clock menu more-arrow no yes
Gott’s via Gott’s

18 Juicy Burgers in San Francisco

From the crispiest smashed patties to the most decadent wagyu beef, don’t miss these burgers

View as Map

Is there a food as beloved as the hamburger? It's a great American pastime, a symbol of summer barbecues, and all-around icon of fun. San Francisco loves a good burger just as much as the next city, and chefs around town have spent considerable time and effort on stacking up the most crave-able versions possible, resulting in a constellation of star burgers that reflect the tastes of our fair city by the bay.

From humble quarter pounders with just the pickles to wagyu and bison patties, this list covers it all. Here are the juiciest, crispiest burgers in San Francisco.

The latest CDC guidance for vaccinated diners during the COVID-19 outbreak is here; dining out still carries risks for unvaccinated diners and workers. Please be aware of changing local rules, and check individual restaurant websites for any additional restrictions such as mask requirements. Find a local vaccination site here.

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Causwells

Copy Link
2346 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 447-6081
Visit Website

Causwells’ award-winning burger is a true phenomenon in the Marina. The sizable patty has been likened to a souped-up In-N-Out Double Double, with its thin char-grilled patties and perfectly melted cheese. The house sauce and crispy onions are a particularly nice finish on this very messy endeavor.

2. Balboa Cafe

Copy Link
3199 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 921-3944
Visit Website

Opened in 1913, the historic Balboa Cafe serves its burger on a baguette, a choice that may have once raised eyebrows but has since become a classic preparation in SF. It’s available for lunch and dinner, and comes with butter lettuce, onions, pickles, and shoestring fries — with the option to add cheese, mushrooms, a fried egg, bacon, or avocado. Dine onsite and this burger comes with a side of nostalgia.

Balboa Cafe

3. Sam's

Copy Link
618 Broadway
San Francisco, CA
(415) 391-1539
Visit Website

Of all the burgers on the list, Sam’s is likely to be held closest to San Franciscans’ hearts. Sam’s first opened its doors in 1966 and has been serving up comfort food — daily until 4 a.m., which is the key part — ever since. It's a chuck blend with cheese, lettuce, and tomato on a sesame bun.

4. Gott’s Roadside

Copy Link
1 Ferry Building Ste 6
San Francisco, CA
(415) 318-3423
Visit Website

Gott’s Roadside burger is your typical all-American-style patty, but with a little more heft. These 1/3-pound patties are made from a proprietary blend of Niman Ranch beef, and the extra-soft egg buns are sourced from Panorama Bakery. As for the secret sauce ... it's a secret.

Gott’s via Gott’s

5. Pearl’s Deluxe Burger

Copy Link
708 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 409-6120
Visit Website

Pearl’s is a family-run diner, named after the owner’s grandmother, that’s been around for nearly 20 years. The burgers stack up grass-fed beef, turkey, and bison, and the “deluxe” is a serious half pound, while the “mini deluxe” is a more moderate quarter pound. The Bula burger is the crowd favorite, topped with Swiss, bacon, pineapple, and teriyaki.

6. Spruce

Copy Link
3640 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 931-5100
Visit Website

Spruce may be on the fancier side, but its burger is accessible to all at lunch or at the bar. The patty is made with a proprietary blend of brisket, short rib, and sirloin, and served on a housemade English muffin. Spruce touches can be seen throughout, like in the turmeric-pickled zucchini, the pickled red onion, beefsteak tomato, and thrice-cooked fries that come on the side.

The Spruce burger Spruce

7. Red's Java House

Copy Link
Pier 30
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 777-5626
Visit Website

There is no other singular moment that can take the place of enjoying a sunny, windy lunch at Red’s, where time has stood still since 1955. There, the burgers (and hot dogs) are served on hefty sourdough rolls, topped with mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, and onions (no ketchup), and best enjoyed with a frosty Anchor Steam. It’s particularly hopping before and after a Giants game, when team spirit is at an all time high.

8. Violet's

Copy Link
2301 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94121
(415) 682-4861
Visit Website

Fiorella migrated its popular once-weekly burger to sister cocktail bar and tavern Violet’s when it debuted in 2018, where it can be found nightly. The napkins-required Tavern Burger is a must-order, with American cheese, bacon, spicy house sauce, pickles, and shredded lettuce.

