Looking For the Best Burgers in NYC? These 3 Burgers will NOT Disappoint!

Cherche Midi's prime rib burger served with fries.

Yes, there have always been first-rate burger joints in this town, and most restaurants, even expensive ones, would include some sort meat-patty sandwich on their menu. But except for a couple of legendary exceptions (21 Club, Peter Luger's), in days of yore–say, 10 years ago–the restaurant burger was usually there more as an escape hatch for picky patrons, not to be taken too seriously by the kitchen or anyone else. That is no longer the way things are done. Today just about every respectable restaurant that traffics in meat not only features the dish prominently, but puts a lot of thought, love, and high-quality ingredients into its making. In fact, the burger deliciousness comes so thick and fast these days that our "Best NYC Burger" list seems to be more of a moving target than ever before. Here, then, are three exceptional burgers that are sure delight any meat fan.   

Bar Sardine's Fedora Burger

The Fedora Burger at Bar Sardine 

About a month or so ago Gabe Stulman and the wizards at Little Wisco (Joseph Leonard, Perla, Jeffrey's Grocery, etc.) gave the revamp to their Chez Sardine bistro, which was a great place if you like eating salmon heads (which I definitely did) but was maybe a bit too specialized as a business model. Now the pretty little West Village corner spot is more bar than restaurant, and the highlight of the brief food menu is, without question, the Fedora Burger. This is a seriously juicy patty, topped with smoked cheddar, "BBQ Mayo", cucumbers instead of pickles, and, the secret weapon, crispy potato sticks. Coming in at "only" $12, the Fedora Burger isn't huge, and you'll need to get a salad or something for it fully qualify as dinner, but man is this good. 

Cherche Midi's prime rib burger

The Prime Rib Burger at Cherche Midi

In other revamp news, late this summer Keith McNally (Balthazar, Schiller's, Minetta Tavern, etc) reopened his corner-of-Bowery-and-Houston spot, transforming the Italian Pulino's into the French Cherche Midi, much to the delight of the downtown crowd, who are raving about and packing the place every night. Prices are high here at Cherche Midi, but if you want to check out the scene one night (or many nights) without spending a fortune, the $23 Prime Rib Burger (comes with first-rate frites) is terrific. The meat is deep and tangy, the toppings include melted gruyere, bacon marmalade, and roasted mushrooms for an extra umami kick, juice flying everywhere, so, so satisfying. Chef Daniel Parilla also opened Minetta Tavern, home of the fabled $28 Black Label Burger, which I happened to also eat recently and, I must say, isn't nearly as good as his new Cherche Midi version. 

The Frenchie burger from Bar Boulud

The Frenchie Burger at Bar Boulud 

Located right across from Lincoln Center and one of the best places to eat on the Upper West Side, Bar Boulud has a long, appealing, heavily meaty menu, and the prices generally reflect all three of those facts. Meaning: it's expensive. The good news, though: the Bar Boulud Frenchie Burger is not only the cheapest main course here at $23, but it also comes with excellent salty fries (so this all you really need to order for a meal) AND, most important here, it tastes tres amazing. The patty is an insanely rich combo of black angus beef, pork belly confit, and red wine braised short rib, topped with roasted tomato and onion, sharp raclette cheese, arugula, mustard, and it's all on a black pepper bun. In other words, this big beauty is exploding with flavor.  

Crowds outside of NYC's Bar Boulud

Chez Sardine on Urbanspoon Cherche Midi on Urbanspoon Bar Boulud on Urbanspoon

Posted in Downtown, NYC Dining, Top Picks, Westside | Tagged