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Food & Drink

The hamburger boss’s favorite burgers in New York

To say that Richard Bergfors, CEO of Swedish hamburger chain Max, is obsessed with burgers is something of an understatement. He eats at least one burger every day. Even on Christmas Eve. In between, he travels the globe in pursuit of the perfect burger. For the very best burgers, he heads to New York.

Where did your love of hamburgers come from?

My parents started Max hamburgers before I was even born, so my whole childhood basically revolved Richard Bergfors, CEO of Swedish hamburger chain Max and a huge lover of hamburgers all around.around hamburgers. My very earliest memories are of sitting at the dining table as we tested the latest bread, dressings, and ingredients. And I remember that when my school friends went to Legoland, I hung out with my dad on road trips around America, trying out new burger places. So you could say that the burger is a beloved family member that has always been at my side. It might sound a bit wacky to some, but that’s the simple truth.

What is it about burgers that makes you love them so much?

Hamburgers never go out of style and you can customize them in millions of ways. Just by replacing the bread, changing the ingredients in a dressing or swopping the meat, you can have a completely different taste experience. Also, making a great burger is all about technical expertise, because all the flavors have to marry together in the same bite. It is a skill that not everyone can master. But apart from the actual taste, there is something about hamburgers that is social and unpretentious that I think is incredibly beautiful.

Which do you think is the best city in the world for hamburgers?

And here are Richard’s burger must-haves in The Big Apple:

J.G. Melon

A classic and a place I always visit when I’m in New York is J.G. Melon. In my opinion, this is where you will find some of the best hamburgers in the entire world. We’re talking pure perfection. The meat is perfectly minced and has a unique rounded and nutty flavor, and it is beautifully prepared: crispy on the outside and soft and juicy in the middle. For best results, order medium rare. Then come American cheese, thin and crispy bacon, fantastic onion, wonderful pickles, and finally the bread – which is one of the best examples of “potato buns” I’ve ever tasted. Clean and simple flavors that combine to create a truly magical burger.

J.G. Melon

1291 3rd Avenue, New York

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Korzo

The burgers they serve at Korzo in Brooklyn are far from traditional, but are still absolutely fantastic. Think hamburgers meet Hungary in a wonderful and completely unique creation that is guaranteed to be nothing like any other burger you have tasted. The “original burger” here is a grilled burger which is baked into a flaky dough together with Emmental cheese, mustard, dressings, and pickles – all of which is then deep-fried. My personal favorite is their “Otto burger” where the burger is fried in dough together with American cheese, iceberg slaw, tomato, raw onion, and spicy garlic aioli. Wonderful flavor and a big wow factor for the whole experience.

Korzo

667 5th Ave, Brooklyn, New York

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Pizza Loves Emily

American hamburger expert George Motz introduced me to this little jewel in Brooklyn, which quickly became a New York favorite. The food here is incredibly good. My spontaneous reaction after sinking my teeth into my first burger here was just wow! The amazing hamburger bread of the “Kaiser roll” variety, the fantastic tenderized meat, caramelized onions, mature cheddar, and their special sweet strong dressing get top marks. If you want to try something other than a hamburger, their pizzas and pizza salads are peerless.

Pizza Loves Emily

919 Fulton St, Brooklyn, New York

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Donovan’s Pub of Woodside

Donovan’s is a real classic in Queens that is well worth a visit. I get cravings for a pub hamburger from time to time and here you will find really good ones. When I was there last, I tried both their “Queens classic pub burger”, which has been on the menu since 1966, and a bacon cheeseburger. I love the taste of the meat here. For the best taste sensation, order rare or medium rare.

Donovan’s Pub of Woodside

57-24 Roosevelt Ave, Queens, New York

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Genuine roadside

All I can say is wow! Here you will have a wonderful burger experience. When I was there last I tried their “Double stacker” and wow what a good hamburger. Fantastic meat, great bread, incredibly good cheese. To top off all this good stuff, they also have a special dressing that I love. Order your burger rare or medium rare and I promise you will not be disappointed.

Genuine roadside

600 11th Ave, New York, New York

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