Photo by Andre Baranowski
From Bronxville to Briarcliff, Tarrytown to Thornwood, these are our top picks for where you should be biting into a big, juicy burger now.
By Michelle Gillan Larkin with Jena A. Butterfield, Cristiana Caruso, and John Bruno Turiano
Is there anything better than the ease and simple pleasure of hunkering down with a good burger? When the cravings run riot and you’re torn between competing apps and entrées that leave you gastronomically paralyzed, the menu almost always offers a satisfying safety net in the form of plan B: burger and fries. And are you ever disappointed? We’re certain you won’t be if you select a beefy beauty from the curated list that follows.
Lenny’s North Seafood & Steakhouse
386 Main St; lennysnorth.net
Ground in-house from the Italian steakhouse’s own Prime, dry-aged cuts, this burger expresses its heritage. “We are well known for the quality of our meat,” says owner Lenny Balidemaj. The house special is made with the kitchen’s own blend of onions, garlic, herbs and spices, topped with house-made mozzarella and served on an Italian roll. It launched this season to succulent success with diners proclaiming buonissimo!
698 Saw Mill River Rd; liniziony.com
If you ask the culinary-schooled couple behind this intimate Italian downtowner what makes their Gouda Burger shine, they’ll tell you it’s all in the details (Angus beef with an 80/20 ratio of lean-to-fat, oven-roasted tomato, house pickle, and horseradish aioli) and the cooking method. “We cook the burger a al plancha,” says Scott Fratangelo, which “gives great sear, great caramelization without over-charring the meat.” Crispy fingerling potatoes knock it out of the park and make it a meal.
391 Old Post Rd; truckrestaurant.com
Local, organic, and thoughtfully sourced ingredients dominate the menu (and mind) of chef/owner Nancy Allen Roper at this rustically refined former truck stop that proffers New Mexico-inspired fare — and the burger is no exception. Swaddled by a whole wheat tortilla, it’s a hearty patty of grass-fed beef blanketed with Cabot Jack cheese and a light sweep of guacamole. It’s served with farm fries, but rice and NYS beans are there for the asking.
Squire’s of Briarcliff
94 N State Rd; squiresofbriarcliff.com
Sure, there’s a short lineup of specialty burgers on the well-perused menu (including a Kobe offering), but it’d be wise to check your fancy pants at the door of this welcoming, wood-paneled tavern and order up a simple, reliable … burger. It’s 9 ounces of charbroiled fresh beef that comes with the requisite lettuce, tomato, and fries, and it simply never fails to satisfy.
131 Parkway Rd; thetavery.com
This Bronxville newcomer is swinging for the fences with a burger that will rival your most tried-and-true go to: a Pat LaFrieda patty layered with caramelized onions, rich pancetta jam, gooey Gruyère, and aioli. Paired with sidewinder fries for some thrilling twists and crisps, one bite into this burger equals instant transportation to your happy place.
Crabtree’s Kittle House
11 Kittle Rd; crabtreeskittlehouse.com
At this longstanding pillar of farm-to-fork dining, the burger is as local and sustainable as it can possibly be — and you can taste the difference in each juicy bite. Every ingredient hails from the surrounding area, from the grass-fed Angus beef from Meiller Farm in Pine Plains and the Adirondack Cheese Company’s aged cheddar to the smokehouse bacon and brioche roll, not to mention the house-made butter pickles and hand-cut fries.
92 Roa Hook Rd; tablenine.com
Best go hungry to this local eatery with a large dining space and options galore. Their T-9 Chop House Burger is 9 ounces of ground-in-house beef, chargrilled and topped with all the classic trimmings. Other options include barbecue bacon; blue cheese-crusted; or mushroom, onion, provolone. Trust us, you’ll never have to ask, where’s the beef? Unless, of course, you opt for the salmon, turkey, or veggie burgers…but we digress.
171 Grand St; lacatrinaw.com
You might not suppose a Mexican restaurant to have an exceptional burger, but when you consider chef/owner Enrique Estrada’s pedigree (executive chef at X2O Xaviars on the Hudson; sous chef at Harvest on Hudson), it doesn’t surprise. The Catrina burger is a half-pound glory of Prime beef, Woodford bourbon caramelized onions, Gruyère cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and pickle served on a toasted potato bun slathered liberally with chipotle mayo. And the heap of shoestring fries is a delicious accompaniment.
