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Namu Gaji

San Francisco's Essential Burgers

The best patties this city has to offer

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There's nearly no American food as beloved as the hamburger. It's a great American pastime, a symbol of summer barbecues, and all-around icon of happiness and freedom. San Francisco loves the burger just as much as the next city, and chefs around town have spent considerable time on making the best version possible, resulting in a constellation of essential burgers that reflect and demonstrate the very fabric of our fair city.

From the $20 gourmet burger experiences adorned with fancy sauces, to the much-loved, hole-in-the-wall joint patties no one can resist, SF has got it all. No one burger reigns supreme; rather, they all complement each other in making SF an excellent burger-eating town. Herein lies the essential list of San Francisco’s burgers, listed alphabetically.

Want to know more San Francisco essentials? Look no further:

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. 4505 Burgers & BBQ

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705 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 231-6993
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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 Sun Fed Ranch patty from Sacramento Valley up to the Oregon border, and it comes on a griddled sesame and scallion bun with iceberg lettuce, sliced red onion, Gruyere cheese, and "secret sauce." It's always served medium rare, and it hasn't changed since the day it opened.

Ed Anderson

2. Beep's Burgers

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

True to its name, Beep’s is for burgers, with grilled onions or mushrooms, fresh avocado or fried egg, if you like. Head to Ingleside for an all Angus beef quarter-pound patty, with Beep’s 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 $7.

3. Black Sands Brewery

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701 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 534-5194
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The Black Sands burger is pure Americana, with two smashed patties, special sauce that involves soy sauce and garlic aioli, pickles, and lots of oozy American cheese on a squishy bun. The meat is especially juicy, but with a nice crunchy char from the smash.

Black Sands

4. Causwells

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2346 Chestnut St
San Francisco, CA 94123
(415) 447-6081
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Causwells award-winning burger is a true phenomenon in the Marina. The sizeable 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.

5. Gott’s Roadside

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1 Ferry Building Ste 6
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 318-3423
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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, well, a secret.

Gott's

6. Heirloom Café

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2500 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 821-2500
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There's nothing new about Heirloom Cafe's off-menu, epoisses-topped burger, but it's still damn delicious. Shallots are ground into the patty, which is crisped on a cast-iron and finished in the oven to medium rare. Don't expect fries with this one, though — it's charmingly served with a side of carrots.

7. Huxley Restaurant

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846 Geary St
San Francisco, CA 94109
(415) 800-8223
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The “Hux Deluxe,” dreamed up by chef Manfred Wrembel for Huxley, has a lot going on, but it all works. The four ounce dry-aged patty uses ground chuck and is served with American cheese, frisee lettuce, and MSG aioli. A “bacon wafer” adds extra flavor, as well as the housemade onion bun, which subs a pickle brine instead of water, adding just the right amount of saltiness.

Huxley

8. KronnerBurger

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4063 Piedmont Ave
Oakland, CA 94611
(510) 410-7145
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What's that? Kronnerburger is in Oakland? Well it got its start as a pop-up in the Mission, so on the list it goes. Chris Kronner's burgers are also some of the best examples of patties that are both delicious and sustainable, using dry-aged beef from dairy cows. Iceberg lettuce, cheese-mayo, pickles, and an excellent bun make this "salty and rare" burger one of the best.

9. Marlowe

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500 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 777-1413
Visit Website

The Marlowe burger is so popular that for a hot second it inspired its own pop-up restaurant. Chef Jennifer Puccio created a burger masterpiece using a six-ounce ground beef and ground lamb mix, chargrilled and topped with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, horseradish aioli, bacon, and shredded lettuce, all on an Acme bun. The lamb adds a subtle earthiness, while the horseradish brings it all alive.

10. Mission Bowling Club

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3176 17th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-2695
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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. MBC's opening chef Anthony Myint (the Perennial, Mission Street Food) came up with the recipe, still faithfully recreated by current chef Ryne Dinglasa. It's $16 with shoestring fries at dinner, but at happy hour, it's $10 a la carte, and $1 from every burger sold goes to local nonprofits.

11. Namu Gaji

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499 Dolores St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 431-6268
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When you think about Namu Gaji, a burger may not first come to mind, but the Lee brothers' version is an indulgent, addictive addition to this list, starting with its two thin Marin Sun Farms meat patties cooked on binchotan charcoal, which adds a true wood-grilled flavor. Next up is bacon jam, made with Benton's bacon and Four Barrel coffee grinds, with heirloom tomatoes and pickled daikon from the Namu farm, all on a housemade bun.

