If you’re planning a trip to the City That Never Sleeps, one thing you absolutely must do is try one of the best burgers in New York City.
The hamburger is one of the most iconic foods in New York, and you’ll find tons of famous burger restaurants in NYC, some of which even offer vegan options. While a burger may seem like a simple meal, I can assure you that dining at a New York burger spot will be a memorable gastronomic experience.
Our favorite New York burger is prepared at Burger Joint, a well-known restaurant famously referred to as the “secret burger joint in New York”. However, in this guide, I’ll introduce some of the other excellent burger spots in NYC.
1. Shake Shack, the perfect spot to eat the best burger in New York
The Shake Shack is a widely recognized and popular fast-food chain with numerous branches scattered across the city. So, it’s almost impossible to finish your trip without trying one of their hamburgers in New York.
This burger restaurant in New York offers more than just burgers; they also serve typical fast-food items such as hot dogs, fries, and some of the best milkshakes in the city. Their most renowned burger is the ShackBurger, made from beef and completed by American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and their signature Shack Sauce.
This burger chain in NYC pleasantly surprised us, as opposed to the fast food we’re accustomed to, which often gets a bad rap for using low-quality products. Here, you’ll find quite the opposite—top-notch, delicious burgers at a reasonable price. Without a doubt, it offers one of the best New York burgers in terms of quality and value.
- Location: Multiple locations
- Price range: $10-$15 per person
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (opening hours may vary in different locations)
2. Burger Joint, a little-known place to eat the best burgers in New York City
Although there are two others in the city, the Burger Joint near Central Park is known as a secret burger spot in New York. It’s located inside the Thompson Central Park, so to get in, you’ll need to enter the hotel and head toward the reception area. You’ll find the entrance on your left, but be ready for a bit of a line to get in.
The menu at this hidden burger restaurant in New York is straightforward, specializing in fresh burgers served with a side of fries. The best part is that you can handpick the toppings and choose how you want your burger cooked, so it’s all about how you like your meat.
Another highlight of New York’s secret burger joint is its decor. Besides the cozy and clandestine ambiance, what really catches your eye are the walls and lamps adorned with messages and signatures from previous guests. Just keep in mind that Burger Joint only accepts cash.
- Location: Thompson Central Park Hotel
- Price range: $10-$15 per person
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.
3. 5 Napkin Burger, a famous burger joint in New York
5 Napkin Burger is a well-known restaurant that offers the best burgers in New York City. In fact, you’ll find two of their restaurants, one in Hell’s Kitchen and another on the Upper West Side.
They offer a wide variety of burgers, including vegetarian and vegan options. But it doesn’t stop there – their menu also features appetizers, seasonal salads, and knife-and-fork courses. So, if you’re in the mood for more than just a typical New York burger, this is the place to be.
We decided to try 5 Napkin Burger in New York City after hearing that they serve one of the best burgers in NYC. What we discovered was a vibrant and welcoming restaurant with a diverse menu. In the end, we opted for the vegan burger and the double 5-cheese burger, both served with fries and onion rings. It was a fantastic meal, and we’d happily return for more.
- Location: Hell’s Kitchen (630 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036) and Upper West Side (2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024)
- Price range: $15-$30 per person
- Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. (hours may vary in different locations)
4. Corner Bistro, another restaurant with some of the best burgers in New York City
Corner Bistro is a celebrated burger restaurant in New York that offers some of the best burgers in the city at a reasonable price. You’ll find it in the West Village, not far from Chelsea Market and the High Line, two of the main attractions in NYC. Unfortunately, a few years back, Corner Bistro had to permanently close some of its locations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What sets this New York burger joint apart is its bohemian atmosphere as well as its prime location in one of the city’s most charming neighborhoods. When it comes to food, you’ll get top-notch quality at a surprisingly affordable price, especially considering you’re in New York.