92 Main St; harpersonmain.com
In casually elegant, comfortable surrounds, reminiscent of a European bistro or North American chop house, a house-ground burger beckons, boasting equal parts Angus beef, chuck, and brisket. “It’s grilled to get that excellent char and perfect temperature,” says general manager, Sara Durango. Let the imagination dictate the toppings, choosing from an array of cheeses (Gruyère, cheddar, blue), and don’t be shy when considering caramelized onions “cooked all day, low and slow,” roasted mushrooms, and/or house-cut, thick bacon.
Westchester Meat Market
1 Mill Rd; westchestermeatmarket.com
Simplicity and familiarity are always at play when sinking into the most comforting of comfort foods, but every so often a new kid comes to town to shake things up. In this case, his name is Peter Bicaj, a longstanding master of meat, who takes a porterhouse he’s dry-aged in back and fashions it into a luscious, savory hunk that melts in the mouth and goes down light as air. Special sauce and a brioche bun add to the next-level experience.
121 E Main St; flamessteakhouse.com
Anyone who picks a patty over a porterhouse at a steakhouse is normally not welcome at our table, but we’ll let it slide at this always consistent neighborhood staple where the burger is born from fresh Prime beef and taken up a notch by the addition of 10 to 12% kidney fat. Add in double-smoked applewood bacon, heady Gorgonzola, fried onion rings, and a toasty grilled bun, and you can dine with us anytime.
307 Halstead Ave; cafedeuxny.com
Many of the dishes at this stylish eatery that offers both classic French and New American fare are straightforward: Basic recipes using top-rate ingredients. Take the juicy double patty burger made with a 75/25 ratio of lean-to-fat Wagyu — beautifully marbled and delicately textured. Add a double dose of cheddar and the result is a divine burger experience.
The Irish Bank
230 E Hartsdale Ave; theirishbankbar.com
For good craic and a burger that’s bang on, best leg it to this corner pub in pursuit of The Bank Burger. Topped with Dubliner cheese, grilled Irish bacon, mushrooms, and sautéed onions, the tender, salty rasher addition is a revelation. One to be enjoyed, perhaps, over a pint of Guinness whilst eyeing a GAA or Premier League match.
BORO6 Wine Bar
549 Warburton Ave; boro6winebar.com
Small plates, seasonal salads, and artisan meats and cheeses are the go-to dishes at this bright and airy neighborhood spot that’s reminiscent of a small-village European taverna, but those in the know order the burger when the craving hits. A blooming blend of house-ground chuck, brisket, and prosciutto, it’s artfully topped with melty raclette, grilled onion, maitake mushrooms, mustard aioli, and served on a Balthazar brioche bun.
Red Hat on the River
1 Bridge St; redhatontheriver.com
Served with serene Hudson River scenes from every seat in the house including the bar, the eponymous burger here is a custom Pat LaFrieda beef blend of short rib and brisket, and it’s “designed so you don’t have to play around with it,” says owner Ben O’Connell, referencing the accompaniments of white English cheddar, caramelized onions, house pickles, and creamy aioli that’s dotted with diced pickles. “It’s all in there,” a meaty masterpiece that barely requires ketchup and is near heaven on a Balthazar brioche bun.
105 Somerstown Tpke; muscoottavern.com
The burger selections at this crooked-walled, low-slung tavern operating as some hidey-hole or another since the 1920s are whopping and can get messy. But that fits the setting (anyone around 6-feet tall must duck when entering; there’s a taxidermized snarling bear over the bar). The Smokehouse burger is our top choice: A half-pound house-blend beef patty with bacon that’s always crispy, Vermont cheddar, caramelized onions, and a flavorful barbecue sauce.
147 Larchmont Ave; heritage147.com
Do not let the elegance of Heritage 147 blind you — while chefs Rich Perez and Alissa Svorka are masterful with their complex dishes, they’re just as extraordinary with their burgers. The Heritage grass-fed burger offers a different take on the standard beef: Two 4-ounce patties find a home between fresh lettuce and tangy tomato jam, finished with a special sauce. A substantial dinner, indeed.
