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Best Burger in San Fran

Please list your non fast food joint Burger candidates!
Yeah In & Out is good but everywhere.
But give me your "I want to savor it" burger, and place.


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  1. Hasn't this been done to death? Check the archives.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jim

      Not only that, but if In & Out is a standard for "good", the list will reach the moon.

      1. re: Gary Soup

        In & Out is "good", but I think that the OP wants "GREAT"! I've seen this done for the EB quite extensively, but not as much for SF.

        So, I'll bite...

        I'm on the same quest, RobertM, and thus I don't have a contribution to make perse, however I've heard that Zuni ranks up there... I'm curious as to what others think.

        1. re: chemchef

          The thing I don't get about the question in the OP is that In N Out _is_ a fast food burger. I think they're the best fast food burger around, but theyr'e a fast food burger, period.

          I'm a big fan of Burgermeister for the "non-fast food" type of burger (even though they're really quick). I haven't had the chance to try some of the other oft-mentioned burgers in town (Zuni, for example).

      2. re: Jim

        Ditto...people reply to it regularly too...

        1. re: wolverine61

          I've always been a bit confused about this - when is the Zuni burger actually served?

            1. re: celeste

              Tuesday through Saturday, Zuni's burger is available until 6pm and after 10pm.

              Dunno if it's on the Sunday brunch menu.

            2. re: gemster

              Here is a link to a page that has the lunch menu for May (the burger is on it). Not sure if they only serve it for lunch or lunch and dinner.


              Also, here are the hours:

              Hours of Operation:
              Lunch: Tuesday - Saturday: 11:30am - 6:00pm, Sunday: 3pm - 5pm
              Dinner: Tuesday - Saturday: 6:00pm - 12:00am, Sunday: 5:00pm - 11:00pm
              Sunday Brunch: 11:00am - 3:00pm

          1. Sorry for any heart burn over the topic. Im on the east coast and will visit SF next month.
            I have found Yummy Chow and their list of the burger holy grail. Are those places still current? Yeah I want to know what you guys out there consider a great burger not pick a fight or piss anyone off. I will follow the links to the past posted comments!!! Thanks

            11 Replies
            1. re: RobertM

              the bunrabs do a good job. their tastes are compatible with mine and therein lies the rub: they may not be compatible with others. woodrow wilson suggested, "i use all the brains i have plus all i can borrow."

              1. re: steve h.

                Good burgers can be had at:

                Big Mouth- 24th and Valencia
                -Niman Ranch, grilled, good luck if you want it medium rare they tend to cook well done, but it's still good, great fries too.

                -Burgermeister- Carl and Cole; Church and Duboce
                -Niman again, will cook to order

                NOPA- Divisadero & Hayes
                -For a truly divine burger, go here. Nice restaurant, lot's of reviews on this board, house ground, gourmet burger.

                Joe's Cable car- location?
                -expensive but high quality burger, house ground

                Have fun!

                1. re: virtualguthrie

                  d & h sounds good. what does "house ground" mean in terms of flavor?

                  1. re: steve h.

                    house ground means they grind the meat on the premisis and therefore it is really fresh.

                    Forgot about Bill's place, glad someone mentioned it, great homestyle burgers.

                  2. re: virtualguthrie

                    Strongly second Joe's, though I was alarmed to learn the prices have increased substantially.

                    1. re: Robert Lauriston

                      lol! i thought you would have taken a shot at wilson (much easier). burger wise, zuni is pretty good. the goofy storefront place in sausalito is ok, too. the pine cone diner is my favorite but you need a fast woman and a convertible to get there.

                      1. re: wolverine61

                        i'm kind of fond of the burger at pine cone diner. any thoughts?

                    2. re: steve h.

                      big mouth burgers doesn't use niman ranch beef. They have some other brand that is natural (no antibiotics, etc...)

                    3. re: RobertM

                      Don't fall for the hype regarding Joe's Cable Car. The burgers are ordinary at best (inferior to In-n-Out by a long shot), the service is cranky and the prices aren't realistic.

