Best Outdoor Burgers in New York Slideshow
April 6, 2011
Shake Shack (Madison Square Park)
If you can brave the hordes of Shack fans in Madison Square Park, you will be pleased by Danny Meyer’s über-successful juicy-burger chain. Shake Shack's burgers are highlighted by bright colors (green, leafy lettuce; ruby red tomatoes; and gooey, yellow American cheese) sandwiched between a soft potato roll. Take note: if you’re impatient, try the Shack Cam, where you can get the heads-up, visually, of the long lines. Shake Shack also has heaters, so you can enjoy your burger experience year-round.
One of the most famous burger spots in Manhattan, JG Melon has been serving little morsels of beefy goodness since 1972. Melon has an exclusive outdoor seating area, which on summers days, features the sun hitting just right on the corner. A Bloody Mary and an iconic JG Melon burger is all that separates you from heaven. Just beware the staff — they can be gruff and harsh at times. Still, the burger makes up for attitude. A succulent, juicy, fat patty topped with a bun, pickles, red onion, lettuce, and tomato. The perfect accompaniment is Melon’s crispy, yet pillowy soft-centered cottage fries.
This staple Murray Hill brunch spot has proven itself for serving fresh, great, innovative Belgian food time and again since opening in April 2007. With an extensive list of Belgian beers and imported ales, you’ll have no problem lounging in Resto's modern outdoor seating. Sample some beer and burgers 'tll the sun goes down. Resto’s slogan (maybe the best ever) is “bringing back the fat," which say’s it all. The burger is expertly-constructed with a precise mix of fatback, beef cheek, and hangar steak. It drips with luscious Gruyère, slices of red onion, and crinkle cut pickles. Most importantly, it never disappoints.
This Brooklyn burger spot, which opened in Williamsburg in 2005, has enjoyed burger fame for its monolithic portrayal of the American sandwich. Round patties are carefully and lovingly marinated in a secret sauce and char-grilled and mounted on a crispy brioche bun. Dumont has sidewalk space where you can enjoy an extensive burger-addled menu. That includes mini-burgers, turkey burgers, and an array of fixings including Danish blue cheese, Monterey Jack, mushrooms, and even avocado salad.
This long-standing cue joint specializes in Memphis, dry-rub style ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, mac and cheese. But it also does an equally quality burger. Outdoor sidewalk seating greets diners and is perfect for people-watching and chowing down on Chef Kenny Callahan’s Blue Smoke burger. A fat, juicy patty served with slabs of smoke-cured bacon will make you leave grinning and content. For the non-carnivores, Callahan also offers a hickory-smoked veggie burger with tangy tomato chutney and arugula salad.
That Burger Tent
You can’t get much more outdoors than camping, burger camping that is! That’s what Dan Petersen does at the first sign of spring with That Burger Tent. Starting April 3rd Peterson set up camp outside Artists & Fleas in Brooklyn and serves a variety of burgers made with a Pat LaFrieda blend to hungry street-siders. The menu is extensive for a roadside tent with anything from “That Burger” (sautéed onions, jalapeños and “The Harvest” (with mozzarella and Sleepy Hollow Brooklyn salsa) to the “Fun Guy” (mozzarella, portobello mushrooms, bacon, guacamole, and a fried egg).
A “Royale with cheese” can definitely be enjoyed at this Lower East side burger haunt. With a stunningly modern and sexy outdoor patio, and a cozy, brooding pub interior, Royale is great for all seasons. But its latticed garden is a great backdrop for some great outdoor burger spring dining. Get the bacon Royale, which comes open-faced with crispy bacon, cheese, and crinkle-cut pickles — a chunky Angus patty melts in your mouth, with the juices running down your arm. You’ll be back.
Water Taxi Beach
Lay around on the sand or perch yourself on outdoor picnic tables and enjoy the view of the East River. This South Street Seaport location of Water Taxi Beach serves up burger impresario George Motz's signature “Motz Burger.” A moist patty slammed on a hot griddle and topped with gooey cheese. If you’re looking for a burger in an outdoor beachy location, this is the place.
Pier I Café
Pier I Café (sister restaurant of Frying Pan) opened in 2005. There are outdoor tables sheltered by umbrellas scattered along the pier with neatly-trimmed hedges and flower pots at your table. Pat La Frieda supplies the foundation for a perfectly char-grilled burger with superior Cheddar stacked on a nutty, lightly-toasted sesame seed roll. French fries are crispy and salty, as French fries should be.
Brothers Don and Ken Sofer of Blockheads Burrito fame turn out a decent burger in this large outdoor plaza setting. During the winter there’s not much room inside to sit, but Mother Burger shines in the spring. The single Mother Burger is your best bet. It comes with special sauce, shredded lettuce, tomato, red onion, and zesty McClure's pickles. During the work week be prepared for a wait.