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San Francisco’s Best Cheeseburgers

I've had the opportunity to write about a sampling of some of San Francisco's best burgers for Groupon.

I have interviewed the founder of the latest geo-located burger app called Burgerator, an app that will help you find really great burgers in San Francisco.

Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, meaning if you book or buy something through one of these links, I may earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you!). Opinions are always my own and I’ll never promote something I don’t use or believe in. Also as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

san francisco best cheeseburger

I have written about one of my favorites, Gott's (formerly Taylor's Refresher in Napa and in San Francisco at the Ferry Building) as well as my pick for the best vegetarian version burger at Source.

But what does the rest of San Francisco say?

Today is National Cheeseburger Day so I thought I would do this little post for anyone looking for a great cheeseburger in San Francisco. I have included a round-up below from some really great San Francisco sources, but I also wanted to give you the highlights.

These are the Top 3 Best [cheese] Burgers in San Francisco based on my research. These three consistently appear on lots of “best of” lists and are frequently written about by bloggers.

I am putting them in alpha/numerical order, all three scored the same in my research.

4505 Meats

San Francisco’s Best Cheeseburgers - 4505 burger
Photo credit: Becky Berry

4505 is known for its BBQ, briskets, etc. But as the name suggests, they make a damn good cheeseburger. They have a store at 705 Divisadero Street and also a stand at the Ferry Building on Tuesdays and Thursdays (that's where I have eaten their burger). They use gruyere cheese which is the perfect cheese to offset the delicious smokiness of the meat.


San Francisco’s Best Cheeseburgers - marlowe burger
Photo credit: Kennejima

The Marlowe burger – caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, bacon, and horseradish aioli, what more do you need? Me, I take the crispy brussel sprout chips (honestly that is the real reason I go) and one of their great beers on tap. They are currently located at 330 Townsend Street but are moving to 500 Brannan Street (not too far away) in October.


San Francisco’s Best Cheeseburgers - nopa burger
Photo credit: Chinkerfly

The [cheese] burger at Nopa is wood-fire grilled with sharp cheddar cheese and pickled onions. The secret? The salt! For each pound of meat, Nopa adds a teaspoon of salt, which brings out the flavor of the grass-fed beef. Nopa is located at 560 Divisadero Street at Hayes but it's hard to get into!

There are a ton of great burgers and cheeseburgers in San Francisco, but these three are always on everyone's list. I have eaten at 4505 and Marlowe and you can guess that I will be heading to Nopa real soon!

San Francisco's Best [Cheese] Burgers – Round-up

Thrillist San Francisco's best burgers in San Francisco by neighborhood

7×7's 10 best burgers in San Francisco

SFist's best burgers in San Francisco

SF Weekly's top 25 burgers in San Francisco

Grub Street's 50 best burgers list San Francisco

How about you? Do you have a favorite burger spot? Do tell!

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San Francisco's Best Cheeseburgers




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  1. I had no idea there was a National Cheesburger Day. I actually get really grossed out by cheese so this would be a day I think I would avoid going out to a restaurant LOL But I think ti’s cool you got to review and experience this. Even though I’m not too keen on cheese burgers, the fries in your photo look super yummy 🙂

  2. These look amazing! I live in Phoenix and we have a spot called Liberty Market which hosts Burger Days every August – a different burger every day and really creative stuff! Now I want a cheeseburger..

    1. @JoAnn, oooh, I must note that. My parents live in Phoenix just moved there a little over a year ago and I am trying to keep track of good spots to eat when I visit. My Dad LOVES burgers so he will appreciate this info!

  3. Cisco is definitely on the bucket list. I can’t wait to go and check it out! I will definitely be looking here for the best cheeseburger when we do!
    The Accidental Mama

    1. @Selbe, I know so many great days to celebrate – I was lucky that someone contacted me about promoting the day, I didn’t accept the project, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t celebrate the day devoted to a really awesome food!

  4. There is NOTHING like a good burger! If I am hungry and just don’t know what to eat I always go to the trusty cheeseburger! These look amazing and now I have to try a burger with gruyere!

  5. oh man this looks so yummy I want to lick my computer screen LOL love what they did to the onions, although I like junky fries those do look tasty.. again thanks for sharing another treat with us

    1. @Megan, there are websites out there that tell you the national days, but also sometimes brands reach out to promote product that are tied into the days as well. Like National Coffee Day is coming up Sept 29, something I learned by a brand reaching out and that is definitely a day I want to celebrate!

  6. Great post! One of the best burgers I’ve had in the city was actually at Corkbuzz: soft sesame, cheese, chilies….quite a kicker! Is NOPA the outpost of Ashok Bajaj in Washington DC?

    1. @Charu, that Corkbuzz burger sounds heavenly, where is it? The Chef-owner of Nopa is Laurence Josse, so I don’t think it is the same.

    1. @Lesa, not sure how far you are away from Cleveland, but doesn’t Michael Symon do a mean burger? Chef Symon also said his favorite burger is the MoFo Burger from Ray’s Place in Kent, Ohio – hope you are near there!

  7. I hope you enjoyed Cheeseburger Day! I usually stay away from them but oddly enough I had a craving and did have one on Cheeseburger Day and I did not even know it was Cheeseburger Day at the time.

  8. I live close to the city (mountain view) so this is a great list to check out. My friends said the burger at Nopa is good, that is the first place I am going to check out!

  9. Hey Andi! I had many favs! I lived in the heart of the city next door to sacred heart school! So some of my favorites where 1300, Gosh this Thai one that has two locations one in Hayes valley the other in tenderloin. The Ethiopian restaurant in mission and 24, papalote (the salsa), Woodhouse fish, Phat Philly, and so many more LOL!