The Best Burgers in North Jersey (Updated List)

by Peter Candia
best burgers north jersey

When discussing food in New Jersey, the usual suspects come up: pizza, bagels and Taylor ham. However, NJ has no shortage of legendary hamburgers to choose from. Whether it be places that pre-exist The Great Depression or new-school spots opening in the last decade, it is time Jersey’s service to hamburger excellence was recognized. These are some of the best burgers you’ll find in North Jersey.

Where to Find the Best Burgers in North Jersey

Krug’s Tavern – Newark, NJ

Opening in March 1932, Krug’s Tavern is over 90-years old. For nearly a century, Krug’s has been the spot in Newark, NJ for drinks, watching the game, and of course, their legendary burgers. A thick, freshly ground patty, seared on a flat-top and served on a soft, sesame-laden bun, is a fair reminder that while there might be impersonators, there is only one original. 

north jersey best burgers

Krugs Tavern in Newark, New Jersey l Photo via @krugs_tavern

Eighty Twenty – Westwood, NJ

At one point, Eighty Twenty was just a pop-up burger stand that would sell out weekly. However, since opening a brick-and-mortar last year, the burger joint has quickly established themselves as one of NJ’s best smash burgers. Eighty Twenty’s claim to fame is their signature style burger: a thin-smashed 80/20 patty, sweet onions, American cheese, the house-made Mandy Sauce and a sweet, pillow-like potato bun. They’re not afraid to think outside of the box, with smashed veggie burgers and confit-pork-topped burgers to boot.

The Riverside Inn – Cranford, NJ

I don’t like to play favorites, but this is my favorite burger in Jersey (right now, at least).  This classic Cranford dive bar dishes out the epitome of a no-frills burger. It’s not the most impressive offering in Jersey, but it’s consistently delicious, cheap and served in an unbeatable bar atmosphere. Riverside’s burger uses hand-formed beef and is griddled on a plancha, served simply on a Kaiser roll—I like to get mine with bacon and American cheese. Paired with a cold PBR and a Jukebox blasting The Strokes, it’s basically the greatest handheld meal you could ask for.

best burger new jersey

Bacon Cheeseburger from the one and only Riverside Inn

Burgerstrasse – Clifton and East Rutherford, NJ

In 2018, Burgerstrasse began dishing burgers out of their quaint shop in Clifton, NJ.  Some years later, and it is still the place to go in Passaic County for thin, smash-style patties. Freshly ground beef is smashed on a scorching-hot griddle to create the unctuously crispy and lacy texture that has become so desired within the burger world for the last half decade. Quality ingredients, cooked perfectly every time makes the Burgerstrasse motto— where it’s real— ring true.

north jersey best burgers

Burgers from Burgerstrasse in Clifton, NJ l Photo via @burgerstrasse 

Steve’s Burgers – Garfield, NJ

This roadside stand in Garfield, NJ was put on the map by their six-ounce chuck patties, and the array of toppings guests can choose to go with it. Owner Steve Chrisomalis Jr. is constantly reinventing the wheel with his burger creations, and it’s why Steve’s has garnered a cult following since opening over 10 years ago.  Steve’s has become known for cheesesteaks, fries and shakes too, but it’s the burgers that are the namesake. 

north jersey best burgers

Steve’s Burgers in Garfield, NJ l Photo via @stevesburgers_

Diesel and Duke – Multiple Locations

Diesel and Duke broke the Jersey burger scene over a decade ago when they originally opened in Montclair, and since, have maintained the consistency and innovation that brought them fame in the first place. Diesel specializes in griddle-style patties that are packed with flavor. The namesake Diesel Burger comes filled with two patties, onion rings, jalapenos, caramelized onions, cheddar, BBQ sauce and chipotle mayo. If you’re feeling adventurous, go for the S.P.B.B burger, which brings a fresh-cooked beef patty, Sriracha, peanut butter and bacon. Don’t knock it ’til you try it.

Summit House – Summit, NJ

When walking into the beautiful space that is Summit House, a burger might be the last thing you expect to enjoy as you watch dry-aged tomahawks and grand seafood towers fly right by you. However, Summit House—which we named one of New Jersey’s 25 best restaurant last year—serves what is essentially the platonic ideal of an upscale cheeseburger. For lunch only, diners can enjoy a hand-formed griddled patty topped with whatever the current offering is. Maybe it’s melted gruyere, caramelized onions and a spread of truffle aioli, or maybe it’s something a little more out there like poblano and five-year cheddar. This luxury burger brings serious flavor to the party.

best burgers nj

The Summit House Burger

White Manna – Hackensack, NJ

This slight, roadside shack has been dishing out hamburger sliders for over six decades in Hackensack, NJ. The signature slider at White Manna is a freshly ground beef patty cooked with onions and cheese before being sandwiched in between a steamed Martin’s Potato Bun. It is a classic New Jersey institution, and was highly touted by New Jersey native, the late Anthony Bourdain in his show “No Reservations. 

