Hot From The Kettle: Best Burger Brainstorm

Saturday, Jan 08, 2011 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (51)

People are passionate about their meat – especially when it’s sizzling hot and slapped between a bun.

Hot From The Kettle is brainstorming to compile a list of the best burgers in northern New Jersey.

The list will be transformed into a Baristanet poll containing the eight most frequently mentioned burger joints.

Here are the rules:

1. For purposes of this poll, North Jersey is north of the Raritan Bridge.

2. There will be no discriminating between “Sliders” and full sized burgers.

3. As much as I love a Quinoa burger, for puroses of this list, the burger must be 100% beef.

Here are a few to get you started, Pal’s Cabin in West Orange, McGovern’s in Newark, White Manna in Hackensack . . . You do the rest


  1. POSTED BY jason  |  January 08, 2011 @ 2:03 pm

    Krugs Tavern in Newark, and a recent newcomer, Zinburger in Clifton.

  2. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  January 08, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

    Bobby’s Burger Palace in Hackensack–burger must be “crunchified”

  3. POSTED BY Nellie  |  January 08, 2011 @ 2:55 pm


    White Castle on the Belleville/Newark border

  4. POSTED BY majortrank  |  January 08, 2011 @ 3:24 pm


  5. POSTED BY NNN9495  |  January 08, 2011 @ 3:40 pm


  6. POSTED BY jerseygurl  |  January 08, 2011 @ 3:45 pm

    Raymond’s. And my backyard in the summer.

  7. POSTED BY Melody Kettle  |  January 08, 2011 @ 3:47 pm

    My suggestion for the best burger poll is the “McGoo” at McGovern’s on New St. in Newark!

  8. POSTED BY Hildy Fox  |  January 08, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

    Tierney’s is my all time favorite, though Raymonds is good, and Smashburger is good though a bit too fatty–I fear my husband’s heart wouldn’t survive more than about half a dozen of those in his lifetime.

  9. POSTED BY Conan  |  January 08, 2011 @ 4:24 pm

    The Cloverleaf in Caldwell makes a very good burger, as does the Shannon Rose in Clifton. Holsten’s burgers are surprisingly tasty too, because they are a mix of beef including some USDA Prime from Mastriano’s, across the street. If you are grilling burgers at home, which we do 12 months a year, try the hamburger blend from Mastriano’s — you will not regret it.

  10. POSTED BY profwilliams  |  January 08, 2011 @ 4:38 pm

    (This is like the 3rd or 4th time a “Burger poll” has been conducted. Check past posts on Elevation Burger, 5-Guys and Smash and you will find folks talking/arguing about their favorites or the best.)

    But if repetition is the sincerest form of flattery, I will add to those who put Smash on top. 5 guys is a mess.

    However, for some, I’ll invite you over to my palatial estate in UPPER Montclair to try one of my bison burgers, or beef burger from “Rambo” the cow I purchased a few years back. DEE-LISH-US!!!

  11. POSTED BY Georgette Gilmore  |  January 08, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

    A few years back prof? How long do you think frozen meat can last?

  12. POSTED BY usdcrs  |  January 08, 2011 @ 4:56 pm

    by far the best burger is @ Next Door……..nothing else can compare !

  13. POSTED BY Sandy  |  January 08, 2011 @ 5:11 pm

    Pals Cabin in West Orange. #1

  14. POSTED BY Spiro T. Quayle  |  January 08, 2011 @ 5:18 pm

    So many noted humans are named after ground up beef entrails and muscles ! Makes one ponder the Infinite….
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Burger may refer to:
    Beef mince, or minced meat/ground beef used to make hamburgers
    Hamburger, a hot sandwich
    Patty, especially in the United States
    Veggie burger
    Burger diagram
    Die Burger, a South African newspaper
    Hamilton Burger, fictional district attorney
    Burger (grape), a Californian wine grape
    Gouais blanc, a French wine grape that is also known as Burger
    Elbling, a German wine grape that is also known as Burger
    Chicken Sandwich, a piece of cooked chicken between two pieces of bread

