HOME > Chowhound > San Francisco Bay Area >

Best Burger in San Fran

RobertM May 18, 2007 07:27 AM

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.


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. j
    Jim RE: RobertM May 18, 2007 07:31 AM

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

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jim
      Gary Soup RE: Jim May 18, 2007 07:50 AM

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

      1. re: Gary Soup
        chemchef RE: Gary Soup May 18, 2007 08:29 AM

        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
          ccbweb RE: chemchef May 18, 2007 10:35 AM

          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
        sylphi RE: Jim May 18, 2007 11:13 AM

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

      3. w
        wolverine61 RE: RobertM May 18, 2007 09:12 AM

        Just a few suggestions from the archives.


        4 Replies
        1. re: wolverine61
          gemster RE: wolverine61 May 18, 2007 09:53 AM

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

          1. re: gemster
            celeste RE: gemster May 18, 2007 09:58 AM

            At lunch and after 10pm.

            1. re: celeste
              Robert Lauriston RE: celeste May 18, 2007 10:07 AM

              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
              chemchef RE: gemster May 18, 2007 10:00 AM

              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

          2. RobertM RE: RobertM May 18, 2007 12:29 PM

            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
              steve h. RE: RobertM May 18, 2007 12:36 PM

              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.
                virtualguthrie RE: steve h. May 18, 2007 12:53 PM

                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
                  steve h. RE: virtualguthrie May 18, 2007 01:16 PM

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

                  1. re: steve h.
                    virtualguthrie RE: steve h. May 20, 2007 04:33 PM

                    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
                    a_and_w RE: virtualguthrie May 18, 2007 01:28 PM

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

                  3. re: steve h.
                    Robert Lauriston RE: steve h. May 18, 2007 12:54 PM

                    Current topic on brains:


                    1. re: Robert Lauriston
                      steve h. RE: Robert Lauriston May 18, 2007 01:05 PM

                      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
                        steve h. RE: wolverine61 May 18, 2007 02:44 PM

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

                        1. re: steve h.
                          wolverine61 RE: steve h. May 18, 2007 02:54 PM

                          previous post same area

                    2. re: steve h.
                      finchycocoa RE: steve h. May 18, 2007 02:22 PM

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

                    3. re: RobertM
                      GermanShepherdPuppy RE: RobertM May 18, 2007 06:58 PM

                      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. cafecreme RE: RobertM May 18, 2007 09:27 PM

                      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. re: cafecreme
                        gemster RE: cafecreme May 18, 2007 09:49 PM

                        How's the one in SFO?

                      2. Gary Soup RE: RobertM May 18, 2007 10:09 PM

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

                        1. sgwood415 RE: RobertM May 18, 2007 10:29 PM

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

                          1. s
                            Sharuf RE: RobertM May 18, 2007 10:39 PM

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

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Sharuf
                              sgwood415 RE: Sharuf May 19, 2007 07:03 AM

                              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.


                            2. intomeat RE: RobertM May 19, 2007 08:10 AM

                              Tower is good also.

                              1. j
                                Joan Kureczka RE: RobertM May 19, 2007 11:55 AM

                                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. j
                                  jkt RE: RobertM May 19, 2007 12:51 PM

                                  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
                                    tyler k RE: jkt May 19, 2007 02:37 PM

                                    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. s
                                    skimc RE: RobertM May 20, 2007 08:25 PM

                                    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. RobertM RE: RobertM May 21, 2007 10:25 AM

                                      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
                                        rworange RE: RobertM May 21, 2007 11:19 AM

                                        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
                                          nsheth RE: RobertM May 21, 2007 11:42 AM

                                          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
                                            sfeater RE: RobertM May 21, 2007 11:48 AM

                                            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. m
                                            momsafoodie RE: RobertM May 21, 2007 10:55 AM

                                            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. m
                                              mlucier RE: RobertM May 21, 2007 11:32 AM

                                              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
                                                Gary Soup RE: mlucier May 21, 2007 11:37 AM

                                                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
                                                  nsheth RE: mlucier May 21, 2007 11:40 AM

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

                                                  1. re: nsheth
                                                    Meredith RE: nsheth May 21, 2007 01:32 PM

                                                    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.

                                                Show Hidden Posts