Gourmet hamburgers are notches above fast food burgers with their nondescript and sometimes unidentifiable meat, soggy bun, limp lettuce and unripe logo. Gourmet hamburgers use freshly round round or sirloin, grilled to a sizzling crust on the outside while still juicy on the inside. Toppings are seemingly endless. And where else would you find gourmet hamburger restaurants except New York City?
Tiny but Tasty
Tucked away in the corner of the Le Parker Meridien Hotel, The Burger Joint serves up grilled-to-order burgers. The restaurant is tiny with a limited menu – just burgers and fries. That focus means the burgers have to be the best. Top yours with good old fashioned ketchup, mustard and mayo or keep it pristine so the full flavor of the meat comes through.
The Shake Shack started in New York City and has branched out to other locations. The original Shake Shack looks like it was lifted from a 1950's Elvis movie. You almost expect to see poodle skirts and bobby socks. While the vibe is retro the burgers are definitely updated. Seating is outside surrounding the shack. The other option is takeout. The Black Angus beef is all natural. Try the ShackBurger topped with American Cheese, tomato and lettuce. Beer and wine is served as soft drinks, ice cream, fries and hotdogs.
If you think of a hamburger as a fast, filling and reasonably priced lunch you might want to think again. The Wall Street Burger Shop has what they say is the most expensive hamburger in the world at $ 175, 2011 prices. Kobe beef burgers bring the hamburger to whole other level, both taste wise and wallet wise. The burger served at The Wall Street Burger Shop is Kobe beef stuffed with black truffles, lots of black truffles, foie gras and garnished with gold leaf. It's only served during truffle season so do not expect to find it on the everyday all-day menu. Regular burgers start at $ 4 at the counter.
Second Most Expensive
Not to be outdone, Daniel Boulud's DB Bistro Moderne serves the second most expensive burger. The db burger royale is a modest $ 75 without shaved black truffles, $ 150 with black truffles as of 2011. If that's still out of your price range, try the original db burger stuffed with the meat of braised short ribs, served on a toasted bun and a side of fries. It's touts a much budget friendlier price tag of $ 32.
Burgers go Glam
New York does not want for restaurants and that goes for gourmet hamburger joints. Try Pop Burger, a classy sophisticated burger joint, with burgers at $ 12. Fries and onion rings are extra. Burgers are served at the counter and in the lounge area, along with a full dinner menu.