The 10 Best Burgers in the Bay Area

You ate, you voted, we tallied — here are the results of our 2015 survey
November 3, 2015
by Zagat Staff

There is no shortage of good burgers in San Francisco — and new contenders seem to be popping up all over town — but for this list of the best burgers, we wanted to know which burgers satisfy your cravings. So we asked; you answered; and we tallied the numbers to come up with the crowd favorites. Here are the results of our 2015 Burger Survey, ranked in order of their survey scores, plus a helpful hint on what burger to order once you get there.

WesBurger n' More
Burger · The Mission · $

Burger fans know to look for this indulgent yet wallet-friendly burger joint, where a local Burger Brawl champion churns out juicy, cast-iron-skillet-cooked patties stacked with toppings; veggie options are available.
Bluestem Brasserie
American · SoMa · $$$
Food 4.2 · Decor 4.1 · Service 4.3

This SoMa brasserie sets an "urban" scene for "solid" New American fare (including "great grass-fed" beef), "generous" cocktails and "seamless" service; tabs run "a bit pricey" , but between the "floor-to-ceiling windows" , "handsome bar area" and "second-floor patio" , it's a suitable spot to "shake on a deal" over a "long lunch."
American · Mission Bay · $$$
Food 4.3 · Decor 4.0 · Service 4.2

"Innovative but approachable" Cal-American offerings and a "classic" burger are "popular" draws at this SoMa gastropub occupying a "bright" space done up like a "hip" butcher shop (complete with specials scrawled on rolled brown paper); "welcoming" servers tend to the "lively" crowds, and though the "noise level can get pretty high" , most say "what's not to like?"
American · Marina District · $$
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.8 · Service 4.1

"Bringing refinement" to "casual" American fare, this "friendly" "Marina surprise" is popular with "the young and pretty set" for its "off-the-hook" burger, "sharing" plates and "awesome" brunch; it’s a "busy" "hangout" blending "industrial and classic-bar" vibes, with sidewalk tables for "quality people-watching."
New American · Alamo Square · $$$
Food 4.6 · Decor 4.3 · Service 4.4

"The overall buzz has not subsided" at this Alamo Square Californian that’ll "rock your socks" with "earthy" locavore dishes to "dream about" (including "acclaimed" wood-fired burgers) delivered alongside "outstanding cocktails" in an "energizing" duplex space manned by an "efficient" crew; prices are "decent" , brunches are "fantastic" and it's a "favorite late-night spot" , so the "only disappointing thing is the wait."
Wayfare Tavern
American · Downtown · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.4 · Service 4.3

"Genius" popovers and "amazing" fried chicken are menu highlights at this "creative comfort-food" spot in the FiDi via chef Tyler Florence; "charismatic" servers and a "super-cool" atmosphere compensate for "pricey" tabs and "loud" acoustics, but overall it stays "hopping" for a reason.
4505 Burgers & BBQ
American · NoPa · $
Food 4.4 · Decor 3.8 · Service 4.0

Offering "a taste of true-blue BBQ" , this NoPa pit stop from the "hip" 4505 restaurant group doles out "sublime" wood-smoked meats, "ridiculously delicious" burgers and "awesome" sides, all matched with "local brews" and served over the counter "with a smile" ; the "sparse" interior and "convivial" patio are "wildly popular" with those "craving" "a killer meal" , but "the steady line is worth it."
American · Downtown · $$$
Food 4.4 · Decor 4.6 · Service 4.4

For dining "in the speakeasy style" , drop by this "swanky" supper club set in an "out-of-the-way" FiDi alley where a "terrific" American menu (and even more "fantastic" cocktails) arrive in a "deco-to-the-max" duplex setting complete with white-jacketed servers; sure, the acoustics can be "loud" and the pricing "extravagant" , but the mix of nightly live jazz and and "witty conversation" alone make it a "perfect special-occasion" destination.
American · $$
Food 4.1 · Decor 3.6 · Service 3.7

Once a popular pop-up, this Piedmont Avenue brick-and-mortar delivers a "rich" , "delectable" rare burger (plus a vegan version), along with salads and sides ( "bone marrow heaven" ) and beer and wine; outfitted with white marble, stainless steel and banquettes, the space fills up with "fashionable" customers, even if some find it "rather expensive for a burger joint."
Super Duper Burgers
Fast Food · SoMa · $
Food 4.3 · Decor 3.6 · Service 3.9

"Big fans" of these "sustainable" , "organic" -minded Bay Area burger joints agree the "name not only describes the food but the prices" they charge for "juicy" beef and "amazing" vegetarian patties topped with "homemade pickles" , as well as "killer" alcoholic shakes for adults and "mini" portions for "pint-size" patrons; while the "smart retro" seating areas can get "crowded" with "noisy families" , "efficient" service ensures it's usually "easy in" , easy out.