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Burger Bar San Francisco now open

Burger Bar San Francisco is Hubert Keller’s gourmet burger joint that opened in October 2009. He runs the highly respected fine dining Fleur de Lys French restaurant in San Francisco. This location is on the sixth floor of Macy’s. We have eaten at the Vegas location and could not wait for this one to open. They serve burgers, salads, and sandwiches. You can build your own burger with all sorts of goodies. We avoided the crazy expensive Kobe beef, $60 Rossini foie gras, truffle burger. No sense in overdoing a burger.

They have their own butcher shop that hand mixes prime quality meat daily, so no worries over cheap ground beef.

Atlantic Salmon Sandwich ($12) was a huge sized filet on a ciabatta bun with oyster mushrooms, asparagus, and aioli on the side. Simple, tender, juicy, healthy and delicious. If you don’t eat red meat, try this ‘burger’, you will be surprised how good it is.
Buttermilk zucchini fries ($3.95) were crispy but not very greasy. Nice batter and some fresh zucchini in the middle.

Black Angus Beef Burger ($13.75) with American cheese, bacon, grilled onions, and portobello mushrooms was cooked to a slightly more well done medium rare that we would like, making it not very juicy. This was a huge piece of meat. The mushrooms and onions were plentiful and tasty. The sesame bun was big, fresh, and very good. Stick to one or two toppings to keep it affordable.

Vanilla shake ($7) was a very tall shake with whip creamy and a cherry. Very smooth ice cream, not too sweet, and light whipped cream made it perfect.

Chocolate Shake ($7) added a layer of chocolate syrup to the mix. Very chocolaty and velvety. A must get for chocoholics.

Blog post with Pictures...

Burger Bar
251 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

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  1. I went last week. The burger was good, but the restaurant has some kinks to work out regarding service.


    I ordered the Classic American burger ($15), which is about as standard as you can get with beef, cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomatoes and onion. The burger also came with a side of fries and a pickle. The patty came out pink and juicy on the inside, a perfect medium rare. The meat was spiced well and the bacon a reasonable two strips, but the rest of the burger was what I’d expect for any $10+ burger. It really was a good, all-american classic burger. The side of fries, an afterthought, reminded me of Burger King fries. I like Burger King fries, but I expected more.

    Despite having a good burger, I left disappointed. Part of it was just the location of the restaurant. It’s on the 6th floor of the Macy’s building in San Francisco, making it a prime tourist location. The crowd and decor in the restaurant made me think of Cheesecake Factory, except with burgers. Like Cheesecake Factory, expect a long wait unless you’re lucky enough to find a seat at the bar.

    The service also needed some work. I came alone and sat at the bar, but it took several minutes for me to even get acknowledged and given a menu. Then, when my food came, there was a mix-up with whose food it was even though I kept telling the confused server that yes, that was what I ordered. He kept trying to give it to the gentleman next to me, who kept telling him that was not what he ordered. Then, it took fifteen minutes for me to get my credit card back even though I was sitting right in front of the cash register. It wasn’t even that busy in the restaurant.

    Maybe that’s what I get for going to a restaurant less than a week after it opened. The food side of things was okay (other than the lack-luster fries), but the service side definitely was not okay. For a $16 burger, I want it to taste good and be served promptly and well.

    Post w/ pictures:

      1. Just a note ... you selected a San Jose restaurant that has nothing to with Keller.

        1 Reply
        1. re: rworange

          The new one has just shown up. Now let's see if it will actually appear as a link.

          Burger Bar
          251 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

        2. I've heard they have a decent selection of beers on tap. Anyone try them?

          2 Replies
          1. re: chuckl

            They certainly had a lot to choose from (between tap and bottle) but I remember being underwhelmed with their selections and went with the chocolate shake.

            1. re: mrgastognome

              I had one of the best bottles of beer that I have ever had...Wish I could remember the name...It was a Russian Beer of some type...Oh, and forgive me, but even with the overcharges, I have to say that I enjoyed the Burger Bar...Ate there twice during my last 4 day visit..Granted it was close and convenient to where I was staying...I also enjoyed meeting Chef Keller, as I am definitely a fan...Yes it's overpriced...one can expect this...Yes it is probably for tourist (funny though...no one in line was a tourist...saw a lot of "office groups")...Food both times was delicious...When you order, for example, bleu cheese, it's really good bleu cheese...The fried zucchini was very good....I know good food, but sometimes it's just fun to eat at a "touristy kinda DisneyWorld place"...It was Christmas season....I was in that kind of mood!

