Shack Fatigue? Schnipper’s Serves Up a Delicious Burger

In the two years that it has been open, Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen has always seemed to covet a spot amongst New York’s burger elite. Initial reactions to their signature offering were good, but not great. While Schnipper’s was quietly stepping their ground meat game up, by cooking patties to order and switching to LaFrieda beef, Shake Shack opened a few blocks away and the stakes got higher. Schnipper’s burgers have seemingly been climbing up the ranks of public opinion for a while now, so I decided to celebrate their 2 Year Anniversary with my first visit, and one of their new and improved cheeseburgers.

I wanted to keep things simple so I stuck with their standard cheeseburger ($5.99) with lettuce, tomato, pickles and red onions. Any “burger place” should be able to stake their reputation on the basics. I was certainly tempted by some of their specialty burgers (the “Green Chile” and the Hickory Bacon Blue to be specific), but the hefty price tags made it easy to refrain. And against my better judgment I got a bag of Schnipper’s homemade potato chips ($1.79). I think I was mentally incapable of ordering just a cheeseburger.

To put things as concisely as possible, my burger was very good. I ordered it medium rare and while the patty didn’t have much color to it, it wasn’t close to cooked all the way through and the insides were still mushy. The beef is sweet and smooth, with unfortunately no trace of a crust. In fact, the whole thing melts in your mouth to such a degree it’s in danger of being overwhelmed by the fresh toppings. I could have done with a little less tomato and red onion. I had read a lot of good things about Schnipper’s buns and I was not disappointed. The pillowy bun sort of forms itself around the contents of the burger, soaking up juices and keeping everything contained. It’s just a really delicious fast food bun.

To choose between this and Shake Shack, I would have to do a side-by-side comparison, but on more objective terms, I don’t see one having a major edge in quality over the other. The meat at Schnipper’s was less seasoned than at Shake Shack, so you think Shake Shack overdoes it, Schnipper’s could be the place for you.

My chips were fine. They were crunchy and they weren’t so oily or salty to nullify their natural potato flavor. They are definitely a nice way to add on to a meal here without committing to one of their side dishes.

The only real sticking point for me at Schnipper’s is the price. I would definitely stop short of calling it a rip off (I did get a satisfying lunch that I really enjoyed for under $10), but all the prices seem a bit inflated, especially with Shake Shack selling comparable (many would say better) burgers for $2 less. On the other hand, Schnipper’s most expensive burgers are the kind of creations you can’t get at Shake Shack, and might be worth splurging on. After this experience, I will definitely be back to try one eventually.

Also, for those that are interested, Schnipper’s has discontinued their breakfast service and are instead opening each morning at 10 with their full menu (their website doesn’t reflect this yet).

Schnipper’s Quality Kitchen, 620 Eighth Avenue (at 41st), (212) 921-2400


  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Enjoy your E-Coli and tapeworm in your “rare” ground beef.

    • I hope you get hit by a bus crossing the street.

    • Just in time for NYFW! The tapeworm diet is all the rage in Paris and Milan.

    • User has not uploaded an avatar

      When I ate beef I wasn’t a fan of it being rare or medium rare, but even I know that it was all right to consume.

    • As if some nice fieldworker in California hasn’t poo’d all over your lettuce and tomatoes.

    • That’s an idiotic comment. By your logic, all burgers would have to be cooked to well-done to be considered safe, because that’s the only way to insure that all bacteria is killed. I have no reason to think that Schnippers does not handle their food in a safe manner. Do you?

      • By the way, I was talking to Tantalus.

      • User has not uploaded an avatar

        I don’t have a problem eating rare steaks, but ground beef is different and you should know that.

        You ever work in a beef processing plant? You know how much rat shit and beef gets dropped on the ground?

        Make that shit well done. Every time.

      • What a flaming imbecile. In one sentence, he implies that ground beef (all ground beef, no matter where it is sourced, its all handled exactly the same everywhere, appparently) is full of rat shit, and in the next, telling us that its OK as long as it’s well done. Seriously? If you really believe ground beef is primarily made of rat shit, might I suggest that rather than cooking it well done, the better approach just might be to not eat it at all?

        Oh, and also – please go away. Crusading against burgers here is not unlike crusading FOR burgers on a vegan website.

      • User has not uploaded an avatar

        When did I say it was primarily made of rat shit? Get your reading glasses checked out son.

        I’m not crusading shit. Just saying eating rare ground beef is not the same as eating rare steak.

  • shack is way better. i would walk across the street and two blocks uptown for a good burger in the area…

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Thanks so much for the kind words, Jeremiah. My brother and I are thrilled you like our burgers. I just wanted to drop a note here to point one thing out. We are actually less expensive than the Shake Shack for the burger you had. You may be thinking how can $5.99 be less than $4.50? Well, the Shack Burger is only 4 ounces, and ours is 5.5 (1/3rd of a pound). Per ounce, their burger is $1.12 and ours is $1.08. Call it burger math! So to compare prices fairly, you have to consider the size of the burger you are getting.

    My brother and I felt early on that a 4 ounce burger just didn’t fill us up and a double at 8 ounces was too much (and too expensive). That’s why we chose our size. Who knows, maybe one day we’ll consider a 4 ouncer, but for now it’s a third pound only. And for the record, I love a Shack Burger. I live near the one on the East Side and it is my favorite non-Schnipper’s burger. But it isn’t less expensive…

    Thanks again for the review. Hope to see you again soon.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    I love shake shack (especially the concretes), but if I were getting a burger I would probably rather go to Schnipper’s rather than be almost guaranteed to wait awhile, especially outside, in line at Shake Shack. Schnipper’s burgers are definitely comparable to Shack’s. I agree that it is pricey, but the atmosphere of Shake Shack can be really overwhelming, and sometimes I like Schnipper’s better.

  • User has not uploaded an avatar

    Nobody ever talks about the Classic, but I think it’s the best Schnippers has to offer.

  • I think Schnippers is flat-out better than Shake Shack. Not that Shack doesn’t taste good, but as said above, I leave there hungry. Thats why I only do Shack when its warm so my burger/concrete lunch there fills me up.

    I get a cheeseburger with Schnipper Sauce and its just superb. Agreed that $9.75 is a bit rich for their best burger (Hickory Bacon Blue) but maybe they will have future deals like the aniversary one where they were selling for $2.00? Hint? Hint?

  • To be totally honest, I haven’t been to Schnippers yet, but I will soon change that. My one comment is about the service at SS. I have eaten at a lot of places around the country ad Europe, but nobody but nobody has more friendly employees than SS. I can’t even begin to guess why, but it is a wonderful experience. I know everybody can paste a smile on their face, but they all seem so genuine in their desire to be helpful. I only hope that when the Westport, CT place opens up, that the typical CT employees don’t have their usual cranky face on. It just won’t be the same as NYC.

  • Thanks @wellerfan, I will look it up.

  • I think Schnipper’s does a fine job on their burgers. I like Shake Shack too. I like to mix it up.

  • Where is that Greek guy from tv to decide? I love them both, and have had both along with 5 Guys over the past month. Shake Shack does however have better music…

  • Andrew .. serve up some steak tartare and I will devour it off the heinie of the waitress of your choice with a toast point, no questions asked

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