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Best Burger

aadesmd Jun 18, 2011 05:01 AM

I am visiting San Francisco next week. Where is the best burger?

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  1. d
    DavidT RE: aadesmd Jun 18, 2011 06:29 AM

    This current thread has well over 100 responses:


    7 Replies
    1. re: DavidT
      Windy RE: DavidT Jun 18, 2011 12:04 PM

      But I have to ask: with the wealth of unusual foods available in San Francisco, why would you waste a meal here on a burger?

      1. re: Windy
        grayelf RE: Windy Jun 18, 2011 11:13 PM

        Maybe the OP comes from one of those repressive places that "don't allow" burgers to be served medium or rare, like I do?

        1. re: grayelf
          ML8000 RE: grayelf Jun 19, 2011 02:24 PM

          Really? Canada doesn't allow rare or med-rare burgers? I can see that applied to fast food joints (the rule is the same in the U.S.) but made to order premium beef is as safe as steak.

        2. re: Windy
          TopoTail RE: Windy Jun 19, 2011 03:21 PM

          I'm as food obsessed as anybody in the food obsessed Bay Area, Windy, but I take offense at the suggestion that a good burger is a waste of a meal! I only allow myself a burger every couple of weeks, because I just don't eat that much red meat. But I could eat a burger every day without the slightest regret. Just give me a medium rare burger made with nice ground chuck, a slice of Vidalia onion, and some catsup and I'm in heaven.

          But the gods forbid that I use one of my "burger chits" on an inferior burger. This is not a pretty scene.

          I think my favorite burger is the one served at Perry's. In fact, you talked me into it. I'm going to make a trip to the city this week just to get a burger at Perry's.

          1. re: TopoTail
            Windy RE: TopoTail Jun 19, 2011 03:33 PM

            Yes, but you live here. On vacation, it's a lost burrito or oyster happy hour or banh mi or basteeya. It's not as if there's a shortage of burgers outside San Francisco or that this is a destination know for its great beef or well-prepared burgers.

            I also love a burger now and then. But good luck finding a consistently rare burger that isn't raw or medium and needs to be sent back.

            1. re: Windy
              lrealml RE: Windy Jun 20, 2011 02:32 AM

              I agree completely. SF can do a great burger, but it is not a specialty of this area. It seems strange to seek one out on a visit here. This is not Atlanta where Vidalia onions are easier to come by and there are many restaurants solely dedicated to gourmet burgers (I just came back from having some great burgers there)..

          2. re: Windy
            bbulkow RE: Windy Jun 21, 2011 09:02 AM

            aadesmd appears to be from boston, and has regularly visited and posted trip reports from SF. I assume he or she would like to get deeper into our restaurant culture, knowing how hip burgers are (although the might be passe now). I've been on a minor burger tear myself, but have been exploring the peninsula (current fav: Village Pub).

            The 7x7 list of SF burgers is pretty good, but I have to say I've eaten very few of them. The ones highest on my to-try list are Nopa, Spruce, and Namu.

            Another point on burgers: the LA Times has burgers front and left on their home page right now ("Burger Battle"). While LA ain't SF, having a burger or two while in town is quite reasonable.

            560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

            439 Balboa Street, San Francisco, CA 94118

            Village Pub
            2967 Woodside Rd., Woodside, CA 94062

        3. j
          jman1 RE: aadesmd Jun 19, 2011 01:30 PM

          I'm not qualified to suggest a best burger, but I have a favorite place to eat a burger. I like Gott's in the Ferry building. Especially good on a warm day to sit outside on the Embarcadero and watch the city. Another plus is that they encourage bringing a bottle of wine. $1 corkage (i.e. they open the bottle and hand you two glasses at the counter).

          Otherwise, a little pricey for what it is. Burgers are good quality. Fries are fine. I used to enjoy the simple wedge salad with blue cheese, but they took it off the menu a few years ago and replaced it with a sub-par mixed green.

          1. free sample addict aka Tracy L RE: aadesmd Jun 19, 2011 09:05 PM

            I've just returned from visiting SF and would like to recommend Roam, great ingredients, nice price point and it is in a great area of the city. If you are sight seeing it might be fun to combine both.

            Roam Artisan Burgers
            1785 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123

            2 Replies
            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L
              billraymond RE: free sample addict aka Tracy L Jun 21, 2011 12:04 PM

              Yes, I agree with you on Roam. The burgers are great and the selection of non-beef meat options is always a great change from the norm as well. I was not too happy with the fries everyone seems to like but guess my irish roots demand somethiing different :-).

              1. re: billraymond
                aoakes4 RE: billraymond Jul 10, 2011 07:45 AM

                Also agree about Roam. We had great burgers there this past Friday evening. My wife said it was the best veggie burger she's had in a long time.

            2. ipsedixit RE: aadesmd Jun 19, 2011 09:55 PM

              I haven't had many burgers in SF, but during a recent visit I really enjoyed Pearl's.

              Not so much for the burger, but that spicy pumpkin Habanero sauce that comes with Spicy Sly is good enough to make my suitcase taste like prime sirloin.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ipsedixit
                psb RE: ipsedixit Jun 20, 2011 09:29 AM

                Pearl is a good rec ... it's "no fuss" for a visitor ... it's centralish/fastish/cheapish. Some decent shakes too. That being said, I agree with the sentiment to pick something where the gap between what SF can provide and what your home can provide is large.

              2. o
                oldunc RE: aadesmd Jun 20, 2011 06:34 AM

                It depends a lot on what you like in a burger; for my tastes, I make my own. Generally, cheap burgers are greasy, while expensive burgers are "juicy"- i.e., greasy and bloody.

                1. b
                  billraymond RE: aadesmd Jun 21, 2011 12:06 PM

                  By no means would I consider myself a burger expert but the best I've ever had (not saying much) is at NOPA.

                  560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                  1. s
                    sugartoof RE: aadesmd Jul 10, 2011 10:50 PM

                    Spruce and Nopa.

                    Considering there are people who stash In and Out burgers in their purses during long flights, to deliver a taste of one of the most mediocre fast food burgers California can offer, there is no shame in hitting up a city's best burger spots. It can be a cheap way to eat a nice meal in an establishment you otherwise couldn't afford.

                    560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sugartoof
                      ML8000 RE: sugartoof Jul 10, 2011 11:14 PM

                      What do you recommend for fast food burgers in CA? There's definitely better burgers than I'nO...but is there a better fast quality food burger (fresh ground beef) for $3.05 (double double price)?

                      1. re: ML8000
                        sugartoof RE: ML8000 Jul 10, 2011 11:30 PM

                        I was the first one to suggest In/Out in the Fisherman Wharf thread, because it's close, and I know it's legendary. Plus it can fill a craving, it fit the situation, convenience wise.

                        Otherwise, I wouldn't normally recommend a fast food burger. I'm usually partial to a hearty pub style burger with a thick patty that you can make a meal off of, not a fast food slider.

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