              Burger Bar
              251 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

          2. What an absolute JOKE. While the burgers are tasty and well built, they have the gall to charge you for....wait for it....DIJON MUSTARD. You've got to be kidding me. $22 for a burger and they charge for dijon. Not only that, 'I'm sorry sir, you can't change the chefs choice burgers". I wanted a Hubert Keller Burger, without blue cheese, as i can't eat cheese. When I was told that i couldn't substitute, I was tempted to ask if the server had seen the film 5 easy pieces, (white toast) but since she wasn't old enough to get into an R rated film, i dropped it. In any case, had to build my own. Which cost MORE THAN THE PREPACKAGED VERSION. The place is unbelievable.

            The other side was we were shown 2 tables right next to serving stations, while there were 1/2 dozen other two-tops available. We pressed the issue and were awarded a better location right by the entrance to the bathroom.

            Oh, yeah. The lemonade, @ $4 per is watered down country time.

            Come on, guys......

            If you haven't figured it out by now, we won't return. Keep the place in Vegas, and hope to attract a lovely touristy macy's crowd. You'll make your return on investment and your investors will be happy. Keep teaching the servers to sell sell sell. That's the point, isn;t it? I'm guessing that this won't fly with food concious San Franciscans. Unbelievable is all I'll say.

            Burger Bar
            251 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102

            1. Here is Bauer's review. Pretty much in line with the more critical comments here. Good basic burger, over-priced for what it is with too many upgrade charges for add-ons. Great beer list.

              We went to check it out a couple of weeks ago. The wait was 90 minutes so we skipped it. Waiting patrons were spilling out into Macy's and we didn't feel like standing next to the pantsuits for an hour to spend $50 on burgers.


              1. I think the best thing about Burger Bar was the beers. They seemed to have over a dozen on taps and several bottles, reasonably priced. I had one of my current favorites, a Racer 5 IPA, but they made the mistake of serving it in a chilled glass, a no-no for ales and they should know better. I'd recommend having some sliders ($10) and a pint, and you're out for around $20. Not a destination, certainly, but if you're in the neighborhood...

                1. Sadly, nearly a year after opening the problems identified in the other posts remain. On my recent visit, the host acted like he could not be bothered. No pleasantries not even a word let alone a smile. The burger was cooked perfectly, but the quality of toppings was not what I'd expect from HK. Slimy old avocado, supermarket quality blue cheese. C'mon HK! The fries tasted only of oil and salt. You'd never know they were made from potato if not for the appearance. I was also charged tax on the tax indicating a training need for whoever is handling the transactions. On a positive note they make a delicious Bloody Mary, and at $9 fairly priced for the large size.

                  1. If, for some reason, I wanted to pay $35 per person to eat at a TGIFriday's, I would go back to Burger Bar. Otherwise, I can see no reason to return.

                    The "ambiance" consisted of grease-smeared tables, spacey teen-aged waitresses, and dirty bathrooms. The menu is a chaotic mess using no fewer than three different ugly fonts; it looks cheap, like the design I used to do for my company newsletter in Adobe PageMaker circa 1998.

                    This is the kind of place that makes me pity tourists from Ohio who stumble in, thinking they will get an authentic San Francisco food experience from the renowned chef Hubert Keller. They will leave feeling ripped off (as they should) and vaguely nauseated. I live in SF and expect to pay more for everything; however, I also expect the quality to be commensurate with the price.

                    We had the Hubert Keller burger (spinach, blue cheese, and buffalo on a ciabatta bun). The untoasted bun was dry and the burger was half its size. The cheese was good, the spinach completely untaste-able. It came with a side of decent "skinny fries." Price: $22. Seriously.

                    We also had the kobe burger with a slice of foie gras. This was ok, if the meat a bit mushy in texture. Again the bun (plain this time) was dry and untoasted, and melted into a greasy mass under the burger before I even picked it up. Only the awesome power of foie gras redeemed the dish. The onion rings, while passable, were over-coated with breading and had little or no onion flavor. We were charged $1.50 for the ranch dressing. This was not mentioned on the menu nor by the waitress.

                    The beer selection is very impressive. I enjoyed the Imperial Oktoberfest on draft and my husband liked his Three Philosophers.

                    The service was amateurish but friendly.

                    I wanted to like this place, so much. I had hoped to take my husband to Fleur de Lys for a special dinner in the near future, but after this disastrous meal, I will not be giving Keller another penny of my money. This felt like a crudely designed wallet-emptying machine, not a restaurant. Save your money and go through the In-and-Out drive-through.