Le Provençal Bistro
436 Mamaroneck Ave; 914.777.2324
Tucked away in the Franco-corners of Le Provençal’s menu is a burger worth a second glance. A sultry marbled Kobe beef burger serves as the base, enrobbed in Gruyère cheese, and topped with mesclun for a snap of fresh greens. The brioche bun gives a tinge of sweetness to soak up the luxurious drippings. And oui, such a burger cannot be served without a crispy accompaniment of pomme frites.
Village Social Kitchen + Bar
251 Main St; villagesocialkb.com
“We take pride in our burger,” says chef Mogan Anthony, who powered through hundreds of tastings during the creation of the Vintage Burger. The grind is a mix of short rib, brisket, and sirloin, cured with kombu salt and mixed with mushrooms as well as other umami beef-amplifiers. It’s smothered with aged white cheddar and caramelized onion confit and then served on a grilled bun with a kicking smear of sambal aioli and shoestring fries.
580 Gramatan Ave; bayourestaurantny.com
If you’re somehow able to bypass the mud bugs, jumpin’ jambalaya, and étouffée in favor of a burger at this authentic Cajun bar and restaurant (maybe you’re under 12?), at least the sammie standby is a half-pound of Prime beef, cooked to order, and served as a traditional po ‘boy with the option to add Cajun spices. Pair it with a hurricane and your street cred goes up a tick further.
599 Main Street; townhousenewro.com
Chef Chris dos Reis never does the bare minimum. Even the simplest-sounding dishes, like a hamburger, give dos Reis a playground to lay on complexities and depth. One bite into the tender patty will have you questioning where this burger has been your entire life — the burger, brioche bun, clothbound cheddar, and caramelized onions, that is. And you can’t forget the Hudson Valley smoked bacon, a salty crunch to cut through all that silky richness.
Purdy’s Farmer & the Fish
100 Titicus Rd; farmerandthefish.com
Four acres of terraced farmland under cultivation, two greenhouses, and a hoop house assure that ultra-fresh farm fare is on every plate, and that includes the tender and juicy, ethically raised, grass-fed burger that hails from Columbia County’s Kinderhook Farms. Cheddar from Hudson Valley farms, smokehouse bacon, onion rings, and proprietary special sauce give diners something to chew on while surveying the exposed beams and original fireplaces that adorn this rustic-chic 1776 farmhouse.
3 Westerly Bar and Grill
3 Westerly Rd; 3westerly.com
A spicy, smoke-infused bed of chipotle mayo clings to crisp lettuce and a thick slice of tomato, forming the base of this beefy marvel made from 8 ounces of Prime sirloin. Topped with aged cheddar oozing like lava down seared sides, this patty is served with maple bacon on a glossy, pickle-speared brioche bun and a killer view of the Hudson.
900 Fort Hill Rd; aproposrestaurant.com
Served at lunch, brunch, and happy hour, the dry-aged beauty at this historic-hilltop haven of Hudson Valley bounty is born from simplicity. “It’s the time we put into making it, that gives our burger its amazing flavor,” says executive chef Danielle Ceruzzi. Onions are slow-cooked for three hours to create a caramelized onion jam, a sublime complement to the Lioni smoked mozzarella that gently melts beneath a toasty, buttery brioche bun.
105 Wolfs Lane; rockwellsusa.com
A burger at Rockwell’s is a no-nonsense, all flavor, simple but soothing meal cushioned between a fluffy bun. Freshly ground on-premises with Prime beef, there’s no going wrong with a classic juicy bacon cheeseburger (lettuce, tomato, and sautéed onions available upon request for no extra charge). Seated next to walls speckled with memorabilia and the stuffed bear (if you’re lucky), there’s no better place to settle in for a hometown bite.
The Inn at Pound Ridge by Jean-Georges
258 Westchester Ave; theinnatpoundridge.com
This rustic-regal farmhouse has become a Northern Westchester neighborhood haunt; and a worthy haunt, we can all agree, needs a worthy burger. The one at this outpost is an all-chuck burger made from Niman Ranch grass-fed beef. It’s served with frizzled onions, yuzu pickles, and house-made french fries; the Alsace to the burger’s Lorraine.
