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best burger in san francisco?

  • l

has anybody found a great burger place in sf?
for any Bostonians out there, I'm talking about something comparable to Bartley's burgers in Harvard Square.

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  1. these peeps have looked into it pretty deeply...

    Link: http://bunrab.com/yummychow/BurgerGra...

    1 Reply
    1. re: glutton

      I gotta go with the Slow Club burger with fries(less than $10), have had it half a dozen times and always stellar. Plus, you can't beat the clubby atmosphere and hip artsy/fartsy crowd.

    2. This has been done before, but my top three are Zuni, Slow Club and Home.

      1. if you can get past all of the preppiness, the balboa cafe has a great burger...

        1 Reply
        1. re: siZZle
          Sandy Stadtfeld

          Would that it were merely preppiness - try arrogance, rudeness and entitlement. The food isn't worth it.

        2. That's gotta be Joe's Cable Car burger -- its a veritable temple to burgers and fresh ground chuck (Joe grinds his own fresh chuck daily!)

          Link: http://www.joescablecar.com/

          2 Replies
          1. re: missmobtown

            I used to think so...but in the last few years the prices have shot up astronomically, and the burger seems to be shrinking correspondingly (even though the burgers are sold by weight).

            1. re: bdl

              I was inspired by this thread to go have lunch there today. I got the 6oz number 2 (Joe's Fresh Ground Beef Steak - "Onion lover's treat, mixed with diced Bermuda onions, sesame seed bun and garnish").

              It was a very good burger, juicy, flavorful, and the service was very friendly, but in the end, I don't think the price was justified. Note that the prices on their online menu aren't accurate, everything is slightly more expensive. No fries or onion rings, no drinks, just the burger, and it still cost me $16 to get out of there after tax and tip.

              Rosamunde's burger is on deck this Tuesday, excited to try that one!

          2. 21st Amendment, Zuni, and Slow Club. The Richmond and NOPA also have a great burger.

            1. Haven't been in a long time, but what about Bill's in outer Clement? Or Kirk's in Palo Alto? Both are legendary temples to the ground cow.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Sharuf

                I like Bill's Place - here's a link to my post from last year. But I think I'd vote for Original Joe's.

                Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Wonder if Bill's still has the orchids in the back patio?

              2. Tower Burger is relatively new. They claim to use the best ingredients. It's actually pretty good.

                2 Replies
                1. re: vietgourmand

                  good, but not so new. It's been there at least 5 years. They do use Niman Ranch meat and cook a pretty solid burger. Nice folks, too.

                  1. re: bdl

                    Tower Burger is basically the same as Bistro Burger, of which there are a handful of locations downtown/in the FiDi.

                2. If you're looking for something comparable to Bartley's, try the Prather Ranch stand at the Ferry Building on Tuesdays. Especially when they layer on the fresh tomatoes from a nearby market stall.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Liz B

                    Actually, on Tuesdays, if I had the option, I would go to Rosamunde Sausage Grill in the Lower Haight (only served on Tuesdays). I've not had one yet but the reviews on this board put it right up there.

                  2. You should probably specify what makes a burger great for you:

                    Grilled for griddled?
                    Gourmet bun, pickle, etc., or classic bun, lettuce, etc.?
                    Thick cut fries? Shoe string fries?

                    My ideal is grilled with classic additions, which I find at Burger Joint. I haven't yet tried the Rosemunde burger or Nopa's burger. I enjoyed the Joe's Cable Car burger, but it was too greasy for my taste because it was griddled.

                    The only problem with Burger Joint is sometimes the staff is pretty lazy and they don't pay attention to the doneness level of the beef (they err on the more cooked side).

                    If anyone finds a place that grills a burger over actual charcoal or wood, please post as I've only ever found gas grilled burgers.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: Steve G

                      Original Joe's in the Tenderloin ages and grinds its own beef. At dinner time, the burgers and steaks are grilled over mesquite (but not a lunch time). Note that it's served on a hunk of Italian bread and not a bun.

                      1. re: Melanie Wong
                        Robert Lauriston

                        The specialty at Original Joe's is not the hamburger sandwich but the 3/4-lb. hamburger steak.

                        1. re: Robert Lauriston

                          The hamburger steak at dinner time is a full pound, whereas the hamburger sandwich is a mere 12 oz.

                          Link: http://www.originaljoes.com/menu.htm

                          1. re: Melanie Wong
                            Robert Lauriston

                            Wrong Original Joe's, that's the one in San Jose.

                            Link: http://www.themenupage.com/originaljo...

                            1. re: Robert Lauriston

                              Whoops, thanks, that what I get for moving too fast. I had been scratching my head wondering when OJ's SF got a website. In any case, I do believe the hamburger steak is closer to a pound in size.

                              Link: http://www.inetours.com/Pages/Dining_...

                              1. re: Melanie Wong

                                Here's the Chronicle article that describes the making of a hamburger sandwich and alludes to 12 ounces.

                                Link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article...

                                1. re: Melanie Wong
                                  Robert Lauriston

                                  Whatever the weight, I don't think I've ever had anything at Original Joe's where the portion didn't seem huge.

                                  1. re: Robert Lauriston

                                    Yep, me too. It's a once-a-year event, and now that it's summer with more daylight, time to hit OJ's again.

                      2. f

                        I've never been disappointed at Bullshead Restaurant out in West Portal. Then again, I've never been disappointed at Original Joes either. That OJ burger is pretty durn big. The fries are excellent at both. I really like that Bullshead has Heineken Dark in the bottle. I rarely ever see that anywhere.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: fredocorleone

                          Since nobody has mentioned it i'll put a plug in for the burger at the Rite Spot. It's a divey little bar on Folsom at 17th. The bar is much nicer on the inside than the outside would lead you to believe and the bugers are phenomenal. Huge, juicy, excellent quality meat. If the place had a beergarden it would be heaven.

                          1. re: NancyH

                            Oh my God! Is the Rite Spot still there?? Every SF Chowhound should eat at the Rite Spot to complete his/her food education. Of course, I remember it as it was 30-40 years ago...but I'll bet it hasn't changed.

                            1. re: Jim H.
                              Robert Lauriston

                              It's evolved but it's still an artists' hangout.

                        2. AVOID Flames on 2nd street
                          Dirty place. Burgers are not terrible but just a sty.

                          1. I just had a great burger with fries at Burger Meister on Church St. The meat was nice and juicy, and the fries nice and crisp. I can't believe I hadn't tried this before. Also, my friends just had great burgers at Dago Mary's (sadly... closing forever this Friday).

                            In terms of "best" burgers, I think you have to distinguish between "restaurant" burgers and "fast food" burgers. The Richmond on Balboa has a great restaurant burger, but that's not going to cut it when I'm looking for a casual, fast burger spot. Similarly, most of the time I'm not going to fight for a table at Zuni in order to have a burger. Best "fast food" burgers for me include Slider's, Flippers and now Burger Meister.