Food & Drink

The best burgers in SF, by price point

Published On 10/15/2014 Published On 10/15/2014
Pearl's Deluxe Burgers
Joe Starkey
Gott's Roadside
Super Duper Burgers
Allison Webber
Joe Starkey
Chez Maman
Joe Starkey
Belcampo Meat Co.
Joe Starkey
Nopa
Park Tavern
Lark Creek Steak
Spruce
Flickr/Lukas Bergstrom
Flickr/rocor
Bourbon Steak
Bix
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1. Pearl's Deluxe Burgers 708 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (The Tenderloin)

The Tenderloin locale of this chain serves up delicious burgers, stellar fries, and even better people-watching. Step into this classic burger chain for both traditional and creative beef sandwiches. Try the pesto, which is fixed with pesto sauce, mayo, and tomato, or the Phat Bobb (bacon, onion rings, BBQ sauce, jack and mayo).

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2. Garaje 475 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Financial District)

SOMA's Garaje is one-third taqueria, one-third taco joint, and one-third sports bar. And it's cheap. For $3 you can get a street-style taco filled with quality meat and toppings; for $8 you can get the Zapatos burrito, stuffed with meat, cheese, refried beans, and avocado, then pressed like a panini. The most notable thing about Garaje though is the Double Drive-In cheeseburger, which comes with barbecued onions, dill pickles, chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and Thousand Island dressing on a toasted Acme bun.

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3. Gott’s Roadside 1 Ferry Building, Ste 6, San Francisco, CA 94105 (Embarcadero)

Located at the Ferry Building, this eatery is the perfect spot for a water-side lunch. Park it at one of their long, wooden cafeteria-style tables and snack on bites like burgers, milkshakes, and choose from four types of fries: regular, super-garlicky, sweet potato dusted with chili powder, or the go-for-broke chili cheese fries.

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4. Super Duper Burger 721 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103 (Financial District)

There are multiple Super Duper Burger locations in San Francisco, and they've all got the same addicting thing going on: not-too-greasy burgers on excellent buns, well-seasoned fries, and tasty milkshakes at a reasonable price. The standard Super Duper Burger comes with two 4oz patties and “the works” if you want ‘em -- including a (must-order) secret sauce. If you’re not in the mood for a burger, try the chicken sandwich with chipotle aioli and be sure to add avocado!

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5. Trick Dog 3010 20th St, San Francisco, CA 94110 (The Mission)

Brought to you by The Bon Vivants, Trick Dog in The Mission's a marble- and steel-adorned cocktailery serving drinks from a Pantone-inspired menu with names from favorite song titles, along with bar bites like beer nuts, pickles, and cracklins.

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6. 4505 Burgers & BBQ 705 Divisadero, San Francisco, CA 94112

An offshoot of the original 4505 Meats, this burger and 'cue shack is one for the Divis books. This butcher-owned and operated spot takes meat and barbecue seriously, with loaded platters of pulled pork, smoked ribs, and hot sausage, and quarter-pound grass-fed burgers. No matter if your main is in the form of a sandwich or platter, don't overlook the fixin's -- the fried mac & cheese with a hot dog inside is an insanely delicious creation.

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7. Rickybobby 400 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (Lower Haight)

You know it's a sweet place when it has two first names for its only name. And if you like cheap and hearty eats, soft lighting and crazy crap on the walls, you'll love Rickybobby.

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8. Belcampo Meat Co. 1998 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109 (Russian Hill)

Equal parts cafe and butcher shop, Belcampo Meat Co. sources organic meat from its own farm to prepare some of the finest burgers in the city. The hamburger patties are juicy and marbled with the right amount of flavorful fat. BMC's cheeseburger is a standout, sandwiched on a toasted brioche bun with a thick slice of Cheddar, caramelized onions, and house sauce. The restaurant is outfitted with old-school blue leather banquettes made from the company's own cow hides.

