Burger Joint is Latest Victim of Rising Food Costs

It seems like every day I’m posting one of these.  First it was the buffets, and then Del Frisco’s raised the price of their steak tips deal.  Now, the incredibly popular Burger Joint, “hidden” in the lobby of the Parker Meridien Hotel on 56th btw. 6+7th, has raised their prices.  That’s right- the hamburger that you voted “Best Burger” in the 2008 Midtown Lunch Readers’ Poll, now costs $7 (up from $6).  The cheeseburger gets a $1 price hike as well (to $7.50) and the grilled cheese, french fries, brownie, milkshake, bottled water and a beer now cost you 50 cents more.  While soda and lemonade get a token 25 cent increase.  Apparently the whole pickle is the only item immune to the recession.

I’m sure it won’t effect the line of tourists you currently find packing the place everyday, but with Five Guys now open a few blocks away, and Goodburger continuing their expansion, this price hike could have an effect on their lunchtime business.

With the price of food all over the city going up, and a Burger Joint hamburger and fries now going for $10.50, are these places no longer Midtown Lunches, or is it time we adjusted the $10 cap for inflation?

What the good ‘ole days looked like, after the jump…

Thanks to Lunch’er “Terry” for the tip.  If you have a tip, news or recommendation, email it to zach@midtownlunch.com



    this seriously harshes my mellow today. and their shakes are tasty, but if the size ain’t changing, they can take that $5 and shove it…

  • I really like Burger Joint but always thought that it was a little too expensive. this just makes me sad.

  • Sadly, Vietnamese sandwich shops have been affected by the commodity markets as well. They go for about $5 now, which isn’t expensive but a 70% hike over their original prices.

  • I went to Homefront for a salad yesterday, and they had a sign announcing price hikes as well.

  • We can’t raise the bar until i get an adjusted salary for this bullshit.

  • When I started going to the Burger Joint five years ago, it was $4.50 for a cheeseburger, and $1.50 for fries. I thought that was slightly pricey, but so worth it.

    They’ve raised their prices steadily since then, and now a meal is almost twice what it cost five years ago. They go up in price like a condo on Central Park.

  • Noo!!!

    I will never adjust my 10 dollar Midtown Lunch limit.

    My personal view is that I am happy if my lunch is 7 dollars, if it is 6 dollars I quesiton it’s quality, I generally go right around 7.75-8.25, and when I breach 8.50 for midtown lunch I get very very nervous.

  • Zach blames rising food costs on the recession. Swan believes the “commodity markets” are to blame (at least when it comes to Bánh mì).

    i believe the 2 primary causes are the repercussions from (i) increased price of corn — at least partially due to a demand spike from the misguided rush to corn based ethanol — and (ii) increased fuel costs.

    Don’t expect any relief in the near (or frankly long) term. I would vote for an inflationary adjustment to the cap — which is really only a guide anyway as zach often posts w/ proviso “above the midtown budget, but . . .” gotta keep up with the times

  • That sucks. The Famous Chicken Place raised their prices by 50 cents on average as well. And also Chipotle is a bit mroe expensive than it was last week.

  • The US comodities/food prices have been kept artificially low for 40 years.Now real world influences and a growing economy in China,Europe and to a lesser extent ,SE asia, are hitting home.Ask a eurpoean tourist and they’ll tell you what wonderful value it is in the states, not only for food but electricals,clothing etc,and the vast amounts of food one can get for that $10.

    Personally,I blame the fucking french.

    P.S. anyone know a bear stearn’s futures broker, punch them for me.

  • You can invest in collateralized commodities futures and make money off of inflation, if you believe it worthwhile.

    La Belleza III also raised prices recently. In fact, they whitewashed the price column on their entire menuboard and when I was there last week, had not yet painted on any new prices. So they just make up a price for whatever you order. Actually, they made up the bill even when they had prices posted, so who knows what’s going on there?

  • Too rich for my blood! Well, mike the lobster guy may turn up his nose at a $6 lunch, but what I want to know is where are the $4 lunches? I’m particularly interested in the area around 32nd and Park (the southeasternmost corner of Midtown Lunching area).

  • I like the $10 rule, but eliminating Burger Joint from Midtown Lunch is unthinkable. You’ll have to either raise the Midtown Lunch price cap, or continue to bend the rules for institutions like the Burger Joint.

  • I say Throw Burger Joint From The Train!!! Overrated, overcrowded and now, even more overpriced! BTW, today I trundled down to Shake Shack and had a DOUBLE Shackburger for $7.25. MORE DELICIOUS than BJ, BIGGER, CHEAPER, and eaten in a nice sunny park, not in a packed windowless cattle-filled boxcar. You are what you eat indeed – MOOOOOOOOOO!

  • So, we’ve already established that anything that’s $1 is a snack, but we’re now facing the possibility that the $1 snack will become obsolete. (Cafe Zaiya is also raising its prices, as I just discovered).

    I say that if it’s under $9, we call it a “Midtown Munch,” and if it’s over $10 we call it a “Midtown Lunch.” “Munch” to imply that around 5 pm you’ll be ravenous for dinner, and “lunch” to imply that by 2:30 you’ll be slumped over, comatose, from the carbs and fat. If I’m paying over $10 for food I’d better be on life support!!!

  • Don’t worry, the gubment says that inflation is only 4% per year right now…

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