Skip to content, or skip to search.

Skip to content, or skip to search.

Hamburger Helpers

ShareThis

You never overhandle your meat. You wouldn’t be caught dead using anything but salt and pepper to season your patties. And you may even have sweet-talked your butcher into custom grinding a blend of chuck, sirloin, and hanger steak to your specifications. In short, you are an unrepentant burger nerd. But how are you in the buns department? Just in time for a Labor Day cookout, we’ve put some of the city’s best through a rigorous examination, toasting them to a golden brown and weighing them down with drippy bacon cheeseburgers. Because this was a test of strength as much as taste, we didn’t hold the pickles, lettuce, or tomatoes.


1. Blue Ribbon Bakery Market
It’s doubtful that co-owner Bruce Bromberg practiced burger-bun-making during his apprenticeship days at Paris’s legendary Poilâne, but nevertheless, he’s perfected the art on Bedford Street by cleverly crossing the squishy supermarket style with a wider, flatter, more durable fancy-bakery version. The result is a bun that’s slightly sweet, with a rich, challahlike flavor that doesn’t get in the way of the burger, and yet is capable of standing up to a reasonable amount of condiments ($3 for a four-bun bag). 14 Bedford St., nr. Downing St.; 212-647-0408

2. Arnold Select
The Ur-bun. Like the individually wrapped slice of American cheese, it’s a humble team player that knows its calling is to play a supporting but essential role, becoming one with the burger and, for that matter, the greater burger universe ($2.59 for an eight-bun bag). At Gristede’s locations citywide.

3. Amy’s Bread
In spite of its hard crust (maybe it was past its prime when we bought it), it has a light and airy crumb that improves with toasting. It’s a good choice for a bigger burger with unadvisable add-ons like avocado, say, or all the fixings, if that’s your thing (80 cents each). At Chelsea Market, 75 Ninth Ave., nr. 15th St.; 212-462-4338

4. Eli’s Manhattan
You want to like this bun. It’s big and puffy and fragrant and almost too good-looking to eat. As far as burger compatibility goes, however, it’s too bready, although you could try scooping out the middle the way dieting bagel lovers do ($6 for a six-bun bag). 1411 Third Ave., at 80th St.; 212-717-8100

5. Orwasher’s Bakery
This fashionably small bun takes an unfashionable stand against the soft-and-squishy school. Sadly, it’s too tough and chewy and not recommended unless you like that in a burger bun (80 cents each). 308 E. 78th St., nr. Second Ave.; 212-288-6569


Related:

Advertising
Current Issue
Subscribe to New York
Subscribe

Give a Gift

Advertising