Union Square Cafe

Union Square Cafe Burger

The Experience: I’ve been letting people know about the world’s greatest hamburgers on Burger Weekly for over three years now. In that time I’ve been trying to systematically tackle the remaining burgers from the list that inspired me to start this blog. I eat an average of one burger a week, and in three years there are 156 weeks. One might assume, especially since a handful of the restaurants on the aforementioned list have closed, that I would have been able to get the burgers from the remaining of the original 82 listed. One would be wrong in that assumption, as I am easily distracted by New York City’s new hamburger offerings.

But then I caught wind that Union Square Cafe is going to have to move at the end of the year due to prohibitive real estate costs, and that their future location is undetermined as of this point. I wanted to eat this, the original Danny Meyer burger, the one that predates Shake Shack and all the rest, while it was still being served in Union Square.

Burger Ordered: The USC Burger

The Taste: Served on a brioche bun, with Beecher’s Flagship Cheddar, bacon, pickles and onion (buried underneath a mountain of french fries), the USC Burger is an intense piece of business. It was remarkably juicy, and would be greatly served by utilizing a Burger Lift. Every cubic centimeter of the thick patty was filled with delicious flavor, aided in no small part by the incredibly sharp cheddar cheese. The bottom bun was soaked, but did not fall apart, and the top more than handled the deluge of juice flowing from the patty. The bacon was also wonderful, so much so that I stole some from my dining companion.

The Verdict: While I don’t think it’s fair to call Union Square Cafe’s future uncertain, as they will certainly find a new home for their delicious food and have no trouble bringing in the usual large throngs of customers, I would say that it’s worth getting to the original location and eating the burger in the building in which it was meant to be devoured.

Union Square Cafe is located at 21 East 16th Street in Manhattan, New York.

Article by Brad Garoon

I run this burger joint.