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New York’s Best Cheap Eats


Top 5 Burgers

A stinging slap in the face of the Great Gourmet Burger Movement from a few years back, the Shack Burger is a thing of simple beauty, made from a freshly ground mix of sirloin and brisket, loosely packed and served on a squishy bun that quickly becomes one with the crisp-edged meat.

This is the second-best burger in town, and it’s no surprise that, like the Shack Burger above (to say nothing of the great burger at Union Square Cafe), it comes from a Danny Meyer kitchen. Meyer is known as a groundbreaking restaurateur, but his greatest legacy might be his contribution to the burger pantheon.

A no-frills char-grilled burger, well proportioned and modestly accoutred, that never fails to hit the spot.

The city’s premier bar burger. Order it with grilled onions and American cheese, and have it at the bar, a room thick with history and the occasional impenetrable brogue.

You can order up to four 1ź-ounce Schnäckie patties stuffed into a single house-made mini-bun. But it’s more fun to order a whole pile of singles as if you were training for a competitive-eating contest.

Top 5 Brunch Spots

There’s much to love about Charleen Badman’s seasonal comfort-food menu, not least the signature matzo brei owner Anne Rosenzweig brought downtown with her from Lobster Club.

Besides being your best chance of penetrating this hipster hangout, brunch is the time for poached eggs with golf-ball-size lamb sausages, a terrific roast-pork sandwich, and tasty if geriatric yogurt with stewed plums.

Mellow and low-key, Alias gives the jaded bruncher some offbeat options: goetta, for instance, the Cincinnatian pork-scrap delicacy, and one of the few fried-chicken-and-waffles you’ll find below 110th Street.

Chef Annie Wayte’s ďfull English breakfastĒ is more dainty than hearty, as befits the setting: a café plunked down in the middle of a chichi boutique. The scones are highly recommended, as is the homemade jam.

Grab an outdoor table at this Prospect Heights tavernĖcumĖtapas bar and make your way through the Sunday papers with a mug of rich, Brooklyn-roasted Gorilla coffee and the excellent fried polenta. The so-called small plates aren’tónot at brunch, anyway.

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