One of Astoria's obsessions is the burger, whether it's made of meat, fish, or fowl. These days it's easy to find a place that will serve you a delicious, delectable rendition of this American classic, not to mention shakes and fries with that. Hungry yet? Here are just some of the places in town to get a quality burger.
BareBurger is located at the food nexus of 31st Avenue and 34th Street in Astoria. They serve up organic burgers made from a variety of animal meats - beef, elk, and ostrich, just to name a few. You can choose from a small selection of buns, and have it wrapped in iceberg lettuce for something a little different.
For sides, you'll also find onion rings and fries served with some interesting dipping sauces. Tthe curry ketchup is particularly tasty. Shakes are thick and made with organic milk and ice cream. BareBurger has gained a huge following, so much so that they've expanded across the river to Manhattan from Queens.
Bare Burger, 33-21 31st Ave, Astoria, NY, 718-777-7011
2. Sweet Afton
As Astoria's premiere gastropub, Sweet Afton has one of the most highly regarded burgers in town. This is an all-beef burger, made from Pat LaFrieda meat, and is served on a delicious brioche roll. It's excellent with a side of fries or Sweet Afton's famously wonderful deep fried pickles. You can also get it topped with a fried egg for brunch.
Not surprisingly, the burgers go great with one of Sweet Afton's inventive cocktails or great beer selections.
Sweet Afton, 30-09 34th St, Astoria, NY, 718-777-2570
Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives in spring 2011, this low-profile bar is situated across from Astoria's famous Bohemian Hall Beer Garden. Sparrow serves a grass-fed burger that is absolutely delicious. Top it with cheese, bacon, or speck (an Italo-Austrain cured pork product), or turn a corner and try the bifteki burger. Sparrow's bifteki burger is stuffed with manouri cheese and mint, and topped with tzatziki and tomato on a baguette. Get your burger with a side of herb fries or salad and a nice glass of wine or beer, and you've got a great meal in front of you.
Sparrow Tavern, 24-01 29th St, Astoria, NY, 718-606-2260
Often compared to the West Coast's In-N-Out Burgers, Petey's has quite a following and is beloved by many Astorians. The meat is from Pat LaFrieda, but the exact meat blend is a secret. Value combos are available. Single, double, and triple burgers are offered, as well as a patty melt and a Cajun fire burger (spicy). Shakes are tasty and the shoestring fries are excellent, too. Bonus: they deliver throughout Astoria.
Petey's Burgers, 30-17 30th Ave, Astoria, NY, 718-267-6300
Located in a former industrial garage across from the Citibank tower in Long Island City, Burger Garage serves fast-food style burgers made from Pat LaFrieda Angus beef. But unlike most fast-food places, you can specify exactly how you'd like your burger cooked. Free toppings are the usual suspects - tomato, onion, etc. - but fancier toppings are available for extra cost - spicy chipotle mayo, sauerkraut, and the like. Root beer floats and a nice variety of shakes can be had at Burger Garage. Sweet potato fries and onion strings are also available. Value combos, too.
Burger Garage, 25-36 Jackson Ave, Long Island City, NY, 718-392-0424
6. M Wells
M Wells has created a 24 oz burger, which is unlike any other burger on this list. That's a big burger, and meant to be eaten by more than one person (well, unless you're Adam Richman). It's also topped with a stack of beautiful onion rings. Don't fret, though - you can also order the burger in a single-serving size, too. M Wells uses a combination of beef and lamb in this burger, and cook it to your specifications. Note that the giant burger is only served at dinner (Tuesday-Thursday, 6-11 p.m.).
M Wells, 21-17 49th Ave, Long Island City, NY, 718-425-6917
5 Napkin uses Pat LaFrieda's ground chuck in each of its 10 oz beef burgers. The signature "5 Napkin Burger" is topped with caramelized onions, gruyere, and rosemary aioli. It's delicious and messy! You can also get a burger with classic toppings or choose from the Italian turkey, ahi tuna, or lamb kofta burgers. Most burgers are served on a roll (soft white, multi grain, or sesame egg), but the "Inside Out Burger" is served in a lettuce leaf. Starchy sides include fries, sweet potato fries, onion rings, or house-made tater tots.
5 Napkin Burger, 35-01 36th St, Astoria, NY, 718-433-2727
Fatty's serves a small selection of burgers, but each of them has a delicious twist. Particularly popular is the turkey burger, served with a chipotle sauce. There is also a salmon burger and a "charity burger," which includes avocado, garlic aioli and anejo rum ketchup. Choose the classic side of fries or push the envelope with an order of tostones or maduros.
Fatty's, 25-01 Ditmars Blvd, Astoria, NY, 718-267-7071
Even though it's just paces outside the Astoria border, Jackson Hole needed to be on this list. Its burgers are unique, in that they're steamed. That's right, steamed. And these steamed burgers have vocal, dedicated fans. The burger is created by scooping up 7 oz of meat, placing it on the grill, and then steaming it under a stainless steel cup. There's no sear on the meat but the cooking method keeps the burger juicy.
Jackson Hole Diner, 6935 Astoria Blvd, Astoria Heights, NY, 718-204-7070