New York Magazine

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Best of New York 2007 • Eating

Nothing Wimpy About Them

Our critics pick the town’s finest hamburgers—high, medium, and low.


  • High

  • The Waverly Inn

    16 Bank St.; 212-243-7900

    The $13 Waverly Burger is surprisingly good and further enlivened by the view, at the next table, of the back of Gwyneth Paltrow’s head.

  • Medium

  • BLT Burger

    470 Sixth Ave.; 212-243-8226

    A tasty if unorthodox burger, BLT’s $10 merguez-lamb patty (above) is juicy and spicy, and served with a cooling layer of cucumber.

  • Low

  • Shake Shack

    Madison Square Park; 212-889-6600

    The $4.38 Shack Burger is still hard to beat, even if you have to stand in line for sixteen hours to get a bite.


  • High

  • Blue Smoke

    116 E. 27th St.; 212-447-7733

    A borderline bourgeois burger with bar-burger soul, Blue Smoke’s $11.50 patty is served on a brioche bun, but you can get it with American cheese and house-made bacon.

  • Medium

  • The Stoned Crow

    85 Washington Pl.; 212-677-4022

    A spartan thing of beauty, nicely charred under the broiler and delivered to your table on a paper plate for $6. Eat it in the back by the pool table, and watch out for errant backswings lest you get bopped in the nose.

  • Low

  • Shake Shack

    Among its many praiseworthy attributes is its perfect proportions: The Gisele Bündchen of hamburgers, it has the ideal ratio of beef to bun.


  • High

  • Nicole’s

    10 E. 60th St.; 212-223-2288

    Nicole’s lamb burger is a loosely knit, just-lamby-enough $19 patty slathered with fresh goat cheese on a toasted brioche bun, served with cumin-seeded tomato-raisin relish and fat, fabulous chickpea fries.

  • Medium

  • Prune

    54 E. 1st St.; 212-677-6221

    Eighty percent beef, 20 percent lamb, the Prune burger (lunch only; $12) is ridiculously drippy and perfectly scaled to its toasted Thomas’ English muffin.

  • Low

  • P.J. Clarke’s

    915 Third Ave.; 212-317-1616

    Some things never change. Luckily, P. J. Clarke’s bacon cheeseburger ($9.70) is one of them.


  • High

  • Brooklyn Diner

    212 W. 57th St.; 212-581-8900

    Forget foie gras. Brooklyn Diner’s $14.95 plump napkin ripper with melted Cheddar, crisp bacon, fries and fried onion rings and a Gus’s pickle? That’s about as haute as I want my burger to go.

  • Medium

  • Fairway Café

    2127 Broadway; 212-595-1888

    Fairway goes white tablecloth at dinnertime, pricing its juicy and gently molded burger, with a choice of two add-ons, at $12. But that’s with remarkable fries, a ruffle of mesclun, and a bit of slaw.

  • Low

  • White Castle

    351 E. 103rd St.; 212-876-6737

    One bite of White Castle’s 53-cent slider—a two-by-two square of proletarian meat with a pickle round in a square bun—brings back childhood memories of buying them by the greasy brown bagful.

From the 2007 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

Order the Issue Today

Cover of New York Magazine's Best of New York issue

Order This Issue

Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).