What you're getting: Double bacon cheeseburger
Hodad's got its start on Ocean Beach in 1969, and has grown into a San Diego institution (you can even find them in Petco Park). Be prepared for a line out the door if you get there during peak meal times, but it's well worth the wait. The burgers are available in mini, single, and double... so, double. And maybe tack on a mini for dessert. You can get a little creative with extras if you like (there's a Guy Fieri-inspired Guido Burger rocking pastrami), but don't if you get the simple, hulking, beefy bacon double. Oh, and save room for a shake. Or don't, it's your life.
What you're getting: Spanish chorizo burger
As you can tell from the name, this place is all about the bovine, from delicious outside-the-box ice creams (jalapeño cream cheese?!), to super-serious burgers laid on fresh-baked brioche buns with scratch-made toppings and a custom beef blend. It's hard to make a wrong turn on the burger menu, especially if that turn is into the Spanish chorizo burger (with manchego, date spread, pepper relish, and caramelized onions).
What you're getting: Ultimate Big Burger
This on-the-way-to-Tahoe roadside diner has a sign out front that reads, "Tasty Burgers / Fresh Fruit". We can't confirm the latter, but, oh man, the former, yes. Especially when it comes to the Ultimate Big Burger, which delivers on both the "ultimate" and "big" with two oblong beef patties stacked carefully on a toasted French roll with thick bacon slices, avocado, soft grilled onions, sautéed mushrooms, melted cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and special sauce.