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6 Best Burgers in San Diego

The quest for San Diego’s perfect burger has begun! From the casual to the upscale experience, I have rounded up my personal favorite burgers in America’s Finest City. Hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed eating them.

With the most recent update, I’ve added a few additional burger joints that my SoCal friends love and recommend. 

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Photo by amirali mirhashemian on Unsplash

6 Most Delicious Burgers in San Diego

Though there are hundreds of quality burger joints in San Diego to choose from, this is a guide to the city’s top spots, ranging from old-school favorites to hip new haunts that should definitely be on your radar.

1. Texas Burger at The Waterfront Bar & Grill


For the back-to-basics all-American hamburger with a whole lot of flavor and those oh-so-wonderful grilled onions, head to the oldest tavern in town, The Waterfront. This burger is a local late-night favorite.

While the façade of the building and the clientele has changed a bit over the years – one thing you can always count on at the Waterfront is a well-made drink and the best condiment tray in the city.

While the burgers are delicious on their own—in my world—no meal is complete without a basket of fries and one of the 14 beers on tap.

The atmosphere is always lively at The Waterfront, as this bar is rarely empty and has live music or a DJ Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

Best time to enjoy this burger? Around 1am and after a night on the town!

The Waterfront Bar & Grill is located at 2044 Kettner Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

2. Lounge Burger at Burger Lounge


You’ll be tipped off that they know a thing or two about making a good burger by the ever-present line to order, which many times snakes it’s way out the door.

There are several fast-serve burger chains in San Diego, and what sets Burger Lounge apart is the “single source American grass-fed beef” that is hormone and antibiotic-free. Their claim to fame is the Lounge Burger, which is served with organic cheese, fresh or grilled onions, and all the regular fixings.

If you want to really do it right order the ½ and ½ (a basket of ½ Onion Rings and ½ French Fries). One word: Yum!

Don’t eat red meat? Try the organic quinoa veggie burger. They also offer gluten-free buns.

Best time to enjoy this burger? When you are craving a hamburger and want a healthy, quick, and hearty lunch.

Burger Lounge has locations throughout San Diego, but my favorite is the Hillcrest location at 406 University Ave., San Diego, CA 92103

3. 50/50 Burger at Slaters 50/50


Whether you go with the “make your own burger” option or choose one of the many unique burger options such as the “peanut butter & jellousy”, the “California burrito” burger or the “50 alarm” Slaters is all about a perfect burger…. and bacon. They even have a statue of a burger in the courtyard.

To do it right, try the 50/50 Burger – made with a half-pound of ground smoked bacon and chuck, topped with a sunny-side-up egg, avocado mash, pepper jack cheese, and chipotle adobo mayo on a brioche bun. Pair this with a side of fries with bacon ketchup and a maple bacon milkshake for a truly one of a kind bacon extravaganza.  

Best time to enjoy this burger? When you have a craving for bacon that only the trifecta of a bacon burger, bacon milkshake, and bacon ketchup can satisfy. (They also offer gluten-free buns.)

Slaters 50/50 is located at 2750 Dewey Rd #193, San Diego, CA 92106

4. Burger Royale at BO-beau Kitchen + Garden


BO-beau is one of my favorite restaurants in San Diego. I could go on and on about the French onion soup and Brussel sprouts, but today I focus on the Burger Royale. It’s a ground pork burger served with melted gouda cheese and onion jam and an egg. As you might have guessed, they come with some spectacular fries served with roasted garlic aioli. The burger royale easily requires two hands or a fork and knife.

Best time to enjoy this burger? Leisurely dinner preferably fireside on the outside patio.

Bo-Beau is located at 8384 La Mesa Blvd, La Mesa, CA 91942

5. STP Bar-N-Grill

Burnout Burger STP Bar-N-Grill

Their claim to fame is the Burnout Burger which is topped with American cheese, an egg over easy, bacon, mayo, and crispy lettuce. To really take it up a notch, order a side of infused maple peanut butter to drizzle over everything! Another favorite is the Hellcat burger which has pepper jack cheese, sautéed onions, Serrano peppers, and chipotle aioli with freeze plugs (fried pickles).

STP Bar N Grill is located at 5487 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, CA 92117

6. The Friendly

The OG Dirty Flat Top Cheeseburger!....2 smashed patties, 2 slices American cheese, butter braised onions, garlic aioli!
Photo credit: The Friendly

The Friendly is known for is famous for its dirty flat top cheeseburgers as well as its New York-style pizza.

What is unique is that customers aren’t allowed to modify anything on the burgers, so what you order is what you get: butter-braised onions, American cheese, and garlic aioli all piled on top of a grilled burger patty.

The Friendly is located at 4592 30th St, San Diego, CA 92116

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The quest for San Diego’s perfect burger has begun! From the casual to the upscale experience enjoy our list of the best burgers in San Diego.

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