Pete Lee

12. Nopa

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560 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117
(415) 864-8643
Visit Website

There is no better late-night burger than the one at Nopa — the restaurant serves 29,000 every single 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 also the least expensive item on the menu, making it the perfect barstool meal, since you're probably not getting a table.

13. Sam's

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618 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 391-1539

Of all the burgers on the list, Sam’s is likely to be held closest to San Franciscans’ hearts. Though not necessarily the most awe-inspiring option, the Sam’s burger is essential to San Francisco, and is as rich in history as it is in taste. Sam’s first opened its doors in 1966 and has been serving up comfort food — daily until 3 a.m., which is the key part — ever since. It's a chuck blend from Quality Meat Company with cheese, lettuce, and tomato on a sesame bun. Go after a North Beach night out, and you'll soon be a Sam's disciple, too.

14. Spruce

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3640 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94118
(415) 931-5100
Visit Website

Spruce may be on the fancier side, but its burger is accessible to all. The patty is made with a proprietary blend of brisket, short rib, and sirloin from Bassian Farms, and served on a housemade English muffin bun. Spruce touches can be seen throughout, like in the turmeric-pickled zucchini, the pickled red onion, beefsteak tomato, and thrice cooked French fries that come on the side. If you really want to take the experience to the next level, add seared foie gras, truffles, or some stinky epoisses.

Spruce

15. Super Duper Burger

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721 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103
(415) 538-3437
Visit Website

Adriano Paganini himself labored over the Super Duper burger, which since 2009 has proliferated to ten locations in the Bay Area. The fast food joint puts two patties on its signature burger, using humanely-raised, vegetarian-fed beef from local, family-owned ranches, with an 80-20 protein to fat blend. There's a secret sauce, of course, tomatoes, lettuce, and buns are delivered daily from a local supplier. You can add cheese and bacon at your own discretion.

Aubrie Pick

16. WesBurger 'n' More

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2240 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 745-9371
Visit Website

Wesburger started as a pop-up, eventually garnering such a fan base that it went brick-and-mortar this year. Now, the Mission location is making its signature six-ounce brisket patties on a nightly basis, and toppings change every day. The most classic version is the okie burger, which is cooked on a bed of onions and comes with mustard, pickles, and American cheese.

Wesburger

17. Zuni Cafe

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1658 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 552-2522
Visit Website

Zuni may have risen to fame because of its outrageously good roast chicken, but the restaurant’s burger is a marvel in its own right. The meat is salted the night before and then ground day of, giving it a juicier finish. The Zuni touch can be felt in every other aspect of the burger, too, with its rosemary focaccia bun, housemade pickles, pickled onions, and garlic aioli.

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1. 4505 Burgers & BBQ

705 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117
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 Sun Fed Ranch patty from Sacramento Valley up to the Oregon border, and it comes on a griddled sesame and scallion bun with iceberg lettuce, sliced red onion, Gruyere cheese, and "secret sauce." It's always served medium rare, and it hasn't changed since the day it opened.

705 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117

2. Beep's Burgers

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

True to its name, Beep’s is for burgers, with grilled onions or mushrooms, fresh avocado or fried egg, if you like. Head to Ingleside for an all Angus beef quarter-pound patty, with Beep’s 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 $7.

1051 Ocean Ave
San Francisco, CA 94112

3. Black Sands Brewery

701 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94117
Black Sands

The Black Sands burger is pure Americana, with two smashed patties, special sauce that involves soy sauce and garlic aioli, pickles, and lots of oozy American cheese on a squishy bun. The meat is especially juicy, but with a nice crunchy char from the smash.

701 Haight St
San Francisco, CA 94117

4. Causwells

2346 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123

Causwells award-winning burger is a true phenomenon in the Marina. The sizeable 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 94123

5. Gott’s Roadside

1 Ferry Building Ste 6, San Francisco, CA 94111
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, well, a secret.

1 Ferry Building Ste 6
San Francisco, CA 94111

6. Heirloom Café

2500 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110

There's nothing new about Heirloom Cafe's off-menu, epoisses-topped burger, but it's still damn delicious. Shallots are ground into the patty, which is crisped on a cast-iron and finished in the oven to medium rare. Don't expect fries with this one, though — it's charmingly served with a side of carrots.

2500 Folsom St
San Francisco, CA 94110

7. Huxley Restaurant

846 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94109
Huxley

The “Hux Deluxe,” dreamed up by chef Manfred Wrembel for Huxley, has a lot going on, but it all works. The four ounce dry-aged patty uses ground chuck and is served with American cheese, frisee lettuce, and MSG aioli. A “bacon wafer” adds extra flavor, as well as the housemade onion bun, which subs a pickle brine instead of water, adding just the right amount of saltiness.

