Nothing beats a juicy, delicious burger for lunch or dinner, and New York has some of the best burgers you’ll ever try. But do you know exactly where to go to get one when you’re also trying to squeeze in all of the networking and sessions that are part and parcel of Inman Connect New York (taking place January 29 through February 1 at the Marriott Marquis Times Square)?
If you don’t already have a go-to burger joint that’s a must-stop when you attend Inman Connect New York, then don’t worry; we’ve provided you with a few options (excluding some well-known chains that are prevalent all over Times Square, such as Five Guys) that are bound to meet your standards. And if you don’t have tickets to the conference yet, make sure you get those before you start planning all your burger excursions — it’ll help set your real estate business up for success in 2019 and beyond!
1. 5 Napkin Burger
630 9th Ave, New York, NY 10036
A chain that’s local to the Big Apple, 5 Napkin Burger also happens to be one of the places where you can try an Impossible Burger — a plant-based burger that’s designed to taste just like the meat-laden version, hence the name — near the conference campus. This sit-down eatery also offers a housemade veggie burger (“with too many ingredients to count”) in addition to a turkey burger, a lamb kofta burger, ahi tuna and a couple of chicken varieties, but the real stars of the show are, of course, the beef burgers. The titular burger on the menu comes with imported gruyere, caramelized onions and rosemary-garlic aioli served atop 10 ounces of all-natural ground chuck that’s antibiotic-free and hormone-free. Don’t forget the sides! The signature hand-cut fries are, of course, quite popular, but you can also order items on the healthier side, such as the Brussels sprouts with candied peanuts and Thai vinaigrette. And if not everybody in your group is interested in burgers, good news: 5 Napkin also offers hand-rolled sushi (yes, really) and a few fork-and-knife entrees, including chicken and waffles or lobster sliders.
2. Bill’s Bar & Burger
16 W 51st St, New York, NY 10019
There’s plenty of space for groups at Bill’s Bar and Burger; however, to avoid a wait at lunch or dinner, you may want to make a reservation ahead of time. Its Fat Cat burger won a CNN Top 10 Burger Award and is served with caramelized onion, American cheese, lettuce, tomato and pickle on an English muffin, but you can also find sliders, a classic burger, a turkey burger, a barbeque brisket varietal, a burger with smoked bacon chili on top of it, the vegan Impossible Burger — and much more. In addition to burgers, Bill’s offers wings, soup, salads, fish tacos, crispy chicken sandwiches, patty melts and more, so there’s bound to be something on the menu for everyone in your party, even if there are a lot of picky eaters trying to find sustenance. Located in the Rockefeller Center, this is an ideal spot for either sitting and people-watching if you’ve got the time, or just grabbing a burger and running if you’ve got sessions to attend.
3. Black Iron Burger
245 W 38th St, New York, NY 10018
Black Iron Burger was voted the No. 1 burger joint in the Big Apple by Zagat Survey for three years in a row (2015 through 2017), so if you’re looking for an authentic New York burger experience, it’s definitely worth adding to your list. This location doesn’t have a ton of space to speak of, but it does take reservations; make one if you’re interested in trying it and don’t want to wait for a table, but you can always get takeout if eating in your hotel room is an option, too. You can trust that your burger will be cooked to order, and with steroid-, hormone- and antibiotic-free Black Angus beef, it’s going to taste amazing, too — whether you go with a mushroom truffle burger, the Masterpiece (eight ounces total of beef patty with Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, an organic fried egg and applewood-smoked bacon) or the Iberico burger (five ounces of beef patty with manchego cheese, Iberico ham, an organic fried egg, arugula and a garlic, tomato and olive oil sauce).
4. Union Square Burger
729 8th Ave, New York, NY 10036
Union Square Burger uses a blend of Black Angus beef and American kobe-style wagyu beef in its patties, combining to create a delectable, decadent burger. It’s a small location with limited ventilation, and everything is made to order, so your best option might be to wait a few minutes for your meal to cook and then carry your burger back to the hotel with you. Union Square Burger carries both classic sesame seed buns and quite popular potato buns, and you can also get a veggie burger or a chicken burger if you’re trying to go a bit leaner. You might find some limited items on the menu, such as an aged beef steak burger, but the classics — avocado cheeseburgers, spicy bacon cheeseburgers mushroom cheddar burgers — and the shakes (including a matcha shake the exact shade of perfectly brewed green teas) make Union Square Burger a worthy option for anybody burger-hunting during mealtime.
5. HB Burger
127 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036
You have to order a full entree to get table seating at HB Burger, so if you’re just stopping in for a brew, plan to sit at the bar — and with a name that stands for “Heartland Brewery,” you’ll find plenty of beer to suit your taste on the menu, even if you’re picky. The burgers are served on a potato roll, and you can get a turkey burger, a veggie burger, free-range bison burgers, sashimi-grade tuna burgers, a fried chicken sandwich or a New York strip steak sandwich if you’re leaning toward something burger-like but don’t want to go all in with an actual beef burger. That said, the burgers shine at HB Burger; the Burger Royale features ale-battered onion rings, aged New York cheddar, bacon and roasted garlic aioli, or you could go with a Kobe beef burger instead. The tater tots are made with smoked bacon and jalapeno jack cheese, but you can also get old standards like onion straws, coleslaw, fresh-cut fries and even sweet potato fries on the side if you so choose.
