This National Burger Month — take a bite of the beach’s best and most bodacious burgers
The Guido Burger at Hodad's, which happens to be inspired by Food Network’s Guy Fieri.
The Royale with Cheese, inspired by 'Pulp Fiction,' is a one-third pound beef patty, with bacon, gruyere cheese, caramelized onion, special sauce, mustard, pickles, and served on a buttermilk bun.
The Kiwilango Burger at Raglan is a 100 percent organic grass-fed beef patty, with sliced jalapeños, bleu cheese, hot sauce, and tortilla chips.
Hogs and Heffers Burger at Bare Back Grill.
Half-pound burger at Rocky's Crown Pub. / Photo by Thomas Melville
The Turkey Burger at The Patio on Lamont Street.
The Grass Run Farms Beef Burger from George’s at the Cove.
The Cali Beach Burger from Beach Burger.
The Nacho Hangover Burger from Hennessey’s Tavern.
One of the ultimate “American foods” is the hamburger. Almost every restaurant menu includes some kind of burger made of beef, bison or beans, and topped with everything from bacon and eggs to avocado and aïoli, while served on a variety of brioche, buttermilk or ciabatta buns.
But no matter what kind of burger hits the spot for you, while visiting the beach communities in May, celebrate National Burger Month by sampling some of the best in San Diego. To help you out, the San Diego Community Newspaper Group offers some savory suggestions:
HODAD’S — This joint has become iconic – and not just because it has been featured by Guy Fieri on Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.” Their almost cult-like following is well earned with amazing burgers, a beach-grunge vibe, and craft beers from Hodad’s Brewing Co. The line out the door is there for a reason. For something different, try the Guido Burger, which happens to be inspired by Fieri, who has visited several times. The burger includes Pastrami, ketchup, pickles, Swiss cheese, grilled onions, and spicy brown mustard.
5010 Newport Ave.
RAGLAN PUBLIC HOUSE — This New Zealand-inspired restaurant has several different burgers to choose from here, but one burger that is a must-try among the many is the Kiwilango Burger. This burger is a 100 percent organic grass-fed beef patty, with sliced jalapeños, bleu cheese, hot sauce, and tortilla chips. Go get a taste of these Kiwi-inspired burgers in San Diego.
1851 Bacon St.
ROYALE — If you’re hungry for dinner, or a late-night burger, then Royale is the place for you. During the week, they open at 4 p.m. (10 a.m. on the weekends) and stay open late so that late-night burger craving could be solved by the Royale with Cheese. This burger, inspired by “Pulp Fiction,” is a one-third pound beef patty, with bacon, gruyere cheese, caramelized onion, special sauce, mustard, pickles, and served on a buttermilk bun.
4204 Voltaire St.
MOTHER’S SALOON — Not only is this a great place to watch sports – especially the Oregon Ducks, seeing as how Mother’s is the team’s official home – but it’s also a great place for burgers. The Big Philly Burger is topped with Philly-style meat, lettuce, tomato, and your choice of cheese along with a side of fries or tots. Sports, burgers and beers are always a good combination, and Mother’s Saloon has plenty of that.
2228 Bacon St.
BANZAI BAR — This spot near Pechanga Arena has plenty of burger options. However, one of the burgers to check out is the Brussel Burger, which comes with crispy Brussel sprouts, parm, house sauce, balsamic glaze, and bacon to go with the one-third pound patty. This bar supports the Gulls, Seals, Sockers, and Flight (basically, teams that play in Pechanga Arena) so be prepared to root for the local athletes.
3048 Midway Drive
SLATERS 50/50 — The slogan for this restaurant is “Burgers. Bacon. Beer,” so this is a good place to be for National Hamburger Month. One of the burgers that stands out among the rest is the B’B’B’ Bacon Burger, made of 50/50 beef and bacon blend, bacon, bacon American cheese, thick-cut bacon, sunny-side up egg, and bacon island dressing on a brioche bun. Slaters 50/50 even has a big burger statue outside of it, so you can’t miss it.
750 Dewey Road, Ste. 193
HARBOR TOWN PUB — This neighborhood pub has an extensive list of burgers to try, but one that you should definitely order is the Steakhouse Burger. In it, is a half-pound beef patty, grilled onions, crispy onions, blue cheese, blue cheese mayo, all served on a brioche bun. The burgers also come with fries. After eating tasty burgers, play some of the old-school arcade games they have in the back.
