Savanah Duffy holds the Bare Lil Lamb burger from Raglan Public House in Ocean Beach, which eclipses Jonathan Lo. / Photo by Thomas Melville
Jonathan Lo and Savanah Duffy chow down their burgers at Raglan Pubic House in Ocean Beach. / PHOTO BY THOMAS MELVILLE
Jonathan bites into the BANG burger at Stuffed!, a blue cheese-stuffed patty, with bacon, fried onion straws, and BBQ sauce. / PHOTO BY SAVANAH DUFFY
The BOOM burger at Stuffed! is topped with spicy mac ’n’ cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and sauce, and served with tater tots. / PHOTO BY SAVANAH DUFFY
Burgers are on the menu at every beach bar, and the coastal region offers plenty of popular burger joints. And since May is National Hamburger Month and May 28 is National Hamburger Day, the Peninsula Beacon decided to sample and highlight burgers in Ocean Beach, Point Loma, Pacific and Mission beaches, and La Jolla.
- If you’ve ever been in Ocean Beach for more than five minutes, odds are you’ve heard about the burgers at Hodad’s – and for good reason. Hodad’s’ burgers are hearty and satisfying, and that unique OB-community atmosphere just adds to its appeal. Hodad’s menu includes hamburgers, cheeseburgers, bacon hamburgers, bacon cheeseburgers (each in a mini, single or double size), among other options, such as the chicken burger or veggie burger, for the non-red meat eaters.
- Raglan Public House, on the corner of Niagara and Bacon, offers a variety of burgers that are sure to appeal to whatever mood your taste buds are in, whether you’re feeling tropical (Maui Waui – includes grilled pineapple and bacon), spicy (Kiwilango – includes sliced jalapeños, hot sauce) or classic (Average Joe – includes American cheese, ketchup, mayo and mustard).
But if you want to experience the best of Raglan, try the Bare Lil Lamb. The mint dressing gives it a refreshing taste, while beetroot adds a burst of sweet flavor, complemented by tomato chutney and garlic aioli. Don’t forget to add a sunny-side egg.
Vegetarian or not a red-meat lover? Try the Cluck & Squeal (chicken, bacon, avocado), the Chica Bunga (chicken, jalapeños, coconut raita, mango chutney, garlic aioli), the Wake & Bake (swordfish, coleslaw, avocado), or the Holy Roller (tofu, avocado, garlic aioli, coconut riatta, spicy peanut dressing).
- The Tilted Stick on Voltaire Street promotes its drink menu of hard alcohol, mixed drinks and beers, but its food menu deserves a shout out as well. Along with tacos and wings, this bar and grill offers its Bac-N-Cheezeburger, a quarter-pound burger and the BBQ Stick (double-cheeseburger with BBQ). The casual pub atmosphere and pool tables makes this the perfect place to have a fun evening.
- Nestled neatly in Liberty Public Market and only offering outrageously overloaded options, Stuffed!, like the name suggests, will leave you full with their cheese-filled patties. In similar style to the name of the joint, Stuffed!’s burgers also have quirky names. Here, the management challenged us with the BANG and BOOM.
The BANG offers a blue cheese-stuffed patty, peppered smoked bacon, fried onion straws, pickles, and BBQ sauce while the BOOM puts forward American cheese-stuffed patty, topped with spicy mac ’n’ cheese, peppered smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and Stuffed! sauce. And indeed, they left a BANG and a BOOM in our mouths. To say the least, we were completely stuffed after the meal.
- Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern features a beautiful view of the marina as well as a cozy outdoor patio. Inside, they offer the ridiculously huge Cowboy Burger. The burger offers onion fritters, BBQ sauce, Anaheim chiles, bacon, cheddar, and a 100 percent New York sirloin patty stacked into a formidable beast of a burger.
- When you talk about burgers in Point Loma, there is no way you can leave out Slater's 50/50. A classic, Slater’s regular burgers have patties made with a 50/50 blend of beef and bacon. The Original 50/50 has a standard 50/50 patty accompanied by bacon, pepper jack, a sunny-side-up egg, avocado mash, chipotle adobo mayo, and brioche. One word describes this burger: juicy, make sure you have plenty of napkins when you try to tackle the 50/50.
- Rocky’s Crown Pub at Ingraham and La Playa is home to some of the best burgers in San Diego, but don’t be fooled by the bar’s simple menu – hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and fries. There’s a reason why the place is always busy, and that is simply because these burgers require nothing outside of the basics to be phenomenal.
