The SN-Approved NYC Burger Bucket List

So many delicious burgers to eat, so little time.
New York is a haven for burger lovers. On any given night, you can indulge in a super-luxe Ralph Lauren-approved burger, or opt for a famed Shake Shack burger at their iconic Madison Square Park location. No matter you're preference, it's worth exploring all the burgers out there–which is why we put together the SN-approved burger bucket list. Read on for every delicious spot.

Image via Pizza Loves Emily

The Polo Bar

Ralph Lauren's chic NYC restaurant is home to the super luxe and delicious "Polo Bar Burger." It's not just an Insta-worthy experience: the burger itself is amazing, complete with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and even bacon, plus their out-of-this-world special sauce. It's the high-end burger you didn't know you needed to try!

4 Charles Prime Rib

This steakhouse in the West Village has an old-school charm and a classic burger that will no doubt impress. You can add an egg or bacon to the restaurant's "American Cheeseburger," but even if you take it just with lettuce and tomato it's guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience. 

Emily and Emmy Squared

Emily and Emmy Squared are sister restaurants run by the Pizza Loves Emily team, both with incredible burgers and top-notch pizza on their menus. Their signature burger is either called the "Emmy Burger" or "Le Big Matt" depending on your location, and while each one has minor differences, they share the same heavenly combination of burger, cheese, pickles, and special sauce on a warm pretzel bun. The burgers are served with perfectly crispy curly or waffle fries, too. 

Image via Shake Shack

Shake Shack

Shake Shack is one of our all-time favorites here at SN! The burgers are iconic and, perhaps most importantly, consistently fabulous. Whether you go to the original Madison Square Park location or any of the other Shake Shack outposts across the country, you can’t go wrong with a "ShackBurger" and crinkle-cut fries (plus a frozen custard if you're going all out!)

J.G. Melon

It’s an Upper East Side staple–and for good reason. J.G. Melon has an old-school and quintessentially New York vibe with an utterly fantastic burger. You can customize your burger as you want (bacon cheeseburger, anyone?!) and you can't go wrong with ordering a side of their famous cottage fries. The restaurant also has a West Village outpost with a similarly classic menu. 

P.J. Clarke's

This New York establishment is a must-visit spot for a reliably delicious burger. There's a variety for everyone you can please a crowd (like a French onion-burger that does not disappoint), plus excellent non-burger options on the menu for the rare occasion you're not in a burger mood. And, because no burger is complete without fries, we can attest to how amazing the sea salt fries are at P.J. Clarke's!

Image Via Lure Fishbar

Lure Fishbar

Yes, Lure Fishbar is a renowned seafood restaurant, but they have swoon-worthy burger options worth trying as well. Their "Bash Style" burger has a cult-like following on Instagram, thanks to the highly-photogenic onion rings served on top of the burger. 

The Happiest Hour

A top-notch cocktail menu and a burger that is out of this world? Yup–the Happiest Hour has it all. They have a few burger options to choose from, but you can't go wrong with their classic "Happiest Burger," which is an homage to both In-N-Out's famous burger and Shake Shack all in one. 


Upland's wide-ranging menu is inspired by Californian cuisine, and their burger is no exception. The "Upland Cheeseburger" is served with American cheese, avocado, and peppadew peppers, AKA sheer bliss in a burger.