1125 Rosecrans St.
ROCKY’S CROWN PUB — The go-to must-have burger in San Diego is the half-pound cheeseburger with a combination of lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, onions (gilled or raw), pickles and mayonnaise. It’s simple, yet delicious. Constantly rated as one of the best burgers in America’s Finest City, after one bite, you’ll understand why. Rocky’s is a cash-only restaurant with a menu of only burgers and fries – so don’t try to order chicken or salad – and don’t come in with attitude. Just sit back and enjoy a burger, beer and the Padres on TV.
3786 Ingraham St.
BARE BACK GRILL — This New Zealand-themed eatery serves many spectacular burgers, but the one that stands out is the Hogs and Heffers Burger. Loaded with 100 percent organic beef, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, red onion, sweet tomato chutney, aioli, and cheese, your tastebuds will thank you. Hang out at the bar or engulf your burger and beer outside on their patio that has a view of the boardwalk.
4640 Mission Blvd.
THE PATIO ON LAMONT STREET — One of their most popular burgers is the turkey burger, which comes with Swiss cheese, roasted tomato, red onion, arugula, and garlic aïoli with the sesame bun. As the name suggests, this dog-friendly restaurant has a relaxed patio atmosphere, where you can soak in the sun while eating with friends and family.
4445 Lamont St.
SECOND NATURE — This north PB restaurant has an extensive brunch menu, but also offers burgers and truffle fries for lunch and dinner. For non-meat eaters, check out their Plant-Based Burger, which is a 20-gram protein burger with butter lettuce, vine-ripe tomatoes, onions, and roasted garlic aïoli. Second Nature has an open feel with plenty of outside sitting.
5026 Cass St.
DRAFT MISSION BEACH — This Mission Beach staple serves extraordinary burgers, but one stand-out is the Bison Burger. With poblano pepper, grilled onions, Muenster cheese, and cumin mayonnaise, you will be recommending this burger to everyone. Located right on the Boardwalk for fun people-watching and ocean views.
3105 Ocean Front Walk
SAND BAR SPORTS BAR AND GRILL — If you’re a big sports fan, this is definitely a good burger spot to check out. While you gather here to watch the game, try out the Diablo Burger. Made with chipotle aïoli, habanero jelly, fresh jalapeños, pepper jack cheese, crispy onion seeds, and spicy guacamole, your tastebuds are in for a treat.
718 Ventura Place
BEACH BURGER — One of the most popular is the Cali Beach Burger, which includes Monterey Jack cheese, fresh avocado, Thousand Island dressing, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, on a toasted bun. This eatery is just the spot you need to grab a quick, delightful burger before heading to La Jolla Shores.
2152 Avenida De La Playa
HENNESSEY’S TAVERN – You know this restaurant specializes in burgers when instead of “employee of the month,” it has “burger of the month.” This month’s winner is the Nacho Hangover Burger, which includes a traditional patty, bacon, nacho cheese, fried onions, tater tots, fried egg, and jalapeño slices. This neighborhood restaurant has an old-school feel with second-floor deck.
7811 Herschel Ave.
GEORGE’S AT THE COVE — One of their best is the Grass Run Farms Beef Burger. This burger includes house spread, lettuce, tomato, pickles, caramelized onions, and comes with a side of fries. There is also the option to add cheddar or blue cheese, bacon, or avocado to go with the spectacular views.
1250 Prospect St.
SMASHBURGER — This well-known burger joint is a popular spot for all the burger lovers. There are so many to try, but one that should be on your list is the Spicy Baja with Guac made with fresh sliced jalapeños, guacamole, pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, onion, and chipotle mayo on a spicy chipotle bun. You also have the option to order this burger as a single or double.
1000 Prospect St.
HARRY’S COFFEE SHOP — This might just seem like a breakfast place by name, but it’s much more. They serve both breakfast and lunch items, and one of the “local’s favorites” you might want to try is their old school Patty Melt – a hamburger patty with cheddar cheese served on grilled rye bread with hash-browns (make sure to ask for grilled onions).
7545 Girard Ave.
DUKE’S LA JOLLA — With one of the most stunning views in San Diego, this restaurant has many options for outside seating; as well as delectable burgers. Absolutely try the Chef’s Cheeseburger that includes a half-pound Angus chuck, brisket, and hanger grind, smoked cheddar, bacon jam, pickled Maui onions, arugula, and a ciabatta bun with fries.
1216 Prospect St.