It’s been ten years since my first trip to New York City, and subsequently my first Burger Joint burger. Back then it was one of the best burgers I’d ever had, and I’m delighted to confirm that it remains so a decade later. Hidden away in the reception area of Le Parker Meridien hotel near Central Park, a quick peek around a nondescript curtain will reveal a luminous neon burger sign, indicating that one of the best burgers of your life is nearby. The original NY Burger Joint is tiny with just a couple of booths, the walls scrawled with famous patrons’ autographs from floor to ceiling. The newer Greenwich Village joint is much bigger but still retains the casual, fun vibe of the original – the scrawled walls are still a feature, as is the signature neon lighting the way to New York’s best burgers. The life size gold and white zebra just happens to be a bonus of the Greenwich Village branch.
As with most places that serve up the best of the best, the menu at Burger Joint is simple and small: burger ($8.75), cheeseburger, ($9.25) or either of those doubled up ($13.50 – 16.50). Keeping things small-scale means you can do a few things well (as shown with Bleecker), and oh how well Burger Joint does it. The patties are ridiculously juicy and packed with flavour, the bright yellow cheese melted perfectly between the two burgers (yeah – two, I went double, and you should too). The bun is your standard burger bun, which doesn’t hold up the weight of the meat too well but also, a brioche roll would just be too…much – too fancy for Burger Joint. The result is a messy meal, but I am a firm believer that burgers are best served that way.
Get ‘The Works’ and your cheeseburger will come with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, ketchup, mayo AND mustard, plus bacon. You know it makes sense. The fries ($3.50) are good – not the best, but thin cut, crunchy and plentiful, though if you’re going double you’ll be pushed to finish it all, especially if you’re after one of their thick milkshakes too. Speaking of drinks, at the original they are kept simple – beer, shakes, sodas. At the Greenwich joint you’ll get a full bar, and am pleased to report that the $12 margaritas are up to scratch.
Honestly, writing this makes me yearn for NYC and these filthy burgers, but I’ll just go eat my salad at my desk and browse Sky Scanner for a cheap flight back, don’t mind me. Make sure you add this place to your NYC foodie hit list else I promise you, you will regret it. You’ve got to have NYC’s best burger on there, haven’t you? After all, if you’re going to do something, do it properly – and that’s certainly something Burger Joint does.
Le Parker Meridien, 119 W 56th St, New York, NY 10019, USA
Update: the West Village branch has sadly now closed but there’s a new branch in Brooklyn instead. Also found in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Seoul, Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.