PROFILED: Midtown Lunch’er “Josh Ozersky” & Book Giveaway

Every Tuesday I turn over the site to a different Midtown Lunch’er for his or her recommendations for the best lunch in Midtown. Today it’s a bonafied New York food celebrity- Josh Ozersky, editor of NY Magazine’s online food blog “Grub St.”   One of the members of the “Fat Pack” that the NY Times profiled in March, Josh is a personal hero- and his new book “ The Hamburger- A History” is a must read for any like-minded eaters.  As always, we’ll give away a few copies at the end of the profile…

Name: Josh Ozersky


Food Editor / Online, New York Magazine

Favorite Kind of Food: Meat

Least Favorite Kind of Food:

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch in Midtown: The lamb kebabs at Taam Tov (47th btw. 5+6th); the lamb burger at Anthos (52nd btw. 5+6th); the $28 lunch at Jean Georges (60th & Central Park West); lasagna at Insieme (7th Ave. at 51st); grilled cheese and bacon at Prime Burger (51st btw. Mad+5th); the giant hot dog at Brooklyn Diner (43rd btw. Bway+6th & 57th btw. Bway+7th); the hamburger at Ruby Tuesday’s (7th Ave. btw. 41+42nd).

Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch (if any)? Most recently, the haggis cart

If you could work anywhere (just because of the lunch) where would it be and why? Spiritual advisor to the Amish operators of the Dutch Eating Place in the Reading Terminal Marketin Philadelphia; junior pitmaster at Big Bob Gibson’s bbq in Decatur, AL; security guard at Dirty Martin’s Kum-Back burgers in Austin Texas; Grub Street blogger in Chinatown.

And of course, since we’re promoting the book- I’ve got to ask. What are your thoughts on the Midtown burger landscape? Too big, too misshappen, too rococo: Midtown is scarred by atomic mutants that resemble hamburgers only as much as a chrome-rimmed escalade does a 1972
coupe de ville. Which is to say, they are generally grotesque and vulgar things, even at their best.

Is there anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers?: What hamburgers, of traditional size and shape, don’t I know about in Midtown?

Wow that is quite the indictment of the Midtown burger.  And here I was thinking we were doing alright… anyway, on to your question: Best hidden hamburger in Midtown?  We all must go on the assumption that you know about all the big ones (and even some of the lesser known ones, like the Blarney Stone on 3rd Ave & 44th- which is one of my favorites). But, I think I’ve got a truly hidden gem (plus your chance to win a copy of Josh’s book) after the jump…

So maybe it’s not really a hamburger as much as a ”Japanese Slider” from Cafe Zaiya (on 41st btw. Mad+5th).  They take one of those Japanese teriyaki meatball kind of things that you get in Bento boxes, top it with a slice of cheese, shredded cabbage (and a little lettuce), and toss it in a bun.  Sure, it’s pre packaged, and usually is not hot and can be a little dry sometimes- but the taste is pretty delicious, and for under $4, it really can’t be beat.  (Plus you can add a rice ball and dessert from their amazing bakery, and your lunch will probably still end up being less than a burger at the Burger Joint).

Post your favorite burger in Midtown (well known or hidden) in the comments and you’ll be automatically entered to win a copy of Josh’s book “The Hamburger: A History” , in stores now.

And as always, if you want to be the next Profiled: Midtown Lunch’er, or you’d like to nominate somebody in your office, email me at


  • Five Guys is my fave. Love me some grilled onions!

  • Brooklyn Diner is by far the best burger in Midtown.
    Here’s a link to NYC Food Guy’s delicious review.

    But since it doesn’t fall into the true Midtown Lunch category of affordable and delicious, Burger Joint in Le Parker Meriden takes the cake as the best burger in Midtown because it’s grilled, Five Guys falls slightly behind because it’s griddled…

  • I know it’s super chic to hate on vegetables, but really? A food editor that hates vegetables? I’m quite a bit more carniverous than the next guy (I made pastrami in my oven with charcoal and risked carbon monoxide poisoning for f’s sake), but the person who doesn’t love vegetables too has no taste buds. Sorry, guy. No reason to read NY mag’s online food criticism I guess.

  • The Burger Joint slightly above Five Guys. But I like Five Guys for the look of the restaurant too. The Cafe Zaiya ‘burger’ looks interesting too.

  • Five Guys!

  • Atomic Burger makes a mean veggie burger (not an atomic mutant, in my opinion), but I can’t speak to their meaty choices. Thoughts?

  • In a perfect world where what I ate had absolutely no bearing on my health, I’ll take the Big Mac (various locations). I know there’s a lot of hate in this world for McDonald’s, but I cannot deny the deliciousness of this timeless staple.

  • The burger at Keen’s Steak house on West 36th.

  • i like lucky’s famous burger 370 w 52 st between 8th and 9th ave.

  • Though it’s somewhat of a separate burger category, got to give credit to Wendy’s (beneath 6th Ave and 50th Street). Ain’t no shame in the game!

  • The burger at Michael Jordan’s steakhouse.

  • I hate to say it, but that japanese burger looks pretty nasty. At first I thought it was spam.

    No favorite burgers in midtown, only in Brooklyn.

  • I am a fan of the burgers from Jimmy’s burger shack. They are mini burgers and tasty.

    258 W 31st St, New York 10001
    Btwn 7th & 8th Ave

  • That Pic looks like a scene from Shrek.

    Outa bounds but shakeshack.

  • cityburger just open 1410 b way try i really good

  • prime burger — don’t forget to add their special relish.

  • Akdeniz’s “barbecued meatballs” are essentially bunless burgers served over rice and veg. They are well seasoned, moderately greasy, and very tasty. They even look like burgers.

    Also, can someone explain to me how the midtown burger landscape can be “Too big, too misshappen, too rococo?” This makes no sense. Why use the word if you don’t know what it means? I don’t understand this phenomenon, especially coming from an editor. So sorry to be diagreeable, but why do so many people have such trouble saying what they mean and meaning what they say?

  • Since the boss is out today – got a chance to trek out to Blarney Stone…great onion rings but the burger was so so. My favorite is still the Burger Joint.

  • The Steak Truck!

  • Agreed,DDR.

    The over extentous use of words gives me the pericabobulations.

Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.