San Francisco’s Best Cheeseburgers

san francisco best cheeseburger

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.

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 their BBQ, briskets, etc. But as the name suggest, they make a damn good cheeseburger. They have a store at 705 Divisadero Street and also a stand at the Ferry Building on Tuesday 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.

Marlowe

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.

Nopa

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

The Bold Italic’s read this is you’re are obsessed with San Francisco’s burgers

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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66 Comments

  1. Nuresha Perera
    September 18, 2014

    they look perfect!!!!

    Reply
  2. Trish
    September 18, 2014

    Well I am sufficiently hungry now! I want all of them 🙂

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @Trish, well I feel the same about your Oreo dirt cake! So wanted something sweet after reading that post!

      Reply
  3. rebecca
    September 18, 2014

    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 🙂

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @Rebecca, go cheeseless, these burgers are awesome with or without!

      Reply
  4. Camille
    September 18, 2014

    What an absolutely cool project to be on! Next time I’m in San Fran I know where to go- thank you!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @Camille, definitely we have so many great food options here in San Francisco, it is hard to go wrong!

      Reply
  5. Lindsay
    September 18, 2014

    Oh man I will have to tell my boyfriend that it is national cheeseburger day!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @Lindsay, hope he got to celebrate it properly!

      Reply
  6. Jenn E
    September 18, 2014

    I’m a burger-lover so these pictures are making me salivate!! YUM!!1

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @Jenn, what’s your favorite kind?

      Reply
  7. Jenna @ A Savory Feast
    September 18, 2014

    These all look so good! I wish we had more unique local burger joints in Sarasota, Florida. There are a couple, but I’ve seen some really cool ones in blog posts.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @Jenna, sounds like that is a project that you need to start!

      Reply
  8. JoAnn
    September 18, 2014

    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..

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @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!

      Reply
  9. Fi
    September 18, 2014

    My mouth is watering… now I NEED a burger!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @Fi, hope you got one, or will get one soon!

      Reply
  10. Angelic Sinova
    September 18, 2014

    I LOVE burgers! These look super yummy <3

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @Angelic, me too, think I got that from my Dad who never met a burger he could resist!

      Reply
  11. The Accidental Mama
    September 18, 2014

    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!
    xoxo
    The Accidental Mama

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @TheAccidentalMama, we have lots of great food out here, happy to recommend any number of places!

      Reply
  12. Selbe
    September 18, 2014

    How did I not know it was National Cheeseburger Day?! I must try one of those burgers now!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @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!

      Reply
  13. Leslyn
    September 18, 2014

    Well this post didn’t help my diet at all. But seriously- I’ve never craved a cheeseburger more than I do right now.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      Leslyn, I hear ya…maybe split one with a friend, half the guilt 😉

      Reply
  14. Kelly @ Kelly's Kinda Crazy
    September 18, 2014

    OMG all of these look amazing!!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @Kelly, thanks! San Francisco has such a great food scene, truly spoiled!

      Reply
  15. Winter White
    September 18, 2014

    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!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @WinterWhite, couldn’t agree more! They are done in so many ways these days there is something for everyone.

      Reply
  16. Dorothy Boucher
    September 18, 2014

    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

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @Dorothy, there is just something about a good old fashioned burger, hard to resist!

      Reply
  17. Megan @ All That Glitters
    September 18, 2014

    How do I never know about these national food days until they are over?! haha! These all look spectacular! I’ll have to try them if I ever come to town!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 18, 2014

      @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!

      Reply
  18. Brenda
    September 18, 2014

    Love the round up! So many delicious spots in San Francisco! Woot woot, my hometown!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 19, 2014

      @Brenda, we are so lucky in SF!

      Reply
  19. Michelle Snow
    September 18, 2014

    I should not have read this before eating. I need to go to San Francisco!

    Reply
  20. Nancy
    September 18, 2014

    Alright you know what? I’m all about burgers (and sandwiches) so you betcha I’m going to be checking out some of these places in the city.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 19, 2014

      @Nancy, let me know what you think? Where do you get your fav burger at?

      Reply
  21. Jemma
    September 19, 2014

    What a delicious post of yummy burgers!

    Reply
  22. Neely
    September 19, 2014

    I love me some cheeseburgers

    Reply
  23. Charu
    September 19, 2014

    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?

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 19, 2014

      @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.

      Reply
  24. Rebekah
    September 19, 2014

    Ugh I want a burger now… those look delicious!

    Reply
  25. Jessica Doll
    September 19, 2014

    My mouth is watering so bad right now. I’ve heard so many good things about Nopa and now I want a burger !

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 19, 2014

      @Jessica, Nopa is awesome, since you are in the Bay Area you should definitely try to get to it!

      Reply
  26. Lesa
    September 19, 2014

    These all look delicious! Want one right now, haha! I’m in Ohio, I’ll have to find comparables here!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 20, 2014

      @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!

      Reply
  27. Stephanie Griffith
    September 20, 2014

    That looks & sounds amazing & yummy

    Reply
  28. Amby Felix
    September 20, 2014

    I have some new places to check out! I frequent SF since I live in Sacramento. They all sound SO DELICIOUS!

    Reply
  29. Liv
    September 20, 2014

    Your post makes me miss SF! I just moved a year ago and man oh man do I miss the food!!!!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 20, 2014

      @Liv, what were your favorites when you lived here?

      Reply
  30. Christen
    September 20, 2014

    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.

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 21, 2014

      @Christen, how funny! I don’t eat them that often myself, but when I do, I want a good one!

      Reply
  31. Joanna Sormunen
    September 21, 2014

    I love a good cheeseburger! Who doesn’t, lol!

    Reply
  32. Lauren
    September 21, 2014

    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!

    Reply
  33. Yvanna
    September 23, 2014

    one day i want to try this burger!

    Reply
  34. Meegan
    September 26, 2014

    I love San Francisco and Burgers! What a great post!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 26, 2014

      @Meegan, do you have a favorite in SF?

      Reply
  35. Liv
    September 30, 2014

    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!

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      September 30, 2014

      @Liv, all really good spots!

      Reply
  36. Brett Ardiel
    October 1, 2014

    You gotta love a good burger!

    Reply
  37. Paul
    October 6, 2014

    Extensive list. Bookmarked for when I’m in San Fran!
    Paul

    Reply
    1. Andi Fisher
      October 7, 2014

      @Paul, come back and let me know if you tried (and loved) any of them!

      Reply
  38. krystel
    March 7, 2015

    these chesseburgers look delicious and tasty

    Reply
  39. […] guides on the best food in the city. San Francisco Bay Area Dimsum Guide Burgers in San Francisco San Francisco’s Best Cheeseburgers A Sampling of Some of SF’s Best Burgers (writing on the Groupon blog) Great Mexican […]

    Reply
  40. […] My vote goes to NOPA, on Divisadero street (the western most border of Western Addition). Although tough to get a seat, their Californian-American brunch/lunch is my favorite.  (MWA Note: One of the best cheeseburgers in San Francisco!) […]

    Reply

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