When it comes to finding a great burger, no one knows better than a chef. So with the help of SF-based Chefs Feed, which sources recommendations directly from chefs to provide a guide to the city's best dishes, we rounded up 11 of the city's best burgers, each recommended by at least one (and sometimes as many as six) chefs working in the city. They range from stone-cold classics to up-and-comers, white napkins to paper napkins, but all will satisfy.Read More
Chefs Pick Their 11 Favorite San Francisco Burgers
Standard-bearers and hidden gems can both be found here.
Daniel Patterson (Coi) thinks Ryan Farr's cheeseburger is the best in town, a view that's shared by recent Top Chef contestant Melissa King, who dubs it "perfection." "Many a trip to the [Ferry Plaza] farmer's market has started with this as my 'breakfast,'" admits Telmo Faria of Tacolicious.
Omri Alfalo (Wayfare Tavern) digs the easygoing burger at this pair of French bistros (the other is in Potrero Hill). "Get it with a fried egg, and make sure to add avocado and bacon," he advises.
Ruggero Gadaldi (Beretta, Delarosa, Pesce) can't resist the ahi-tuna burger at Gott's, "a summertime favorite on a Sunday afternoon." He recommends pairing it with their sweet potato fries and a pint of beer on the patio overlooking the Embarcadero.
This soon-to-debut fast-casual burger spot has its roots in sister restaurants Marlowe, Park Tavern, and The Cavalier, which all still serve it. Married chefs Bridget Batson (Munchery) and Patrick Kelly (Lure + Till) both crave it: "It's a big, fat burger that's simply done, and the kitchen always hits the right temperature," says Kelly. "Juicy and delicious," adds Batson.
Mission Bowling Club
With a technique-driven style based on a Heston Blumenthal recipe, it's no surprise that Anthony Myint's Mission Burger is a favorite among chefs. "The granular patty is really interesting texturally," says Monsieur Benjamin's Jason Berthold. "And the brininess of the caper aioli really adds to the richness of the meat."
Recommended by a whopping six chefs, Nopa's grass-fed burger was far and away the champ on this list. Molina's Todd Shoberg describes it as his "ultimate go-to meal," while Brett Cooper (Aster) deems it "hands-down the best burger in SF." As Jonathan Sutton (Hillside Supper Club) sums it up: "Pure awesomeness."
This late-night joint has a cult following among chefs, who come for what Coi's Nick Muncy describes as a "staple late-night after-service meal," with fries that are always "straight from the fryer." Tim Lyum (Attic) concurs, saying it's his favorite in the city.
"This is the best burger in SF, but no one knows it," says Traci Des Jardins (Jardiniere) of the Serpentine burger, which has "a perfectly sized patty—not too thick, not too thin—and great housemade pickles on it. And I don't even normally take my burger with pickles!"
Christopher Thompson of A16 says he finds this Michelin-starred restaurant's bar-only burger, which is topped with pickled onions, zucchini, and remoulade, to be "the perfect burger...add house-cured pancetta and egg, and you've neared nirvana."
Super Duper Burger
For a petite burger that will fill you up without weighing you down, chefs depend on this local mini-chain's mini-burger. "It's just enough burger that you can be extravagant with the toppings," says Kimberly Bugler of Scala's Bistro, who adds bacon, avocado, cheddar, and egg to hers.
Spruce's Mark Sullivan may whip up a fancy burger at his restaurant, but in his downtime, he digs the "old-school delicious" burgers at this little South Van Ness stand. His young son also recommends the milkshakes.