    Adolf Burger, Holocaust Survivor involved in Operation Bernhard
    Anna Burger, U.S. union leader
    Anthony Burger,
    Anton Burger, concentration camp commandant
    Cody Burger, U.S. child actor
    Ernst Peter Burger, a German saboteur during World War II
    Eugene Burger, U.S. magician
    Ida Burger, U.S. dance hall girl and prostitute
    Hermann Burger, Swiss writer
    Jean Burger, member of the French Resistance
    Warren E. Burger, former Chief Justice of the United States
    Bernie Burger, Namibian
    Louis Burger, Namibian cricketer
    Sarel Burger, Namibian cricketer
    Pieter Burger, Namibian cricketer
    Jan-Berrie Burger, Namibian cricketer
    Schalk Burger, South African rugby player
    Fritzi Burger, Austrian figure skater
    Heinrich Burger, German figure skater
    Hubert Burger, Italian luger
    Todd Burger, U.S. American football player
    Karl Burger, German soccer player and coach
    Burger Lambrechts, South African shot putter

  15. POSTED BY Gail  |  January 08, 2011 @ 6:59 pm

    Tierneys is the only burger.

  16. POSTED BY rpnewton  |  January 08, 2011 @ 8:38 pm

    Perhaps Market will join the fray with a $45 burger, consistent with their $125 tasting menu? Apart that, got to give Smashburger extra points for their service, way better than one should expect for a casual burger joint. Also Bobby Flay, combos that work and commendable service.

  17. POSTED BY Kevin57  |  January 09, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    Calandras in West Caldwell has a surprisingly good burger and great fries.

  18. POSTED BY spaceck  |  January 09, 2011 @ 6:43 pm

    White Manna in Hackensack (NOT White Mana in Jersey City).

  19. POSTED BY Sandy  |  January 09, 2011 @ 9:21 pm

    You left out Sol Berger.

  20. POSTED BY Nellie  |  January 10, 2011 @ 7:24 am

    I vote for Spiro’s burger.

  21. POSTED BY herbeverschmel  |  January 10, 2011 @ 7:28 am

    1-Tierney’s, day in and out it’s always cooked to perfection and not loaded will fillers.

    2- Pals Cabin – Always a strong choice. Regardless if its a burger or cheesesteak or chops, Pals been doing it a long time and its always crowded for a reason.

    3- Calandra’s, West Caldwell , Kevin is correct , it really is a great burger. Probably the best thing on the menu.

    4- Zagursky’s, Whippany, you have to try it.

    I’ve been meaning to get to Krug’s in Newark and landmark in Livingston, I hear they both have a great burger.

  22. POSTED BY Nellie  |  January 10, 2011 @ 9:44 am

    I went to Pal’s last night and had a burger. While it was delicious, I have to say Tierney’s is better.

  23. POSTED BY bowzer  |  January 10, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

    1. White Manna (Hackensack)
    2. Krug’s
    3. Tierney’s
    4. Pal’s

  24. POSTED BY mrsblaze  |  January 10, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

    Give me a Smashburger any day of the week and I am a happy girl!

  25. POSTED BY pgh2nyc  |  January 10, 2011 @ 2:18 pm

    The Landmark in Livingston

  26. POSTED BY surfnchips1  |  January 10, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

    All American at Smashburger, hands down, best burger in the area!

  27. POSTED BY jules  |  January 10, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

    hmmm.. i really like 5 guys a lot. they have great fries but the quality is sometimes inconsistent, as well as the service. zinburger was a huge expensive disappointment.

    i think i would have to go with smashburger. they are always very pleasant in there and the burgers are smashed! i want one right now. i just drooled on my keyboard typing this. yea i have to eat now. i may not be able to type another sen

  28. POSTED BY krd11  |  January 10, 2011 @ 2:39 pm

    Smashburger is my fave. juicy and hot – offer loads of toppings!

  29. POSTED BY gone2plaid  |  January 10, 2011 @ 2:46 pm

    Smashburger – burgers as big as your head.

  30. POSTED BY mrsblaze  |  January 10, 2011 @ 2:52 pm

    Agree about Zinburger being a disappointment – went there, spent there, was not burger-satisfied there. I do like their logo though.

  31. POSTED BY adamwrites  |  January 10, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    Discovered Smashburger in Florham Park a couple months back. There are a few of them around now. Burgers taste great and the toppings are perfect, if you don’t mind a sloppy burger. I love a sloppy burger and these are my current favorite. A close second for me: 5 Guys. And its completely different, but I have to agree with the mentions for White Manna in Hackensack.

  32. POSTED BY tarkus697  |  January 10, 2011 @ 3:59 pm

    Tierney’s still has the best burger in town, IMHO. Smashburger is damn good for a “chain” burger joint, tho.

