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Best Burger

San Francisco

The Bay Area has no shortage of killer burgers. While our arteries are often loyal to In-N-Out, plenty of other local chains get love from surveyors, thanks in no small part to NorCal's devotion to grass-fed, credibly sourced meat. But in the end, we're a town of indpendents, entrepreneurs and creatives. So it makes sense that a restaurant burger and a butcher's creation steal two of our top ten spots. Here are our surveyor's picks, which hint at the wealth of stellar San Francisco burgers at every price point and level of decadence.

Ratings are out of 30. Key to ratings

Hamburgers are rated in three categories — flavor, ingredients and value — on a 30-point scale.

26–30Extraordinary to perfection
21–25Very good to excellent
16–20Good to very good
11–15Fair to good
0–10Poor to fair

Ratings have been rounded to the nearest whole number, but the top burger rankings are calculated using the non-rounded scores.

  • Overall
  • Flavor
  • Value
  • Ingred.
  • Ingredients
  • Nopa

    Grass Fed Hamburger

    • 24
    • 28
    • 19
    • 26
    #1

    Surveyors "hate to say anything good, because then the restaurant will get even more packed," but it's clear for years that Nopa is a local's favorite, specifically for the "perfectly cooked," "upscale" grass-fed burger ($14), which is "a must," particularly "after midnight." Read more about Nopa on Zagat.

    www.nopasf.com

  • Epic Roasthouse

    Wagyu Hamburger

    • 24
    • 28
    • 16
    • 28
    #2

    Epic's lush Wagyu burger ($15 - another $2 with aged cheddar or blue cheese) is "grilled perfection," complete with waterside Bay views best enjoyed from the outdoor patio. Surveyors dub this a "high end, great, juicy burger," although some add the caveat: "extremely good but a bit expensive." Read more about Epic Roasthouse on Zagat.

    www.epicroasthouse.com

    Photo by Virginia Miller

  • 4505 Burgers & BBQ

    Best Damn Grass Fed Cheeseburger

    • 24
    • 25
    • 20
    • 26
    #3

    The "Best Damn Cheeseburger" ($8) "lives up to its name." 4505 butcher extraordinaire Ryan Farr stacks up grass-fed, dry-aged beef with Gruyère cheese and "secret sauce" on a buttery sesame-scallion bun. This "delicately prepared" burger has been attracting fans for years. Read more about 4505 Burgers & BBQ on Zagat.

    4505meats.com

  • Marlowe

    Marlowe Burger

    • 22
    • 25
    • 17
    • 24
    #4

    Though "on the smallish side," voters agree the Marlowe Burger ($16), slathered in cheddar, bacon, caramelized onions and horseradish aioli is, "really, one of the best burgers in the city." Read more about Marlowe on Zagat.

    marlowesf.com

  • In-N-Out

    Double-Double

    • 22
    • 21
    • 26
    • 19
    #5

    The one and only" In-N-Out Double-Double ($3.45) is the ultimate California "cult" icon, layering two beef patties with cheese, lettuce, tomato and onions between toasted buns. The "legendary" burger is a great value and "sets the standard for fast-food burgers." P.S. "Grilled onions are a must. Read more about In-N-Out on Zagat.

    www.in-n-out.com

    Photo by Val D'Aquila via Flickr

  • Umami Burger

    Umami Burger

    • 20
    • 23
    • 14
    • 24
    #6

    Treat yourself to a "gourmet" (albeit "expensive," "smallish") Umami Burger ($12). The signature combo of Parmesan crisp, shiitake mushrooms, roasted tomato, caramelized onions and house ketchup delivers the promised umami flavor in a "rich, flavorful" package. Surveyors delight in the "egg-rich buns" and sides of sweet potato fries. Read more about Umami Burger on Zagat.

    www.umami.com/umami-burger

  • Super Duper Burgers

    Super Burger

    • 19
    • 20
    • 18
    • 20
    #7

    A "juicy", melt-in-your-mouth Super Burger ($7) from Super Duper is piled with two Niman Ranch beef patties and "everything": red onions, lettuce, tomato and "super sauce." You can add on cheese or bacon. "With good carmelization from the grill," the "flavorful" burger comes in a mini-size ($5) too. Read more about Super Duper Burgers on Zagat.

    www.superdupersf.com

  • Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery

    Magnolia Pub Burger

    • 19
    • 21
    • 16
    • 21
    #8

    Magnolia Gastropub & Brewery is a temple to beer, which they've been brewing in the basement underneath the restaurant for over 16 years (and now also in their new sister restaurant, Smokestack). Their tender, Prather Ranch pub burger ($14) has long been a menu draw, even more decadent if you add on cheddar, Gruyere or blue cheese, an egg or Hobb's applewood smoked bacon. Read more about Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery on Zagat.

    magnoliapub.com

    Photo by Jennifer Yin via Flickr

  • Gott's Roadside

    Cheeseburger

    • 18
    • 21
    • 13
    • 21
    #9

    Though "all of their burgers are great," longtime Bay Area favorite Gott's classic cheeseburger ($7.99) wins over surveyors with its secret sauce, American cheese, pickles, lettuce and tomato on a toasted egg bun. Though "pricey," the Niman Ranch Angus beef patty results in a "quintessential" burger. Read more about Gott's Roadside on Zagat.

    gotts.com

    Photo by Douglas Zimmerman

  • Pearl's Deluxe Burger

    Deluxe Burger

    • 18
    • 21
    • 17
    • 17
    #10

    Devotees dub Pearl's Deluxe Burgers the "best in the city," particularly the half-pound deluxe burger ($6.99). "Large, sloppy and tasty," there's a mini-deluxe ($4.99) size and some of the best milkshakes around. Head to the dingy yet beloved Polk Street location or a shinier Mill Valley address. Read more about Pearl's Deluxe Burger on Zagat.

    plus.google.com/114050159007613470994/about

    Photo by PengrinTM via Flickr

Ratings are out of 30. Key to ratings

Hamburgers are rated in three categories — flavor, ingredients and value — on a 30-point scale.

26–30Extraordinary to perfection
21–25Very good to excellent
16–20Good to very good
11–15Fair to good
0–10Poor to fair

Ratings have been rounded to the nearest whole number, but the top burger rankings are calculated using the non-rounded scores.

Burger Anatomy: Super Duper Burgers