9. Garaje

Copy Link
475 3rd St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 664-0838
Visit Website

Garaje's Drive-In Burger is a nostalgic, juicy classic. Served with a single or double patty, for those with particularly large appetites, this one's gone from-off-the radar, in terms of burger acclaim, to full-on hype, so get after it quick.

10. 4505 Burgers & BBQ

Copy Link
705 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 231-6993
Visit Website

As would be expected from a meat-obsessed concept, 4505's burger puts a heavy emphasis on the cow. It uses a quarter-pound, grass-fed patty, always served medium rare, and comes on a griddled sesame and scallion bun with iceberg lettuce, sliced red onion, gruyere cheese, and "secret sauce."

4505 Ed Anderson

11. Nopa

Copy Link
560 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 864-8643
Visit Website

There is no better late-night burger than the one at Nopa — the restaurant usually serves 29,000 a year, which is certainly proof. This one is wood-grilled and comes with pickled onions, little gem lettuce, and cheddar cheese if you so choose. It's the perfect barstool meal but is also a treat at home.

12. The Butcher Shop by Niku Steakhouse

Copy Link
57 Division St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 829-2306
Visit Website

Niku Japanese steakhouse is known for its luxurious wagyu tasting menu. And just next door, the butcher shop is dry aging big primal cuts. You could get tomahawk steaks to cook up at home, but there’s also two bomb burgers. Blending domestic and Japanese wagyu, it’s an ultra fatty, flavorful experience.

13. ABV

Copy Link
3174 16th St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 400-4748
Visit Website

Originally called the "fuckin’ burger with spicy-ass chips," ABV chef Collin Hilton created a 1/3-pound, grass-feed beef patty with white cheddar cheese, raw red onion, shredded lettuce pickles, and a tangy special sauce, all on a Japanese sweet potato bun. Thinly-sliced jalapeño chips are served on the side, for a total of $15.

14. Mission Bowling Club

Copy Link
3176 17th St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 863-2695
Visit Website

Part bowling alley, part beer and cocktail bar, Mission Bowling Club's upscale comfort food is a far cry from the pizza and popcorn of your childhood bowling alley birthday memories. The burger is the star of the show, made with short rib and chuck beef that's seared in tallow and topped with Monterey jack cheese, caramelized onions, and caper aioli for a bit of salty tang.

15. WesBurger 'n' More

Copy Link
2240 Mission St
San Francisco, CA
(415) 745-9371
Visit Website

Originally from Texas, Wes Rowe broke loose on the burger scene in 2013, running a wildly popular pop-up for a few years, before moving into a prime spot on Mission at 18th. Last year, he threw out half of the menu, and started mastering the art of the smash burger: thin, crispy patties on a pillowy potato bun. The single is a 3-ounce patty, inspired by the McDonald’s quarter pounder with cheese, and only costs $6.50. The double adds on shaved red onions and special sauce for $9.50.

Smashburger from Wesburger Wes Rowe

16. Hi-Way Burger & Fry

Copy Link
3853 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94114
(415) 641-6000
Visit Website

The small children and tech millionaires of Noe Valley must have their burgers, and Hi-Way is usually hopping on the weekends (Friday night at 5 p.m. gets wild). The cute corner burger shop flips a good grass-fed patty on the flat top, along with griddled hot dogs, sweet potato fries, and Straus chocolate milk shakes.

Burger and fries at Hi-Way Caleb Pershan

17. Bullshead Restaurant

Copy Link
840 Ulloa St
San Francisco, CA 94127
(415) 665-4350
Visit Website

Tucked away in quiet and residential West Portal, Bullshead has been flipping burgers since 1979. It’s no frills, but the kitchen grinds its own meat daily and hand cuts its fries. They’re known for the bison burger, served open on a metal platter, with the lean meat cooked crispy at the edges, perfectly pink at center. 

