the search for the very best burger.

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once upon a time, in those newlywed years long long ago, josh and i began a hunt for new york city’s very best burger. as self-proclaimed cheeseburger fanatics who also fall hard for french fries and rarely meet a milkshake we don’t like, the self-imposed task of finding the very best burgers this city has to offer felt nothing short of our very favorite thing to do together. fast forward some ten years later, with a small stint in washington d.c. (where we continued the search around the district), a few moments where i couldn’t fathom eating meat ever again (hi, rude pregnancies), and 5 children later, we’re still using it as an excuse when out and about to order the burger. order it with all the things… the sunny side egg on top, the 5 different cheeses or fancy never-heard-of-before sauces… why not!? hold the ketchup on mine, please. double the ketchup on his. milkshakes?! we’ll take one! fries?! an extra order, thank you!

and so, we have resurrected an official search for the best burgers in new york city this winter, and to kick it off, we had burgers at kings of kobe, where you can have fun creating a custom burger with any combination of more than 30 toppings (and also order it with your preferred meat temperature, something really nice for a girl like me who orders everything well-done). i used my new capital one savor® card, which i’ve loved using over the past few months because it allows me to earn cash back on fun outings like this best burger search while also creating memorable experiences in the process. i get 4% back on dining (as well as entertainment!) and my rewards don’t expire during the life of my account. it’s great news for the foodie in me, and also for my burger search. :)

for all you foodies out there (in new york or elsewhere!), tell us where your favorite burger places are, and how you order yours! would love recommendations both near and far, since i’m not pregnant and my appetite is in full swing for all things milkshakes, french fries and the very best cheeseburgers!

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i’m realizing that when i rate a burger on a scale from 1-10, a lot of those numbers are taken up solely by the hamburger bun. do you agree?! it’s gotta be a good one (potato buns are my favorite) or it kind of ruins the entire thing for me. have you guys ever tried the protein style (no bun, just lettuce)?! it’s a disaster to hold and eat, but somehow i really enjoy it even though i’m usually such a bun girl.

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also having a very big moment of enjoying things like fried eggs on my burgers. normally, i’m a meat, lettuce and tomato (maybe pickle) and sauce sorta order.

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when you’re trying to hurry and take a photo before eating but ya can’t keep your eyes off the fries. haha. they were pretty good. i couldn’t help it.

let me know in the comments which burger places you love and recommend for us to try! i sure do love working on my winter body, so i’m ready. ;) please let me know!

  1. Chelsea

    My fave in NYC is Corner Bistro. There’s one in the West Village but I’m more familiar with their Long Island City location. No frills but still might be the very best, in my opinion!

  2. Abigail

    Okay… it’s a bit of a commute, but maybe for your next family vacation? Hood Burger in Ljubljana, Slovenia is amazing!!

  3. Mandi

    I think you meant protein style instead of animal style — just the lettuce and not the bun. I’m not a bun person on hamburgers or hot dogs. They’ve grossed me out since I was little. Something about soggy bread…. Fun fact though, I LOVE animal style at in-n-out so I once ordered protein style, animal style. THAT was a messy situation.

  4. Isabel

    My boyfriend and I are always on the hunt for the best burgers in the City also so I can definitely comment on this one!
    Whitmans in the East Village ( Juicy Lucy is amazing), Andrews Roadside in Dekalb Market ( better than shake Shack in my opinion), Burger Joint in the Parker Meridien, JG Melon in the Upper East Side, and the Burger at Emily and Emmy Squared. Also I love the Burger at the Smith!

  5. T Daya

    If you are in Cambridge specifically Harvard square check out Mr Bartleys its to die for! Cash only though

  6. My husband and I did this here in SLC while we were dating! Our rule was only local joints. We LOVED the burger at From Scratch (but ask for it with cheese, lettuce, and tomato on it, or it’s not the same). They literally make everything from scratch — even the ketchup and mayo! Second place went to Lucky 13, which is a bar near the Bee’s stadium in SLC. And we just moved to Murray and discovered a place near us with good burgers called 357. It’s next to a shooting range, so the menu is shooting range themed? Ha ha. Either way, it’s good!

  7. Rebecca P.

    I am always in the mood for a burger, too! Weirdly, one of the best burgers I enjoyed recently was at The Dining Room at the Met. It is on the lunch menu. My kids always like eating there, since they can look out at the Park, although they would tell you that the best burger is from BurgerFi (they would eat there every day if they could). :)

  8. Fernanda

    I love the burger from Black Tap in SoHo. It’s delicious!!! They have crazy shakes too, but we’re not brave to order those yet. We stick to the basic shake they have and it’s also delicious.


  9. Tania

    Jg Melon… the best!
    Pj clark
    shake shack

  10. Tracy

    Try the mac and cheese burger at The Bedford in Williamsburg…the bun is made of mac and cheese. Seriously.

  11. Erica

    If you’re ever in Chicago, go to Au Cheval or Small Cheval! Great classic burgers.

  12. Caroline

    Super duper burger in NorCal!!

  13. Margaret E.

    Brooklyn Beet Company in Bay Ridge. The BEST burgers cooked INSIDE a flaky pastry dough. Heaven. Also homemade beet ketchup.

    Please share the brand of your jacket! In the market for a tan leather just like that one.

  14. JC

    Five Guys is my favorite place to get a burger on the east coast! They have good milkshakes too. For the burger I do double patty, lettuce, tomato, raw and cooked onions, mayo, bacon, bbq sauce,and cheese. Sometimes I’ll add mushrooms. Side of cajun fries with ketchup and malt vinegar for dipping. They also have free peanuts so I’ll crack those open and snack on them while waiting for my order or just to take home for later:

  15. Alina Marie

    I loved the burger at Five Leaves in Brooklyn, when we visited NYC in may. Greets from Germany!

  16. Emma

    The best burger I’ve ever had was at Fergburger in Queenstown, New Zealand. It was over ten years ago that I had one while I was backpacking there and as I’m back in England now, it’s sad to think I’ll probably never have one again! :D

  17. G

    Shake shack all the way!
    In westchester we love westchester burger company and valhalla crossing
    We’ve also recently gotten into bare burger.

  18. Kathleen

    When we lived in NYC, our favorite burger was at Fred’s in Amsterdam and 83rd. Ohhhh those fries.

  19. Brooke

    Have you ever tried Hillstone? They have two locations in NYC and it is hands down the best hamburger (and while you are there you have to have their spinach and artichoke dip and hot fudge sundae).

  20. RL

    Mu Ramen in LIC has a pretty amazing burger (in addition to amazing ramen! the i’ll shoyou is our favorite). We usually split the burger (it’s huge) and one bowl of ramen.

  21. Nellie

    Cute! What camera and lense is that? Your pictures always come out great

  22. Alejandra de la Macorra

    Best in my opinion is at Ruby’s! And their fries are to die for…
    Second best (a bit fancy) is Balthazar!
    JG Mellon’s, Standard Grill and PJ Clarke’s are algo amazing tho!

  23. When I visited New York for four years ago, we was at the New York Burger Co. near the High Line. OMG. I have never had a burger that delicious before, and I dream of it still. The burger is all of the reason to come back to NY some day ;)