Hamburger America ~ NYC

February 21, 2024

Hamburger America montage

The Vitals:
the spot: Hamburger America 51 MacDougal St, New York, NY 10012
the eats: burgers
the bucks: $-$$
the full nelson: A modern day burger throwback in NYC

(skip to bottom of post for TikTok video)

2024 has been a big year for burgers in New York City, with the opening of Hamburger America and Gotham Burger Social Club, both of which I visited last month(Gotham post here). Based on the views of my Instagram post alone, Hamburger America looks like a bonafide hit. Oh, and the burger was one of my all time favorites too.

Hamburger America George Motz

The man behind Hamburger America

The one and only George Motz. I’ve been a fan of George’s work for well over a decade. Starting with his series exploring the burgers of America on Travel Channel, his books and his series on First We Feast with Chef and burger connoisseur Alvin Cailan, George Motz might love burgers even more than me. And that is saying something.

Hamburger America classic burger

The Classic Smash Burger at Hamburger America

Before I could even order, George made me this double smashed burger. Available as a single or double with beef sourced from Schweid and Son’s, the burger can come full dressed with pickles, diced onion and yellow mustard. George served me this without any toppings beyond the cheese. Meat, cheese, bun: that’s it.

I was blown away. As someone who grew up on Steak ‘n Shake in it’s heyday(1980s-1990s) this burger captured the magic that was the burger of my youth. Simple. Perfect. It takes a pair to serve a burger with just meat, cheese and bun. You are relying on great beef and great technique. Check both those boxes at Hamburger America.

Hamburger America Fried Onion Burger

The Fried Onion burger at Hamburger America

The edges are softer on the Fried Onion burger at Hamburger America, as the patty is smashed on top of a slice of onion. That is the signature of the Oklahoma Onion burger and the inspiration for the Fried Onion Burger at Hamburger America.

Like the pictures of burger restaurants across the country and even the decor, this is an example of the years and years of research that went into opening the Hamburger America Restaurant.

You could say I had burger burnout but I much preferred the Classic Smash. I’m an advocate for cooked onions on a burger but they are almost as common as smashed burgers themselves these days. You would be remiss not to try both. I just have a favorite.

Hamburger America milk and cookies

Milk and Cookies anyone?

Hamburger America serves up legit bang for your burger buck. That is if you stick to the burgers and maybe a beer, which is limited to an affordable $6 Miller High Life. But I saw too many people ordering milk and cookies not to shell out an extra $8.

The cookies are sourced from a local bakery and . . . they hit the spot like milk and cookies should after two burgers. It’s not essential but it’s a way to end nostalgia filled burger meal. Keep this in your regular NYC burger rotation.

Or just watch the damn video!!


I tried Hamburger America in New York City, a new Smashburger joint by George Motz, unnoted author, historian and TV host. I think he loves burgers more than me, which is saying something. #alikhaneats #burger #nyc #newyork #hamburgeramerica #smashburger

♬ original sound – Ali Khan


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