R5 Westchester’s Best Hamburgers: Proprietary Mixes, Iconic Burger Bars and Counter Classics

The hamburger: It’s a food that, for better or worse, hasbecome emblematic of America. It’s a dish whose popularity rose with that of the automobile, and, taken together, they express freedom from convention and the lure of the open road. Those are “hamburgs” that Dean Moriarty gobbles in the amphetamine spree of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. Popeye’s Wimpy, an early obsessive, has been scrounging free hamburgers since way back in 1933. Just like Wimpy’s, America’s love of hamburgers knows no bounds. Hamburgers are the number-one food consumed outside of the American home—not bad for a food whose domestic history reaches back only to around the turn of the 20th century.

While America’s love of burgers earns smirks in other countries, I maintain that hamburgers offer an extremely varied ride for your palate. Bun, patty, and toppings together offer starch, meat, and veg in one bite. But further, the burger offers contrasts in texture, flavor, and even temperature. The soft, carnal resistance of hot beef is countered by the cool, watery crunch of lettuce. Meanwhile, the fatty lushness of cheese and mayonnaise-based sauces is offset by the acidic snap of onion, tomato, and pickle. Yum.

Westchester, you know you love your burgers, so you don’t want to miss this ride. Below you’ll find Westchester’s greatest burgers—tie on that napkin and tear in!

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Mix Masters

One of the great things about the hamburger is that it’s almost more idea than dish. Here are some elite kitchens that have adapted America’s favorite food with traditional culinary techniques and carefully sourced ingredients. In this section, look for proprietary meat mixes to create a perfect, super-beefy bite

Westchester’s Iconic Bar Burgers

What is a bar burger? I’ll give you a hint: It’s served in a bar—most likely in the blue flicker of a televised game—on a dinged wooden table sans cloth. Bar burgers are giant and sloppy, and include a side of fries on heavy crockery. Chances are that, when you eat this burger, you already have a bit of a buzz. Admit it: You love a bar burger, in all of its massive, drippy glory.

The New-Wave Stand Burger

What is a stand burger? It starts with counter service. Add disposable wrappers, shakes and sodas, plus separately priced servings of fries. Currently, in this post-Shake Shack world, the stand burger is the Wild West of the food industry. All over Westchester, brand-new burger stands are attempting to rival Shake Shack, In-N-Out Burger, and even (gasp!) McDonald’s.

The Unburgers

The Burger as Dare

The Anatomy of a Burger

Best in Fries

Pat LaFrieda: Butcher (and Patron Saint of the Hamburger

The Upstart Burger

Chefs think about food in a way that normal humans don’t. We asked Chef Peter Kelly to show us the whys and hows of his Cowboy Goes to France Burger, available upon request at X2O.


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Julia Sexton is a New York-based restaurant critic, food writer, and blogger whose work has appeared in the New York Times and the Boston Globe. Follow her CRMA Award winning blog, Eat. Drink. Post., on westchestermagazine.com and look for her reviews and food writing in Westchester Magazine and Westchester Home.

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