5 Napkin Burger

45th St and 9th Avenue

Ranking: 20


We approached 5 Napkin Burger with some trepidation.  We had already ranked the burgers from two of its sister restaurants, Nice Matin on Manhattan’s Upper West Side (which the 5 Napkin burger is based on) and Café D’Alsace on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, and neither faired very high in our overall rankings.  Since this burger is a relative of those two, we could not help but be a bit concerned.  However, we soldiered on.

The group was split with the ordering.  Some went with the Original 5 Naprkin Burger (10oz fresh ground chuck, gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and rosemary aioli) and some decided on the Cheddar Bacon (10oz fresh ground chuck, sharp cheddar, bacon, raw onion, lettuce and tomato).  Both burgers were served on soft rolls with a side of fries, but that is where the similarities ended. 

The Original 5 Napkin was smothered in the aioli sauce.  So much so, that to some of the BOTM members it was all they tasted.  While other member loved it, the consensus was clearly split on the Original 5 Napkin Burger.  Those who had the Cheddar Burger however, had a more consistent positive opinion.  The burger was extremely juicy (maybe two napkins were needed), but it could have used more taste, which ended up being provided by the excellent bacon.  Each of our burgers was cooked as ordered.

Overall, the individual BOTM member rankings were wide spread, (a few top 10’s to the 30’s).  If you go, be sure to pick the burger that best fits your likings.  Of the three related restaurants mentioned in this review, 5 Napkin Burger clearly offers the best burger (it seems to be juicier than the original at Nice Matin’s).


over hyped

Admittedly I only ate here once but the service was lax and the burger dry and over cooked. I always order burgers medium rare and this one came in well done (no pink). The waiter quickly disappeared and never returned except to deliver the check.

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