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9. The Corner Store 5 Masonic Ave, San Francisco, CA 94118 (The Richmond)

The Corner Store is set in a completely renovated space that was once a soda shop and then a speakeasy. Now, it's a 20-seat, outdoor-patio-featuring restaurant dominated by a mix of wood and white tile. The menu mixes things up with both small and large plates, which include lamb shoulder pasta, roasted duck breast, and brioche dinner rolls.

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10. Nopa 560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117 (Alamo Square)

Nopa is a San Francisco institution that does everything really, really well. It's the best brunch in Western Addition and one of the best in the whole city. Its burger is perfect with pickled onions and French fries, especially when eaten at the bar. It's a one-stop-shop for a date, a birthday dinner, or dinner with your parents. Plus, the kitchen is open until 1 AM for a full dinner. Yeah, this place wins at everything.

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11. Marlowe 500 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Soma)

This French-American bistro in SOMA has all the things that make a neighborhood restaurant so recommendable: excellent brunch; a fine wine selection featuring French, Italian, and Californian wines; an outdoor patio; and last but definitely not least: one of the best burgers in the city. Served with fries, the $16 Marlowe Burger is stacked with caramelized onions, cheddar, bacon, and horseradish aioli. It's so darn good that it's also served at sister restaurants Park Tavern and The Cavalier.

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12. Lark Creek Steak 845 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 (San Francisco)

Lark Creek Steak, located in the Westfield San Francisco Centre, offers a view of the Emporium Dome, as well as top-notch steak and desserts.

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13. Spruce 3650 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118 (Presidio Heights)

Not only did Spruce and Chef Mark Sullivan receive a Michelin Star, but WIne & Spirits Director Andrew Green’s wine program received the Grand Award from Wine Spectator — their highest honor. From a charcuterie plate unlike any other and House Made Wild Nettle Spaghetti to Liberty farms Duck Breast and Beignets rolled in vanilla sugar, Spruce is the type of place you come in to and want to Instagram every single dish. And if you aren't in the mood to throw down on a Michelin-level meal, their burger (available in the bar only) happens to be one of SF's best.

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14. Zuni Cafe 1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102 (Soma)

A culinary talisman for over thirty years, Zuni Cafe on the ever-bustling Market Street continues to serve New American cuisine with French and Italian influences. With a menu that changes daily, the element of surprise is never lost -- all while using the freshest, most sustainable ingredients.

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15. Wayfare Tavern 558 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94111 (Financial District)

Wayfare Tavern, owned by Tyler Florence and helmed by Executive Chef/Michelin Star-earner Joey Elenterio, feels like a private club/gastropub with its extensive dark wood and leather finishes. It's known for its “ridiculously good fried chicken,” but be sure to taste other seasonal menu must-haves, such as the baked macaroni and cheese, the burger, and the deviled eggs. Pro tip: make a reservation to sit upstairs, where it's a bit quieter.

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16. Bourbon Steak 4900 Marie P. Debartolo Way, Santa Clara, CA 95054 (Union Square)

It may be hard to believe, but you can still find great steaks and an elegant atmosphere in, believe it or not, Levi’s Stadium. You’ll never guess you’re dining adjacent to the field with cozy velvet booths, dark wood walls, and seating for 124 guests. You’ll get signature table-side presentation of dishes like ahi tuna tartare and Maine lobster pot pie, plus a selection of sumptuous wood-grilled steaks and innovative local seafood thanks to their classic menu.

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17. Bix Restaurant 56 Gold St, San Francisco, CA 94133 (Financial District)

Step back in time and indulge yourself at this '30s-style supper club just minutes from the Embarcadero. Bix is all class, from the white-jacketed bartenders mixing delicious cocktails to the intimate lighting & high ceilings, to the piano player & live jazz. This iconic SF spot serves “modern American” cuisine which includes Dungeness crab rolls, bone marrow, fresh lobster spaghetti, and a black truffle cheeseburger. Co-owners Doug Biederbeck and Bruce Hill are behind other SF staples (Florio, MarketBar, Fog City, and Pizzeria, among others), and Chef Emmanuel Eng previously worked at Boulevard, Maverick, and Aqua.