18. Beep's Burgers

Copy Link
Read Review |
1051 Ocean Ave
San Francisco, CA 94112
(415) 584-2650
Visit Website

Dating back to 1962, Beep’s is a space-age throwback. Pull up to the drive-in for the Angus-beef quarter-pound patty, with secret sauce (a mix of mayo, ketchup, paprika, and cayenne), leafy lettuce, and melted cheddar on a soft Semifreddi’s bun. Juicy, messy, hand-shaped Niman Ranch beef for only $7. The old-school burger joint is also great for crispy onion rings and Twinkie milkshakes.

Patricia Chang

Loading comments...

1. Causwells

2346 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA

Causwells’ award-winning burger is a true phenomenon in the Marina. The sizable patty has been likened to a souped-up In-N-Out Double Double, with its thin char-grilled patties and perfectly melted cheese. The house sauce and crispy onions are a particularly nice finish on this very messy endeavor.

2346 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA

2. Balboa Cafe

3199 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Balboa Cafe

Opened in 1913, the historic Balboa Cafe serves its burger on a baguette, a choice that may have once raised eyebrows but has since become a classic preparation in SF. It’s available for lunch and dinner, and comes with butter lettuce, onions, pickles, and shoestring fries — with the option to add cheese, mushrooms, a fried egg, bacon, or avocado. Dine onsite and this burger comes with a side of nostalgia.

3199 Fillmore St
San Francisco, CA 94123

3. Sam's

618 Broadway, San Francisco, CA

Of all the burgers on the list, Sam’s is likely to be held closest to San Franciscans’ hearts. Sam’s first opened its doors in 1966 and has been serving up comfort food — daily until 4 a.m., which is the key part — ever since. It's a chuck blend with cheese, lettuce, and tomato on a sesame bun.

618 Broadway
San Francisco, CA

4. Gott’s Roadside

1 Ferry Building Ste 6, San Francisco, CA
Gott’s via Gott’s

Gott’s Roadside burger is your typical all-American-style patty, but with a little more heft. These 1/3-pound patties are made from a proprietary blend of Niman Ranch beef, and the extra-soft egg buns are sourced from Panorama Bakery. As for the secret sauce ... it's a secret.

1 Ferry Building Ste 6
San Francisco, CA

5. Pearl’s Deluxe Burger

708 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94109

Pearl’s is a family-run diner, named after the owner’s grandmother, that’s been around for nearly 20 years. The burgers stack up grass-fed beef, turkey, and bison, and the “deluxe” is a serious half pound, while the “mini deluxe” is a more moderate quarter pound. The Bula burger is the crowd favorite, topped with Swiss, bacon, pineapple, and teriyaki.

708 Post St
San Francisco, CA 94109

6. Spruce

3640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA
The Spruce burger Spruce

Spruce may be on the fancier side, but its burger is accessible to all at lunch or at the bar. The patty is made with a proprietary blend of brisket, short rib, and sirloin, and served on a housemade English muffin. Spruce touches can be seen throughout, like in the turmeric-pickled zucchini, the pickled red onion, beefsteak tomato, and thrice-cooked fries that come on the side.

3640 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA

7. Red's Java House

Pier 30, San Francisco, CA 94105

There is no other singular moment that can take the place of enjoying a sunny, windy lunch at Red’s, where time has stood still since 1955. There, the burgers (and hot dogs) are served on hefty sourdough rolls, topped with mustard, mayonnaise, pickles, and onions (no ketchup), and best enjoyed with a frosty Anchor Steam. It’s particularly hopping before and after a Giants game, when team spirit is at an all time high.

Pier 30
San Francisco, CA 94105

8. Violet's

2301 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94121

Fiorella migrated its popular once-weekly burger to sister cocktail bar and tavern Violet’s when it debuted in 2018, where it can be found nightly. The napkins-required Tavern Burger is a must-order, with American cheese, bacon, spicy house sauce, pickles, and shredded lettuce.

2301 Clement St
San Francisco, CA 94121

9. Garaje

475 3rd St, San Francisco, CA

Garaje's Drive-In Burger is a nostalgic, juicy classic. Served with a single or double patty, for those with particularly large appetites, this one's gone from-off-the radar, in terms of burger acclaim, to full-on hype, so get after it quick.

