Find and Eat the Best Gourmet Hamburgers in San Francisco

The cheeseburger at Bar Jules in Hayes Valley.
The cheeseburger at Bar Jules in Hayes Valley. | Source

Serious burgers for serious red meat cravings

Hamburgers are all the rage, and all over gastronomically-minded San Francisco, restaurants are claiming to have a superior gourmet burger.

Many San Francisco restaurants do indeed offer high quality fare that's a two-handed affair, burgers so juicy and add-ons so generous it literally requires all your digits to hold the thing together as you eat.

The Bay Area has more than its share of grass fed beef patties, precious affairs slathered in stinky cheeses or rare truffles, aïolis, baguettes or organic flower buns — you name it. Every niche  burger appetite can find its satisfaction in the Bay Area.

Here's a totally unscientific but heartfelt guide to some of the area's best burgers, and much anticipated not-yet-open eateries. These aren't the cheapest burgers in the area; each will set you back at least $10, if not more.

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Top pricey picks to get your ground beef on

Balboa Cafe (Marina, Fillmore Street at Greenwich): The Balboa burger on a baguette is worth putting up with this restaurant's fratty pickup scene.

Bar Jules (Hayes Valley): This is a jewelbox of a restaurant. It is small and neighborhoody and is popular among chefs when they eat out. The menu is limited — only 8 or so choices in all — but the burger is a mainstay here. The Bar Jules burger is fat and juicy, and you can add grilled onions or gruyère cheese or a few other extras as you choose. Grease-dripping simplicity.

Bix (Financial District/Jackson Square): A vintage venue with a supper club feel and a mean martini, Bix is also a pretty good choice for a perfect gourmet hamburger.

Chez Maman (Potrero Hill): Though served at a counter, this burger is très français, and très delicious. The baguette bun is buttery; the meat juicy. A rich treat and my first gourmet burger in SF. Still a favorite.

Epic Roasthouse (Embarcadero Waterfront, at Howard): This meat palace does a not-too-bad burger of the $25 variety.

Heirloom Cafe (Mission): This gem of a restaurant keeps its menu small, but the époisse burger, topped with a stinky, creamy French cheese, is a staple. And a standout.

Marlowe (SoMa, Townsend at 4th Street): Across from the Caltrain station, Marlowe serves one fine burger. It is juicy and cooked to perfection and all but falls apart in your mouth. Everything at this new restaurant is appealing and delicious, but the basic burger tops the more foodie fare. Chronicle food critic and ego Michael Bauer may have recently called this his fave patty in the city.

Namu (Inner Richmond; Balboa & 6th Ave.): A Korean influenced burger. Juicy.

Roam Artisanal Burgers (Cow Hollow, Union Street): The burgers here are all grass fed, and since this place is all about the beef, they do it well.

Serpentine (Dogpatch): Local, artisanal, seasonal — Serpentine hits most food trends, including a top-dog hamburger. Parking is relatively easy around here, too.

Spruce (Presidio Heights, Sacramento Street at Spruce): This swish neighborhood eatery serves its bar burger in the bar or main dining room. Both places you can wash it down with a $25 glass of burgundy,


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Ren Chin profile image

Ren Chin 5 years ago

the Grind in the Lower Haight makes a darned good burger too

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