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Dec 20, 2005 03:39 AM

the best hamburger...where is it?

  • r

where can I find the best hamburger in around the SF bayarea? How does "best burger" stack up against the rest of them, been to most of the "sliders" and enjoy my burgers flamed broiled.

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  1. Go to Bullshead. Its right next to the West Portal Muni station. They have the juiciest burgers. Where else can you find your burgers showcased when you walk into the restaurant.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Steve

      My vote goes to Bistro Burger--various FiDi locations. Last I checked, lunch only. Absolutely great Niman Ranch burgers with a wide choice of toppings (sauteed mushrooms, gorgonzola, bacon, etc. ) I'm surprised no one has mentioned them.

      1. re: Steve

        NOTE: This is a revived 2005 thread. Most of it still seems valid though.

        1. re: Steve

          Agreed... Bullshead has probably the best burger in SF, at least the best one that isn't cooked in duck fat or has "Chez" in the name. Also, they are one of the few places that serve Buffalo meat as an option for your burger. For the uninitiated, buffalo sounds a little strange but once you try it you will wonder why people are still eating ground beef. The place is a hole in the wall, and it should be. They serve burgers, not fois gras. You will not be dissapointed.

        2. Zuni's, hands down.
          Fresh ground with sufficent salt and fat. Has caused me to fresh grind my own beef at home. Every ingredient is fresh or house made - makes a huge difference.

          24 Replies
          1. re: A Amore

            This from AOL cityguide regarding Zuni: "Burgers come with fancy accoutrements like house-made ketchup and micro-greens..... arrive on focaccia bread, which soaks up the tasty juices perfectly but needs to be eaten with utensils." *Utensils?!?* I thought we were talking about a hamburger here. I feel the same way about pizza - no fork should be anywhere near it. But to each.....

            I happen to like Mo's and Joe's Cable Car. Can be eaten by hand, but takes some finesse.

            1. re: Burger_miser
              Robert Lauriston

              Zuni's burgers are the best. I have no problem eating them with my hands. They come with house-made pickled onions, which are great. No "micro-greens." If the ketchup were housemade, which I doubt, would that be bad?

              1. re: Robert Lauriston

                >>If the ketchup were housemade, which I doubt, would that be bad?

                Of course not. In fact, homemade ketchup would be a plus. Haven't tried it yet, but then again I have yet to try a $12 burger. Recommendation noted.

                  1. re: wolfe


                    Joe's Cable Car
                    4320 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94112

                  2. re: xanadude

                    The fries comment is pretty goofy because the fries at In-N-Out are HORRIBLE.

                      1. re: wolfe

                        Their "well done" fries are way too crispy. I am also not a fan of IN-N-Out's fries.

                          1. re: EnderWiggin

                            In-N-Out Fries Medium-Well is a happy medium for me. :-)

                        1. re: Atomica

                          I've always been disappointed with them too. I have to confess to much preferring McD's french fries.

                        2. re: JimVanTassel

                          Haha! Yes, everybody should go to Joe Grinds His Own Fresh Chuck Daily at least once. With that, they are initiated into the secret cult of People Who Have Been To Joe's Once and Will Never Go Again.

                          Members of the cult recognise each other with the following verbal handshake:
                          [someone mentions Joe's Cable Car]
                          Person 1: Haha, I once went to Joe's.
                          Person 2: Me too!
                          Person 1: Was it the most insanely expensive hamburger of your life?
                          Person 2: Yes! I so wanted to like it but I couldn't believe how stupidexpensive it was!
                          Together: Wow! Let's never go there again!

                          And as far as LOCATION, JimVanTassel, I'm pretty sure there's a
                          a brief segment in that crazyfamous chase scene in Bullitt (or maybe
                          it was the Seven Ups) where the director wants to convey the idea that
                          "now the chase has left San Francisco and is way the heck out in the
                          boonies". That is the point where he has the cars drive down Mission
                          near Silver.

                          1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                            You can get pretty much the same thing that Joe's serves (4 oz cheeseburger) for way less at Tennessee Grill...$11.00 vs. $4.95 (fries included).

                            I don't know about best burger but it's the best deal in town if you ask me. The "Tennessee Special" is a cheeseburger, fresh ground round, cooked to order, charbroiled, with fries. The bun is only average (about as good as Joe's), the fries are standard/nothing special, it looks to be 4 oz...but the hard to argue with $4.95, including fries. (They serve a bigger burger for $6.50)

                            I just had one the other day. I ordered it med-rare thinking they'd over-cook it just a bit...but they cooked it on the nose. Should have gone with medium but it was good...and the price, cheap. Soda is $1.50...and they refill it for free.

