Top 5: Best Burgers in San Francisco

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What makes a great burger? Ask five people and you’re apt to get five different answers ranging from the bun, to the juiciness of the meat to the condiments to the temperature the meat is cooked to the thickness of the patty. We took all of those things—and then some—into consideration as we searched for the best burgers in San Francisco. Here’s our list.


1 Umami Burger

If umami can be translated to "pleasant, savory taste" then that's the perfect name for this burger chain that offers what can arguably be called San Francisco's best burger. Whether you're in the Marina or SOMA (you'll also find locations in Oakland and Palo Alto), pop in for a burger we're sure you'll enjoy. We're partial to the Truffle (made with truffled aioli, house truffle cheese and truffle glaze) but there are oodles of choices, including the Throwback (pictured here), with two 3.5 oz seared beef patties and white cheddar cheese, seared ahi, turkey patty and Manly with house-beer cheddar cheese, bacon lardons and smoked salt onion strings. Make sure you order the sweet potato fries too. Beef is ground in house and there's beer, wine and salads.
2184 Union Street & 242 King Street, San Francisco

2 Marlowe

Courtesy Marlowe's
The amazing Marlowe Burger, created by chef/partner Jennifer Puccio, is one of the top sellers at this SoMa fave. And no wonder! The scrumptious beef is blended with 20% lamb and highlighted with caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, bacon and horseradish aioli--and fries, of course. You'll also find the Marlowe Burger at sister restaurants Park Tavern and The Cavalier. Mark your calendar for April 1. That's when Marlowe Burger opens as a pop-up burger joint at Marlowe's original 330 Townsend Street location. It certainly deserves it's own spot.You'll also find the Fried Chicken Sandwich, Brussels Sprouts Chips and Fries here too.
500 Brannan Street, San Francisco

3 Chouquet's

Kelly E. Carter
Chef Laurent Guillaume's popular Wagyu beef Kobe burger is always a winner at this neighborhood fave French bistro in Pacific Heights. Not only is the meat scrumptious but the butter lettuce, organic tomato, applewood bacon and red onion are the ideal accompaniments. We think the gruyere cheese blends perfectly but you may want to opt for blue cheese, cheddar or Swiss. Add an egg for the cherry-on-top effect. Enjoy this delicious burger in the dining room or outside on the patio at this hip eatery, where owner Mickael Azoulay has created a warm atmosphere thanks to the kind staff. Bonus points for the extensive list of wines and champagne, which goes with everything, by the glass.
2500 Washington Street, San Francisco

4 Roam Artisan Burgers

Worth standing in line to order are these delicious burgers crafted from fresh quality ingredients that have been carefully sourced from a select group of purveyors. This is where you'll find 100% grass-fed beef, free-range turkey, all-natural bison and housemade veggie burgers that are organic, gluten free and vegan. The special may offer something like elk. Sure, it can be a little overwhelming deciding on a style but remember, you can always fall back on The Classic. Those who prefer to live a little can opt for Sunny Side (made with an organic free-range egg), Tejano (made with Pepper Jack and Jalapeño Relish) or Heritage (made with Applewood Smoked Bacon and Fontina) or several other styles. You can also customize and choose your own patty, bun and toppings. Fries are cooked in rice bran oil, pickles are made in house and there's wine on tap. Also an outpost in Lafayette.
1923 Fillmore Street & 1785 Union Street, San Francisco

5 Scala's Bistro

Even if you're not shopping Union Square, you'll want to head to this beloved San Francisco eatery for Chef Larry Finn's Bistro Burger. Made with an all natural beef blend of short rib, brisket and sirloin created with Bassian Farms in San Jose, this burger is served on a house made brioche bun and served with Louis dressing, butter pickles, lettuce, tomato, red onion and fries. No wonder it's one of the most popular items on the menu and a big hit during the weekend brunch!
432 Powell St., San Francisco
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