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Best Burgers in the Lower East Side, NYC

Best Burgers in the Lower East Side, NYC

The burger has rightfully taken center stage on today's Lower East Side food and culinary scene.

No matter how you like your burger medium-rare or seared to perfection, with or without cheese and gourmet toppings, there is a delicious, juicy burger waiting just for you on the Lower East Side.  

Benson's - Lower East Side

Benson's is the Lower East Side's trendy, new "local" for delicious wine, craft beer and savory gourmet burgers. If your work day was stressful and you skipped out on lunch, then heading over to Benson's is a must. Their superior sips and bites will change the mood of your day. An hour or two spent at this charming and friendly bar is how life should be lived.

Owners and self-styled beer aficionados, David Peterson and Annie Morton also know their way around the kitchen and just what goes into making a great, not just a good, burger. The atmosphere is relaxed and casual. But Benson's attracts a stylish after work crowd. Their long, wood finished bar is great for mingling. Whether the hipsters and young professionals are quenching their thirst with a cocktail, glass of beer or wine, when it's dinner time, almost every patron opts for one of the kitchens' juicy hamburgers.


All burgers are served on fresh made Ciabatta bread, sourced from a local, artisan bakery. For your side dish, you can choose from hand-cut fries, onion rings or a house salad. There are just so many tasty burgers on the menu, it's hard to know which one to choose first. So, why not try a different burger each time you visit? Take your time, enjoy and then pick your favorite. Most of the regulars agree, though, that their signature burger, The Benson, has to be in the conversation for the top spot. Topped with bacon, a fried egg, beets, roasted pineapple and a jalapeno salsa, this burger is a meal on a bun.

 Another tempting choice is the Peppercorn Burger. This short rib blend  is dressed to kill with American cheese, pickles, crispy onion rings and ranch  sauce. This creamy dressing is house made , FYI and nor from a bottle. Their BBQ Burger is perfectly suited to Summer time eating. The patty is topped with a garden of lettuce and tomato slices, some smoked cheddar and grilled onions. The sandwich is covered in Benson's very tangy made from scratch BBQ sauce.

You also might want to look into their Portuguese style chicken sandwich with peri-peri mayo. Benson's chef also does a nice selection of flat breads The sausage, sun-dried tomato and Fontina cheese flat bread will satisfy even the heartiest appetite.

Location and Hours

181 Essex Street
New York, NY  10002

Monday and Tuesday   12 PM to 12 AM
Wednesday            12 PM to 1 AM
Thursday and Friday  12 PM to 2 AM
Saturday             11 AM to 2 AM
Sunday               11 AM to 12 AM

L.E.S. Kitchen - Lower East Side

If you are one of many New York foodies who consider a juicy hamburger to be the ultimate comfort food, then L.E.S. Kitchen is your home away from home. These are burgers just like Mom used to make for Saturday lunch when you were a kid. Reminiscent of the small, no-frills, but colorful, counter-top burger shops of old; L.E.S. Kitchen crafts a truly memorable burger. Their ingredients are simple but effective... a proprietary beef blend, buns made fresh everyday at Astoria's famed Parisi Bakery and crunchy pickles straight from the noted Pickle Guys. This is feel good food at its' very best.

L.E.S. Kitchen was created by long-time Lower East Side residents, Henry Wong and David Chen so that their neighbors could have a nice place to relax, take a step back from their busy day and enjoy a fantastic burger. One of their most popular offerings is the Truffle Shuffle burger, with grilled Portobello mushrooms, caramelized onions, Provolone cheese and house sauce. The Juicy Lucy is a burger that marches to a decidedly different drummer. A thick patty of ground beef is stuffed with cheddar cheese and topped with a heap of fried onions. The blend of meat and onion juice is unbelievable. For a modest additional charge you can upgrade your burger with premium toppings such as crumbled tater tots, cole slaw or pickled red peppers.

LES Kitchen

The folks at L.E.S. Kitchen claim to have the best French fries in the city. While their fries are pretty good, that particular claim is up for debate. But there's no disputing the fact that the mac and cheese jalapeno poppers are delicious and have few, if any equals, as far as the competition is concerned.

LES Kitchen... making the Lower east side great again, one delicious burger sandwich at a time.

Location and Hours

15 Essex Street, Ground level
New York, NY 10002

 Monday to Wednesday  11 AM to 12 AM
 Thursday to Sunday   12 PM to 1 AM

Royale - Lower East Side

Founded by a trio of childhood friends, Royale has what it takes to become your new favorite bar and burger place. But great drinks and a mouth watering burger are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the reasons why you need to discover Royale asap! The centerpiece of the restaurant is their amazing patio area. It is a beautiful oasis in the middle of Brooklyn. From the backdoor, customers enter onto an all weather patio deck that is protected by an awning. When you walk down a few steps from the deck, you will find yourself in a shrubbery enclosed garden. It's like two outdoor spaces in one. Inside, Royale has a very cozy, darkly-lit pub like ambiance. And the food is just as spectacular as is the atmosphere. The kitchen's chili is made with the same blend of ground beef that you'll find in their fabulous burgers.