475 3rd St
San Francisco, CA

10. 4505 Burgers & BBQ

705 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA
4505 Ed Anderson

As would be expected from a meat-obsessed concept, 4505's burger puts a heavy emphasis on the cow. It uses a quarter-pound, grass-fed patty, always served medium rare, and comes on a griddled sesame and scallion bun with iceberg lettuce, sliced red onion, gruyere cheese, and "secret sauce."

705 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA

11. Nopa

560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA

There is no better late-night burger than the one at Nopa — the restaurant usually serves 29,000 a year, which is certainly proof. This one is wood-grilled and comes with pickled onions, little gem lettuce, and cheddar cheese if you so choose. It's the perfect barstool meal but is also a treat at home.

560 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA

12. The Butcher Shop by Niku Steakhouse

57 Division St, San Francisco, CA 94103

Niku Japanese steakhouse is known for its luxurious wagyu tasting menu. And just next door, the butcher shop is dry aging big primal cuts. You could get tomahawk steaks to cook up at home, but there’s also two bomb burgers. Blending domestic and Japanese wagyu, it’s an ultra fatty, flavorful experience.

57 Division St
San Francisco, CA 94103

13. ABV

3174 16th St, San Francisco, CA

Originally called the "fuckin’ burger with spicy-ass chips," ABV chef Collin Hilton created a 1/3-pound, grass-feed beef patty with white cheddar cheese, raw red onion, shredded lettuce pickles, and a tangy special sauce, all on a Japanese sweet potato bun. Thinly-sliced jalapeño chips are served on the side, for a total of $15.

3174 16th St
San Francisco, CA

14. Mission Bowling Club

3176 17th St, San Francisco, CA

Part bowling alley, part beer and cocktail bar, Mission Bowling Club's upscale comfort food is a far cry from the pizza and popcorn of your childhood bowling alley birthday memories. The burger is the star of the show, made with short rib and chuck beef that's seared in tallow and topped with Monterey jack cheese, caramelized onions, and caper aioli for a bit of salty tang.

3176 17th St
San Francisco, CA

15. WesBurger 'n' More

2240 Mission St, San Francisco, CA
Smashburger from Wesburger Wes Rowe

Originally from Texas, Wes Rowe broke loose on the burger scene in 2013, running a wildly popular pop-up for a few years, before moving into a prime spot on Mission at 18th. Last year, he threw out half of the menu, and started mastering the art of the smash burger: thin, crispy patties on a pillowy potato bun. The single is a 3-ounce patty, inspired by the McDonald’s quarter pounder with cheese, and only costs $6.50. The double adds on shaved red onions and special sauce for $9.50.

2240 Mission St
San Francisco, CA

Related Maps

16. Hi-Way Burger & Fry

3853 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Burger and fries at Hi-Way Caleb Pershan

The small children and tech millionaires of Noe Valley must have their burgers, and Hi-Way is usually hopping on the weekends (Friday night at 5 p.m. gets wild). The cute corner burger shop flips a good grass-fed patty on the flat top, along with griddled hot dogs, sweet potato fries, and Straus chocolate milk shakes.

3853 24th St
San Francisco, CA 94114

17. Bullshead Restaurant

840 Ulloa St, San Francisco, CA 94127

Tucked away in quiet and residential West Portal, Bullshead has been flipping burgers since 1979. It’s no frills, but the kitchen grinds its own meat daily and hand cuts its fries. They’re known for the bison burger, served open on a metal platter, with the lean meat cooked crispy at the edges, perfectly pink at center. 

840 Ulloa St
San Francisco, CA 94127

18. Beep's Burgers

1051 Ocean Ave, San Francisco, CA 94112
Read Review |
Patricia Chang

Dating back to 1962, Beep’s is a space-age throwback. Pull up to the drive-in for the Angus-beef quarter-pound patty, with secret sauce (a mix of mayo, ketchup, paprika, and cayenne), leafy lettuce, and melted cheddar on a soft Semifreddi’s bun. Juicy, messy, hand-shaped Niman Ranch beef for only $7. The old-school burger joint is also great for crispy onion rings and Twinkie milkshakes.

1051 Ocean Ave
San Francisco, CA 94112

Related Maps