The Top Burger Adventures of 2014

2014 was a great year for burgers in New York City. New restaurants debuted amazing hamburger offerings, and old favorites proved that they are still in the game. In 2014, I wrote about burgers from 73 different burger joints in New York City alone. While I do encourage you to go back and read about each of those burgers, I’ve created the 2014 edition of my annual top-ten list, so you can know which hamburgers in New York City are the absolute must-eats. I debuted this list on Twitter and Instagram last week, but I promised a full rundown with comments, honorable mentions, and a few bonus burgers. So here it is!


The Sad To See You Go Award: This award goes to a burger joint that came and went too soon. BFB was a delicious burger and cocktail pop-up near the Highline. They got a lot of attention for their Heisenburger, a beast of a meal that came alongside a crystal blue Twinkie. However, the real loss to New York City is that the Kramer Burger, Chef Chris Mitchell’s take on the french onion soup burger. It will be missed. |FULL REVIEW|

The Worth The Trip Awards: This award goes to the best burgers I ate in 2014 outside of New York City. These destination burgers are must-have for traveling New Yorkers. In San Francisco, Cavalier is serving up Chef Jennifer Puccio’s Marlowe Burger and doing a damn fine job of it. |FULL REVIEW| In Detroit, One Eyed Betty’s Betty Burger is topped with bacon and aioli that made me want to shed tears. The Detroit burger game is on point. |FULL REVIEW| The best non-New York City burger I had this year was in Newport, Rhode Island, where Mission is not only serving up unbelievable hamburgers, but what might be the very best french fries I’ve ever eaten. |FULL REVIEW|

The Best Hamburgers in New York City in 2014 – Honorable Mentions

Bo’s Kitchen & Bar Room – Bo’s Burger: This burger reached its spot on the year’s honorable mentions list largely on the strength of its unbelievable monkey bread bun. It is only served on Mondays, and it is worth making an appointment to eat it. |FULL REVIEW|

Telepan – Patty Melt: The hamburger at Telepan is well-known and much-loved, but the patty melt is actually a lot better. It is only available at brunch as part of the considerably pricey prix fix menu, but real burger lovers will make a point to try it at least once. |FULL REVIEW|

GG’s – Pan Seared Burger: I am somewhat obsessed with the Sicilian style pizza at GG’s (which is much more akin to Detroit style pizza than your typical Sicilian pie), but was pleased as punch to find that their burger is also stellar. |FULL REVIEW COMING SOON|

All’onda – All’onda Burger: Chef Chris Jaeckel’s This slightly Japanese take on the burger at his Italian restaurant is fantastic, and if you caught me on the right day I might say deserves a place high on the top 10 list. I will always recommend this unique and delicious burger. |FULL REVIEW|

Genuine Roadside – Super Duper Double Stack Burger: I’ve sampled all of the burgers at Genuine Roadside and they’re great, but the Stack Burger takes the cake. It doesn’t hurt that Genuine Roadside is, in my opinion, the centerpiece of the very cool Gotham West Market. It’s worth repeat visits. |FULL REVIEW|

The Best Hamburgers in New York City in 2014

10. Breakroom Burgers & Tacos – The Breakroom Burger: This tiny restaurant is serving up some of the most decadently messy burgers in downtown Manhattan. It was also my favorite burger at this year’s Burger Bash. You want this monster. |FULL REVIEW|


9. Egg – Bacon Cheeseburger: I’ve been eating egg dishes at Egg for years, but when they moved locations a few blocks I figured it was as good a time as ever to get this burger that Williamsburgians had been raving about. It always makes me happy when a well-regarded burger lives up to the hype, and Egg’s bacon cheeseburger definitely did. |FULL REVIEW|


8. The Ainsworth – Classic Works Burger: If I’m being honest, the service at the Ainsworth leaves a lot to be desired, and if you aren’t a total bro or a lady-bro it probably isn’t your scene (it certainly wasn’t mine), but after revamping their menu and focusing on burgers, I can’t help but recommend this spot to beef enthusiasts. My crew and I tried three different burgers and all were wonderful. Get in your own headspace and enjoy the hamburgers here. |FULL REVIEW|


7. Ox Cart Tavern – Alamo: This burger is both far out in Brooklyn and a full-blown behemoth. It is totally worth the trip. Hell, when I went the Q train was being difficult and I still felt like the incredibly long commute was a small price to pay for the flavors I was fortunate enough to experience that day. |FULL REVIEW|

Ox Cart Tavern

6. Fritzl’s Lunch Box – Cheeseburger: Fritzl’s Lunch Box got a ton of press for their burger early in 2014, and it was all well-deserved. It’s simple, it’s absolutely delicious, and all of the dishes that my crew ordered while building up an appetite for our burgers were excellent as well. This burger is a shining star in Bushwick. |FULL REVIEW|

Fritzl's Lunch Box

5. Barley & Grain – B&G Wagyu Burger: This was the first burger that I ate in 2014, and it stayed in my mind all year. That is no easy feat for someone who eats as many burgers as I do. Though I’m starting to harbor some ill will for leaning on pork as a topping on burgers, my memories of this bad boy are nothing but positive. |FULL REVIEW|

Barley & Grain Burger

4. Bar Sardine – Fedora Burger: I was so impressed with the burger at Bar Sardine that when I was told that the restaurant also had a Cuban sandwich special, I was confident enough to order it as well, knowing that my appetite would sustain this huge meal thanks to its incredible quality. I left full, but happy, and eager to return to Bar Sardine. Photo by Caroline Kerr |FULL REVIEW|

Fedora Burger

3. Five Leaves – Five Leaves Burger: I move to Greenpoint over the summer and knew that it was the perfect opportunity to try the Five Leaves Burger. I was rewarded for this knowledge with what I felt for the bulk of the year was the best burger in Brooklyn. Some that I’ve told about this burger are turned off by the thought of beets and pineapple topping their patty, but I assure them as I assure you that it is exquisite. |FULL REVIEW|

Five Leaves

2. Strand Smokehouse – Brunch Burger: For most of the year, this was my knee-jerk response when people asked me what the best burger I’ve had recently was. It is only because the number one burger on this list was eaten so recently that Strand’s Brunch Burger was dethroned. It is massive, topped with a perfect egg, its patty was remarkably succulent, and its bun was a pillow of delight. |FULL REVIEW|

Strand Smokehouse

1. Emily – Emmy Burger: This burger had be in such a state of euphoria that I still have not had enough time to process how much I loved it enough to write about it in a full review. That will come soon, but I will say here that on my first bite my eyes rolled into the back of my head and my dining companions had much the same reaction. The patty is dry aged beef on an unbelievable pretzel bun, topped with Emmy sauce (which both looks and tastes otherworldly), charred onion, 4 year Grafton cheddar, and cornichons. Get to Clinton Hill and eat this now. You need it in your life. |FULL REVIEW COMING SOON|