The Marcellus Wallace is Royales' signature burger. It's got everything under the sun on it, including baby arugula, caramelized onions, maytag blue cheese, gruyere and truffles. The bacon Royale has a ton of bacon together with lettuce, tomatoes onions, pickles and choice of cheese. For the additional charge of only one dollar, you can top your burger with pico de gallo. While you're at it, order a kale and artichoke dip for the table, to share. It is creamy, delicious and fully loaded with good for you greens.


Cocktail selections include the John Daly, which is comprised of sweet tea vodka and house made lemonade. Another refreshing choice is the Berry Basil Fizz with Seagrams' Gin, house made berry basil syrup, fresh lime and lemon juice. They have a welcoming Happy Hour, weekdays, from 4 to 7 PM. All draft beers and well drinks are just $4. On weekends, you can enjoy a Mimosa or Bloody Mary for the a very reasonable ten bucks.

Location and Hours

157 Avenue C
New York, NY 10009

Monday                   4 PM to 12 AM
Tuesday to Thursday      12 PM to 12 AM
Friday                   12 PM to  2 AM
Saturday                 1 PM to 2 AM
Sunday                   1 PM to 12 AM

The Burgary - Lower East Side

Young, on the rise chefs Tim Gashi and Kenneth Johnson have teamed up to give Lower East Siders a totally unique burger and craft beer and cocktail experience.

Having developed high standards of service and quality at restaurants such as Rocky Slims and Gran Morsi; Tim and Ken are pushing the innovation envelope here with out of the box bun and beef offerings as well as unorthodox sides and avant-garde cocktail ingredients. An actual bank vault door allows customers access to their sister establishment Garfunkel's Speakeasy. You can plan your whole night here. Enjoy some great comfort grub at The Burgary and then get your cocktail fix on. Tims' scrumptious Lower East Sider burger satisfies hungry meat lovers with a 6 ounce prime beef patty topped up with slices of Pastrami, Gruyere and a side of sour pickles. These are the kind of genuine, old fashioned pickles that local residents have been enjoying for generations.

Tim and Kens' signature hamburger is the Great American, which consists of Bourbon-bacon jam, lettuce, tomato, red  onions and aged white cheddar plus their heavenly secret sauce. The Sloppy Joe is comprised of a savory Black Angus blend, joe sauce and is crowned with a dollop of cole slaw and potato chips. The kitchens' Black Bean Burger is a vegetarians' dream come true. This burger has got a real kick to it with mole spices, pickled cabbage, house made aioli and pico de gallo. Aside from the Great American, their most popular offering would have to be the Meatball Parm Burger. The meatballs are a delicious blend of pork, beef and mortadella.


They are served on brioche bread and covered in fresh mozzarella as well as a sprinkling of Calabrian  chili. Most of the sides here are can't miss, but the most intriguing one, by far, is the Tater Tot Poutine, which is The Burgarys' riff on a French Canadian classic. Refreshing Burgary cocktails include the Daisy Chain (tequila, beet juice de cacao, kafir and cacao nibs) and the always in demand Easy Money, which is comprised of Vodka, cranberry juice, pickle juice, pineapple and soda.

Location and Hours

67 Clinton Street
New York, NY 10002

Sunday to Wednesday 12 PM to 11 PM
Thursday and Friday 12 PM to 12 AM
Saturday            12 PM to 12 AM

Phebe's Restaurant - Lower East Side

At Phebe's you can enjoy a dazzling array of delectable drinks, snacks and burgers in a classic New York tavern setting. The people who work here and the locals who eat and drink here make Phebe's the warm and welcoming place that it is. The convivial crowd that you'll find gathering here, coming straight from the office towers of mid-town, lends a lively air to the proceedings. They are tired, hard working men and women who are on a mission to relax. And Phebe's has got everything that they need to accomplish that rather enjoyable task. Phebe's has a rotating selection of daily specials that keeps hungry and thirsty locals coming through the door.


During their traditional Happy Hour, weekdays, from 4 to 8 PM, bottled beers are available for just three dollars, a glass of wine will set you back a mere $4 and mixed drinks can be purchased for an incredible $6. But as great as those offers are; it's between the hours of 8 PM and 2 AM when things really get interesting. On a recent Monday night, selected appetizers were available for half-price. When Thursday rolls around, the house offers you a complimentary glass of beer with the purchase of a burger. And, you never know when the bartender will announce a "late night" special where selected bottles of wine are 50% off. The top selling hamburgers here are the Chili and cheese Black Angus patty on a potato roll and the outrageous BLT Turkey Burger with cranberry mayo.