472 Bedford Rd; freddyspleasantville.com
At this upbeat, family friendly crowd pleaser, “our burger is an ode to the best tavern burgers in NYC with the simplest and best ingredients,” says co-owner Christina Safarowic. That boils down to a proprietary blend of 10 ounces of dry-aged beef, cheddar, raw onion, and a seeded brioche bun. “We let the meat speak for itself,” Safarowic says. House-made bacon jam speaks volumes too and only adds to the overall deliciousness factor.
578 Anderson Hill Rd; tredicinorth.com
Word on the street is that Chef Giuseppe Fanelli spent two decades tinkering with Pat LaFrieda on a custom beef blend that was just right and worthy of the moniker, Fat Bastard. Order it with a straight face and receive 10 ounces of that proprietary beef, top it with your cheese of choice, and let the kitchen toss in applewood-smoked bacon and a crisp Moretti-beer-battered onion ring that’s sculpted into existence from lush caramelized onions and mushrooms.
Saltaire Oyster Bar and Kitchen
55 Abendroth Ave; saltaireoysterbar.com
This sleek and chic seafooder is all about oysters, scallops, and shrimp, but don’t snooze on the burger. It’s an eye-opening 10 ounces of Prime beef and chuck blend (80/20 ratio of lean-to-fat) that comes topped with aged cheddar, house-made spicy bacon jam, frizzled onions, a house pickle spear, and hand-cut fries. Lobster, who?
Milton Point Provisions
615 Milton Rd; miltonpointprovisions.com
Peek at — or better yet, sniff — what’s cooking on the custom wood-fired grill at Monty and Hadley Gerrish’s restaurant where sourcing ingredients from special producers is the mantra. The Old Rye Classic Burger, a blend of short rib and chuck-brisket ground in-house with white American on a brioche bun is a wonder: Moist yet retaining a grill smokiness. Bib lettuce gives it color and crunch, house-made spicy pickles lend a mild kick, and a slather of mayo-based sweet chili MPP sauce counters with creamy purity.
One Rare Italian Steakhouse
16 East Pkwy; oneraresteakhouse.com
Small in size but not flavor, these tender Wagyu sliders are decadent on their own. Not one for keeping to the status quo, chef Admir Alibasic levels the two-bite burger up a notch with caramelized onions, fresh tomato, Havarti cheese, and a special sauce that adds a welcome tang to the richness. Good thing these come in threes because after one bite it’s hard to stop.
Bridge View Tavern
226 Beekman Ave; bridgeviewtavern.com
Diners can choose from a veritable smorgasbord of burgers here, but the top competitor is the Smokehouse: A stunner of fresh-ground Prime beef topped with house-smoked bacon, caramelized onions, melted Vermont cheddar, and tangy barbecue sauce. Burgers of bison, elk, and wild boar chorizo also dot the menu and sway hearty and just as lusty.
Smokehouse Tailgate Grill in Decicco & Son’s
266 Route 202; deccioandsons.com/somers
Tucked away on the second floor of the DeCicco & Sons — while oblivious shoppers push carts below — is a delectable burger with down-county roots. The Roadies Bar Burger is a hearty hodgepodge of chuck, brisket, and short rib, coming in at a quarter pound of goodness. Owners Michael Hofer and Justin Zetooniyan dress their burger casually, letting the meat do the talking, and top it simply with American cheese, tomato, lettuce, and burger sauce on a potato roll. (Note: Smokehouse is open Thursday and Friday, noon to 8 p.m.)
The Horse and Hound Inn
94 Spring St; thehorseandhoundinn.com
It stands to reason that this former stage coach stop knows how to do classic. This special location predates, not only the Revolutionary War, but any origin story of the burger itself. That aside, the tavern vibes and historic surroundings make a fitting backdrop for America’s favorite food: A no frills, hearty, homestead hamburger that would satiate any traveler on that long, horse-driven route from NYC to Danbury.
27 Main St; tarrytavern.com
There’s a reason Tarry Tavern’s Wagyu Burger is a menu mainstay. The developed flavor of the Wagyu, sourced from D’Artagnan, packs an even bigger punch with the addition of house-made bacon-onion jam. “We love onions and bacon on a burger and wanted to combine them,” says Owner Henry Cabral. It’s a knockout served with house-made pickles, New York State white cheddar, and a brioche bun from Pane D’oro in Yonkers.