6. Island Burgers & Shakes
766 9th Ave, New York, NY 10019
Island Burgers & Shakes has been providing New York with some of the finest burgers (and secret menu items) for more than 20 years and has had 64 different burgers on its menu at one point or another. (If you happen to have visited before and remember one of your favorites, ask about having it served up even if it’s not on the menu today — they’ll happily accommodate you.) The eatery is also famous for its chicken churrasco, and you can build your own burger from the ground up, starting with either a beef patty, grilled chicken, a turkey burger or a portobello mushroom for the meat-shy in the group, then adding cheese, sauces, toppings and premium toppings to your heart’s content, served on a sesame bun, sourdough, rye, dark rye, a whole-wheat pita, ciabatta, or gluten-free bread. If you’d rather have someone else do the assembling (even mentally), the specialty burgers should serve that purpose neatly, from the Frog (boursin, bacon and sauteed onions) to the Cowboy (barbeque sauce, bacon, sauteed onions, cheddar and ranch on sourdough bread) to the Napalm (blackened burger, barbeque sauce, jalapenos, cheddar and habanero).
7. Burger & Lobster
132 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036
Who says surf-and-turf is confined to steak and seafood? The creative minds behind Burger & Lobster — a chain that started in London and also has outposts in Dubai, Bangkok, Kuwait City and, of course, the Big Apple — know better than that. The lobster rolls come served on a toasted brioche roll and are served with salad and fries; there’s a Japanese and a po’ boy offering if you’d like something a little out of the ordinary. In terms of burgers, you can (of course) order one that’s got lobster meat in addition to a few other toppings on it; it’s called the Beast and it features Swiss cheese and truffle mayo along with a Nebraskan beef patty and fresh lobster meat on a sesame seed brioche bun. You can also order oysters, flown in daily for peak freshness, and Burger & Lobster offers online reservations if you’re worried about waiting for a table. Or get the Combo for 1: a burger with a 1-pound lobster (grilled or steamed — your choice) with fries, salad and your choice of butter; regulars rave about Burger & Lobster’s lemon garlic butter, for what that’s worth!
8. The Counter
Times Square Tower, 7, New York, NY 10036
If you’d like to combine your burger outing with a visit to Times Square Tower, the Counter is the spot for you. There’s more than just counter space available, but if you’re a single diner hoping for a quick bite, the bar may be the best option — though you should prepare for temptation in the form of the restaurant’s alcoholic milkshakes, because you’ll probably witness the bartender whipping up several while you wait for and eat your burger. The checklist-style menu allows you to fully customize your burger experience, from all-natural beef, turkey, chicken breast, bison, fried chicken or mahi-mahi fillet to the veggie and Impossible Burger (a vegan burger offering) patties. Pick your size, decide which style you’d like to order (English muffin? Pretzel bun? Salad?), and identify which cheese, sauce, toppings and sides you’d like with your burger, and the kitchen will happily whip it up for you. (And yes, before you ask — you can build your own custom milkshake, too!)
9. PJ Clarke’s
915 3rd Ave, New York, NY 10022
PJ Clarke’s is more than just a burger joint — there’s a raw bar with seafood offerings, salads, main courses and steaks, so it’s a good place to find a little something for everyone when your group can’t decide what to get. And you can also order through Seamless if you don’t want to sit down or wait for a table at all. The Clarke Burgers come in a turkey burger or Wagyu varietal in additional to the all-beef patties; the Wagyu burger comes with double-smoked bacon and cabot cheddar on it. Or you could opt for the BBQ Bleu Burger, with buttermilk blue cheese, crispy onions and barbeque sauce, or the au poivre kitchen style: black pepper, szechuan pepper, garlic, shallots and olive oil. There are several cheeses and add-ons that you can use to customize a regular burger, too, so you can make sure your burger is made just the way you like it.
10. Clinton Hall
6571, 230 E 51st St, New York, NY 10022
Got a group and need a place to park for burgers and beer? Clinton Hall has everything you crave and then some. This beer hall-style venue features board games (if that’s the kind of fun you’re seeking), 20 rotating beers on tap, happy hour specials, and food to suit just about every palate, from buffalo cauliflower or wings for the table to hot dogs to salads to, naturally, burgers. Clinton Hall’s Double Smashed burger won accolades for the best burger in New York, awarded by the Food Network, and comes with special sauce, crispy shallots, American cheese, bread, butter pickles and two patties on a sesame seed bun. But there are plenty of standouts on the menu that you won’t find elsewhere, like the fondue burger, which features molten cheese sauce in the bun, or the dry-aged burger, with IPA caramelized onion and horseradish cream in addition to Swiss cheese and a 28-day, dry-aged burger.
Did we miss your favorite burger spot? Let us know in the comments!
Discover the opportunities in a changing market at Inman Connect New York, January 29 – February 1. Jumpstart 2019 with tactical takeaways, unlimited networking and thought-provoking speakers. Learn more.
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