Their most requested non-burger item is the Business Man sandwich. Piled high with house made roast beef, provolone cheese, arugula and red pepper relish, this is one serious sandwich. This meal on a bun comes with a cup of onion soup and a 20 ounce domestic draft beer. House cocktails are named after some timeless rock and roll classics like The Beatles' Hey Jude, a mixture of Woodford Reserve, peach puree', lemon juice and simple syrup. Jumping Jack Flash, named after the Rolling Stones' smash hit, consists of  two kinds of rum, lime and pineapple juice as well as coco lopez. This drink packs a punch and will certainly get you dancing.

Location and Hours

361 Bowery
New York, NY 10003

Sunday to Wednesday  11 AM to 2 AM
Thursday to Saturday 11 AM to 4 AM

Black Tap - Lower East Side

If you are a confirmed New York foodie and love trying out new restaurants, then you're probably already familiar with Michelin-starred chef Joe Isidori. His delicious and innovative cuisine has been making waves on the city's food scene for some time now. But if you haven't yet tasted Joe's incredible food, then Black Tap  is a great place to get acquainted with his dishes. And, if you are into burgers, so much the better. At Black Tap, the staff is friendly and the music that plays in the background is always cool and on point, never obtrusive. Black Tap has modernized the classic, New York City luncheonette ambiance and décor for the Instagram age. The restaurant attracts an eclectic crowd, ranging from tourists and neighborhood stalwarts to seasoned foodies who know exactly what they want and know that they will find it here at Black Tap.

Chef Isidori has come up with a bevy of burgers to tempt your palate. One of the best is the Greg Norman, which is comprised of Wagyu beef, house butter milk dill, blue cheese and arugula. Need to spice up your daily culinary routine ? Then look no further than the scrumptious Spicy Mexican burger. Your hand crafted patty is made with fresh ground chorizo that is topped with jack cheese, pico de gallo and chipotle mayo. Other notable burgers are the Old-fashioned with Crimini mushrooms, Swiss and horse radish sauce and the Pizza Burger. Zesty home made tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella and shaved Parmesan really make this bad boy shine. It's beginning to look like the new falafel burger just may soon equal the Greg Norman in terms of popularity and rave reviews. When you taste this falafel patty, you won't miss the beef at all. Authentic Greek feta cheese, pickled onions and both hummus and tahini sauce  envelop your falafel with one great taste after another.

Now, you may be miles and miles away from home and family.  But, even in New York, it's still wise to listen to Moms' advice. and, you know what she says; "Eat those vegetables!" Greens are good for you. And at Black Tap, it's never been easier to enjoy those good greens. Just order one of their craft burger salad bowls. Choose from the prime burger, turkey burger, Bison patty, Vegan patty or the Caesar burger salad.

Location and Hours

529 Broome Street
New York, NY 10013

Sunday to Wednesday   11 AM to 12 AM
Thursday to Saturday  11 AM to 1 AM

Whitman's - Lower East Side

When you first walk in, you may not be very impressed by your surroundings. The ambiance is  typical New York lunch counter and the place looks to be kind of small. But give it a chance. You'll be glad that you did. Ask to be seated in their spacious and well appointed downstairs dining room. The decor is an interesting blend of chic industrial together with exposed brick and wood. There's also a bit of old world New York nostalgia thrown in for good measure. Your Whitman's experience rises to new heights when your server brings out your food. These are gourmet burgers that are not kidding around. The toppings are all fresh as can be and locally sourced. Many of their veggie toppings rotate seasonally. The food is both creative and vibrant.  

Now, you've been to burger joints that boast some very tasty topping combinations. But how many places have you eaten at, where many of the "topping" ingredients are infused into the meat blend itself? That's what you are in store for when you enjoy a Whitman's burger. The Hound is an apple wood smoked bacon infused beef patty that is topped with smoked Gruyere cheese and arugula. Their savory Spicy Patty is a short rib and brisket patty that is blended with habanero, jalapeno and serrano peppers. It is served with avocado slices, arugula and a red onion. There's also a short rib blend that is stuffed with blue cheese.


Delicious minced shallots are mixed in with a luscious turkey meat blend for their Gobble Gobble burger. Cooked in sesame oil, the turkey burger is topped up with sprouts, avocado and cilantro mayo. Other interesting choices include the upstate burger with bibb lettuce, tomatoes,local pickles and a seared onion and the bacon, egg and cheese burger. They have a fine selection of draft beers, many of which come from breweries in Brooklyn and other parts of New York state. Some top quality milk shakes and old-fashioned floats are also available for your enjoyment.

Location and Hours

406 East 9th Street
New York, NY  10009

Monday to Wednesday  5 PM to 11 PM
Thursday to Saturday    12 PM to 12 AM
Sunday                       12 PM to 10 PM


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