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Best Sit Down Hamburger with a Full Bar

I would like to find a place with a bit of panache that has a really good to great hamburger and great french fries and offers a full bar. Since I am staying in the Union Square area I can spread out from there.

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  1. NoPa fits the bill...great food, amazing drinks, full upscale bar, but it can be absolutely awful to get a seat at the bar as a walk in (it's a cannibalistic madhouse for bar seating), but you could try to call the day of to get on the unadvertised list for seats at the "chef's bar" or whatever they call it that's got a view of the wood-fired oven and kitchen in the back of the restaurant.

    1. Zuni..but only for lunch or after 10 p.m.

      1 Reply
      1. The best burger I have had that fit the bill is:

        1. Spruce. Sexy space. Excellent burger. Full bar.

        Although Spruce is not extremely close to your hotel, it is worth the cabfare / busride.

        3640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118

        1 Reply
        1. re: Senor Popusa

          plus the bar menu offers the burger all day.

          nopa is another great choice, as is balboa cafe (if you don't mind the sourdough in place of a bun)

        2. Strange as it seems, O Izakaya Lounge in Japantown fits the bill perfectly. The restaurant has a full bar, and the best darn hamburger and fries I've had in SF. Other places to consider - Namu (although their burgers include some unusual condiments) and Custom Burger Lounge (a little odd, but interesting and long list of burger options).

          439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

          O Izakaya Lounge
          1625 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

          1. Additional link.

            Custom Burger
            121 7th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

            1. If you're going for a weekday lunch or early dinner, Epic Roasthouse has a "3B" deal
              (Burger - Beer - Brownie) for $20. Great bar as well, and walking distance from Union Square.

              Epic Roasthouse
              369 The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94105

              1. i'll second both zuni and the upstairs bar at epic roasthouse. epic has good views, zuni has great string fries. lunch at either is pretty good.

                1. Slow Club or Serpentine--same owners, same fantastic burger, great drinks.

                  Slow Club
                  2501 Mariposa Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

                  2495 Third Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: pane

                    Slow Club would be my pick too.

                    1. re: Windy

                      Tried the Slow Club burger and wasn't particularly impressed. Good but nothing special. Loosely packed beef. Not in the same league as Spruce or Farley Bar.

                      1. re: Windy

                        I'll second (or third) Slow Club. Zuni's overpriced burger is very good too, but the $6 shoestring fries are not to my liking (reminds me of those potato sticks you can get in a tin can).

                    2. I had a great burger at the bar at The Big Four. If by panache you mean old school style, this is a great place. It's on California in the Huntington Hotel.

                      Big Four
                      1075 California Street, San Francisco, CA 94108

                      1. Absinthe, on Hayes, has a great burger, and the bar has a great reputation (I don't drink).

                        1. Don't miss Balboa Cafe on Fillmore its awesome. Sit at the bar for the best overall experience.

                          Balboa Cafe
                          3199 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123

                          1. Harry's on Filmore Street between Pine & California offers a pretty good burger & fries. I think they still have a Monday nite special, where you get a beer or glass of wine with your burger and fries for $8.95.

                            You can get there on the #3 Jackson muni bus at Stockton & Sutter.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: DavidT

                              Street on Polk Street is exactly what you are looking for. Try it you will not be disappointed!

                              1. re: pumakat

                                Well, if the SJ version is any representation of the SF one, "Original Joe's" can't be beat. If the SF doesn't pass par, it's worth a trek to downtown SJ for the best.

                                1. re: ToddRH

                                  What's going on with the SF location? Last I heard it was closed indefinitely due to a fire.

                            2. Someone reco'd the burger at Bix to me as their favorite in the city. Do any hounds know if they offer it at dinner?

                              On their website, the lunch menu lists: The Bix Burger with French Fries at $13.95

                              Their dinner menu lists: Truffled Pecorino Cheese Burger served on Buttered Rye with French Fries for $27.50

                              Is this basically the same item for twice the price? If not, is the lunch burger offered at dinner at a lower price?

                              I don't know if I'm up to spending $27.50 + tax & tip for a burger.

                              1. My favorites are Slow Club, Balboa Cafe, Zuni and Street. Bar Johnny was on the list but the last burger I had there was just ok.

                                I'm actually going to Spruce tonight for a burger, I'll report back.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: tvham

                                  Balboa Cafe makes a darn good burger on french bread.

                                  Spruce makes a great burger too.

                                  1. re: sugartoof

                                    I tried the Spruce burger this evening. I enjoyed it for the most part but wasn't a fan of the bun...I can't quite nail it down - too big? Too oily? Maybe a bit stale?

                                    Meat was nice, though and I really liked the homemade pickles and onions.

                                    1. re: tvham

                                      I think they do soak the bun in olive oil before toasting it, or something like that.

                                      I usually really enjoy that, but it does make it a richer burger, and can turn the bread soggy if they over do it. I can see how the bun would bother some people.