10 Must-Try New Burgers in NYC: Summer Edition

By James Mulcahy  |  July 22, 2013
Credit: Gabi Porter

We've been stuffing our face around town to find some of the Big Apple's best new offerings in the burger department, because with 8 million people sharing this patch of concrete, it can be tricky to find a place to grill your own patty. Five spankin' new offerings scored a spot on our list alongside five notables that are still keeping things juicy after debuting this year. From a patty melt Michael White-style to a greasy bit of grilled glory in Bushwick, click through the slide show to see which new burgers you should try this summer.

  • Fritzl’s Lunch Box

    Dan Ross Leutwyler is the chef behind this tiny Bushwick sandwich shop, and considering his pedigree, it’s no surprise that his house-ground burger is mind-blowingly good. He has spent time in the kitchens of Roberta’s, Fatty ‘Cue and The Breslin, where he honed his ability to produce notable comfort food. The 6-oz. blend of chuck and cheek is made in-house, topped with American cheese and served on a toasted sesame bun. The secret ingredient is a sweet pickle relish that’s slathered on the bread, adding some nice acid to the mix. For dessert, order a slice of pie (from nearby Pies ‘n’ Thighs), and you should be golden.

    173 Irving Ave.; 929-210-9531

  • Harlem Shake

    This new fast-casual joint evokes old-school Harlem with signed photos of neighborhood notables, a life-sized photo of "Miss Harlem Shake," a tin ceiling and over 300 vintage covers of JET decorating the walls. The menu features a signature patty from Pat LaFrieda that is ground fresh daily and cooked on the griddle smash-style before being placed on a potato roll. There are some inventive combos served at this joint - the Jerk Fry Burger is topped with jerk-seasoned fries and mayo, and the Pigskin Classic is made into a true gut-bomb with the addition of crispy pork rinds. Oh, and you can’t go wrong with a side of the fries, since those spuds are cooked in beef tallow.

    100 W. 124th St.; 646-508-5657

  • The Butterfly

    Everyone is talking about Michael White's new Wisconsin supper club in TriBeCa, and when we rolled in to try his patty melt, we figured out why. It's freakin' delicious. Dry-aged beef is served up with caramelized onions, melted with a combo of Swiss (for a little funk) and American cheese (for a little creaminess) between two slices of caraway rye that are perfectly golden brown, greasy goodness from the griddle. If only they made them this good at the diner. And if you really want to take your patty melt to 'nother-level experience, order one of Eben Freeman's Boiler Makers. Freeman is making his own raisin soda, mixing it with Morini Wisconsin beer and pouring shandies to back up the shot of Dewars its served with (that - of course - is infused with pumpernickel, raisin and caraway). Have a few sips of both alone, and then drop the scotch in the shandy to relive a much better college ritual.

    225 W. Broadway; 646-692-4943

  • Dinosaur Bar-B-Que

    Beloved BBQ outpost Dinosaur just opened a new location on the edge of Park Slope and Gowanus. Those guys may be best-known for their saucy pork ribs and barbequed chicken that would satisfy a family of Flintstones, but their burgers should not be overlooked. Black Angus beef patties are served up in an almost oblong shape to fit their rolls. We went for a "Deluxe" with heaps of melted cheese, caramelized onions and pickles, and we threw a little bacon on there, because why wouldn't you want that? But what really makes their burgers uniquely Dinosaur? We have two words: BBQ mayo. Genius.

    604 Union St., Brooklyn; 347-429-7030

  • Shake Shack, the Airport Edition

    Ok, there’s nothing new about Danny Meyer’s famous fast-food patty, but we bet when you’re all harried from traveling and the only other option is a plate of god-knows-what from an airport commissary, a bite into the signature Shackburger seems like a godsend. Travelers should know that Shake Shack has an outpost in the new and improved Terminal 4 of JFK, making a trip out of town slightly less of a nightmare. Even though 11 million travelers pass through this terminal each year, we’re predicting the lines will be a little more bearable than at the original location. Even better - if you’re too early for the burger-flipping, this location has the chain’s first breakfast menu. Do we really need to have a ticket to wake up to their egg sandwich with pork sausage? Let’s get this in every location, shall we?

  • The Marrow

    Lining up all these decadent treats for this roundup, we challenged our tummies to the limits of our digestive capability, but this one nearly took us down. It's a burger, finished in pan-melted bone marrow and topped with a generous dollop of bone marrow, melted onions (we're pretty sure cooked in bone marrow) and a veritable lava flow of melted cheese, all on a pretzel roll. It's delicious. It's outrageous. And it's not for the faint of heart. We also had the "Bloody Marrow" to go along with it, but alas, there is no bone marrow in the drink... but there is beef stock, red wine, fennel and pickled rhubarb. You know what you're getting into when you sit down at a place called The Marrow. Be warned.

    99 Bank St.; 212-428-6000

  • Union Hall

    Everyone's talking about the bigger and better return of Smorgasburg this year, and one of the runaway hits among the new vendors are the guys from Floyd's Beer Cheese. You can go to the Smorg and pick up your own container of beer cheese... or you can head out to Park Slope’s Union Hall, where you can get a Floyd Burger. One bite and you'll realize you've never really had a cheeseburger until you've had one with beer cheese. It's tangy and spicy and makes a great accompaniment to the blackened burger that comes with bourbon-caramelized onions and a crunchy sesame bun slathered with fig and currant compote. This is a bar burger on steroids.

    702 Union St., Brooklyn; 718-638-4400

  • Willow Road

    Nestled on 10th Avenue between Colicchio & Sons and Del Posto (and across from Morimoto) is this narrow little gastropub that has been churning out amazing food and cocktails to little fanfare for the last few months. We’re here to tell you that the lamb burger on their lunch menu is quite a little stunner. It’s served with sumac aïoli for a little Middle Eastern flair and is topped with aged cheddar and a savory compote of roasted grape tomatoes with thyme and cilantro. While the burger is fantastic, we found ourselves shoveling the accompanying potato crisps into our faces faster than we could chew. They’re impossibly thin, impossibly crisp and impossibly delicious.

    85 10th Ave.; 646-484-6566

  • Clarke's Standard

    There's a new burger in town, and it's actually a really, really old one. P.J. Clarke's has been gradually expanding its burger domination in NYC with a few fast-food outposts - the first one sprung up on Lexington in Midtown, and now there are outposts in the Financial District and Columbus Circle. We went for a Cadillac Burger with a thick chocolate shake, and we were presented with a hefty cheese-covered patty, topped with a generous amount of bacon and "Standard Sauce." Bonus: we spent some time playing in their condiment playground, squeezing pumps filled with the likes of tomatillo relish, root beer BBQ sauce and Sir Kensington's spicy ketchup.

    Multiple locations

  • Little Prince

    Where do we start with this one? Usually when you go to a lovely, elegant French bistro, ordering a burger would be like ordering from the kids' menu. Not here. Chef Paul Denamiel proves that Americans should put down the spatula, 'cause the French make burgers better than us. For the French Onion Soup Burger, he tops a standard Pat LaFrieda patty with caramelized onions and a Gruyère bechamel (with delicate hints of Dijon), and puts it all on an English muffin. The burger is perfect. Better than perfect. It's messy and yet holds together well, with a juicy explosion of French onion soup flavor. It started as an off-the-menu snack and was quickly added to the menu. And it's no wonder, because this is one of the most craveable new patties that NYC has seen in a while. Oh, if you really want to go crazy and your timing is right, you might be able to order a foie gras Egg McMuffin - if you ask nicely.

    199 Prince St.; 212-335-0566