                      If you are coming west, I advise you to get your In-n-Out burger fix while you are here. Use the rest of your dining time on all the great eateries that SF has to offer.

                    4. Burger Joint is great. There are two locations in SF--one at Haight and Pierce (Lower Haight) which is the one I go to. This is on par with Burgermeister--a cut above fast food, with Niman Ranch beef, and the traditional toppings. I love the soft bun and pickles, plus a nice big green lettuce leaf, some red onion slices and a slice of tomato. It comes with a side of steak-type fries. That's about it--limited menu and one thing I love is that they serve a junior size burger--it's a manageable size if you're not absolutely starving and hits the spot. Plus, the Haight St. location has nice roomy retro booths, though you order at the counter.

                      1 Reply
                      1. The Rogue Brewery pub in North Beach has a "Kobe Burger" with Maytag Bleu Cheese which is mighty tasty.

                        1. Chez Maman has a good burger too. I like the one on Potrero Hill because of the neighborhood. http://chezmamansf.com/

                          1. Is Bill's in outer Clement still doing their traditional burger thing?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Sharuf

                              Yep, I was there a few weeks ago and they are still true to form. I think Bill's a a great neighborhood place with diner food. The burgers are good for a diner, if you're on a burger quest, it's worth checking out.


                              1. Couleur Cafe on De Haro between 16th and 17th. Great burger, great frites. Excellent Mussels Couleur Cafe too (tarragon give it a nice complementary licorishness).

                                1. I had a Zuni burger last tuesday for lunch. It was very juicy, had decent flavor. I thought what it lacked was some charring, carmelization on the outside.

                                  I do like Joe's Cable Car, although it is pricy and the sides aren't that special. I guess for me it's about the beef and meaty flavor.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jkt

                                    I have always enjoyed the burger at The Chieftan (Fifth and Harrison) with everything on the side. Their fries are good also, but I wish the curry sauce that came with the chips&curry was richer and thicker. Irish curry is thin and runny I guess?

                                  2. For a good ole American burger, go to Kezar Bar in Cole Valley.
                                    For a more modern burger, go to Slow Club in Potrero Hill.

                                    1. So far there are the top main choices:
                                      Slow Club
                                      Joe's cable car
                                      Any one had the Tuesday only Burger at Rosamunde Sausage Grill?

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: RobertM

                                        Now really ... no one in this thread mentioned Bullshead? Far outshines Joe's Cable Car ... which, IMO, is blah and expensive blah.

                                        1. re: RobertM

                                          I've had it a couple times - it's a great burger, and even better when you factor in the price ($5 or so, if I recall). Just don't go anticipating a quick lunch.

                                          1. re: RobertM

                                            I recommend Home on Market or on Union. Niman Ranch, they always get medium rare right and pretty reasonable at $10 on the brunch menu with bacon swiss and fries.

                                          2. okay I know its not fast food or a burger joint but Martini House in snt. Helena/Napa area makes the best Kobi beef burgers iv ever had.
                                            also has anyone had the burger at Val's hamburgers ... i ate one years ago and remember it being great

                                            1. I like the burgers at Mo's on Grant Street, but they also have a location in the Yerba Buena Gardens. Really big, really juicy and well worth the $7.00 pricetag.

                                              If you're looking for burgers that are good at 2am after a night of drinking, check out Sam's on Broadway at Columbus. It's a hole in the wall, but oh-so-good. In that same genre, Kelly's burger's on 16th (i think) between Mission and Valencia. Again, I've only been after a night of drinking, but they both satisfy the craving.

                                              3 Replies
                                              1. re: mlucier

                                                I think Sam's has been serving burgers to drunks (including me) for over 40 years, so they should have it down by now.

                                                1. re: mlucier

                                                  I had heard Kelly's is closed? Could be completely wrong on this, haven't been in a while . . .

                                                  1. re: nsheth

                                                    They have definitely closed and a quite good thai place has replaced it. There are 3 thai places on the block, and they are the only one that doesn't deliver and I still pick it over the others, but occasionally get overruled due to the delivery issue.
                                                    Their roti with curry is particularily good.