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Time Out NY's 100 Best Burgers


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#1 bpearis

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 12:47 PM

This week's TONY cover story is "NYC's 100 Best Burgers."

The Top Ten are:

1. Donovan's Pub, Woodside Queens
2. PJ Clarks, Midtown
3. Soup Burg, UES
4. Pastis, Meatpaking District
5. J.G. Melon, UES
6. Rare Bar & Grill, Murray Hill
7. Fanelli's Cafe, Soho
8. Paul's, East Village
9. Blue Ribbon Soho / Blue Ribbon Brooklyn
10. MetroCafe & Wine Bar, Flatiron Dist.

After that, they have different categories: "Plain & Simple," "All Dressed Up," Mini-Meals," "Steakhouse Fare," "International Style," "At the Diner," "Outer-Borough Burgers," "Old-School Flavor" and "The Modern World."

I'm a bit embarrassed to say I've never had any in the Top Ten.

Not included in the list is my favorite "specialty" mini burger -- the Popsie Burger at Snacky in Williamsburg (on a slightly sweet chinese bun with Japanese spicy mayo).
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#2 slkinsey

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 01:00 PM

Very interesting. I have to admit I'm a little shocked not to see my favorite on the list: Peter Luger.
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#3 Dave the Cook

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 01:08 PM

Very interesting.  I have to admit I'm a little shocked not to see my favorite on the list: Peter Luger.


Dude. You go to Peter Luger, and you have a burger?

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#4 Daniel

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 01:10 PM

Rare burger certainly isnt all that good.

#5 jogoode

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 01:19 PM

Very interesting.  I have to admit I'm a little shocked not to see my favorite on the list: Peter Luger.


Dude. You go to Peter Luger, and you have a burger?

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Hey, you have to have something to accompany your porterhouse instead of that odd tomato-onion salad. :wink: And it's only $6!
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#6 Dave the Cook

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 01:21 PM

OK, I could see it as an appetizer.

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#7 slkinsey

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 01:27 PM

Very interesting.  I have to admit I'm a little shocked not to see my favorite on the list: Peter Luger.

Dude. You go to Peter Luger, and you have a burger?

It is a serious work of discipline not to order a steak. But the burger is only available for lunch anyway, and I've not had much success at staying conscious through the end of the business day after I've packed away a porterhouse.

Besides, sometimes you want to spend sixty dollars on lunch... sometimes you want to spend six.
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#8 Dave the Cook

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 01:30 PM

Very interesting.  I have to admit I'm a little shocked not to see my favorite on the list: Peter Luger.

Dude. You go to Peter Luger, and you have a burger?

. . . the burger is only available for lunch anyway . . .

So you can't get it as a dinner app. Damn.

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#9 slkinsey

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 01:35 PM


. . . the burger is only available for lunch anyway . . .

So you can't get it as a dinner app. Damn.

Of course not! What do you think the lamb chops are for?
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#10 whimsity

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 01:53 PM

Hmm. And all this time the number 1 burger I haven't eaten was in my neck of the woods? must. recitify.

Though I have to say my all time favourite burger involved beets and eggs... which I'm probably not going to find on this end of the hemisphere.

#11 marcus

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 01:57 PM

Rare burger certainly isnt all that good.

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Agreed. In fact it is so not good that in my mind it essentially invalidates the entire list.

#12 Daniel

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 02:13 PM

Rare burger certainly isnt all that good.

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Agreed. In fact it is so not good that in my mind it essentially invalidates the entire list.

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agreed... i was thinking the same thing. I dont trust the list.

#13 richl2214

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 03:29 PM

Can't say much about the rest but Pastis and Blue Ribbon certainly know how to serve a burger.

Edited by richl2214, 09 December 2004 - 03:29 PM.

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#14 Brooklyn

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 03:45 PM

Can't say much about the rest but Pastis and Blue Ribbon certainly know how to serve a burger.

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This list is outrageous, Parker Meridian isn't in the top 10? Crazy talk. Now, I eat at Blue Ribbon probobly more than any other restaurant, and I think the burger there is an absolute joke. How that made it into the top 100, let alone the top 10, will always be a mysterty to me.

JG Melon is my #2 burger in NYC, and I am happy to see they got at least that one right. If anyone is looking for one of these to try - that is a tried and tested choice.

#15 Brooklyn

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 03:46 PM

Also, Bubby's Brooklyn has an amazing slider that got no credit...

#16 Dryden

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 03:54 PM

Not to mention, they seem to have omitted the Shake Shack, which would get my vote for the best. Although I'll admit I've never had Luger's burger, either.
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#17 bpearis

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 04:04 PM

Not to mention, they seem to have omitted the Shake Shack, which would get my vote for the best.  Although I'll admit I've never had Luger's burger, either.

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Luger's and Shake Shack are in the 100 list, just not the top ten.
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#18 Suzanne F

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 04:10 PM


. . . the burger is only available for lunch anyway . . .

