Splurge or Steal? 4 Amazing Burgers in NYC

New Yorkers love to have foodie fights about where to go and what to eat in the city, but few topics spark a discussion so tempestuous as the perfect burger. Opinions differ on bun type, quantity of toppings and meat temperature — but all agree that the quintessential juicy burger is a marvelous thing. Here are our favorite splurge-worthy and cheap-but-satisfying burgers across NYC.

 

Shack Burger

The Shack burger is a steal at $4.75 (Photo: Evan Sung)

 ••• SPLURGE •••

Black Label Burger at Minetta Tavern, $28
No discussion of burgers in New York City would be complete without the Black Label burger. Before you even set eyes on it — never mind take a first bite — you have to get past the notoriously difficult reservation system (or wait for a seat at the bar). The anticipation only increases pleasure for this burger made of a secret blend of prime, dry-aged beef topped with caramelized onions and served with pommes frites on the side. 113 MacDougal St., 212-475-3850, minettatavernny.com

Chargrilled Burger at The Spotted Pig, $21
In a city where upscale burgers come and go with the seasons, The Spotted Pig burger is an established staple, the specimen by which to compare all other burgers. This burger is served one way — with Roquefort cheese (no cheese substitutions permitted) on a grilled bun with a side of shoestring fries. You can pick your temperature, but that’s all the fiddling guests are allowed with April Bloomfield’s meat masterpiece. 314 W. 11th St., 212-620-0393, thespottedpig.com

••• STEAL •••

Shack Burger at Shake Shack, $4.75
The original Shake Shack is famous for the lines it sends snaking throughout Madison Square Park. While the sanity of waiting in a two-hour line for anything is debatable, the Shack burger satisfies every time. Stop by here at an odd time (not 1pm for lunch or 7pm for dinner — there’s a Shack Cam that lets you see just how long it is) and you can be biting into that Shack sauce-smothered Angus burger stuffed inside a potato bun in no time. Southeast corner of Madison Square Park, 212-889-6600, shakeshack.com

Sirloin Burger at Zaitzeff, $9.25
Proudly hormone and antibiotic free, juicy Zaitzeff burgers are served on a Portuguese muffin. Located in the Financial District, this casual spot has long communal tables for chowing down on your made-to-order burger, topped simply with lettuce, tomato and grilled onion. Other add-ons like Vermont cheddar and thick-cut bacon are extra, but given the heft of these burgers, the sirloin burger is still a great deal. 72 Nassau St, 212-571-7272, zaitzeff.com