Here we are with the third edition of the Best Burgers We Ate This Month, and despite eating basically nothing but burgers for two months, NYC's insatiable beef appetite has kept us neck-deep in trying even more. And while we were slightly impeded in our search by also having to eat through the most underrated burgers in NYC, we still managed to put together another great list of new patties you should try immediately (self back-pat!).
A brief reminder on the rules: as usual, we didn't take into consideration any classic burgers, or any already accepted to be in the NYC Pantheon, or anything on our previous lists -- only new or legitimately under-the-radar burgers qualify.
One of the biggest openings of last year, The Elm from Chef Paul Liebrandt added a burger to its brunch menu recently, and it's one of the best one's you can get down with right now. It's a dry-aged blend of brisket, chuck, and short rib, topped with spicy pickled veggies, tomato confit, and some beautifully melted white cheddar. For a relatively simple burger, it's got a ton of flavors, and they all work perfectly together.
On the more gonzo side of things, BFB Highline (aka Best F***ing Burger Highline) is doing some awesome things with their Pat LaFrieda meat, including the monstrous Breaking Bad-dapping Heisenburger -- it rocks 45-day, dry-aged beef mixed with pork belly and topped with "crystallized" onions, your choice of cheese (go American), thick slabs of bacon, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. It even comes with a (pretend-)blue meth Twinkie for dessert.
RARE's burgers have probably been on your radar for a while, but the burgers in their just-opened Pub Room in their Chelsea location probably haven't. WELL THEY SHOULD BE: the Burger Master Special is an ever-changing serving of meaty craziness. When we stopped by, it was this concoction of house-made Blue Moon beer cheese, julienne'd bacon, and fried jalapeños. Let's hope you get this lucky.
Only available during brunch and in super-short supply on weeknights (15 per night) & weekends (20 per night), this new offering from Colonie in Brooklyn is house-butchered and yields a beautiful mess of beef, Edward's Farm bacon, Cabot cheddar, seasonal pickles, lettuce that's been wilted by pan drippings, spicy Thousand Island, beet root ketchup, and a runny duck egg, all on top of a 100% house-made bun with beef fat in it. It's frankly a tiny bit biscuit-esque. Bunscuits should totally be a thing.
Since we loveee lists and rankings, below is the current burger rank of places we've hit this year. And, as always, if there's something we should be checking out, hit us in the comments.
1. The Cleveland
3. The Elm
4. North River
5. Empire Diner
6. Dylan Prime
7. BFB Highline
8. RARE's Pub Room
9. Mountain Bird
10. Melt Shop
11. M. Wells Steakhouse
12. Umami Burger's Monte Cristo Burger
Colonie is an upscale but unpretentious neighborhood restaurant in Brooklyn Heights -- it's the kind of place you go when you feel like treating yourself to a quality dinner and don't want somewhere sceney. You know what we mean. The menu has a little bit of everything: oysters, kale salad, burrata, pasta, and one very fine burger topped with aged cheddar, a fried egg, bacon, and beet ketchup. There is, of course, brunch, where you'll find that damn good burger again, plus monkey bread, buttermilk pancakes, and eggs Benedict. The space is simple with exposed brick walls, wooden ceilings, and touches of greenery.
FBF is a Meatpacking burger haven. From hand-crafted burgers (their Heisenburger is a 10oz custom blend of dry-aged ribeye and pork belly with crystallized onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and your choice of cheese...) to VIP fries (bacon salt!), they're holding down the fancy burger surge here in NYC.
Located in Hilton Hotel in Chelsea, the RARE Pub Room features a changing selection of delicious burgers, including one version composed of housemade Blue Moon beer cheese, julienned bacon, and fried jalapeños.