photo credit: Noah Devereaux

Harlem Shake image

Harlem Shake



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Harlem Shake does everything Johnny Rockets and Shake Shack do, but better. It’s an ideal burger, shake, and beer situation, with a little Caribbean flavor thrown into the mix. The owners all grew up in Harlem, do their best to hire from within the community, and donate part of their profits to tons local charities and initiatives, like Harlem Business Alliance, Harlem Children’s Zone, Harlem EatUp!, and so many more. They’re not cutting corners here either. They’re using the good stuff in terms of ingredients; Pat LaFrieda meats in their burgers and Blue Marble ice cream in their shakes.

The burgers here are certainly unique. Harlem Shake takes a thin, double patty route. Their jerk sauce is excellent, and can be taken advantage of in the form of a chicken sandwich, hot dog, or fries. And, as you would expect, the shakes are on point. They’ve also got solid beers on tap and serve Mexican Coke. Those little touches go a long way.

Food Rundown

Harlem Classic Burger with Cheese

A pair of thinly smashed custom blend sirloin patties lathered with American cheese, onions, pickles, and special sauce on a soft potato bun. These burgers have a meaty flavor, and remind us of an elevated, double-stacked from Wendy’s in the best of ways. You can freestyle on your burger too, adding anything from a loosie (extra patty), to fried pork rinds, to pickled cherry pepper-bacon relish. Also, both veggie and turkey burgers are available, which you can customize however you want, or swap out with the beef burgers on the menu.

Barbecue Onion Burger

This is the one to get. We thoroughly enjoyed this burger. Double patties with grilled onions pressed into the meat and topped with cheese, pickles, and homemade BBQ sauce. A very sloppy home run.

Jerk Chicken Sandwich

If you’re into a Jamaican-style jerk sauce, this is your move. The crispy sandwich comes on a soft potato bun with spicy Caribbean slaw & jerk mayo.

Sonoran Dog

This one might've weighed us down for a couple of hours, and that’s something to celebrate. A deep-fried bacon-wrapped dog, with pickled cherry pepper-bacon relish, chipotle mayo, and onions. It’s one of the best things we tried here. Do it.

Classic Patty Melt

We haven’t tried anything from the melts/grilled cheese section, but it’s worth noting that all kinds of melted cheese sandwich options exist on the menu and our guess is they’re probably pretty damn good.

Harlem Shake

Milkshakes made with Brooklyn’s very special Blue Marble ice cream are right up our alley, and the namesake “Harlem” shake is particularly awesome. It’s a red velvet style concoction, but it’s not overly overwhelming in the red velvet flavor department. There’s just a hint of sweet velvet in the predominantly vanilla shake. So good.

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Suggested Reading

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Café Habana

Café Habana is one of the better values in Nolita. You can grab a casual Mexican/Cuban brunch or dinner for less than $20 a person.

Corner Bistro image

There’s something about pounding cheap beers and burgers here that makes you feel like anything is possible. When we finally decided it was go time for “Immaculate” Infatuation, we were sitting in Corner Bistro. A great burger, and a classic establishment.

P.J. Clarke’s image

P.J. Clarke’s has been rocking a good burger for decades. Let’s give the elders some credit. The only thing we don’t like about P.J. Clarke’s is that it’s almost always insufferably busy.

Umami Burger image

From sad plasticky tater tots to instantly liquifying buns, Umami Burger has failed The Infatuation time after time.

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