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Find the Best Burger in San Diego

Get your grub on

Burgers are a Southern California classic — experience the beloved hamburger both as a budget-friendly option or elevated culinary experience. 

By: Ann Wycoff; Food, Spa & Travel Writer

If there’s one thing San Diego knows how to do, it’s make a great burger – just ask the readers of Travel + Leisure where San Diego has been voted among America’s Best Burger Cities. Here’s a list of 10 favorite burger spots you can use to plan your San Diego culinary experience. Enjoy!

The Balboa Bar and Grill

A small cocktail and burger bar packs a big-time punch with its famous burgers and drinks. The Balboa Burger is a favorite among San Diego locals, offering the traditional burger fixings with a twist — in-house zesty aoli. These burgers are the perfect example of a modern take on a beloved classic. 

Best Burgers in San Diego HodadsHodad's

Hodad’s loads up their burgers making them a fun experience to eat. A locally owned and operated restaurant found only in San Diego, Hodad’s has been recognized by CNN as one of the top 5 burger joints in the country, and for good reason. With sizes from a mini to a double double, these extra-large, extra tasty burgers come conveniently served with large cut homemade fries in a combo. There are three locations in San Diego, boasting a classic surf grunge atmosphere, including the original burger joint in Ocean Beach, a newer location in downtown on Broadway Ave. and one located inside Petco Park.

Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant

Perched on Bankers Hill just north of downtown is the aptly named Bankers Hill Bar & Restaurant. The ambiance and stylish decor at this place can’t be beat, and neither can their BH Burger. This grass fed piece of heaven comes with aged white cheddar, heirloom plum tomatoes, and fresh cut fries (which can be upgraded to their amazing truffle fries). Not a cheddar fan? They also have a rotating selection of artisan cheeses to complement your culinary taste.

Rocky's Crown Pub

This Crown Point/Pacific Beach joint is the definition of no-frills dining, but the delicious simplicity of these burgers are at the top of many local top burger lists. Rocky's has been serving its signature burgers and fries for more than forty years. With lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and mayonnaise, these unpretentious creations are a burger purist's dream come true. 


Smack dab in the middle of Downtown San Diego’s East Village is Neighborhood. Known for its large selection of local craft beers, Neighborhood offers three distinctive grass fed burgers: the NH with blue gruyere cheese, caramelized onions, and pepper greens; the 777 with baby spinach, plum tomato confit, and bearnaise sauce; and the spicy Cajun with pickled radish, pepper-cucumber slaw, and chipotle mayo. Try one with their amazing sweet potato fries.

The Waterfront

The Waterfront serves up a classic burger. Located in Little Italy, this restaurant is San Diego’s oldest tavern. Opened in 1933, The Waterfront remains true to its origin: a neighborhood hangout serving cold drinks and delicious noshables. The tavern is 21 and over only and has a revolving calendar of bands and events. However, the real draw is the burgers. Big, tasty and loaded with grilled onions.

Soda & Swine

With locations in North Park and Liberty Station, Soda & Swine has a decidedly different take on ground meat, fashioning interesting combinations like smoked pork with chipotle bbq & pepper jack, into meatball sliders, submarines and skillets.  They also offer a collection of interesting side dishes, like dirty fries, mac 'n cheese and roasted brussels sprouts, with a large selection of craft beer and soda on tap.  


Originally launched at a food truck, Stuffed! now has two permanent locations - inside Liberty Public Market in Point Loma and Garnet Ave. in Pacific Beach.  Known for decadent grass-fed burgers stuffed with cheese, crunchy tater tots, delicious sandwiches and custom order mac n' cheese, the Garnet Ave. location as an adjacent Frat Boy Donuts shop (same owner) with over-the-top variations of classic donuts and other sweet goodness - yum

The Grill at The Lodge at Torrey Pines

The classic burger just got a re-do with the Drugstore Burger. Created as a tribute to the lunch counter burger of yesteryear, the dish remains simple with beef, mayo, cheese, lettuce, tomato, and fries. Simple and nostalgic. Enjoy!

Crazee Burger

Prepare yourself for something out of the ordinary. The chefs at Crazee Burger mean business with exotic meats including Buffalo, Gator, Venison, Ostrich, Camel, Elk, Duck and Wild Boar. If one isn't enough, every burger has the option of a double patty! 


This family-owned diner brings fresh ingredients from the family farm in North San Diego County direct to your table. Classic diner burgers are the reason for success here -- oh and the grass-fed beef and homemade buns each day! 

Slater's 50/50

Winner of several "best of" awards, Slaters 50/50 was inspired by the belief that bacon is "meat candy". This means you will find their original 50% ground bacon and 50% ground beef burger patty on the menu along with several other delectable flavors of premium natural Southern California grown beef grown naturally without any hormones or antibiotics. These delicious burgers, along with local and regional craft beer selections, make Slaters 50/50 a mouth-watering dining experience.

Best Burgers in San Diego Plant PowerMishMash

Located in the neighborhood of Barrio Logan, this restaurant offers a decadent list of burgers sure to please the palate. The namesake MishMash Burger is topped with mozzarella and crunchy onions served on a locally baked Sadie Rose Amish bun. And for kids of all ages, the GooberBurger is topped with PB&J and thick cut bacon. Enough said.

...and for the Vegans looking for an amazing burger...

Plant Power

As the name suggests, Plant Power's dishes are all meat and dairy free. Yep. A fast food joint with burgers, fries, and shakes all made from plants! The Big Zac is an ode to McDonalds' Big Mac but completely Vegan. Two "beef" patties, special sauce, "cheese", lettuce, onions, and pickles. Your non-Vegan friends will love this as well!


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