New York is full of tried and true burgers, and you could easily spend the next 20 years frequenting the uptown J.G. Melon in Nantucket Reds. But now that there’s a downtown J.G. Melon, would you at least try that? Or, live a little and try some of the city’s best other new (and new-ish) burgers, updated for summer 2016.
Anyone who’s been to the original Emily in Clinton Hill knows that these people aren’t just pizza geniuses - they also make some of the best burgers in town. And that title is further solidified at their new spot Emmy Squared in Williamsburg. Upstairs they serve Detroit-style pizza, but if you want to eat their $25 double-patty burger masterpiece, you're going to have to go downstairs to the basement (unless you happen to be here for a weekday lunch). It isn't the exact same burger as Emily's, but it's similar - and just as, if not more, enjoyable.
Speedy Romeo LES63 Clinton St
Another pizza joint with a burger that steals the pies’ thunder, Speedy Romeo’s new Lower East Side location brings its beautiful meat sandwich to the people of Manhattan. They employ a layer of pizza sauce at the bottom of the sandwich to takes things to the next level.
Rider80 N 6th St
It’s a fact you learn after only a few 3am bodega sandwich runs: New York people are passionate about Russian dressing. And it’s the supporting star of the show on the Rider burger, alongside cheese, cabbage, and onions. Kind of like a Big Mac. Only nothing like a Big Mac. We're not blown away by Rider as a restaurant overall, but if you're in the market for a new burger in Williamsburg this is a worthy one.
Stumble into the neighborhood spot Cherry Point in Greenpoint, and you probably won’t immediately expect this monstrosity of a double-patty burger to appear before you. But there she is, covered in lots of cheese. Purists beware - this is topped with a not-insignificant amount of pickles and red pepper spread. And at $14, it's also one of the more affordable fancy new burgers on this list.
Hearth403 E. 12th St.
Hearth recently underwent a major overhaul, and came out on the other side as a lighter and healthier restaurant. One of their new menu items? A burger. Without a bun. Made up of brisket, chuck, heart, and liver (those organs give it nutrients). Sounds borderline ridiculous, but we enjoyed eating it. Very rich, and very good.
Basically an excellent, extra-greasy version of a classic fast food burger. If Shake Shack is your favorite burger, get Hard Times on your hit list.
Lighthouse145 Borinquen Pl
This restaurant isn’t new, but for some reason Lighthouse has spent the last five years living completely under the radar. And it’s about time you knew about it - particularly its burger. It’s outstanding - the meat itself tastes like ground steak - and the fries it comes with are perfect. Get involved.
Virginia's647 E 11th St
You shouldn’t come to Virginia’s unless you’re willing to do damage to your arteries, and you also shouldn’t come to Virginia’s unless you plan to eat the burger. It’s insanely good, and insanely rich. Just know that you have to sit at the bar, not a table, to get it.
The Ribbon20 W 72nd St
Forget about bacon jam. This open-faced monstrosity is smothered with oxtail marmalade, making for one of the best meat-on-meat showings around. But it doesn’t stop there – the whole thing is topped with a poached egg and sitting on challah toast. You’re going to need utensils, and a nap.
J.G. Melon Downtown89 MacDougal St.
The famous J.G. Melon now has a location on MacDougal Street. Here’s what you need to know: the burger is a carbon copy of the original.