Beef patties that are thick, juicy and perfectly seasoned are balanced out with just lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and mayonnaise. In this no-frills wood-paneled pub – with a no-nonsense attitude – don’t bother trying to order trendy sandwiches with avocado options, just belly-up to the bar with a beer and tasty burger.
- Bare Back Grill on Mission Boulevard has just what you want if you’re looking for above-average bar food, particularly when it comes to their burgers. Burgers such as the Bare, Big & Dirty (includes two huge 100 percent organic beef patties, two fried eggs, bacon and more) are the perfect meal after a long walk on the boardwalk. Or, if you’ve had your fill from their drink menu, try the Lil Bitties (two “hobbit-sized” 100 percent organic beef burgers). Sit inside for their bar atmosphere or outside to enjoy their outdoor patio.
- The Slider Brigade at Crushed on Garnet Avenue has a few different delicious slider options, including PB BBQ (three homemade beef and bacon burgers with red jalapeños, mozzarella, crispy onion rings and BBQ sauce), and the Bifteki (three lamb burgers with tomatoes, onions and romaine, cucumbers, tzatziki sauce and feta cheese), with a chicken parmesan slider option as well. If you showed up for the relaxed atmosphere and drinks, make sure you stay for the sliders.
- Draft, on Ocean Front Walk in front of Belmont Park, allows patrons to enjoy their food on a boardwalk patio while basking in the sun and people-watching. The Draft burger had a juicy patty with the standard lettuce, tomato, onion, cheddar cheese, and mayonnaise, and because we ordered it Draft-style, with sunny-side egg, bacon, crispy onions, and beer cheese were added in. Right after the first bite, yolk and burger juices oozed out.
The bison burger had a thick patty with poblano pepper, grilled onions, muenster cheese, and cumin mayonnaise. Surprisingly, with so many strong individual flavors, nothing in the bison burger overpowers the others; the flavors blend together perfectly and yet you can still distinctly taste each ingredient. For the vegetarians out there, the veggie burger has tofu bacon, fried green tomato, pickled pepper, chipotle mayo.
- Guava Beach on Mission Boulevard is the epitome of a beach bar out of a brochure. Pool tables, sports on the TVs, beer on tap on full display, and wooden tables and counters. Their Diablo Burger, which has the Guava’s Famous Burger in it, is accompanied with pepper jack, serrano peppers, and Sriracha aioli drizzle for a delicious kick for those who like spicy food.
- At Miss B’s Coconut Club on Mission Boulevard, there is only one burger on the menu, but there only needs to be one burger on that menu. The Coconut Club Burger sports an all-natural angus beef patty with the usual lettuce, tomato, red onions, mustard, and pickles, as well as roasted garlic, cilantro aioli, kolache roll, and your choice of cheese. It seems a little much, but they all combine into a nice blend of flavor.
- Beaumont’s might offer only two burgers, but it’s well worth your time and appetite. The Char-Burger is your basic burger, made with 100 percent angus beef, house aioli, lettuce, tomato and onion. But Beaumont’s Burger is the main burger attraction on this menu. A half-pound, three meat blend of veal, pork and beef contributes to a thick, juicy patty with a more flavorful taste than your average beef burger.
The burger is topped off with sun dried tomatoes, feta, basil aioli, and balsamic glazed onions for a mildly sweet and tangy finish. Eat this Beaumont masterpiece inside at one of their high tables, or sit outside and enjoy people-watching while lounging on their plush sofa seats in the patio area.
- Relax at The Lodge at Torrey Pines and enjoy The Grill’s famous Drugstore Hamburger, a classic burger with mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, onion and pickles. The outdoor patio area makes The Grill a nice seating area for the day, and the fire pits contribute to a cozy feeling in the evening. Don’t forget to order a local craft beer to add the finishing touch to your meal.
- La Jolla Brewing Co. has more than just quality craft beers; they’ve got a great bar food menu as well. Try their Rogue Wave Burger (a classic burger with horseradish mayo), or their LJBC House Burger. The LJBC House Burger is made with premium beef, bleu cheese, Portobello mushrooms, buffalo wing sauce, tomato and green leaf lettuce on a pretzel bun.
Have a happy and fulfilling National Hamburger Day everyone!