So you can't get it as a dinner app. Damn.

Of course not! What do you think the lamb chops are for?

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Gotta agree 100 percent!!! :laugh:

Does anyone know if the "researchers" talked to any of our current or former members? I sort of suspect not, given the list of 100 and the opinions stated, many of which are diametrically opposed to those we had.

#19 weinoo

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Posted 09 December 2004 - 04:17 PM

JG Melon is my #2 burger in NYC, and I am happy to see they got at least that one right.  If anyone is looking for one of these to try - that is a tried and tested choice.

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I feel like I'm finally vindicated, as I've always placed Melon's burger in the top 5, and had to listen to a lot of shit over the years about it! They allegedly use the same supplier as Luger.
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#20 brooklyncook

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 08:31 AM

After reading this, I figure you've got to take it only half-seriously. Nothing against the writers, but this "Top 100" wasn't a Top 100 -- it was a Top 10 with 90 runners-up, sans ranking. And the entire article was based on the eatings of two people.

I suspect that if you'd worked it out to be a bit more empirical, the rankings would drastically change. I mean, check out the tiny burgers sidebar. I've eaten at both Schnack and Pop Burger, and there's no question: Schnack is the better burger, both physically and financially. Paying $5 for a Pop Burger is ludicrous. It's not worth it at all.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not presuming people place much faith in Top 50/100/500 lists of any sort (isn't this the time of year for them anyways?) -- but I'd love to see a Top 100 burger list with a bit more meat...pardon the pun.

#21 phaelon56

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 09:17 AM

I'm a bit embarrassed to say I've never had any in the Top Ten.


I you should happen to visit Sripraphai Thai restaurant in Sunnyside... Donovan's is just a short walk away. I'd start with the burger and then move to Thai food :biggrin:

#22 Luckylies

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 09:23 AM

bistro burger..adhem? nobody? corner bistro...hellooooooooo :cool:
does this come in pork?

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#23 Dryden

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 12:34 PM

Corner bistro, as anyone in the burger club can tell you, isn't worthy of being a top 1000 burger, let alone top 10.
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#24 Nathan

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 12:57 PM

best burger in NY, bar none -- Bar 89 (I prefer the APV II -- au poivre with bleu cheese and bacon)....its the only reason to go to that benighted place.

Bar 89 is the sister restaurant to Elsa's on the Park in Milwaukee with an identical menu -- best burgers in the midwest...

#25 Blondie

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 01:34 PM

Corner bistro, as anyone in the burger club can tell you, isn't worthy of being a top 1000 burger, let alone top 10.

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I participated in a number of the Burger Club outings and I still think the Corner Bistro makes a very good burger. So there :raz:

Fanelli's was a longtime favorite of mine. The onion rolls are fantastic, but my last burger there (6 months ago?) wasn't as good as I'd remembered. Still worth keeping on my list though.

The one I don't get is Paul's Palace. I've been there 3 or 4 times in the last year or so. I kept thinking I must have hit it on a bad night, but the burgers I've had were never better than ok.

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#26 Daniel

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 02:21 PM

best burger in NY, bar none -- Bar 89 (I prefer the APV II -- au poivre with bleu cheese and bacon)....its the only reason to go to that benighted place.

Bar 89 is the sister restaurant to Elsa's on the Park in Milwaukee with an identical menu -- best burgers in the midwest...

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How bout them terlets. Those things are fancy like. With the fog and everything.

#27 flinflon28

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 03:37 PM

If anything...I was glad to not see the usual suspects (Corner Bistro, Luger) at the top of the list even if those are pretty damn good burgers. This article has opened my eyes to a couple of other places that I am going to try over the next few weeks. When it comes to something like burgers, New Yorkers are going to get very combative and no list could be definitive. I prefer to look at it as an introduction to some possibly hidden treasures.

#28 tupac17616

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 08:49 PM

When it comes to something like burgers, New Yorkers are going to get very combative and no list could be definitive.  I prefer to look at it as an introduction to some possibly hidden treasures.

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Well said

#29 Puck Confit

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 09:27 PM

While I'm certain I haven't tasted nearly as many of NYC's burger offerings as some of you fine foodies, of what I have tasted, I quite enjoyed Corner Bistro's burger. Blue Smoke's was fine, as was Luger's. DB Moderne was amusing.

#30 ...tm...

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Posted 10 December 2004 - 11:27 PM

The one I don't get is Paul's Palace. I've been there 3 or 4 times in the last year or so. I kept thinking I must have hit it on a bad night, but the burgers I've had were never better than ok.


I only gave it one shot, but that is because Paul's burger was so bad I couldn't believe anyone would recommend it. I don't know, maybe there are some people who really like burgers that are somehow mushy and overcooked, but I guess it is possible. This definately seemed to be the style they were going for, not just an anomaly at our table.

Not that I've tried them all, but Luger's is definately my favorite.