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Sunny San Diego is bustling with amazing restaurants. Whether you are looking for some tasty Mexican food,  fresh seafood, or a top-notch burger, San Diego is the place to be. With its warm, laid back SoCal vibes, San Diego has become a mecca for delicious food, especially in the burger department. With so many different options, it can be difficult to decide where to get your burger on. That’s why we have created the master guide to the best burgers in San Diego. 

Nothing quite hits the spot after a long day in the sun like a juicy burger and crisp golden fries. This American classic has been around for over 100 years since it was first introduced at the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair. Nowadays, there are over 50 billion burgers eaten in America each year. In fact, if you lined up all the burgers eaten by Americans in a year, the line would circle the entire earth over 32 times. 

It is no secret that burgers are an American favorite, but did you know that burgers actually account for 60% of sandwiches sold around the world? In other words, the world runs on burgers! Since we have had over 100 years to perfect the art of crafting a burger, chefs have continued to innovate the classic burger. You can now find millions of different topping and sauce combinations to keep the burger exciting and new. 

In this comprehensive list, we will explore some of the best burgers you can taste in San Diego. Be warned: once you try any one of these burgers, you will surely want more. We’ve got it all, fancy burgers, gigantic burgers, the best spots for delivery, and more. So get ready to indulge in this amazing American staple. 

Best Beachfront Bargain Burger: Hodads

Hodads is an iconic San Diego burger shack. The walls of Hodads are lined with license plates –a tell-tale sign of a good beach-front joint. They have two locations, one in downtown San Diego and one on Ocean Beach. 

Hodads is known for fresh ingredients and massive burgers. If you are feeling so hungry that you could eat a whole cow, this is the place for you. With double burgers that are stacked about eight inches tall, you will have to stretch your mouth around this tasty treat. 

Their best burger is their classic double, with two massive patties, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, and secret sauce. This fantastic meal is perfect after a long day at the beach. And they don’t just excel at giant burgers; they are also onion ring experts. Forget the fries; this massive basket of onion rings are fried to crispy perfection. 

Best Fancy Burger: NINE-TEN

If you are really looking to treat yourself, NINE-TEN in La Jolla serves up the most decadent burger in San Diego. This is a white table cloth style restaurant, so you can expect them to spare no expense when it comes to this five-star burger. This half-pound Angus beef burger comes with house-made pickles, butter lettuce, tomato, mustard seed aioli, and your choice of a mixed greens salad or fries. 

You can also add top-quality cheddar, swiss, or blue cheese, sauteed mushrooms or onions, as well as bacon or avocado. If you want to get extra fancy, you can even opt for truffle fries. If you decide to indulge in all of these tasty extras, you are looking at a 30 dollar burger, but if you can handle the price point, it is well worth it. This burger is supreme when it comes to fancy burgers. 

Best Delivery For The Whole Family: CraveBurger

CraveBurger is relatively new to the San Diego food scene, but they have certainly earned a spot on our list of must-try burgers. CraveBurger specializes in burgers but also has delicious options for the whole family. If you have spent a long day in the sun, this spot is sure to please with their variety of juicy, fresh burgers and speedy delivery. 

Whether you are a classic burger fan, a stinky blue cheese lover, or a fancy truffle burger connoisseur, Crave Burger has got you covered. If you like your burger with some spice, try their Jalapeño Cream Cheese Burger. This spicy treat is smothered in a jalapeño cream cheese, loads of smokey bacon, and their delicious house sauce.  

CraveBurger also serves up kid-friendly staples such as chicken fingers, mac and cheese, and of course, kid-sized burgers with no veggies! With options for everyone, from the pickiest of eaters to blue cheese lovers, you are sure to find something on their menu to please the whole family. 

Best Diner-Style Burger: Royale! Cocktails & Hamburgers

If you are partial to a classic smashed burger with Big Mac fixings, then Royale’s burger is the one for you. This swanky spot serves up well-crafted cocktails and classic comfort foods that are made with heart. Their Diner Burger is a favorite, with a crispy smashed beef patty, American cheese, caramelized onions, lettuce, and secret sauce, all wedged into a homemade sesame bun. This is an intensely tasty and memorable burger that will have you hungry for more. 

Royale is also serving up delicious fries, tots, and onion rings–and we’ll take one of each. This spot is a great place to drink with friends and enjoy a delicious meal that would satisfy anyone, whether your hunger is booze-fueled or not. 

Best Burger For Meat Lovers: Outlaw Burger

If you are a total meat freak, this one’s for you. Outlaw Burger is serving up seven different meat packed creations! With so many mouth-watering meaty burgers to choose from, Outlaw Burger is perfect for any passionate carnivore. Their burgers are humongous and packed with fresh ingredients, house-made sauces, and a hefty half-pound patty that will satisfy even the most hungry of burger eaters. 

Each burger has a unique name that’s tough as nails, such as the Outlaw Burger, the Bounty Hunter Burger, or Butch’s Wild BBQ Burger. Our favorite is their Blue Bandit Burger. This burger is spiced with cajun seasoning and topped with blue cheese crumbles, lettuce, tomato, and their house-made Mob Sauce. As an added bonus, Outlaw burger has some of the tastiest golden fries in town. You can even add ghost pepper seasoning–if you can handle it! 

Best Mini Burger: Sugar Factory

There is something special about sliders. Maybe it is their cute little size or the way you can eat a whole one in just two bites, or perhaps it’s the perfect ratio of bun to meat proportions. Whatever it is that gets you excited about sliders, Sugar Factory’s sliders are a fun treat. These sliders will tickle your inner child with six brightly colored buns that create a burger rainbow. 

These little baby burgers, despite their wacky appearance, taste really good! They are definitely worth a try if you are feeling playful–they even come with a souvenir rubber ducky. Not into mini burgers? Try their mac and cheese topped burger for a larger than life experience that will leave you feeling FULL. 

Best Non-Burger Burger: The Big Melt

If you think about it, a patty melt is essentially a burger with toasted bread slices instead of a bun. That’s why this funky spot has made our list of best burgers, despite not having a burger on the menu. The Big Melt is a San Diego comfort food must-try. Whether you’re staying in on a rainy day or simply need a hug, The Big Melt will make you feel cozy in no time. 

This delivery spot specializes in melts of all kinds, with a juicy hamburger patty, buttered and toasted bread of your choice, and five different choices of toppings. Our favorite is the Rise n Shine Melt. This breakfast style burger has a large hamburger patty, American cheese, two fried eggs, bacon, tomatoes, and house sauce, all in between two perfectly toasted slices of white bread. If you can look past the lack of classic bun, this spot will bring everything you could possibly want from a burger straight to your home. 

In Conclusion

No matter what kind of burger you are looking for, the San Diego food scene is sure to provide. This beautiful, coastal town is teaming with delicious burger options that are sure to satisfy any carnivore. Not sure where to pick? Try CraveBurger. Their menu offers a lot of versatility that is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Wherever you end up getting your burger on, make sure to order some fries. After all, nothing goes better with a burger than a crispy fry sidekick. 


I ate hundreds of burgers in San Diego. Here are the best 41. | San Diego Union Tribune

20 Interesting Facts About Burgers | FactsLegend

How Jack in the Box Became a Fast Food Pioneer | Hatch Mag

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