The Patty Melt @ Burger Heaven

When I write about a Midtown Lunch, it is supposed to be quick, easy, usually something different or interesting- and most of all cheap.  Burger Heaven is not really any of these things, but a little while back I found myself eating lunch there with my wife and a bunch of her co-workers.  I had never been there, but judging from the crowds it is pretty popular.  Apparently there are a lot of people in Midtown who find things like a waiter, a chair, and proximity to their office more important than price and value.  (These people all make more money than me.)

But, sometimes you have to sacrifice to have a fun lunch with friends, or a big group of co-workers…  and Burger Heaven is a perfect place for that.  Despite the price, there is something for everyone, and room for big parties, if you get there early enough.  They must be doing something right, because Burger Heaven has been around for 60 years, and now has 5 locations in Midtown.

The burgers are actually similarly priced to the other places in Midtown ($6.25) before you start adding stuff like cheese and french fries (and tax & tip), but I ignored all this in favor of the Patty Melt- my favorite kind of hamburger, and a stand out on any menu.  The Patty Melt is pretty basic when you think about it… it’s just a cheeseburger on rye bread with grilled onions- but difficult for many places to make, because you need rye bread, and a griddle- something that many of the new specialty burger places don’t have (Burger Joint, GoodBurger, etc.).  So for a good old fashioned Patty Melt, you need a place like Burger Heaven.

The Patty Melt, and +/- after the jump… 


I actually prefer a seeded rye, but the plain rye tasted just fine…. AND for some unknown reason it doesn’t come with grilled onions.  But that problem was quickly solved when I was informed that you can get grilled onions for FREE on any burger @ Burger Heaven- a nice touch!  The key to the Patty Melt is the whole thing is placed on a griddle, grilled cheese style, making the whole thing disgustingly delicious.  You may say the secret ingredient is grease.

This one did not disappoint.  The combo of rye bread, cheese, grilled onions and nicely cooked medium rare burger is a bone-a-fide winner.  Despite being $10.45 (a little out of my price range for Midtown Lunch purposes), it was really enjoyable- and came with french fries and cole slaw.  Mentally, I think I prefer fries to come with the meal.  For some reason, I’ll order a $10 lunch- and rationalize it by saying “It came with fries & slaw”, but if you charged me $7 for the burger, and $3 for the fries, mentally, it feels worse (i.e. Prime Burger, which is actually a lot cheaper than Burger Heaven, and has a cooler atmosphere- but no Patty Melt).

All in all, I wouldn’t classify this as a Midtown Lunch, but if you want a Burger in a sit down, old school diner-like atmosphere, and don’t mind paying the price- there is probably a Burger Heaven near you.  And if you want something you can’t get at the rest of the burger places in Midtown- order up the Patty Melt.  Just make sure you get there early… they fill up quick.


  • Good if you are looking for a sit down burger lunch in a diner atmosphere
  • Burgers are cooked properly (I ordered it Medium Rare and it came Medium Rare)
  • They have a patty melt
  • Grilled Onions free on anything!
  • Something for everyone, if you are going with a big group of co-workers.  Veggie burger, chicken sandwich, salads, and hot meals.
  • There are 5 Midtown locations, so chances are, there is one near your office
  • It’s pretty quick for a sit down place (as long as you get there early)


  • Price, Price & Price
  • Gets pretty crowded at certain locations if you get there later than 12:15-12:30
  • Some people think the service is rushed, and rude (but if you have a 1 hour lunch, it is welcomed)
  • Did I mention price? 
  • Prime Burger has got more soul… (and is a little cheaper).


Burger Heaven, Multiple Locations (menu)

  • 9 E. 53rd St. (btw. Mad+5th) , 212-752-0340
  • 20 E. 49th St. (btw. Mad+5th), 212-755-2166
  • 536 Madison Ave. (btw. 54+55th), 212-753-4214
  • 291 Madison Ave. (41+42nd), 212-685-6250
  • 804 Lexington Ave. (btw. 61+62nd), 212-838-3580


  • I can’t believe I’ve lived here for almost 12 years and have yet to try Burger Heaven (you have to love that name). I hear its Roquefort burger is also to die for, and somewhere I read they fry the burgers on the same griddle as the bacon, so all the burgers have a smokey, bacony flavor. Did you find this to be true with the patty melt?

  • holy cow the black and white milkshake is just awesome here. grilled cheese as you might expect is great as well.

  • I have to laugh at the locations- the first three are on top of each other! Mm, I should have gone here when I worked up there- I always passed by this one and it always smelled good. I think the eating alone all the time thing wore on me… yum. Anyway, I agree on the fries-coming-with-it thing. I think we’re kind of raised in a ‘combo order’ society =P because I always think combos are better, even when they’re the exact same price (and sometimes MORE! the inhumanity!) as the individual items…

  • i’ve walked out of burger heaven numerous times, as enticing as it smells, as I refuse to pay in the 12 – 15 dollar range for a bacon cheeseburger and fries.

  • Boring place. Boring burgers. But yes, cooked to order. But boy the service at the counter was the best I ever got in Manhattan! The lady at the counter is worth visiting sweet!

  • Loved the patty melt. Great thing was I asked for cheddar (instead of american) and wasn’t charged extra despite the cheese tiers they have.

  • I’m an NYU student who just started working part-time in midtown, and had no idea what I was in for food-wise. Luckily, my brother, who also works in mid-town, reccommended this site to me, thus guiding me in the correct direction.

    This is my 3rd day at work, and so this is my 3rd Mid-Town lunch excursion: the Patty Melt at Burger Heaven.

    I wasn’t about to sit down and pay tip on what is already a $10+ meal, so I requested the Patty Melt to-go without the fries/cole slaw, and I managed to get away with spending a flat $9.00.. a very comfortable price for a very comforting lunch.

    Not too greasy, and a perfect medium-rare, the Patty Melt was quite a treat… sure, a little pricey, but I found it to be more worth the price than burgers at Good Burger, which I tried yesterday.

    A grilled cheese with a bunch of ground beef in the middle, how can you go wrong?

    I give the Patty Melt at Burger Heaven an “A-” Has it been $6-7, it would have the A… but alas, no can do.


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