846 Geary St
San Francisco, CA 94109

8. KronnerBurger

4063 Piedmont Ave, Oakland, CA 94611

What's that? Kronnerburger is in Oakland? Well it got its start as a pop-up in the Mission, so on the list it goes. Chris Kronner's burgers are also some of the best examples of patties that are both delicious and sustainable, using dry-aged beef from dairy cows. Iceberg lettuce, cheese-mayo, pickles, and an excellent bun make this "salty and rare" burger one of the best.

4063 Piedmont Ave
Oakland, CA 94611

9. Marlowe

500 Brannan St, San Francisco, CA 94107

The Marlowe burger is so popular that for a hot second it inspired its own pop-up restaurant. Chef Jennifer Puccio created a burger masterpiece using a six-ounce ground beef and ground lamb mix, chargrilled and topped with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, horseradish aioli, bacon, and shredded lettuce, all on an Acme bun. The lamb adds a subtle earthiness, while the horseradish brings it all alive.

500 Brannan St
San Francisco, CA 94107

10. Mission Bowling Club

3176 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

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. MBC's opening chef Anthony Myint (the Perennial, Mission Street Food) came up with the recipe, still faithfully recreated by current chef Ryne Dinglasa. It's $16 with shoestring fries at dinner, but at happy hour, it's $10 a la carte, and $1 from every burger sold goes to local nonprofits.

3176 17th St
San Francisco, CA 94110

11. Namu Gaji

499 Dolores St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Pete Lee

When you think about Namu Gaji, a burger may not first come to mind, but the Lee brothers' version is an indulgent, addictive addition to this list, starting with its two thin Marin Sun Farms meat patties cooked on binchotan charcoal, which adds a true wood-grilled flavor. Next up is bacon jam, made with Benton's bacon and Four Barrel coffee grinds, with heirloom tomatoes and pickled daikon from the Namu farm, all on a housemade bun.

499 Dolores St
San Francisco, CA 94110

12. Nopa

560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

There is no better late-night burger than the one at Nopa — the restaurant serves 29,000 every single 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 also the least expensive item on the menu, making it the perfect barstool meal, since you're probably not getting a table.

560 Divisadero St
San Francisco, CA 94117

13. Sam's

618 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

Of all the burgers on the list, Sam’s is likely to be held closest to San Franciscans’ hearts. Though not necessarily the most awe-inspiring option, the Sam’s burger is essential to San Francisco, and is as rich in history as it is in taste. Sam’s first opened its doors in 1966 and has been serving up comfort food — daily until 3 a.m., which is the key part — ever since. It's a chuck blend from Quality Meat Company with cheese, lettuce, and tomato on a sesame bun. Go after a North Beach night out, and you'll soon be a Sam's disciple, too.

618 Broadway
San Francisco, CA 94133

14. Spruce

3640 Sacramento St, San Francisco, CA 94118
Spruce

Spruce may be on the fancier side, but its burger is accessible to all. The patty is made with a proprietary blend of brisket, short rib, and sirloin from Bassian Farms, and served on a housemade English muffin bun. Spruce touches can be seen throughout, like in the turmeric-pickled zucchini, the pickled red onion, beefsteak tomato, and thrice cooked French fries that come on the side. If you really want to take the experience to the next level, add seared foie gras, truffles, or some stinky epoisses.

3640 Sacramento St
San Francisco, CA 94118

15. Super Duper Burger

721 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94103
Aubrie Pick

Adriano Paganini himself labored over the Super Duper burger, which since 2009 has proliferated to ten locations in the Bay Area. The fast food joint puts two patties on its signature burger, using humanely-raised, vegetarian-fed beef from local, family-owned ranches, with an 80-20 protein to fat blend. There's a secret sauce, of course, tomatoes, lettuce, and buns are delivered daily from a local supplier. You can add cheese and bacon at your own discretion.

721 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103

Related Maps

16. WesBurger 'n' More

2240 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110
Wesburger

Wesburger started as a pop-up, eventually garnering such a fan base that it went brick-and-mortar this year. Now, the Mission location is making its signature six-ounce brisket patties on a nightly basis, and toppings change every day. The most classic version is the okie burger, which is cooked on a bed of onions and comes with mustard, pickles, and American cheese.

2240 Mission St
San Francisco, CA 94110

17. Zuni Cafe

1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102

Zuni may have risen to fame because of its outrageously good roast chicken, but the restaurant’s burger is a marvel in its own right. The meat is salted the night before and then ground day of, giving it a juicier finish. The Zuni touch can be felt in every other aspect of the burger, too, with its rosemary focaccia bun, housemade pickles, pickled onions, and garlic aioli.

1658 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94102

Related Maps