9 Best Burgers in San Diego (Updated for 2023)
The quest for the best burgers in San Diego 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.
Sadly, one of my favorite restaurants, Bo-beau closed in 2022. So, for this 2023 best burgers in San Diego update, I’ve added a few additional burger joints that my SoCal friends love and recommend including Devanti Innoteca, Working Class. the Wise Ox and E.L.E. pop up.
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The 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. 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
5. 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
6. Devanti Innoteca
Devanti Innoteca is a rustic-chic hot spot with a large patio and great happy hour. While it’s known for its menu of refined Italian eats, the burger might be the best thing on the menu!
The burger is served with bacon jam, and roasted tomato and topped with cheese curd, arugula, and roasted garlic mayo. It’s served with parmesan fries.
The burger and fries are on the happy hour menu for just $8…. a good reason to visit between 3-6pm.
Devanti Innoteca is located in Little Italy at 1655 India St, San Diego, CA 92101
7. Working Class
Working Class is a North Park favorite; a straightforward burger for a great price. If you really want to have an experience order the Working Class burger with the fried egg along with onion rings.
Another favorite is the fried chili burger (pictured above) which is a housemade Wagyu patty topped with fried Fresno chili, avocado, Fresno chili mayo, lettuce and tomato.
This is a fun neighborhood hangout with a great rotating beer selection.
Working Class is located at 4095 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104
8. The Wise Ox
The Wise Ox Butcher & Deli is led by Chef Brad Wise and his small sandwich menu includes just seven items. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu, but today we are all about the burger, so you’ll want to try the Dry Aged Burger with Havarti cheese, bacon, house pickles, mayo & mustard, served with beef fat fries.
Their fried baloney sandwich also has a pretty large following!
Wise Ox is located in North Park at 2855 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104.
9. E.L.E Burger (San Diego Pop-Op)
E.L.E. pop up at a bunch of bars around town and have a solid cult following.
Their signature burger consists of 2 smash burger patties, American cheese, thin sliced grilled onions, iceberg lettuce, pickles and is served with “Love Spread”.
Check their Facebook or Instagram for location.
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