Whittling down the many candidates for our best burger slideshow yesterday was no easy feat, and picking favorites among those wasn’t so simple either. Burgers are delicious! That is a fact. It is really hard to rank 50 of them in any order without it feeling arbitrary, because many of them are pretty much on par with each other, or so different as to be like different species of burger altogether. But, everyone loves a list, and we hinted in our descriptions that we had come up with a top five — which is, of course, subject to change next year, or whenever we can stomach eating burgers again and taste one that blows our mind.
We realize that all five of these burgers arrived on the scene just in the last two years, but our justification for not including one of the classic city favorites on here is that it feels like all the candidates below, and several more that might make a top ten, are upping the ante in terms of the quality of the ingredients and the beef, and the care put into preparing them. The chefs making these five know that in order to stand out in a city full of great burgers, they have to go above and beyond. So, without further ado…
1. Bourbon Steak - The meat just tasted so damn amazing in this burger, and despite it being completely filling, we almost ordered another one. Also, it’s a steakhouse, so they know what medium rare means.
2. Plum Bar - Yes, you have to go to Oakland for this one, but it’s worth it, and the bar program is pretty swell too.
3. Maven - Angostura bitters mixed with the meat may be a cheap trick, but but it’s a winner if you ask us.
4. 4505 Meats - This is the least expensive of our top picks, at a mere $8, but it’s so above and beyond what you’d get for a similar price at other cheaper burger spots that it deserves special mention.
5. Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen - It beats out its Union Square neighbors without a doubt, and that Shropshire blue cheese kicks it up a notch.
Earlier: The 50 Best Burgers in San Francisco