photo credit: Ron Antonelli

people eating at a lunch counter

Hamburger America



$$$$Perfect For:LunchCasual Weeknight DinnerDining Solo
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What do a university library and this Soho hamburger joint have in common? They’re both run by scholars. George Motz, who claims to have eaten 20,000 burgers, is the “hamburger historian” behind Hamburger America, and most days, he’s also literally behind the bright, white-and-yellow lunch counter, flipping patties alongside the other griddle-masters. With the city’s ongoing smashburger boom, there's an oversupply of greasy cheeseburgers on every corner. But here, they’re served with a heap of doo-wop era nostalgia.

You’ll find solid, meat- and mustard-forward single ($7.25) and double ($11.25) smashburgers, but we’d recommend the Oklahoma-style burger. It's grilled on top of paper-thin onions, which impregnate the beef with their vapors. They also have rotating regional specials (like an olive burger from Michigan), a few classic lunch sandwiches, egg creams, and cookies—and the thick chocolate milk is obligatory.

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