Friday, March 23, 2012

Bergen County's Best burger Joints

     If you live in Bergen County and you happen to be a burger lover, the odds are slim to none that you couldn't point someone in the right direction for a tasty, juicy, and succulent burger. On the other hand, if your not from around here, let me be the first to tell you, Bergen County is loaded with great burger joints, but then again that's nothing a Google search couldn't tell you. Call it a burger boom, call it a craze, call it what you will, but all I can say is from the looks of things, burgers are here to stay.
     One of the most famous Jersey burger spots is the White Manna, situated in Hackensack. This place is a dive to the fullest's even been featured on the Food Network's, "Diners Drive-ins and Dives" It resembles a more of a small trailer than a burger place, but the signature sliders here just may be worth staving the large lunch lines.The sliders are decent, but definitely not Bergen County's best burger spot.With all the new burger spots popping up, it's hard to be number 1!
       Nowadays, burger joints aren't what they used to be... They are better!!! Burgers are becoming more sophisticated, I mean these places are getting crafty. Take Bucu Burger Bar/Bakery in Paramus, NJ. This place, alongside throwing down some unique burgers, also happens to be a bakery!!! Who would have thought, Burgers and cupcakes. Looking at it from the outside I'm wondering why I never thought of it myself, the idea is absolutely genius. To be quite honest, being the burger aficionado I am, I wasn't blown away by the burger, it wasn't bad by any means, just not the holy grail if you know what I mean. I felt the patty was a bit small and I probably could have eaten 4 of them. What impressed me more was the depth of the menu, dogs, wings, paninis, and not too mention some cupcakes and homemade ice cream. Having depth in your menu, however, doesn't sell me. I mean c'mon the food has to be good right? My expectations were far exceeded when it came to the quality all around the board. It's hard enough to focus on making one thing good, when you take two elements from opposite ends of the spectrum, such as burgers and cupcakes, and you nail them both, well ladies and gentlemen, that spells a winner to me!


   Situated on Rt. 4 East, a mere 5-minute ride down the road from Bucu, you will run into the Bergen Town Center. Cruise the parking lot and you will stumble upon a little burger joint known as , Bobby's Burger Palace. If you can manage to stave the lunch lines (sometimes out the door), your in for a tasty treat. Bobby Flay is one of my favorite chef's. I've studied his techniques and read his books, so what can I tell you about Bobby. Aside from being an amazing chef, he's also a fellow burger enthusiast. The burger, good quality ground chuck, a little salt and pepper, nothing fancy. He is a purist in that sense, start with a quality product and let it speak for itself. What sets this place apart is the Bobby's signature burgers. He has a knack for putting together amazing combinations, and his sauces are out of this world. Let me tell you, Bobby left no stone unturned when creating  burger utopia. It will not disappoint!

     As partial as I am to Bobby Flay, there is one spot that I believe outshines the rest. Nestled on  the side of the Riverside Square Mall, is Smash Burger. This place is sort of off the map. Many people I talk to have never even heard of it. It's out of site, and doesn't have a gigantic sign like the Morton's Steakhouse next door. Well folks, let me be the first to introduce you to this burger behemoth. Unless I'm throwing back some sliders, I want a fat juicy burger. Burgers were meant to be satisfying. Smash Burger does a great job of putting together a burger that will leave your taste buds screaming for more. It's just a tasty burger all by itself, the toppings that are available just make it all the more interesting. If you don't happen to own a bottomless pit, no worries, Smash Burger serves up two sizes of patties to accommodate both the sensible eater, and the voracious carnivore like myself.

     These next two places, I believe deserve honorable mention. They aren't burger spots per say, but they might as well be. As casual as these places are, the burgers are dead serious! First up is Jackson Hole, with several locations in New York, this iconic diner has an unassuming location nestled on Grand Ave. in Englewood, NJ. With over 20 burgers on the menu, this place is top notch! Once again, it's not quantity, it's quality. Over at Jackson Hole you get both, a ridiculously good burger, and at 7-ounces! Let's just say you may want to skip dessert!
   The last place on my list happens to be a bar. I heard from a few people they were serving some dynamite burgers so I went to investigate. With high set expectations, I marched through the doors of Pub 101, located at 101 Queen Anne Rd. in Bogota NJ. So did this place live up to the hype? Absolutely! I wish every pub had burgers like this!!! Not to mention some pretty darn good wings. You can feel the love put into this food, it's prepared as if it were going to be served to family. Being a cook you can always tell when someone there is love in the food, it makes you feel special just to eat it, knowing someone took their time to make you something good.
     So I hope you guys enjoy the burgers! I'm heading back to the kitchen to whip you guys up some more tasty treats! So go grab a burger and make sure to check back for my next secret recipe! Happy Eating!


  1. Great post. My fiance and I are moving for a job opportunity so we have been looking at a few homes for sale in bergen county nj. We have never been there so I have been doing some research, that is how I came across your post. I am glad I did because we are both big burger fans. I can't wait to try these. Thanks so much for sharing Rafael.

  2. Steve's burgers and hot dogs on rt. 46 in Garfield is my favorite