Best Burgers on the Upper East Side

American classics
February 27, 2017
·
by Zagat Staff

From the classic, no-frills burger served up at J.G. Melon to the custom LaFrieda blend at the Penrose, we've rounded up some of the most mouth-watering burgers on the Upper East Side.

Shake Shack
Burger · East 80s · $
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.2 · Service 3.4

Premium fast food " is the draw at this " widely syndicated " Danny Meyer chain, offering " mouthwatering " burgers, " rich shakes " and other " upgraded " eats (plus beer and wine) at a " manageable price "; they’re " a magnet " for " legions of fans " who can create " hectic scenes " and " insane lines ", especially at the " landmark " Madison Square Park shack " where it all started.
Bareburger
Burger · East 70s · $$
Food 3.9 · Decor 3.4 · Service 3.7

A "relatively guilt-free" option for "getting your nom on" , this "wholesome" burger chain "stands out" with organic, natural patties (beef, veggie or "outside-of-the-box" game meats) "personalized" with a "plethora of toppings" ; the "green" pedigree costs a "few extra bucks" , but that barely dents its "popularity.
Cafe D'Alsace
Breakfast · East 80s · $$$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.7 · Service 4.0

This "unpretentious" Yorkville brasserie is a "bustling" standby for "stick-to-your-ribs" Alsatian fare paired with an epic beer menu that merits its own sommelier; given the "too-close" quarters and "high decibels" , many opt to sit outside, weather permitting.
JG Melon
Burger · East 70s · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.4 · Service 3.7

Now and forever ", this circa-1972 UES " preppy haven " is a " fixture " where the " classic burgers ", " addictive cottage fries " and " mob scene " are as much a " tradition " as the cash-only policy; the separately owned Upper West Side (accepts credit cards) and Village outposts " authentically replicate " the menu, and " you can usually get a table without waiting.
Jones Wood Foundry
European · East 70s · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.9 · Service 4.0

An "inviting" "neighborhood haunt" , this Yorkville pub supplies "solid" British staples (think "fish ’n’ chips as it should be" ) chased with a "big selection of craft brews" ; the "spot-on" staff and "unhurried" style suit the regulars found in the "lively bar" and garden out back.
The Penrose
Brunch · East 80s · $$
Food 4.0 · Decor 3.9 · Service 3.7

A "hip spot" in the "otherwise unhip Upper East Side" , this "lively" gastropub lures "younger" types with a "trendy" scene fueled by "delicious burgers" and other "enjoyable" American bar bites; a "Brooklyn vibe" and "rustic" looks make it a "welcome alternative" in the neighborhood.