Their most popular burger is the Bistro Burger, featuring a beef patty with American cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles. While the menu offers a variety of other burgers, you can also dig into sandwiches, salads, and some appetizers. All in all, it’s a great spot to enjoy the best burger in New York City.
- Location: West Village (331 West 4th Street, New York, NY 10014)
- Price range: $10-$25 per person
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 12:40 a.m.
5. Five Guys, a popular burger restaurant in New York City
Five Guys is a fast-food burger chain in New York that’s famous across the world, and it has locations in various countries. In New York, it’s a well-known spot where you can grab a delicious and budget-friendly meal. And the good thing is you can find their branches in different parts of the city.
Five Guys restaurants have a fairly simple decor, characterized by their signature white and red decor. What makes them stand out is their commitment to using only the freshest ingredients. Unlike typical fast-food joints, where product quality is often questionable, Five Guys maintains a reputation for serving fresh, high-quality products.
You can’t go wrong with trying one of their hamburgers, which are renowned as some of the best burgers in New York. And the best part is that they are very generous with their fries and will throw an extra amount in with your burger, allowing you to save a few bucks.
Without a doubt, Five Guys is a top-notch burger joint in New York, so don’t be deceived by the fact that it is a fast-food restaurant.
- Location: Various locations
- Price range: $10-$15 per person
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. (hours may vary in different locations)
6. Bareburger, a restaurant with the best vegetarian burgers in New York City
Bareburger is the best burger joint in New York if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet or have any allergies, as they even have separate fryers to prevent cross-contamination. Additionally, there are several restaurants throughout New York City, including locations in Brooklyn and Queens.
Here, you can choose from the best burgers in New York, from beef and chicken patties to vegan options. Plus, you can add your choice of cheese, lettuce, and other toppings to create your ideal burger. If you’re in the mood for sides, don’t forget to try their delicious fries, nuggets, and other starters to complete your meal.
The quality of the food is top-notch, and the prices are quite reasonable. However, if you have any allergies or intolerances, make sure to inform the staff so they can take proper precautions during food preparation.
- Location: Various locations
- Price range: $15-$25 per person
- Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Sunday from 12:00 PM to 10:00 PM, and Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 12:00 PM to 12:00 AM (hours may vary by location).
7. Peter Luger, a place to eat a Michelin Star burger in NY
This luxury restaurant is located in Williamsburg, one of the best neighborhoods in Brooklyn, and boasts a Michelin star. This means you’ll find the best New York burger right here. But, be prepared, because such prestige comes at a price compared to the other burger joints I’ve mentioned.
While these are some of the most expensive burgers in New York, they are made with USDA Prime meats, which is the highest quality grade for meat in the United States. The key to their delicious recipe is keeping the meat at low temperatures and controlling humidity while aging it for a length of time that remains a secret. Without a doubt, these are the best New York burgers in terms of taste and quality.
Adding to this extraordinary experience is the relaxing atmosphere at Peter Luger. Plus, the customer service here is truly exceptional.
- Location: Williamsburg (178 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211)
- Price range: $90 per person
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday from 11:45 AM to 9:30 PM
8. PJ Clarke’s, the oldest burger joint in New York
PJ Clarke’s is the oldest burger joint in New York, so it is certainly worth a visit. The original PJ Clarke’s is located on 3rd Avenue, not far from famous New York buildings like Rockefeller Center, Trump Tower, and Grand Central Terminal. But it has two more restaurants as well —one in Lincoln Square and another next to the Hudson River in the Financial District.
In any of these three PJ Clarke’s locations, you can enjoy some of the best New York burgers along with an ambiance that will remind you of classic American movies. However, I recommend going to the one on Third Avenue because it’s the original and the oldest in the city.
As for the menu, in addition to hamburgers, you’ll find appetizers, knife-and-fork dishes, and delightful desserts. Keep in mind that there may be some slight menu variations from one restaurant to another.