White Manna in Hackensack, NJ | Photo via @whitemannahamburgers

White Mana – Jersey City, NJ

No, we didn’t accidentally list the same spot twice. In fact, White Mana in Jersey City, NJ is the original Jersey slider joint, and conversations about which spot is best has been the subject of stark debate for years. The truth is, both serve a remarkably similar product, in a remarkably similar atmosphere. That’s because although independently operated today, both were founded within weeks of each other in 1946 by Louis Bridges. One less “n” in the name was not intentional, and instead the result of an error when making the sign. This error stuck, and has served as a distinction between the two ever since. 

jersey city restaurant

White Mana in Jersey City, NJ l Photo by Abby Montanez

The answer to “which is best?” can usually be answered by which Man(n)a someone grew up on. So, try both, and decide for yourself who serves the best sliders in the state.

The Corner – Montclair, NJ

The Corner isn’t just about fluffy pancakes, they offer a burger that is seriously good. Reminiscent of NYC’s best steakhouse burgers, The Corner sears a thick, all-beef patty on a ripping hot plancha— allowing for a deeply rich, and crispy crust to form on the outside of the burger all while keeping the juices inside. Cheddar cheese, a brioche bun and shoestring french fries round out what is one of North Jersey’s most pleasant burger experiences.

The Corner Burger

Dan & Day’s – Upper Montclair, NJ

This all-new burger joint came to Upper Montclair just this year, but their burger connection with the town goes way back. For years, the owners of Dan & Day’s ran the local-favorite Stuffed Grassfed Burgers on Valley Road, which closed earlier this year. The team decided to not only move locations, but shake the concept up a tad (or, a lot). Instead of thick, stuffed burgers like they served at the predecessor, Dan & Days specializes in thinner style patties. Pair it with hand-cut fries and shakes and you’ve got what is quickly becoming one of North Jersey’s best burger experiences. It’s safe to say, the move was a good one!

Smash Patty Melt from Dan & Day’s

Slap Burgers – Paterson, NJ

Slap Burgers brings Patersonians unctuous, lacy smash burgers in classic American digs. The red-and-white checkered walls scream burger joint at you, and they back it up with the fare. The Double Slap Burger is the one to get—two 3.5-ounce patties smashed into the griddle with diced onions, topped with pickles, cheese, special sauce and served on a fluffy potato bun. It’s a classic smash burger, and that’s why it’s so good. As a bonus, Slap Burgers is a 100-percent halal establishment.

Left Bank Burger Bar – Jersey City, NJ

In a world saturated with thin, crispy smash burgers (which are great), Left Bank is sticking to their guns with their signature thick, seared hamburgers. Besides a well-seasoned and sized patty, toppings are what keeps people coming back. Creative burgers like the Ghostface Killer (espresso-rubbed patty, ghost pepper jam, smoked gouda, sweet potato tots, red onion, BBQ sauce) showcase Left Bank’s ability to get creative. And that’s just the start of what they’ve got in store.

Tierney’s Tavern – Montclair, NJ

At Tierney’s, the old school decor and cold beers have kept Montclair patrons coming back since 1934, but the hamburgers are equally a reason to travel to this Jersey relic. A thick patty is seasoned and griddled to juicy transcendence before being bestowed upon a toasted bun with cheese making for a rendition of the classic that is unforgettable. This is a burger that brings you back to a simpler time—there’s no other way to put it. For regulars and aficionados alike, there is another burger at Tierney’s worth trying. The Buddy Burger is a burger named after the late great Edward ‘Buddy’ Tierney. This off-menu staple features the same classic burger that customers have grown to love, but is griddled with a heaping mound of thinly sliced onions on top. The onions melt into the meat and caramelize on the outside. Buddy would make this burger for himself, but shared the secret with regulars. Today, it stands as an homage to his hospitality. You won’t see it on the menu, but just ask— they’ll know.

Cheeseburger at Tierney’s Tavern in Montclair, NJ

Which of these North Jersey spots do you think has the best burgers? Or did we miss your favorite? Let us know in the comments.

About the Author/s

Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.

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Joe May 1, 2022 - 12:31 pm

Tierney’s Tavern in Montclair

Michael December 26, 2022 - 12:10 pm

White Rose Systems in Highland Park!

Cindy March 8, 2023 - 12:16 pm

So there are no decent burgers anywhere besides a fifteen mile radius of our state? Clifton, Montclair, Newark….

Jeff June 17, 2024 - 7:46 pm

The burger special at Da Tino in Cedar Grove is wonderfully delicious. Didn’t event need a dipping sauce for the fries. Highly recommend adding it to your list.

Josh Hertzberg July 7, 2024 - 8:38 pm

You missed us… Burger & Butcher, Sparta NJ…


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