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The RH Burger @ Rocky Hill Inn

The RH Burger @ Rocky Hill Inn

The perfect burger is a beautiful thing. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder of course. Everyone has an opinion, usually a strong opinion about the iconic American ethnic food – the hamburger. Like pizza, there are distinct burger styles, each with passionate fans here in Jersey.

Burger @ Krug's Tavern - Newark, NJ

Burger @ Krug’s Tavern – Newark, NJ

For some, the best burgers are thin, griddle-steamed “sliders,” like the spectacular burgers served at Linden’s White Rose System or Clark White Diamond, with sliced onions and a pickle nestled in a soft bun. Others head to a tavern like Krug’s in Newark or the Rocky Hill Inn for hefty “pub style” burgers, pink in the middle, crusty on the outside, served on rolls that can handle a half pound of beef. Now is a good time to be eating burgers in the Garden State. There is a new breed of specialty chain burgers, with better ingredients and higher aspirations than your typical fast food Burger Kings and Mickey Ds, found in NJ at spots like 25 BurgersBobby’s Burger Palace, and Five Guys. Add all the burgers at diners, Brazilian and Peruvian sandwich shops, and just about any restaurant serving more than breakfast, and you’ve got a wildy diverse Jersey burger scene.

25 Burgers – Linden

I’m a burger schitzophrenic. Sliders hold a special place in my culinary heart. White Castle was my favorite fast food burger growing up. I’ve rediscovered that taste in the fresh beef sliders at the independent Jersey slider spots. I order single cheeseburgers with onions and a pickle. But I also enjoy juicy pub-style burgers, medium rare, the way I grill mine at home. At a restaurant, I’ll order my burger with cheese (cheddar or blue), maybe bacon or jalapenos, and usually onions. Ketchup, never mustard.

Sandwich @ Hamburgao - Kearny

Sandwich @ Hamburgao – Kearny

Don’t see your favorite place? Share yours. I’ll add the most popular to the list, and to the map.


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24 Responses to “Burgers”

  1. Anthony says:

    I’m always looking for great burgers. I’ve heard good things about The Stirling Hotel – thanks for the tip!

  2. Stefan says:

    Of course this is just a matter of opinion, but the only restaurant where I actively crave a burger is “The Stirling Hotel” on Main ave in Stirling, NJ. I almost always get the burger with Port Wine Cheddar. If you are still checking out burger places, I highly recommend it.

  3. I suggest you all come and try our reasonably priced, excellent culinary creations. Don’t take our word for it, please come see for yourselves.

  4. donna egan says:

    Correction to my comment on Zinburger: it’s not that the burgers as listed on the menu are pricey, it’s that adding fries or onion rings ups the price of the plate to $15.00 or $16.00. Also, upgrading any burger to a Kobe beef burger adds an additional $5.00.

  5. donna egan says:

    Just a note that I tried Zinberger with my son and a few other people. He knew of it since he had graduated from Montclair State. Excellent burgers, some unusual combinations, but a little pricey for anything adventurous and fries or onion rings are additional. This hasn’t stopped him from driving 50 minutes to eat there on occasion with friends.

  6. Mike says:

    Have to agree with you on 25 Burgers. I was at the first store in Bound Brook while it was opening. Burgers are great and the shakes are perfect.

  7. Meade says:

    I noticed cheesesteaks had its own category. Tony Luke’s should be on the list. It’s in the Borgata foodcourt in Atlantic City. Great cheesesteaks. Also for burgers, Fatburger in the Borgata Foodcourt is really good.

  8. Anthony says:

    Mom – You can take the girl outta Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey outta the girl . . . The Villages needs a 25 Burgers Franchise.

  9. Mom says:

    You’re killing me, Anthony! After being in FL for 20 yrs, I still crave the best food in NJ. Yup, the White Castle burger is still on the top of my list but doesn’t exist here (buying them frozen at the supermarket just doesn’t cut it). But maybe the state is finally coming of age because we actually have a Five Guys here in the Villages. Thanks for the memories…… I think I’ll go out to get a burger!! Love ya.

  10. Meade says:


    There is a 25 Burgers in Brick.

  11. Anthony says:

    You’re right, Meade, ice cream is definitely a classic “American” ethnic food. I’ll put Ralph’s Ice on the list.

  12. Meade says:

    How bout best ice cream?

  13. Meade says:

    I’m shocked that under the American, nobody has written about Ralph’s Ice’s. People travel from around the State to taste them. Their spomoni & cherries jubilee are amazing!!

  14. meade says:

    The Beanerey in Pt. Pleasant does an excellent lunch. They make a pumpernickle, brie and ham sandwich that is excellent. Great coffee and desserts also

  15. Anthony says:

    Meade – Good idea. should do an all around $10 list. I’m not sure steakhouses qualify as “ethnic.” I consider burgers “American,” but many cuisines feature steak. Portuguese and Argentinian steakhouses are fair game though.

  16. meade says:

    How about a best steak- steakhouse/chops category? Or best meal for $10

  17. meade says:

    The ARK in Pt. Pleasant has the best burgers. They offer many beers. Come Thursday night and play Quizzo trivia for prizes.

  18. Anthony says:

    Rich – Which burger is better, at the Colonial Diner or at the Lyndhurst diner? Looks like the Colonial gets better reviews online as an overall diner.

  19. Rich says:

    Colonial or Lyndhurst diner in Lyndhurst….HANDS DOWN best burgers around!

  20. Anthony says:

    I wasn’t sure what to do with cheesesteaks, so I put it in the burger category. A few more Jersey cheesesteak suggestions and we can give them their own category.

  21. meade says:

    Rondo’s on Drum Point Rd. In Brick made the best cheesesteak I have ever had. They make a California with onions tomatoes and lettuce that is outstanding with their special sauce. I have had cheesesteaks at Pat’s in Philly and I think this is better.

  22. Anthony says:

    You’re right, Dan, I do need to try the famous White Manna sliders. Many dedicated fans. Heading to Hackensack soon!

  23. Dan says:

    You’ve REALLY got to get to White Manna in Hackensack. Best sliders I’ve ever had. They’re distinctly different from White Mana in Jersey City, which I found to be disappointing.

    Red Robin is quite good, though they took my favorite (a Southwestern burger with tortilla strips and guacamole) off the menu. Smashburger’s alright, but not as good as Elevation or Five Guys. Zinburger was disappointing — nothing special about the burger, and the wine and beer selections were only so-so for a place that’s supposed to be about the drink pairings. Plus, it was surprisingly loud and crowded with kids for a wine pub.

    I am printing this list out, though, to use as a checklist!