The best things in life are good friends, good food, and good jokes.
Best kind of good food? BURGERS.
Thankfully, New York City does not have a shortage of delicious burgers. You can find it all! From a $2 burger served at a fast-food joint to a $30+ burger served at an exclusive, reservation only restaurant, the city can make your wildest burger dreams come true.
5. Steak 'n Shake's The Original Double 'N Cheese Steakburger. If you are looking for a solid, cheap burger that will leave you more than satisfied, look no further! This slab of meat has prime real estate in Midtown Manhattan, next door to David Letterman's Studios, and a few blocks south of Central Park. Added bonus: their milkshakes are delicious.
4. Burger Joint's Burger (Le Parker Meridian or Greenwich Village). I love how Burger Joint keeps it simple. What do they serve? Burgers, grilled cheese, french fries, brownies, milk shakes, and drinks. That's it. My favorite part of their burger is tasting the char. Just like home.
The ambiance, at both locations, is great. At Le Parker Meridian you feel like you are going to an exclusive club behind the red curtain, only to walk into a real dive with graffiti covered walls. Warning: this location is CASH ONLY.
At Greenwich Village, you skip the crowds, and dine in an intimate setting surrounded by local artwork. This location accepts cash and cards.
Two things are guaranteed at each location: good music, and an even better burger.
3. Shake Shack's Double ShackBurger. New Yorkers either love or hate Shake Shack. Obvi, I'm in love. The beef is excellent (bonus points for using beef that has never ever been treated with hormones or antibiotics), and the Double has the perfect meat to bun ratio. Oh my goodness, the bun. It's out of this world. The first time I ate one of these beauties I couldn't get over the deliciousness of the bun.
If you're looking to kick your burger up a notch, try the Shack Stack, a ShackBurger and a 'Shroom Burger ALL IN ONE. The 'Shroom is a crisp-fried portobello mushroom filled with melted muenster and cheddar cheeses. A true explosion of flavor.
2. Umami Burger's Truffle Burger. A few months ago this California chain made it's debut in Greenwich Village. Critics say it's hype is a fad, but I beg to differ. Eat the Truffle Burger, look me in the eyes, and tell me that you won't be dreaming about the melt-in-your-mouth meat, served on a brioche bun, in all of it's truffle, aioli glory for the next week. Yep, that's what I thought. You can't.
1. Cafe Ghia's Grass-Fed Burger. Located in Buschwick, this burger is literally the best I've ever eaten. It's creators describe it as, "Infused with bacon fat. With Vermont Cheddar, roasted tomato aioli and alfalfa sprouts." Yes, you read right. It's infused with bacon fat.
My taste buds were blown away after taking my first bite. I couldn't believe a burger could taste so divine. The bun melts in your mouth. The bacon flavor is distinct, but not overpowering. The alfalfa sprouts are refreshing. The cheddar is the perfect compliment to the infused meat...long story short, the trek to Cafe Ghia is worth every savory bite.
Warnings: (1) These burgers are not served on weekends or holidays (they take up too much space on the grill). (2) Remember, these are in Bushwick. The neighborhood is gentrified, but just be smart. (3) You'll leave the restaurant smelling like bacon.
Here's to good burgers all over the world, and to good friends (like the Allens) who are willing to travel great distances to find the best burger out there.
*Upset that your burger didn't make the list? Tell me about it. What makes it so great? Where can I find it?**If you find yourself in NYC and need a burger buddy, holler at your girl! I'm always down to consume these culinary creations.