Bareburger – East Village

Bareburger seems to be the most successful casual burger chain in New York City as I don’t think there are any others that have more than 13 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens like they do. However, PJ Clarke’s may be catching up soon. I have heard nothing but raves and praises about Bareburger, and when I finally tried it, I understood what all the hype was about- people are obsessed with options and creating their own customized burgers, shakes, fries, etc. At Bareburger you can choose between 13 different 6 oz. meats- I mean this is unheard of! If you want that boring old turkey burger, they have that for you or if you want to be more adventurous, you can go with the wild boar, elk or ostrich. They also have two different kinds of vegetarian options which is a farmers quinoa veggie burger and a mushroom burger. Basically they are looking out for everyone here and everything is local and all-natural with vegan options included. You can choose your bread as well. I went with the brioche bun because our server literally died over it but I’d like to see what that tapioca rice bun is all about- what even is that? The menu has paired together different combinations of burgers and toppings for you from the California with cheddar, avocado, watercress, tomatoes, onions and salsa verde to the  Supreme with colby jack, country bacon, chopped fries, onion rings, iceberg lettuce and special sauce or you can take it step by step and choose your meat, bun, veggies, cheese, bacon, sauce. One thing to beware about is the price of your burger can really sneak up on you. We got a burger with elk which originally on the menu is priced at $10-$12 but when you use elk, it’s a more expensive meat and they add around $5. This makes what you thought was a normal priced burger to be almost a $20 burger once you pay. Now $20 is pretty average for a New York City restaurant these days, but not at a fast-casual restaurant with laminated menus. Minetta Tavern and Little Prince are both upscale restaurants, hard to get into and theirs aren’t much higher priced, so this was major turn off here. The Minetta Burger which just has cheddar and carmelized onions (not the black label) is only $19 so essentially Bareburger is priced at the same amount if you use bison or elk.

I like the bison meat here better than the elk, but I wasn’t blown away my burger as a whole. It was, however, cooked perfectly and medium rare throughout just as I requested and prefer, but it just seemed as if it was missing flavor and seasoning. It was as if there were no spices cooked with it or at least they were not recognized in my mouth. It tasted pretty plain. On another note, if you can’t decide which kind of burger you want, you can pick the sliders options and try a few different ones. They also have great salad options. I love the Farmers which comes with portabella mushrooms, radishes, cucumbers, raw red onions, carrots, grape tomatoes, organic olive oil and white balsamic. You need to have greens when you’re taking down a milkshake, burger and fries and this salad hits the spot. One of the coolest decision makers here deals with the milkshakes. You can combine any of the flavors you want into one. I got chocolate, vanilla and peanut butter. The thick swirls of peanut butter creep up the straw with every other sip and you can find a nice surprise of chocolate chips at the bottom from the chocolate ice cream. The strawberry ice cream flavor they use is very potent and fruity so if you get this one in a combo, make sure you want yours to taste mostly like this berry. Bareburger is an extremely easy option and offers a reliable burger menu when you’ve got that craving and don’t want to have a greasy, disgusting diner-style burger for dinner. It’s a great option for delivery and you can truly customize it to make it be anything you want. If you’re looking for the best burger in New York, then I’d have to steer you elsewhere, but if you just need that bun, meat and cheese and some fries with endless sauces, Bareburger is a great walk-in option for you. p.s. If you go to the East Village location make sure to sit upstairs where you can overlook the window. Love this view and how often do you get to sit upstairs in this city and see the streets?