Best Burger in SF?
Update 1/2019: I’m not sure what happened, maybe it was the new location opening in Oakland, but the burgers just aren’t the same. The last few times I’ve been the food is really salty and the buns are different. Different in a bad way. The staff seems to ignore the dirty tables, used napkins on the floor, and empty condiment bins even when the only customers are sitting patiently waiting for their food. The prices went up a few months ago, and the quality went down. The meat at the butcher counter is still really good, just don’t expect the same level of care of customer service. I guess I’m still looking for the perfect SF burger.
I'm on a quest. Where can you find the best burger in San Francisco? In the land of $8 avocado toast, an amazing hamburger is actually pretty hard to find. Over cooked, over priced, too fatty, too many condiments, the list goes on and on, and the prices are usually steep. It's common to pay $15-$18 for a burger that doesn't even come with cheese or a side.
I'll always go back to the mini burger from Super Duper, but there's a serious challenger in Bel Campo's redesigned concept as a butcher shop and burger joint. I frequently head up to Polk Street to stock up on their eggs and meats (which are grown on their own farm up near Mt. Shasta and humanely butchered), but I was never sold on their restaurant. It was beautiful, but the few times I went I wasn't impressed. Prices were steep, service was just okay, and you ended up way too close to your neighbors. Recently, Bel Campo scrapped the fancy restaurant idea and renovated. Instead of luxurious booths and wood panels there's now open shelving, a long communal table, and plenty of last minute additions to their well stocked butcher's case. In place of their regular menu, they're now serving up three different burgers, a salad, a salami plate, and of course some fries.
The fast burger, which I've had a couple of times now, comes in two sizes (single or double patty, $6.50/$10.50), and comes with cheese and all your regular burger toppings. The Bel Campo burger is larger, and comes with white cheddar and caramelized onions. If you're feeling fancy, there's even a 100-day dry-aged beef version that will run you $23.
Burgers are sold all day, and the single patty fast burger is the perfect between meal if you're in Russian Hill. Plus, you'll be able to browse the meat case while you wait. For the past few months, they've had buy-one-get-one rotating specials. The eggs are egg-celent and have super orange yolks. The ground beef, lamb and pork are all reasonably priced, and many of the cheaper cuts are perfect for the slow cooker.
Splurge on a steak and invite me for dinner. Or, just get a burger--you'll thank me later.