These Contenders For The Best New Burgers In NYC?

All-American burger with fries at Black Tap Craft Burgers and Bee in Soho, Manhattan.The Golden Age of NYC burgers continues forward with a pair of terrific entries into what is shaping up to be a hotly contested Best New Burgers 2015 race. It still amazes and gratifies me how many spots serve up crave-worthy burgers these days. Time was that the dish was little more than thrown-together menu "escape hatch" for picky eaters at any sort of mid-priced restaurant, and most of your other burger options were either of the local diner variety (don't get me wrong: some of which were, and still are, great) or fast food (no thanks always). Not today, when any burger aficionado worth his or her salt can reel off a dozen or more truly great places all over the city. Anyway, enough reminiscing: here are my two recent favorites, both of which are in neighborhoods–western Soho; the West Village–in which you are likely to find yourself, and, if you're like me, probably hungry, as you go about your NYC adventuring.


Beer And Burgers at Black Tap

Opened in late winter at the western end of Broome Street, the appealing bar/lunch counter of Black Tap Craft Burgers and Beer is an oasis of neighborly good-vibes and first-rate, reasonably-priced food in a part of town that's usually lacking for both. As the name implies, the Black Tap menu is composed of nine varieties of burgers–some "fancy", some nice and ordinary–a few "burger Salads" for the carb-phobes, and a solid slate of sides. I've tried a few burgers here and while everything is good it's the standard All-American (cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, special sauce, pictured at top) that really shines, a well-balanced, perfectly cooked sandwich that, when paired with salty, thickish-cut fries, is pretty much guaranteed to satisfy, no matter the meal or your mood. Located at 529 Broome between Sullivan and Thompson.  

The two-patty Happiest Burger at The Happiest Hour bar on West 10th Street.

Hungry? Try The Happiest Burger at The Happiest Hour

Even better, burger-wise, is the surprisingly inexpensive and even-more-surprisingly delicious The Happiest Hour, which opened in the old Kingswood spot on West 10th Street last fall. I say surprising, especially when it comes to the burger and fries, because this place is really a retro tropical cocktail bar that fills up nightly with twenty-somethings desperate to have a good time. But instead of throwing out whatever to the partying crowds, the kitchen at The Happiest Hour serves up what might be the best burger in town, new or otherwise, period. The Happiest Burger is a two-patty thing of beauty with all the correct toppings, including a ridiculous amount of melty American cheese. And if you go early (and I do, to avoid the scene), you get a bowl of terrific Happy Hour Fries for free! The Happiest Hour is located at 121 West 10th Street between 6th and Greenwich Avenues. 

Free bowl of Happy Hour Fries at The Happiest Hour bar.

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