Going to school in Middletown, CT I was lucky enough to be within 30 miles of two of the “best burgers” in the country: Ted’s World Famous Steamed Cheeseburgers, and Louis’ Lunch (legend has it this is where the cheesburger was invented – but don’t ask for catsup).
In my first few months in New York City I’ve been working to replace these staples of my diet with the best New York has to offer. After reviewing many best of lists, I think I’ve tried a few of the best, and would now like to offer something of a review for future burgerers.
This is by no means a definitive list, only a guide to the burger places I would recommend.
Five guys is a fast food burger. In other words, it’s closer to an In-And-Out patty then a gourmet patty. That being said, it is a delicious fast food burger, and while I cannot in all fairness compare it to the other burgers listed here, it makes for a nice east coast version of In-And-Out – fast food a class above.
The meat is good, the cheese is good, the bun is good. However, it’s nothing mind blowing. The fries might as well have been from McDonalds.
I’ve only had it once, but I happened to have been starving, so take that into account. The meat itself is not terribly succulent, but it is well seasoned and the buttered bun and special sauce make it a fantastic burger. The fries are also phenomenal. I will definitely be going back here soon. I haven’t even started on the custard.
A delicious burger, with meat quality one rung above Shake Shack. Still in overall taste, I’d say it falls just short of the Shack.
Easily the best quality meat / best cooked burger on the list, with a delicious bun and waffle fries to boot. It’s not as well rounded as the Shackburger, but on a patty for patty basis, J.G. Melons takes the cake (or burger).
Conclusion: Shake Shack and J.G. Melon are my favorite burgers in the city. They are too different to choose one over the other unequivocally. Another factor is location – given that they are about 50 blocks apart, I feel no need to choose just one. It’s like having two kids – different, but beloved equally (depending on my mood).
Suggestions welcome – criticism moreso. I’m always up for a new burger.