Located directly across the street from Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Primeburger has been a midtown mainstay since 1938. The food here is still delicious and most importantly, cheap!
Walking into Primeburger feels like walking into the past. You have your choice of sitting either at a long Formica counter, or in a school desk style built-in seats with swinging tray tables. There is also table seating at the back, but that seems like such a boring option! The wood paneled walls are covered with newspaper clippings and reviews, and even a faux-bois clock that is camouflaged against the wall. The Eames-style light fixtures and other features that haven’t been changed since the ’60s all add to the charm.
Even the waiters look like relics of the past in their matching white jackets and ties. They’re incredibly chatty and couldn’t be nicer.
And the food! The steak fries are perfection – crispy on the outside and nice and soft on the inside. The curly fries are great too. The burgers are simple but delicious. As I’ve tried nearly the entire menu (for research reasons, of course), I feel fairly confident in saying that you can’t go wrong ordering any variation of the grilled cheese. Washed down with a root beer float or milkshake.
On top of all that, the unique space and waitstaff are incredibly photogenic – the perfect diner for any Lomographer!
5 East 51st Street
(Between Madison & 5th)
New York, NY 10022