- Location: 915 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022
- Price range: $20-$40 per person
- Opening hours: Monday and Sunday from 11:30 AM to 11:00 PM, and Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 11:30 AM to 12:00 AM.
9. JG Melon NYC, another spot with some of the best burgers in New York City
J.G. Melon NYC is also known for serving some of the most epic burgers in New York. This restaurant is located on the Upper East Side and offers a small terrace with tables for those who prefer to eat outdoors.
One of the reasons this burger joint in New York is so famous among New Yorkers and tourists is that it has been visited by movie stars, politicians, artists, writers, and a multitude of public figures.
Their menu, in addition to a variety of burgers, includes salads and appetizers to complement your meal. And don’t forget to save room for dessert. J.G. Melon NYC offers not just delicious food but also a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere, so, if you’re in the area, I highly recommend giving it a try.
One important note: this burger joint in New York only accepts cash.
- Location: 1291 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10021
- Price range: $15-$30 per person
- Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 11:30 AM to 3:00 AM and Sunday from 11:30 AM to 1:00 AM
10. Peak NYC, where to get the best burgers in New York City with a view
Finally, we have Peak NYC, a fantastic spot to enjoy a delicious New York burger.
What sets this burger joint in NYC apart is its breathtaking views, as it is located on the 101st floor of a Hudson Yards skyscraper. It’s important to note that due to its excellent location, dining here is way more expensive compared to the other burger joints in this guide. However, it can be an ideal choice for special occasions.
Here you’ll find burgers made with top-quality meat, along with a menu featuring gourmet dishes and delicacies. Plus, you can enjoy its elegant and luxurious atmosphere, making it an excellent option if you’d like to enjoy your burger while admiring one of the best viewpoints in New York.
- Location: 30 Hudson Yards, 101st floor
- Price range: Over $100 per person
- Opening hours: Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.; Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Best gluten-free burgers in New York
If you have a gluten intolerance or allergies, worry not; you can still enjoy a delicious hamburger in New York.
Earlier in this guide, I mentioned two restaurants with the best gluten-free burgers in New York—Shake Shack and Bareburger. Bareburger even has separate fryers for preparing dishes for those with gluten intolerance or allergies, ensuring there’s no cross-contamination.
But there are other options too, like Bill’s Bar & Burger, which includes gluten-free choices on its menu, including burgers. You can find two Bill’s Bar & Burger restaurants in New York, one in the Financial District and another in Chelsea.
Even the famous Hard Rock Café offers gluten-free burgers, making it a great option if you want to enjoy a meal while listening to the best rock songs. I recommend making a reservation through this link to avoid a long wait.
No matter which option you choose, always inform the restaurant staff about your dietary restrictions and allergies, so they can prepare your food properly.
Best vegan burgers in New York
I’ve already mentioned some of the best places you can enjoy vegan burgers in New York City including Bareburger, which offers meatless options. Shake Shack is another excellent option for vegetarian burgers in NYC, while 5 Napkin Burger is the place to go for an Impossible burger in New York.
Another fantastic choice is Beatnic, a vegan restaurant where you’ll find not just burgers but also a variety of pasta dishes, salads, and appetizers. I highly recommend the lentil burger; it’s truly delicious. There are several Beatnic locations in New York, one near Washington Square, another close to the Flatiron Building, and a third one not far from the Museum of Ice Cream.
Finally, in SoHo, you can make a stop at Jerrell’s BETR BRGR, a vegan burger restaurant in New York offering great value for your money. They also use vegan cheese to complement their burgers, and it’s quite tasty.
Map of the best burger restaurants in New York
Now that you know where to eat the best burgers in New York, check out this map of New York to find the one nearest to you.
I hope this guide helps you locate the best burger joints in New York to include in your itinerary. If you have any questions or know of any other burger spots in New York that I haven’t mentioned, please feel free to leave a comment below. I’ll be thrilled to try their burgers on my next visit to the Big Apple!
Enjoy your time in New York!