The 10 Best Burgers in NYC
Long before David Hasselhoff became a Teutonic favorite, Germany gave us the cooked-meat puck known as the hamburger, and we think it's safe to say we came away the victors in that cultural trade-off. Yes, the hamburger is America's sandwich, and as an American, it's your Xenu-given right to stuff your American maw with American ground beef cooked to the American temperature of your choice. Your definition may be rigid (beef plus bun ONLY equals burger), but burgers in this city come in all shapes, sizes, and combinations, and each iteration probably deserves its own list. For our purposes, we're focusing on the best of beef, though lamb does get an honorable mention. Here are the 10 best burgers in NYC, which you might try eating Hasselhoff-style: on the floor while disappointing your family.
10. Zaitzeff, 72 Nassau Street
Owner Zachary Zaitzeff take on this classic tops the burger charts with an unconventional Portuguese muffin bun, grilled onions, and a quarter or half pound of grass-fed D'Artagnan beef or wagyu from Nebraska's Morgan Ranch. The patties stay plenty juicy--a boon for both the sweetness and sturdiness of those buns and the sharpness of Vermont white cheddar. High quality lettuce and tomato come standard if you swing that way, but the onions alone do a great job of highlighting the meat.
9. Korzo Burger, Brooklyn Beet Company, 7205 Third Avenue, Brooklyn
The beast that spawned three restaurants (South Slope's Korzo, the East Village's Korzo Haus, and now Brooklyn Beet Company in Bay Ridge), the Korzo burger is a rare-to-medium-rare mound of organic fresh-ground beef stuffed inside lángos, a fried Hungarian flatbread. Enrobed in dough, the meat comes padded with bacon, Emmentaler cheese, house-made beer mustard, and dill pickles. Though it's already a busy burger, it's hard to resist slathering each bite in another house-made condiment: crimson beet "ketchup."
8. The Smoke Shack, Shake Shack, multiple locations
Shake Shack The Smoke Shack, left
At its best, Shake Shack is a guilty pleasure that's more than worth the wait (and hoo boy, those waits). At its worst, it's still miles ahead of larger chains, though you know Danny is gunning for some of that Mickey D's cheddar with locations in Dubai and, most recently, London. With the Smoke Shack, Meyer and Co. now have a burger that wrestles with the original Shack Stack for best item on the menu. The smoke in the title comes from Niman Ranch applewood bacon, though the star of the show is a tangy cherry pepper relish, which imparts a slow burn that ties the heavier elements together.