                            1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                              I'm with them. I couldn't get over how expensive it was. Then, there is no sharing, so my DD had to order a burger we all (including her) knew she wasn't going to eat, but we couldn't figure out why because we also ordered large fries and onion rings (cost more than a burger), but then realized afterwards that the server didn't hear us place the order for fries and onion rings, so we had to order that (cuz we had to try it since we knew we would never go back) and waited about 20 minutes for it, and it wasn't that great. At least not the fries.

                          2. re: Burger_miser

                            Joe's Cable Car is terrific, but it should be noted that the fries are subpar. (and in my book, that counts toward the overall hamburger experience)

                            Luckily, their onion rings are excellent. Thick slices of onion, nice thick crust.

                            1. re: Burger_miser

                              Mo's Baby... All I can say is... Mo's...

                              Well, I guess I can also say that my vote is for Mo's. Just in case you couldn't hear me while I was drooling.


                              1. re: Geoff

                                I must say that Mo's does provide a tantalizing visual in preparation - from the guys grinding the chuck, to the sizzling patties and fresh condiments just over the counter. Very appealing in a primordial way. Definitely a better-than-average burger.

                                1. re: Burger_miser

                                  Mo's is so salty though! and they are like trying to get your mouth around something as thick as a hockey puck....
                                  i don't know, but most people think i am a burger murderer anyway, cuase i like mine medium well.

                                  but i think my favorite burgers in the city are at Bill's Burgers at Clement and 25th. a burger and a chocolate peantubutter milkshake....mmmmm
                                  their fries are only so/so though.

                                  but i haven't been to Bullshead yet. that is the next burger stop.

                                  1. re: Jupiter

                                    i get the feeling some of these suggestions are coming from 25 year old guidebooks. Bullshead serves total garbage. YUCkYUCKYUCK! They were once the best in the city, but that time has long passed. I would also repeat the criticism with about 90% of the other places which have been named here.

                                    On a positive note: Cafe for all Seasons had good burgers, but they changed the bread and got chintzy on the meat. Kezer can be good, but the homemade buns are often a bit raw. EOS, also at carl and cole makes a great burger, as does Momma's in North Beach, providing you like them on sourdough.

                            2. re: A Amore

                              Agreed on Zuni, and would add Slow Club as a close second.

                              1. re: A Amore

                                Awesome burger at The Richmond - and a steal at around $9. I believe it's Niman Ranch beef and the handcut fries come with some great housemade ketchup and other sauces on the side. I've spoken to several people who go there just for the burger and a glass of wine from the very reasonable and interesting list.

                                1. re: Maya
                                  El cocinero loco

                                  and "The Richmond" is where?

                                  1. re: El cocinero loco

                                    The Richmond is in Google...

                                    Richmond Restaurant and Wine Bar
                                    615 Balboa St
                                    San Francisco, CA 94118
                                    (415) 379-8988
                                    Cross Street: Sixth Avenue

                              2. I like the burger at Yankee Pier.
                                The mini burgers at Picco Restaurant are pretty tasty too.


                                1. Original Joe's has an amazing burger (if you catch them on a good night). Absolutely huge portion of fresh ground meat, with a huge slab of cheese, on good sourdough.

                                  1. I'm putting in a rec for Luka's Taproom burger. It's not filled with a million extras, but the pattie is juicy and tasty, the bun is great, and it comes with their great french fries and dipping sauces (bbq, aioli, and a third - something with basil in it?) as well as the usual condiments.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: oakjoan
                                      Robert Lauriston

                                      In the East Bay, Cafe Rouge is my favorite (similar to Zuni's).

                                      That reminds me, Oola does a stellar burger too. And is open after Zuni closes. And seven days a week.


                                      1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                        never had the burger at oola... i live close by and well i really like the place.. and it still has foie on the menu.. have you noticed lately of the over salting of the food?
                                        maybe it was a bad week or something?

                                        1. re: Lizzybeans
                                          Robert Lauriston

                                          I've never had any problem with the food at Oola, except that I don't think truffle cheese works on the burger.

                                      2. re: oakjoan

                                        Meal Ticket on San pablo in Berkeley makes a fantastic burger. Includes a side of good potato salad and it's a deal for $6.50.