Umami Burger

Photo: Maria Yagoda

LA cult burger chain Umami Burger, now in NY

By Maria Yagoda

In 1908, Japanese chemist Kikunae Ikeda coined the word “umami” to define a fifth taste that blends sensations of salty, sweet, sour, and bitter, a flavor profile present in ingredients like dashi and miso. 101 years later, when Adam Fleischman dreamed up the first Umami Burger, a humble-but-high-end burger shop in LA, he couldn’t have possibly imagined the role it would play in the casual dining revolution and burger renaissance. And in latest news, Umami has ventured to New York with locations in Greenwich Village, Hudson Eats at Brookfield Place, and Williamsburg.

Umami’s newest Williamburg outpost feels like a neighborhood restaurant, the large and dim dining room buzzing with Tinder dates and friends catching up over fat burgers. Of course, the Original Umami Burger—served with a crispy Parmesan frico, shiitake mushroom, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, and umami house ketchup—is required eating. Ventures into truffled variations are worthwhile, too, but mostly for reasons that have nothing to do with truffles. The Sunny Side Burger, for example, is topped with a perfectly oozy fried egg, which does the trick entirely. The truffled fries are also excellent, again not so much due to the subtle truffle essence but thanks to smart seasoning, thin-cut perfection, and, naturally, cheese.

For those who experience umami-overload, an ice cream sandwich is the only logical antidote. And for those who could never experience umami overload, well, there’s a bacon Bloody Mary on the menu for that very reason.


Williamsburg: Sun–Thu 11:30 AM–11 PM; Fri–Sat 11:30 AM–midnight
Greenwich Village: Sun–Thu 11:30 AM–11 PM; Fri–Sat 11:30 AM–midnight
Brookfield Place: Mon–Sat 11 AM– 9 PM; Sun 11 AM–7 PM

price range

$8 (Throwback burger) to $15 (ahi tuna burger)