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Best of New York Nightlife 2003

Best Classic Burgers

Go ahead, fork over $50 for a truffle-studded burger if that’s what you want. but for a classic, try these.


  • Washington Park

    24 Fifth Avenue, 212-529-4400

    A white-tablecloth burger with a paper-plate soul. No truffle tricks. No Kobe quackery. No “Page Six” placements. Just twelve screw-the-proper-burger-to-bun-ratio ounces of freshly ground, juicy-as-hell chuck, a grill-toasted brioche bun, seasonal garnish, and, in a rare instance of burger-plate-deluxe synchronicity, the city’s best fries.

  • Blue Smoke

    116 East 27th Street, 212-447-7733

    If the most important step toward burger greatness is handling the beef gingerly and as little as possible, then they must treat the stuff like nitro here. Order it with house-cured bacon and cheese, and demand extra pickles.

  • Burger Joint

    Le Parker Meridien Hotel, 118 West 57th Street, 212-245-5000

    The bun is by Arnold’s, the cheese is Cheddar, the ketchup courtesy of Heinz, and, in a wildly extravagant gesture to draw the occasional stray gourmet, the mustard is Grey Poupon. But that’s as fancy as this defiantly downscale burger gets.

  • P.J. Clarke's

    915 Third Avenue, at 55th Street, 212-317-1616

    They did a great job restoring the old gin mill, and, unlike our cleaning lady, they put every single knickknack back where it belongs. Happily, the burgers in all their former char-grilled glory are back, too.

From the 2003 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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