The Barley House
665 Commerce St; thebarleyhouseny.com
The eponymous burger here is a blend of chuck, brisket, and short rib topped with Applewood-smoked bacon and sharp white cheddar. The kitchen is innovative with its focus on eclectic comfort food, “but,” says Co-owner, Bobby Harris, “at the end of the day, we’ve all had that craving for a big, juicy burger!” Especially when it comes on a buttery brioche bun with the house’s secret Barley sauce.
Tuck’d Away Bar & Grill
90 Yonkers Ave; tuckedaway90.com
At this cozy neighborhood watering hole that’s akin to a dive bar with a touch of panache, the Tuck’d Burger is where it’s at. Why, you ask? Well, because the 6 or 8 ounces (we know our choice) of flat-top-seared ground chuck is tucked deep with luscious Monterey Jack cheese for a burger like no other in our book. It’s topped with house-made chipotle ketchup, crispy onions, and served on a fresh-baked brioche bun with hand-cut fries.
Red Horse by David Burke
221 Main St; redhorsebydb.com
Which aspect of the Red Horse DB Cheeseburger most makes it standout? There’s the choice of beef: Dry-aged and sourced from the celebrated Pat LaFrieda. Then there’s the bun, or lack thereof; an artisan English muffin cradles this burger lending a redolent smell and, of course, nooks and crags for the juices to run amok. Lastly, it’s dressed with DB sauce, a combo of David Burke’s Signature B1 Steak Sauce (with hints of smoke, horseradish, tamarind, tomato) and mayo. We lean toward the sauce.
1 Stew Leonard Dr; stewleonards.com
The well-known grocer’s seasonal Burger Barn (open May to September) respects the simple pleasure that is an excellent burger. Chef Chris Papp uses 80/20 chuck ground freshly daily by Stew’s butchers; the go-to order is new on this summer’s menu: Stew’s Bacon-Crunch Burger. It’s topped with New York Sharp Cheddar, in-house smoked bacon, a slathering of a chef-made secret sauce, piled high with crispy onions and shredded lettuce, and served on Stew’s buttery brioche rolls. And lest you think people just go to Stew’s for groceries, more than 5,000 beef burgers are sold each month!
345 Kear St; the-gramercy.com
Named for Europe’s longest reigning monarch who once remarked, “it’s impossible to please all the world,” the King Louis XIV burger at this sophisticated brasserie aims to please the most discerning of palates with a dry-aged blend of beef that’s delicately seasoned with black truffle butter and served with pickled red onion and salty, creamy Gorgonzola. Accompanied by house-made fries, it’s a meal fit for, well, you know how it goes.
You don’t have to be a carnivore to sink your teeth into a thick, overflowing, extra-napkin burger. With these “burger” options, meatless Monday can’t come soon enough.
The burgers are a local crave at this neighborhood gastropub (paired with a brew from the craft beer lineup, natch), and that includes the beet and quinoa varietal that rests beneath chive goat cheese, baby arugula, and house mustard. For a protein kick, consider a fried egg topper from Columbia County’s Feather Ridge Farm. Or, dare we suggest, smoked brisket chili?
A 100-percent plant-based café seems like the proper place to dig into a meat-free meal and the so-called Beety Burger may be just the sammie you’ve been searching for. It’s a hefty concoction of beets, mushrooms, and walnuts, layered with baby spinach and pickled onions, all nestled within a grain-free ciabatta. Splurge for sliced avocado and a schmear of spicy aioli, muhammara, or almond-cilantro chutney and give yourself a pat on the back for going green.
Sweet Grass Grill
A dozen local farms provide the eats at this casual Rivertown den, where the menu varies week-to-week, dependent on the daily harvest. Veggie burgers rotate in and out (be on the lookout for the oyster mushroom iteration, oh my!), but the consistently popular standby is the one created from quinoa, sweet potato, and kale. Served on a house-baked roll with lettuce, pickle, and harissa aioli, even confirmed carnivores won’t miss the meat.