National Hamburger Month Check-In: NYC’s Best Burgers of 2016 So far

El Sucio Grande Union Bar & Kitchen

Sup. I’m Brad. I eat a lot of burgers. I celebrate National Hamburger Month in May. The way I celebrate is by telling you the best burgers I’ve had in New York City so far in 2016. Get it? Good. Here they are.

#1: Union Bar & Kitchen (300 Spring Street) – The secret burger menu at Union Bar & Kitchen features El Sucio Grande (the burger that gets my top spot) and the Gettysburger. You have to ask for them by name. Print out this post and bring it into the restaurant; it will help you remember what you wanted to order. Or take a screengrab on your mobile device. It’s 2016, you express your burger identity however you want, I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life.

Union Bar & Kitchen Burger

#2: Cozhina Latina (37 Greenpoint Avenue, Brooklyn) – The Brunch Burger is a monster. A delicious monster. It strikes me that calling something you desire a monster is a very strange metaphor. We’re supposed to be afraid of monsters. I guess some might be afraid of the Brunch Burger. It’s very big, and very messy, and I suppose not for everyone. I liked it though. Some monsters deserve to be loved. Edit: this place doesn’t exist anymore. You can’t have this burger. Sucks to be you.

Cozinha Latina Burger

#3: Genuine Superette (191 Grand Street) – This sequel to Genuine Roadside is at least as good as the original. Sure, it doesn’t have the same supporting characters as its Gotham West Market-housed predecessors, but what it lacks in an ensemble cast it makes up for in a downtown cocktail bar filled with interesting drinks, Genuine Liquorette. Think of Superette and Liquorette as the streamlined The Devil’s Rejects to Roadside and GWM’s House of 1,000 Corpses. Or don’t, I’ll admit that I’ve never seen either of those movies. I’ll also admit that I’m not good at analogies. But I’m good at eating burgers and Genuine’s burgers are wonderful.

Genuine Suprette Burger

#4: STK (26 Little West 12th Street) – In the spirit of full disclosure, I’ll tell you that I’ve only had the Lil’ Brg at STK, and not the full-sized burger that they also serve. Sometimes smaller is better, but again I wouldn’t know because I haven’t had the big one. But on the subject of smaller being better, this burger is great if you want a more guilt-free situation, because you get a ton of flavor with less actual burger consumed. Trick yourself into thinking you’re being healthy! That’s how I avoid despair, and it could work for you too.

STK Burger

#5: Wilma Jean (345 Smith Street, Brooklyn) – Wilma Jean puts pimento cheese on their burger. Pimento cheese is awesome. Pimento cheese gets you a spot on my top burgers lists. A few other restaurants serve pimento cheese on their burgers, and those burgers have all made it onto one list or another that I’ve put together. So there you go, I’ve revealed a way to hack Burger Weekly. Feel like hacking Burger Weekly? Now you can. Hack away.

Wilma Jean Burger

#6: Lulu & Po (154 Carlton Avenue, Brooklyn) – I like to think that the main draw of Burger Weekly is learning about great burgers that you didn’t even know existed. I hope the folks and Lulu & Po don’t take offense to that, but before I got a recommendation from local chef Matthew Hyland about this place, I’d never heard of it. Plus, if they are offended, I think my praising their burger in such a public way should make up for it. It’s a double patty topped with goat cheese, middled with pickled zucchini, and bottomed with caramelized onions on a potato roll. So stop crying, Lulu & Po, and don’t say I never said anything nice about you.

Lulu & Po Burger

#7: Invite Only (67 Gansevoort) – I think we can all agree that the Meatpacking District is the embodiment of all the crappy things that Entourage made people believe were important in life. Even so, this is the second burger on this list that comes from the Meatpacking District. Am I crazy to be so enamored by STK and Invite Only’s burgers? Or does it mean that I’m growing up and learning to not judge a book by its cover? The answer to both questions is NO! All it means is that these two places are smart as hell for making burgers that are not only delicious, but also totally surprising given the environments in which they are served. So be like me and complain your way through a wonderful meal.

Invite Only Mash Burger

#8: Boilermaker (13 1st Avenue) – I have nothing clever to say about the burger at Boilermaker. It’s just really good and the fig aioli that it comes with is a stroke of creative genius. On that note, can you think of any food that doesn’t taste good when made into an aioli? Further, I can’t tell you how happy I am that aioli has made it okay for me to eat what is essentially mayonnaise (I know it’s not exactly the same, but it’s so close that we’re really fooling ourselves to think there’s an actual nutritional or palatable difference) on basically any item that is found on a menu. Aioli forever!

Boilermaker Burger

#9: Belle Shoals (10 Hope Street, Brooklyn) – You know what I really like? I really like when restaurants give their burgers interesting names. Belle Shoals does this. Their burger is called the drugstore burger, and it’s an ode to burgers that were served in old timey drugstores. Get it? I think it’s cute. I didn’t mention it above, but Invite Only’s burger is called the Mash Burger. I dig that too. But I don’t want to take away attention from Belle Shoals’ in its paragraph, so let me get back to the Drugstore Burger. It’s simple, it’s great, and you should eat it. So go eat it.

Belle Shoals Burger

#10: Speedy Romeo (376 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn) – I like the ongoing trend that sees great pizza joints serving up great burgers. I like it even more that Speedy Romeo’s burger has a bit of pizza flavor to it. It’s such a small touch, but it helps to tie the two food pillars together.

Speedy Romeo Burger

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Article by Brad Garoon

I run this burger joint.