Hot From The Kettle: The Burger of Baristaville

UPDATE: This poll is closed. The winner is Smashburger with 41% of the votes. Tierney’s came in second place with 29% of the votes.
Last month we asked the beef eating members of Baristaville to name their favorite burger.

The post hung on the food page for a month and garnered 51 comments.

The list has been narrowed down to the top six most frequently mentioned burger joints. 

Have your vote, it’s the Official Best Burger of Baristaville Poll:

UPDATE: This poll will close on Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 4:30 pm.

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  1. I could not vote for a burger that could not come with a beer. Although I do go to Smash and 5 Guys, you have some apples/oranges categories here. Smashburger and 5 Guys are McDonalds for Big Kids. At Tierney’s (whose burger I find a tad too fatty) and Pal’s you can wash it down with brew. Zinburger didn’t make the cut? I’m shocked! Shocked, I say.

  2. I find something odd. Pals, voted #1 by NJ Monthly and has been serving thousands of burgers for “only” 50 + years, is being beat by not one, but two fast food places. I wonder if either of them will be around in 2061 ?

    The queston was “wHO MAKES THE BEST HAMBERGER?” Not, who can pile the most condaments on top of a hamberger….

  3. I also need a beer with my burger, so Tierney’s is my choice. Haven’t tried Zinburger. Had a weird experience at Pal’s, strange Chinese hostess was comically rude. Pal’s gets one more shot before being permanently written off. New owners?

  4. I had the worst burger ever at Pal’s Cabin. Burnt on the outside, raw in the middle. Longevity does not equal quality!

  5. I find it concerning that a newcomer like Smashburger should be even close to an institution like Tierney’s in the voting. C’mon Tierney’s fans, let’s get that percentage higher. Plus of course there is that beer factor. And besides, Tierney’s has relaly good onion rings too.

  6. I agree the list of candidates do not belong in the same category. I am not surprised that Tierney’s is ahead. A local iconic institution is always the front runner. Without taking away anything from Tierney’s, which definitely serves a great burger, White Manna is perhaps the best generic burger in the Northeast if not the whole country.

  7. Zinburger is not worth being on this list. Tried it and while the burger was okay-just okay, it was $10.00. Fries were and additional $5. All this in a setting that looked like a fast food restuarant. I wont be back.

    I dont care for five guys at all but am a fan of smashburger and always love a burger at Tierneys.

  8. White Manna is in Hackensack – reminds me of a slightly classier White Castle.

    Hands down best burger is Tierney’s. Mimi – you would like Smashburger – they aren’t bad, just missing the pint of Guinness. And while Tierney’s has great onion rings, Smashburger has incredible sweet potato fries.

  9. Sandy

    You hit the nail on the head. People complain about the ‘chains’ but flock to them when you have great places that are locally owned on the same block.

    Next Door was just ranked the #1 burger in NJ but its not even on this list, I dont get it.

    Since when is White Manna in “baristaville”?

    I was in Elevation Burger once and it took a half hour for 1 burger to go. Meanwhile you can walk into Tierneys have a burger a drink and be out the door in that time (which I should have done).

    I am sorry but I can’t see how you can compare a chains burger to a place like Tierney’s or Pals. It’s like getting an Italian sub at Subway and saying it’s better then the one at Belgiovine because they load it up with condiments. Then when a locally owned business goes out of closes people whine its the economy.

    Btw- I know this sounds weird but Calandras in Caldwell makes an awesome burger that rivals

  10. Hi Herb . . . Thanks for the feedback, and you’re right, White Manna is not in Baristaville Proper, but it happens to be my favorite and it was among the top six most frequently mentioned, while Next Door was not. So, White Manna makes this list, and Next Door does not. Enjoy the weather!

  11. I read the poll and understand your criteria , my statements was more of a how can the best burger in NJ ( apparently) right here Montclair not make the list but a place miles away does.

    If you start talking burgers outside baristaville then the White Rose System in Linden needs to get a plug.

    One of the best burgers ever which has unfortunately closed was the BLUE CASTLE on Main Ave in Passaic across from the YMCA. We used to stop there after concerts at the Capitol Theater. Now that was a great burger.

  12. The best thing about the old Blue Castle in my opinion, Herb, was that they famously sold their coffee to go in glass jars. Tasted great, worth the extra nickel.

    But that’s a really poor selection of burgers above, save for Tierney’s. And an “honor” about anything from New Jersey Monthly is no more than whorishness, so blatant is that magazine in its pursuit of advertising.

  13. I am at the point now where I will only eat burgers made from real ground beef and not those pre-fab patties that have Lord knows what in them. It’s not that I’m a meat snob, I just read too many stories about people getting sick.

  14. The best burger around is at Highlawn Pavilion, believe it or not. Better than the sliders, in my opinion.

    In second place…Elevation Burger for its as-close-to-Shake-Shack-in-NJ-ness.

  15. Amongst the chains in (or near) Montclair.

    Elevation has the best meat
    Five Guys has the juiciest burger (definitely the best fries)
    Smashburger is the flavor of the month.
    Zinburger I have yet to try (but dieing to go there soon)

    On my all time non-chain burger in the NE (in particular order) are

    Mr Bartley Burgers Harvard (Boston).
    White Manna Hackensack NJ
    Le Parker Meridien NYC
    Minetta Tavern NYC (their Black Label Burger)

  16. Smashburger is great. The veggie fries are awesome, and buns are great.

    White Manna Hackensack NJ is by far the best burger joint in NJ. Close to impossible to order from 12-2 M-F, seems like the all of Bergen County is awaiting this place. The small griddle top and the one guy working it amazes me.

  17. I can’t leave a proper vote because I’ve only had burgers from 3 of the places in the running (Five Guys, Smashburger, and Pal’s) and they all pretty much sucked. I concur with the comment about Pal’s burgers being burnt – as in completely charred – on the outside, while raw on the inside. I order medium-well. That does not mean very well on the outside and raw on the inside. Yuck! As for the other two – Five Guys is atrocious. No flavor and TONS of grease. Smashburger isn’t so bad, maybe a rung up from McDonald’s. I prefer their grilled chicken sandwiches, if I have to eat there.

    I’d love to try White Manna and Tierney’s, though the one time I went into Tierney’s, I was given quite a few dirty looks by the “regulars” and the place seemed kind of unclean. It was dark, though, so maybe I should try again… What about Elevation – worth trying at all?

  18. ick – Smashburger in Hackensack is great but Montclair is more like a salt lick at Turtle Back Zoo; Five Guys tastes like the crap you get in coach class, on Aeroflot, and it smells really funny in there; get Elevation in there and I’d vote because its the closest thing to In-N-Out but if you want frozen beef with fillers chose any of the above – it will mean a shorter line at EBMontclair

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