If you are a tourist, you are not seeing the real NYC if you stick to Times Square. New Yorkers only brave “hell” when relatives or out of towners beg to see the lights. In fact, most of us stay clear of that area at all costs. If you are new to New York, there are so many great places to visit. You can see the northern areas of Central Park (make sure to check out the Alice in Wonderland statue on East 74th), The Cloisters at Fort Tyron, Chinatown. Heck, you can go to Astoria and Brooklyn and see how true New Yorkers live.
Now that I’ve ended my rant, if you come to our beautiful city, please (PLEASE) skip out on Guy’s American Kitchen and Bar and TIGF (You can eat there in your own town, I’m sure). We are the best culinary city in the world, you owe it to yourself to experience us this way.
If you are looking for an amazing burger, you will NOT go wrong with any of these choices:
CaVa Brasserie: This baby is all about ground prime sirloin. The meat is always cooked to perfection and comes with french onions, tomato, lettuce, fries, and “t.e. sauce”. I’m not quite sure what Todd’s sauce is, but it is a damn good burger. CaVa Burger $17.
DB Bistro - The DB burger is the ultimate sin. I usually split it with four people just to lower my chances of gout and heart attack. Why is it so good? It’s ground sirloin, filled with short ribs braised in red wine, foie gras, and black truffle. The bun is laced with parmesan. I’m going to hell for this one. DB Burger $32
Five Guys – Yeah, Five Guys. So what, I don’t care that they are a chain. Their burgers are juicy, flavorful, and you can get them made any way you want with almost any topping you want. Skip their fries, they tend to be a bit soggy. Cheeseburger $6.95
Jeanne & Gaston – I have a love for this restaurant because they offer really good food at very affordable prices. Their burger is off the hook. It comes on a sweet brioche bun and is dressed with a homemade pickle, herb sauce and Camembert cheese (I think this is what makes it so god). The patty is a mix of prime American beef which is served with home made French Fries. Burger Jeanne & Gaston Style $16
Minetta Tavern - The “Black Label” burger is made with a blend of Pat Le Frieda beef which is topped with caramelized onions, and served on a Balthazar brioche bun. The burger is succulent, flavorful and worth the money (could be the clarified butter that is drizzled on the burger that takes it over the edge). Black Label Burger $26
Peter Luger - If they make great steak, and they make a great burger. The burger is only available for lunch (at least last time I was there). It is huge, there’s no way you will leave hungry. suggest you get it with cheese and bacon. Burger $10
Shake Shack – You can’t always afford Minetta’s Black Label. Although Shake Shack is not comparable, it is a good “everyday” burger. This is more your “fast food” burger done with great ingredients. Besides, you can pick up their custard while you are there. Double cheeseburger $7.10.
Spotted Pig - The combination of the burger with Roquefort is simply heavenly. You may think the cheese would overwhelm the burger, but it works perfectly. Besides, the shoestring fries are gorgeous. Chargrilled burger with Roquefort and shoestring fries $20
The Standard Grill -This is a seriously delicious burger. The meat is juicy, and flavorful. Every time I’ve been there it’s been cooked to the perfect temperature. Besides, when I ask them for a fried egg on top, they don’t look at me like I am insane. Killer fries too. Standard ranch burger with bacon & cheese, fries $15
The Breslin – Get the char grilled lamb burger, it is one of my favorites in the city. The lamb will melt in your mouth like no other burger ever has. The cumin mayonnaise adds that “Je ne sais quoi” that will keep you coming back for more. Char grilled lamb burger with feta, cumin mayo & thrice cooked chips $21