clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Theorita

The Burger Heatmap: 15 Burgers to Eat Right Now

Where to achieve burger nirvana

View as Map

San Francisco is full of excellent burgers, some that are even essential at this point. But our town also boasts some excellent new additions to the patty scene, making them the hottest burgers around.

These 16 restaurants are all places that are doing it really right when it comes to making the best burger possible, from renditions that employ umami-heavy porcini powder to others that replace the water in a housemade bun with pickle juice for that extra touch of flavor.

Don't see your current favorite burger on this list? Let us know about it in the comments below. Note: These burgers aren’t ranked — jut ordered from North to South.

Eaten your way through all the hottest burgers? Check out some of the city's other hottest categories in dining:

Hottest Restaurants
Hottest Brunch
Hottest Cocktail Bars
Hottest Coffee Shops

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
If you buy something or book a reservation from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Comstock Saloon

Copy Link

Comstock chef de cuisine Jason Raffin has concocted some of the city’s best burgers as a consulting chef (including the juicy one at Finn Town) and his creation at classic North Beach watering hole Comstock Saloon could be his best yet. It’s a six-ounce beef patty ground in house, served on a house made nori and togarashi seeded bun, and it’s loaded up with secret sauce, cheese, pickles, and malt vinegar chips for a bit of a crunch.

Comstock Saloon

One of SF’s best known drag queens, Juanita MORE!, is now the chef at Jones, and a signature item on her menu is the MORE!burger. It’s a 1/2 pound of beef with chile relleño from her aunt Hope’s recipe — and it looks very serious.

The Saratoga

Copy Link

The Saratoga is all about luxurious comfort food, as evidenced by the Saratoga burger. It's got two patties, Taleggio cheese, and slaw on an onion bun. The slaw is the perfect foil for a rich, salty burger. Follow up with the Toga Tots and you'll be set.

The Saratoga

Creator

Copy Link

$6 machine-made burgers: That’s the pitch at this perhaps game-changing food technology company/restaurant Creator. These burgers aren’t touched by human hands until you take a bite —instead, meat is ground and placed right on the griddle. Creator just opened to walk-ins after a ticket-only soft opening, so now it’s easy to swing by and give it a try.

Albert Law

Popsons

Copy Link

If you're a fan of the critically-acclaimed Causwells patty, then you’ll love this quick service burger joint spinoff, which also comes in chili and bacon blue variations. Notably, there are French fries here, unlike the shoestring onions only option that currently comes on the side at Causwells. And if you want those French fries in your burger, then order the off-menu “Big Von” Burger ($9.45), a signature double cheeseburger topped with seasoned fries.

Ellen Fort

Violet's

Copy Link

Fiorella chef Dante Cecchini has migrated his once-weekly, napkin-required burger to the restaurant’s new sister cocktail bar and tavern Violet’s, where it can be found nightly. It’s definitely a must-order, with solid cheddar, bacon, spicy house sauce, pickles, and shredded lettuce.

Jardinière

Copy Link

Jardinière chef/owner Traci Des Jardins is a consulting chef at Impossible Foods, and has developed recipes for the burger, settling on a version topped with avocado slices, mashed avocado, caramelized onions, tomato, gem lettuce, and vegan dijonnaise on a potato bun. Her connection to the company made Jardinière one of the first restaurants in the city to feature the meatless bleeding burger, and it's now a permanent addition to her menu in the bar and lounge daily after 7:30 p.m. for $16.

Theorita

Copy Link

Che Fico’s downstairs diner sibling from pastry chef Angela Pinkerton and chef David Nayfeld sports a very juicy Marin Sun Farm ground beef burger with special sauce, cheddar, and plenty of onions and pickles on a potato bun. Fries, shakes, and pie for dessert round out the updated Americana experience.

Black Sands Brewery

Copy Link

The burger at this neighborhood brewpub is pure, sweet Americana, with two smashed patties, special sauce, 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.

Called the "New F**kin Burger with Spicy-Ass Chips," to differentiate it from the previous ABV burger it's now all but supplanted, 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, spicy jalapeño chips are served on the side, for a total of $14.

WesBurger 'n' More

Copy Link

Wes Burger, a labor of love from chef Wes Rowe, started as a beloved pop-up and has now settled into its permanent home in the Mission. The burger is all-brisket, coarsely ground, and cooked on cast iron for a crisp exterior; the toppings change nightly.

Wes Rowe

Executive chef Mario Tolentino’s “Holy Grail” burger at the revamped Chapel restaurant Curio makes a great pre or post-show meal right inside the venue. It’s a 5 oz patty smothered in raclette cheese, crimini mushrooms, and tomato jam (which is sweet and tangy like a barbecue sauce) and topped with crispy fried onions.

True Laurel

Copy Link

Fine, it’s a patty melt, but don’t get pedantic, it’s a great piece of “old” (read: aged dairy cow) beef on a bun that happens to be bread (that’s hot off a griddle). However you define it, this item at Lazy Bear chef/owner David Barzelay’s Mission cocktail bar (as expertly prepared by chef de cuisine Geoff Davis) is a total treat.

