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Top 5 Burgers in San Francisco.

Is there any greater delicacy than the perfect cheeseburger? Whatever the occasion, it always seems to be what one looks forward to. After a 15 mile hike…cheeseburgers and martinis. After a concert…cheeseburgers and beer. At the end of hectic or trying day…a great cheeseburger brings on the comfort. So, as you visit San Francisco this summer, Hotel VIA brings you our Top 5 Burgers in San Francisco. From stately environs to dives, we’re sure you’re going to love these.

Bill’s Place

Located on Clement Street in the Richmond, the diner environment is well suited for this outstanding burger. The first sign of a great burger is grease running down your hands when you take a bite. Well, get the napkins ready. Bill’s starts with the perfect cut of meat and then turns it into a juicy burger. From a plain burger, to their gourmet burgers to their burgers named after SF’s famous, each one is a winner. BONUS: The fries are hand cut and old school great and the amazing milkshakes are served in stainless steel cans that you pour out yourself.

The Big 4 Bar

In the Huntington hotel at the top of Nob Hill, you’ll find the Big 4 Restaurant. And in the bar could be the most perfect burger ever. You can’t get it in the restaurant, so you need to eat in the bar but that’s a treat in itself. The Big 4 is old, stately San Francisco in its most glorious. From its name to the elegant wood environment and notable photos and artifacts, The Big 4 oozes history. And the burger is as classic as the bar. Cooked just as you order it, the ratio of meat to bun is ideal and everything else is on the side as it should be. Sit, savor and enjoy. BONUS: Classic cocktails, the fries are amazing and the piano player rounds out a first class experience.

Hard Knox Café

In the Dogpatch neighborhood not far from the new Chase Center there’s a small café with outsized food. You’d need to look carefully to find this tin walled, nondescript, roadhouse, but you’ll easily locate it by the groups of people standing on the sidewalk waiting for their turn to eat. Inside…the Juicy Lucy. Do we need to say more? A half pound of ground chuck – yes, the perfect burger meat – with American Cheese melted in the middle. Cheeseburger nirvana. Can it get better? Yes, it’s cooked on a flame grill. And be sure to get the fries because they are equally amazing. You’ll need to wait for one of the few booths, tables or counter seats, but it’s well worth it. A little hint: when you sign in say yes to the counter. BONUS: The Hard Knox Café is actually a soul food restaurant with some of the best fried chicken and waffles in the city.


San Francisco’s Mission District is full of great food and great bars. Amongst them, Zeitgeist is definitely a dive so be prepared when you enter. The cheeseburger at Zeitgeist makes our top 5 but with an *. We’re not sure whether the cheeseburger is as great as it seems or if the environment, number of beers on tap and fabulous Bloody Mary enhance the taste of the burger. The place is definitely a dive, the music is metal and there’s a great outdoor patio that allows smoking. In a city of unique places, this one is very different. It’s fun, it’s social and the cheeseburgers are definitely on point. BONUS: Budget friendly…prices are reasonable and the drinks are so strong you probably won’t order as many as you might at another place.


In the heart of SOMA, the Tempest Bar and Box Kitchen could be the most perfect combination of dive bar/ sports bar/historic bar in the City. And their eponymous Box Burger is definitely one of the absolute best burgers in San Francisco. I think it’s the shallots. The bacon-shallot jam (or whatever it’s called) enhances, rather than masks, the perfectly cooked ground chuck. You have to work for this burger, but it’s worth it. There’s no table service and the box kitchen is outside and right next to the bar so you need to go out there to order. And when they tell you to come back in 12 minutes, go back in 12 minutes because your order will be ready on time. And when you’re done with this burger, you’ll wish you had another one. BONUS: They serve food till 1:00 a.m!

Posted June 27th, 2019

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