New Kid up the Street: Jerrell’s BETR BRGR

I am way late to this party, but hey, still got there. Jerrell’s, the year-old vegan burger joint that has made use of the crazy little wedge of a building on Sixth Ave. just north of Watts, is clearly already a hot spot — while we waited, several cars pulled up and grabbed orders. And I would say it is worth driving (or walking, or biking) out of your way. It’s all to-go, so take it on the short walk to Pier 26.

It’s the brain child of Jerrell Obee, who has never owned a restaurant before (for the last seven years he was the facilities manager for NY Waterway) but two years ago he made the mental shift to veganism after his son was born and he started looking to the future. He studied how other vegan joints were doing it in other cities and saw a gap in the NYC market for a late-night, fast casual spot. (We also have Lekka Burger on Warren Street.) He pictured it as a kind of Pat’s King or Geno’s in Philly — the 24-hour cheesesteak joints that are jumping at 2a.

Jerrell still eats meat, but he keeps it to one day a week. For him, eating vegan does not have to be all or nothing — and that’s a lot of the reason he created a burger joint. You have to start somewhere, he says, and maybe just replace your McDonald’s or Shake Shack with a Jerrell’s once in a while. And every bit helps the planet.

“My manifesto had to be real,” he told BronxNet in an interview. “The vegan community has embraced me, because they understand my journey.”

As for the spot, he was mainly looking in Brooklyn thinking he couldn’t afford Manhattan rents, but it was covid, and there were some opportunities. He was looking for dine-in, but when he came across that property, it clicked (it was previously Souk & Sandwich). He made an offer, and it struck him that the property lent itself to that kind of throw-back vibe. He wanted to run with the idea of “eat better, do better”; his marketing team came up with the name (and the TikTok fandom).

We devoured the burgers — they are Impossible patties, with vegan cheese and the clincher: grilled onions. The fries are waffle and lightly seasoned, not greasy at all, and I loved the cookies and cream oat milk shake: the Bronx-based A La Mode Shoppe Factory makes a vegan blend just for Jerrell’s. The menu is small — just three burger options, fries and chili fries, chili and shakes. There’s no liquor license.

But if you are like us and are there in day light (we ate in the little traffic triangle park at Spring but they have several seats on the sidewalk) you may be missing the point. The late-night thing worked: Jerrell told Essence magazine that he does triple the business after 11p. Good fun.

Jerrell’s BETR BRGR
117 Sixth Ave. at Watts
Sunday to Thursday, 11a to 1a
Friday & Saturday, 11a to 4a

@jerrellsbetrbrgr BETR BRGR ?? LETS GET TO THAT MONEY !! #zaehd #vegan #gttm #uhyuh ♬ GTTM – ZaeHD



  1. Great to have another vegan spot. Thanks for listing. We’ll be glad to check it out.

  2. Jerrell’s is wonderful!

  3. It is busy ALL the time. I love Lupe’s but perhaps I’ll spread a little love across the street too.