  33. POSTED BY jking12  |  January 10, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

    LOVE a Smashburger!

  34. POSTED BY thislittlepiggy  |  January 10, 2011 @ 8:40 pm

    The Orange Squirrel serve the best burger at lunchtime. EVER.

  35. POSTED BY raxxx  |  January 11, 2011 @ 9:18 am

    krug’s krug’s krug’s!!! fyi, smashburger is horrendous. i don’t understand the hoopla.

  36. POSTED BY nj07042  |  January 11, 2011 @ 10:26 am

    Here are my top 4:

    1. Krugs
    2. Gaffer’s Pub (surprised to not see it has been mentioned yet)
    3. Tierney’s
    4. Pals

  37. POSTED BY Nellie  |  January 11, 2011 @ 1:08 pm

    Smashburger – burgers as big as your head.

    I guess this is why they are sloppy.

  38. POSTED BY deadeye  |  January 11, 2011 @ 1:43 pm

    Tierney’s is consistently great, and you can have a beer.
    Had White Castle the other day for the first time in years and they’re great.
    Charlie’s Aunt in Chatham used to be great, but sorry to report, has declined in my opinion.
    Need to re-visit the Landmark after over 20 years. Been driving by there lately.
    Curious about the Orange Squirrel. Expensive?
    Curious about White Manna in Hackensack. Nondescript little building?
    Need to try Smash and Zin, but not on the same day though.

  39. POSTED BY Mary Jarvis McGee  |  January 11, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    Gaffers Pub – definitely

    Last two times at Tierney’s the burgers were over cooked but still good.

  40. POSTED BY thislittlepiggy  |  January 11, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

    Deadeye – think the Orange Squirrel burger was about $12 – it is only available lunchtime, but is a meal as comes with chips and pickles.

  41. POSTED BY Nellie  |  January 11, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

    Did someone say chips?

  42. POSTED BY Iceman  |  January 11, 2011 @ 3:25 pm

    Tierney’s and the Cloverleaf.

    But I will tell you that the best burger I ever had was at Conan’s while watching football the Friday after Thanksgiving back in 2008. He used the Mastriano’s burger blend. Damn, that was a burger.

  43. POSTED BY Hildy Fox  |  January 11, 2011 @ 3:27 pm

    That reminds me of a book of cartoons by Kliban (I think) called “Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head.”

    The best cartoon in the book was a man, seated at a restaurant with a giant fly, telling the waiter: “Bring me a bottle of your best Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and some sh*t for my fly.”

  44. POSTED BY hotdoglover  |  January 11, 2011 @ 7:40 pm

    3)5 Guys
    4) White Rose

  45. POSTED BY deadeye  |  January 11, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

    @ Hildy: I remember that Kliban cartoon. Hilarious!

  46. POSTED BY nazlo  |  January 12, 2011 @ 12:15 pm

    Best: Tierney’s

    also good: 5 Guys, Smashburger

    acceptable alternative: our backyard grill

    to try in the near future: Orange Squirrel & Krug’s

    worst/most-overrated: Pal’s Cabin – serving charred overpriced hockey pucks – there are better ways to remember “the good old days”

  47. POSTED BY rpnewton  |  January 14, 2011 @ 7:13 pm

    Regardless of whether or not you like Elevation, I find interesting that they aren’t even on anyone’s radar. Says a bit about how tough a restaurant town Montclair can be.

  48. POSTED BY kov74  |  January 15, 2011 @ 8:22 am

    In response to rpnewton, I love Elevation Burger. They use the best ingredients, and the food there tastes fresh. Smash is salty, 5 guys leaves me feeling awful. Tierney’s is very good. But you are right. Montclair is a tough restaurant town. Glad we have the options we do.

  49. POSTED BY christinekaye  |  January 27, 2011 @ 11:09 am

    I like the burgers at The Garage in Millburn. Very fresh ingredients – just a good, classic burger.

  50. POSTED BY sec94  |  January 27, 2011 @ 12:13 pm

    Garage vote here too. We live in Millburn and go there often. They have a smaller burger that I have them add their pizza sauce to. No cheese. Extra lettuce. Through in a side of sweet potato fries and I’m happy.

  51. POSTED BY jjumail  |  February 07, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

    Took a bunch of friends to The Garage after basketball in town. Everyone loved the burgers with pizza sauce and are still asking to go back.
    Tierney’s can be a little dry sometimes.

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