Carnegie John’s $4 Cheeseburger: Grilled & Griddled, It’s the Best of Both Worlds

Date April 23, 2008

Charcoal broiled Cheeseburgers remind me that summer grilling is on the way. There are few better thoughts.

This is the $4 cheeseburger from Carnegie John’s street cart on 56th near 7th Avenue and it’s delicious. First it’s griddled, then charcoal-grilled, then put back on the griddle before being covered in American cheese, shredded lettuce, and tomato. It’s a two-hand burger and it’s only $4. Go pick one up and eat it outside. Read on for Carnegie John’s other go-to option for a cheap and tasty lunch…

Carnegie John is a one-man wrecking crew, simultaneously flipping burgers, grilled chicken, hot dogs, Italian susages, and even steaks from the griddle to the grill and back. This process leaves all the meat juicy and moist while adding a backyard grill flavor that will transport you to a Sunday afternoon in July. As “Carnegie” John Antoniou says on, “It seals in the juice and gives everything a nice flavor.” Simple yet effective.

Tony “The Dragon” Dragonas, who operates his own cart on 62nd Street and Madison, taught Carnegie John the tricks of the trade, specifically how to prepare a mean char-grilled chicken platter ($5.50). After putting the chicken through the double-grill process, its placed on a bed of yellow rice and topped with some tzatiki sauce. A salad of lettuce and tomato doused in a generic lemon vinaigrette and a few slices of pita fill out the tin tray. It’s a seriously hearty offering for a great price.

With so many great outdoor eating spots in Midtown, this is the perfect time of year to grab some grub from Carnegie John, find a nice spot, and make the most of your lunch hour.

Carnegie John’s

56th St. nr. Seventh Ave.
New York, NY 10106
Cash only, Open Monday through Friday, 11:30AM to 6PM

24 Responses to “Carnegie John’s $4 Cheeseburger: Grilled & Griddled, It’s the Best of Both Worlds”

  1. food for thought said:

    great photo shot …burgers and blooms…..
    sounds like a tasty burger and you get to eat “al fresco”
    spirng is in the air and summer is around the corner

  2. The NYC Food Guy said:

    Food For Thought-

    Now that’s the spirit. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the nice weather stays.

  3. betazen said:

    Sad to say but carts scare me. I know where most of them have been…

    Burger does looks nice though.

  4. weather? said:

    we’re talking about the weather now?


  5. food for thought? said:

    that has to be the lamest comment i’ve ever seen in my life

  6. Midtown Lunch » Midtown Links (R.I.P. Manhattan Mall Edition) said:

    […] Lawrence hits up the Carnegie John’s Cart for one of their famous Burgers [NYCFood Guy] […]

  7. The NYC Food Guy said:


    What we don’t know, doesn’t hurt us… most of the time. I’ve seen those garages too but I felt pretty good after that burger, better than after the Wendy’s spicy baconator.

  8. $4 said:

    a $4 cheeseburger!?!?!??!?!?!

  9. The NYC Food Guy said:


    Damn right.

  10. the inside said:

    i want to see the inside of this burger, i dont really care what it looks like from the outside….

  11. The NYC Food Guy said:

    The inside,

    Why don’t you go try this burger and take a picture and I’ll post it. I don’t know if I’ll be getting back there again soon, but if i do, the pic will be up. I promise you that. I have a big burger to do list so keep an eye out for newer, hopefully better burgers soon. What are the top burgers on your list?

  12. Midtown Lunch: Outdoor Eating Spots « NYC Food Guy said:

    […] Carnegie John’s […]

  13. Carnegie John’s Chicken Kebab Sandwich « NYC Food Guy said:

    […] John’s Chicken Kebab Sandwich Carnegie John’s cheeseburger is delicious. It’s griddled, grilled, and griddled again before being adorned with American cheese, […]

  14. Entertainer said:

    The burger is a thing of beauty. It was well cooked and seasoned. I watched as the burger patty was pounded flat by fist before being flat-topped and grilled. The healthy layering of condiments and additional stuff made it worth its price. Can’t find a cheaper, as good burger in NYC.

    Any other burger tips I would appreciate NYCFoodGuy. I’m always on a quest for great burgers. In two weeks I’m doing PJ Clarke’s.

  15. The NYC Food Guy said:


    When are you hitting PJ Clarke’s? You want to combine efforts?

  16. Entertainer said:

    I’m going to a going away dinner the week of the 23rd. Date hasn’t been firmly set but I will be letting you know what I think of the burgers.

    I’m definitely down for a combined efforts on another place. Pick it and we can work out a time.

  17. Bill said:

    Duuuuuuuuuuude!! I just went there for lunch today. I was working at 52nd & Broadway so I swung by on my break. Holy toledo, that was a big burger! I had the $4 cheeseburger with lettuce, onions, ketchup and mustard (no tomatoes-I’m kinda spooked by the recent scare).

    I watched him cooking it. Mine was already grilled and he had it on the warmer and tossed it on to the griddle to finish it off. Not a trace of pink in this, whcih I usually prefer, but this was a juicy burger and definitely messy. Get plenty of napkins! I wouldn’t say it was the BEST burger I have ever eaten (I’ve eaten a lot of them in 37 years), but damn good, huge and for $4, a wicked pissah of a (a holdover from my Boston days) deal! I’d go there again in a minute! I just stood outside Carneigie Hall wiht my lunch on a little window shelf watching his line grow. Good call, NYCFoodGuy!

  18. Dave said:

    I went there for the first time about 4 weeks ago and have been back more than a few times. Really good food all around. BUT – I went over for lunch today and he wasn’t there! I even took a lap around the block in case he moved, but no dice. What’s up with that?

  19. La don said:

    Interesting to know.

  20. Mike said:

    Carnegie John’s is amazing, but so is Tony Dragonas. These two easily make the best burgers in NYC.

  21. The NYC Food Guy said:

    What are your other top burgers in NYC? Where are you from?

  22. Mike said:

    I am a transplanted New Yorker living in LA but I regularly travel to NY. I would say my other favorite burgers in NY are Burger Joint in the Meredien Hotel and Shake Shack. I think thought that overall Carnegie John’s and Tony Dragonas are the two best burgers in NY regardless of price.

  23. The NYC Food Guy said:

    That’s a big claim, especially with Burger Joint right down the block from Carnegie’s. I’ve only had the Carnegie John burger once and I’ve had Burger Joint countless times, maybe it’s time to start evening the ratio. You do know about the secret to success at Burger Joint, right?

    Check it out:

  24. Mike said:

    I actually know quite a few people who think John makes a better burger than Burger Joint. BJ is good but I personally like John’s better. Tony Dragonas also makes an excellent burger. Regardless of the fact its a street cart burger its excellent.

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