Corner Bistro
Vernon Blvd & 47th Ave, Long Island City

The Burger Garages, Brgrs, Just Burgers and Pop Burgers will all come and go with new ideas on how to stuff and top burgers, and modern ways to sling them, but a classic like Corner Bistro will always have them beat. As much as I enjoy all the new trends in this amazing city, sometimes a well-dressed cheeseburger and a pint of dark beer in a modest tavern setting satisfies completely. The Corner Bistro in the West Village has always been my favorite NYC burger place, as much for its cramped wooden booths and tin ceiling, as for its no-frills burgers. So I was very surprised when I heard that this almost 100 year old institution was opening a second location, not on Wall Street or Midtown, like I might have expected, but in an outer borough, and in Queens, not Brooklyn!!

True to its low key demeanor, the second Bistro opened on Vernon Blvd last week with zero fanfare, there isn’t even a mention of it on the official Corner Bistro website! I have to say that while decades of tradition can’t just be duplicated, the new Bistro is an excellent and much needed addition to a neighborhood that is still at the crossroads of trendy vs. authentic. It has a vibe that white collar types will feel comfortable with, and a decent beer list, but you can get a cheeseburger ($7.25) and fries ($2.75) or mug of McSorley’s ($3.00) for just $10. The service needs to iron out the kinks, but if you are sitting at the bar with a pint watching the game, or with a date enjoying the signature Bistro Burger, a cheeseburger piled with bacon, it doesn’t matter, everyone is relaxed here. It’s not a bad thing to cross the river and pop in for the same fantastic burger, without waiting 30 minutes to sit and eat it.