Son’s Addition

Copy Link

Son's Addition chef Nick Cobarruvias has a burger that's as good as diners might expect from a former chef de cuisine at essential burger destination Marlowe. His approach is to dress a thick Marin Sun Farms patty on both sides: There's white cheddar and bacon-onion marmalade slathered top, and romaine lettuce, tomato confit, and charred scallion aioli below. The whole, just barely contained by a sesame bun, is greater than the sum of its parts, and well worth the $13 price tag.

via Son's Addition

Hi-Way Burger & Fry

Copy Link

This new, low-key counter on 24th Street is already a hit with locals for its juicy burgers at good prices ($8.95 for a double) plus shakes and flat top hot dogs. The beef is grass fed, the bun is toasted, and the results speak for themselves.

Loading comments...

Comstock Saloon

Comstock Saloon

Comstock chef de cuisine Jason Raffin has concocted some of the city’s best burgers as a consulting chef (including the juicy one at Finn Town) and his creation at classic North Beach watering hole Comstock Saloon could be his best yet. It’s a six-ounce beef patty ground in house, served on a house made nori and togarashi seeded bun, and it’s loaded up with secret sauce, cheese, pickles, and malt vinegar chips for a bit of a crunch.

Comstock Saloon

Jones

One of SF’s best known drag queens, Juanita MORE!, is now the chef at Jones, and a signature item on her menu is the MORE!burger. It’s a 1/2 pound of beef with chile relleño from her aunt Hope’s recipe — and it looks very serious.

The Saratoga

The Saratoga

The Saratoga is all about luxurious comfort food, as evidenced by the Saratoga burger. It's got two patties, Taleggio cheese, and slaw on an onion bun. The slaw is the perfect foil for a rich, salty burger. Follow up with the Toga Tots and you'll be set.

The Saratoga

Creator

Albert Law

$6 machine-made burgers: That’s the pitch at this perhaps game-changing food technology company/restaurant Creator. These burgers aren’t touched by human hands until you take a bite —instead, meat is ground and placed right on the griddle. Creator just opened to walk-ins after a ticket-only soft opening, so now it’s easy to swing by and give it a try.

Albert Law

Popsons

Ellen Fort

If you're a fan of the critically-acclaimed Causwells patty, then you’ll love this quick service burger joint spinoff, which also comes in chili and bacon blue variations. Notably, there are French fries here, unlike the shoestring onions only option that currently comes on the side at Causwells. And if you want those French fries in your burger, then order the off-menu “Big Von” Burger ($9.45), a signature double cheeseburger topped with seasoned fries.

Ellen Fort

Violet's

Fiorella chef Dante Cecchini has migrated his once-weekly, napkin-required burger to the restaurant’s new sister cocktail bar and tavern Violet’s, where it can be found nightly. It’s definitely a must-order, with solid cheddar, bacon, spicy house sauce, pickles, and shredded lettuce.

Jardinière

Jardinière chef/owner Traci Des Jardins is a consulting chef at Impossible Foods, and has developed recipes for the burger, settling on a version topped with avocado slices, mashed avocado, caramelized onions, tomato, gem lettuce, and vegan dijonnaise on a potato bun. Her connection to the company made Jardinière one of the first restaurants in the city to feature the meatless bleeding burger, and it's now a permanent addition to her menu in the bar and lounge daily after 7:30 p.m. for $16.

Theorita

Che Fico’s downstairs diner sibling from pastry chef Angela Pinkerton and chef David Nayfeld sports a very juicy Marin Sun Farm ground beef burger with special sauce, cheddar, and plenty of onions and pickles on a potato bun. Fries, shakes, and pie for dessert round out the updated Americana experience.

Black Sands Brewery

The burger at this neighborhood brewpub is pure, sweet Americana, with two smashed patties, special sauce, 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.

ABV

Called the "New F**kin Burger with Spicy-Ass Chips," to differentiate it from the previous ABV burger it's now all but supplanted, 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, spicy jalapeño chips are served on the side, for a total of $14.

WesBurger 'n' More

Wes Rowe

Wes Burger, a labor of love from chef Wes Rowe, started as a beloved pop-up and has now settled into its permanent home in the Mission. The burger is all-brisket, coarsely ground, and cooked on cast iron for a crisp exterior; the toppings change nightly.

Wes Rowe

Curio

Executive chef Mario Tolentino’s “Holy Grail” burger at the revamped Chapel restaurant Curio makes a great pre or post-show meal right inside the venue. It’s a 5 oz patty smothered in raclette cheese, crimini mushrooms, and tomato jam (which is sweet and tangy like a barbecue sauce) and topped with crispy fried onions.

True Laurel

Fine, it’s a patty melt, but don’t get pedantic, it’s a great piece of “old” (read: aged dairy cow) beef on a bun that happens to be bread (that’s hot off a griddle). However you define it, this item at Lazy Bear chef/owner David Barzelay’s Mission cocktail bar (as expertly prepared by chef de cuisine Geoff Davis) is a total treat.

Son’s Addition