From pedigreed fast-food joints to nouveau chophouses, the battle for patty supremacy rages on. NY Timeout tracks down 20 contenders to add to your list.
By the Food & Drink staff
With every buzzy new eatery flaunting its own chefly burger, pricey patties are on the rise. But Julian Medina bucks the trend with his affordable entrant, the Frita Cubana, at this 24-hour Latin diner. He doesn’t skimp either—the jaw-stretching stack features airy chicharróns and spiced roasted pork, piled atop a plump Swiss-covered burger made with sirloin, short rib and skirt steak. Pickles, red onion, crisp Boston lettuce and fresh tomato slices offset the richness, a slick of sambal-spiked mayo adds some zip, and a golden-brown potato bun holds it all together. 207 W 14th St between Seventh and Eighth Aves (212-858-5001). $8.95.
In 2009, chef Kyle Huebbe won a Brooklyn Paper contest with his tweaked cheeseburger recipe, laced with horseradish-chive aioli and topped with sharp cheddar. That award-winning creation now has pride of place on the menu at the new Cobble Hill joint, where Huebbe shares the kitchen with Blessing Schuman-Strange. The burger is built around a custom blend of grass-fed brisket and chuck from Los Paisanos, and a griddled Portuguese muffin serves as a bun, providing a hint of sweetness to balance the kick from the horseradish. 209 Smith St at Baltic St, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn (718-694-2277). $13. Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson
British comforts dominate the menu at this London-inspired tavern, but chef Chris Rendell reps his Aussie roots with this messy burger. Purists shouldn’t be put off by the baroque ingredient list, which includes house-pickled beets, a sunny-side-up egg, caramelized onions and aged cheddar. The beets match the texture and earthiness of the juicy patty, adding just a hint of sweetness, and a liberally buttered, Maldon-salt-flecked brioche bun does a fine job of soaking up the egg yolk that gushes when you bite into it. 19 Greenwich Ave between Christopher and W 10th Sts (212-675-7261). $16.
Meat man Frank Ottomanelli takes on the dual role of butcher and chef at this burger joint, a spin-off of his 52-year-old shop nearby. For his house grind, he uses 100 percent USDA prime beef (brisket, short rib, chuck and sirloin), which he crafts into four-ounce patties and cooks à la plancha, upsetting the discs only to perform a single, well-timed flip. Opt for the double, served on a sesame-seed bun with a slice of American cheese, two dripping patties, lettuce, tomato and pickles. 60-15 Woodside Ave at 61st St, Woodside, Queens (718-446-7489). $5.99. Photograph: Alex Strada
Name-brand butchers may be all the rage on the burger scene, but this clam shack turned to lesser-known purveyors to build its version. The beef (a blend of brisket, shoulder and fatty strip-steak trimmings) is sourced from Meatpacking stalwart London Meat Company, and the ciabatta roll comes from 50-year-old Brooklyn bakery Caputo’s. Chef Alan Harding gives the juice-gushing patty a caramelized crust on the flattop and crowns it with traditional toppings (romaine lettuce, roma tomatoes, red onion), plus spicy pickles punched up with Thai chilies. 288 Third Ave between Carroll and President Sts, Gowanus, Brooklyn (718-522-1921). $12. Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson
From The Web