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Aug 30, 2006 03:35 PM

Best Burger in Bay Area?

Last night I ate a burger from Miss Pearl's Phat Burger in Mill Valley and it was very good, but I still think the Zuni Burger is the best in the Bay Area. Any thoughts?

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    1. re: Robert Lauriston

      This is a pretty out-of-date topic that got bumped, doesn't include Namu or Mua.

      439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

      2442A Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94612

      1. re: Robert Lauriston

        I booted Mua from my best burger list after eating the one at Chop Bar (4th and Alice in Oakland). That's my current number one.

        Default toppings include excellent bacon and avocado.

        2442A Webster Street, Oakland, CA 94612

        Chop Bar
        247 4th St, #111, Oakland, CA 94607

        1. re: Robert Lauriston

          Namu reopens as Namu Gaji on March 31, 2012.
          Namu Gaji - 3579 Dolores St. at the corner of 18th Street - San Francisco

      2. No question about it, Val's in Hayward. Put's all others to shame.

        5 Replies
            1. re: dfresh

              just a very good basic burger, nothing fancy.

              the fries and shakes are very good also

          1. re: LarryW

            I investigated Val's today.

            A fun place and a good burger. I got the 1/2-pound. There's also a 1-pounder. I got mine with bacon. The bacon is something to see. Two inch-wide pieces almost a foot long and an eighth of an inch thick.

            It wasn't quite as pink as I would've liked. My preference is an old-school medium. I think in the post-E. coli world it's time for me to start ordering medium rare if I want to see more than dime's edge worth of pink in my burger.

            But overall it was good. Best in the Bay Area, though? Not even close in my opinion.

            Also, if you go, skip the fries. Pretty mealy. If I'm down that way again I'll try the onion rings.

            Anybody try a malt here? They looked good.


            1. re: Gerard

              Val's is great. Went there today. I got a shake and onion rings for the first time and they were awesome. I don't care for the steak fries at all.

          2. Zuni's burger is great, but if you're not stuck on the round bun-gray meat formula, Balboa Cafe's burger, served rare with Dijon on a Baguette is the best in my book.

            You can get a round bun from them too, and I suppose you can get them to cook it if you really need that ;-)

            1. It's Luka's Taproom all the way. Nothing fancy, just a good bun, fabulous meat (well-seasoned) and either raw or sauteed onions. Comes with their delicious french fries.

              Zuni's is also tops, but I like Luka's better.

              Garibaldi's also has a very good burger (and not much else according to some).

              9 Replies
              1. re: oakjoan

                Luka's burger is great.

                So is Oola's, though given some recent reports I wonder about their consistency, especially on the chef's nights off. Never had anything but spot-on food and service there myself.

                1. re: oakjoan

                  I second the Luka's recommendation. But, as Hercule Poirot would insist, "They're delicious Belgian fries! Not French -- Belgian!" I probably like Zuni's burger better, but Luka's Belgian fries blow away Zuni's shoestrings.

                  1. re: RodW

                    No, Lukas burgers are frozen and you can taste it when you order a rare or medium rare burger. This is not the place for "meat" connoisseurs. I prefer beef ground daily, like at Val's and 900 Grayson.

                    1. re: nicolb

                      Luka's burgers are NEVER frozen. This is a Belgian-influenced restaurant and not French!. They have one of the top burgers on the left coast, bar none. It's simply brilliant!

                      1. re: rdrhoda7

                        I had a burger at Luka a couple of weeks ago and it was fine but not as good as I've had there in the past.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          Luka's burgers are frozen. One of the workers told me so!

                        2. re: rdrhoda7

                          I think Luka's burgers are ok; and True Burger is all hype.

                          lately, I've been enjoying the pimiento cheeseburger at Pican.

                          Pican Restaurant
                          2295 Broadway, Oakland, CA 94612

                          1. re: rdrhoda7

                            Lukas burger are pre frozen and the food is below average. Fries are definitely not Belgian style.

                      2. re: oakjoan

                        I too agree on Luka's in the East Bay Ten Dollar+ burger category. There is the Five Dollar category, Trueburger not to shabby therein, and there is the 7.95 er level place as well.

                      3. For me, Joe's Cable Car out on Mission near Silver in the Excelsior district of SF. Joe grinds his own meat daily, and the place is kind of surreal. It reminds me of home-cooked food.

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Pavement2112

                          Some doubts about Joe's CC's current quality-price ratio in this topic:


                          Somewhat similar kind of place but maybe better, Original Joe's.


                          1. re: Robert Lauriston

                            Joe's is way pricey - I totally agree. Still, I figure that I'm supporting a truly local business serving excellent food and retaining some history. I like the fact that people who eat there seem to be living around there. I'll pay a few extra bucks to get a good burger for that....

                            1. re: Pavement2112

                              And it seems like the patty has shrunken considerably. Maybe Joe is grinding a little more fat daily.

                              1. re: Pavement2112

                                I agree with this statement after my sticker shock at Joe's; three burgers, one large fries/rings combo, two shakes $80?? It was tasty, and no complaints about quality but Hodads in San Diego does an equally fantastic job for a third of the price!

                              2. re: Robert Lauriston

                                Wow, those prices have gone way up. Robert, does Original Joe's grind their own meat like Joe's CC?

                                1. re: a_and_w

                                  All Original Joe's meat is still house-butchered so far as I know.

                              3. re: Pavement2112

                                I would definitely go to Joe's Cable Car more often if their prices were a little more reasonable. Good burgers, completely mediocre fries and rings. Best chocolate shake I've had in SF, though.

                                I really like Big Mouth Burgers on 24th near Valencia and Burgermeister.