photo credit: Chris Stang

J.G. Melon review image

J.G. Melon


1291 3rd Ave, New York
Earn 3X Points

There was a time when this was the only restaurant anywhere near the Upper East side that we would make a trip for. J.G. Melon's is one of the better burgers in New York City, and it had it's 30th anniversary long before Shake Shack and Five Guys started opening up locations around town like Duane Reade. Nowadays there are a few more culinary bright spots in the area, but it seemed necessary that we give J.G. Melon's it's due respect.

If you haven't been, there are a few things you should know: it will inevitably be crowded, you need to drink beers by the bottle (not from the tap), and the service will not be friendly. But before you go running to Yelp to tell all your "friends" about how mean they were to you, consider this -it's a New York institution that's been serving burgers since TGI Friday's was nothing more than a swinging singles bar down the street. Respect your elders and eat.

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Food Rundown

J.G. Melon review image


A fantastic, flavorful burger cooked on a flattop and served on a lightly toasted and soft bun. This isn't a down and dirty burger you'll wrestle with, but rather a simple classic that fits nicely in your hand. Don't be afraid to mess around with grilled onions - they're tasty - and we definitely recommend adding bacon.

J.G. Melon review image


J.G. Melon also happens to serve a surprisingly great chili. Take that Wendy’s.

J.G. Melon review image

Cottage Fries

Awesome little fries the size of a quarter and ribbed for your pleasure. Some will be crispy, and some will not, which is perfect.

J.G. Melon review image

Bloody Mary

The bloody marys here are excellent, but if you really have some balls, order a Bloody Bull, which is this but with beef broth mixed in.


It’s important to know that draught beers here are small, often flat, and kind of warm. Maybe I’ve been to Corner Bistro too much, but there’s something appealing to me about drinking nasty beer from the tap before I eat a burger. Nonetheless, order by the bottle to be safe.

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Suggested Reading

Corner Bistro review image
Corner Bistro

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.

Fanelli Cafe review image

A classic New York City gem, still standing from a time when horse and buggies were bringing people here to drink. Eat the chicken club sandwich, drink a Stella from the tap, and imagine that you’re about to head off for a sweet vacation aboard the Titanic.

P.J. Clarke’s review 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.

Viand review image

The New York experience is really about making this gigantic metropolis feel smaller. Viand is one of those places.

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