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10 Great San Francisco Burgers for $10 or Below

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This awesome list of San Francisco burgers is brought to you by the fine folks at The Melt. Stop into one of their locations and grab one of their delicious burgers.

Well it’s come to this. We’re finally at a point where San Francisco burgers are so expensive in that we need a list of the few that are actually $10 or below. Look I get it, food costs are up, labor is expensive, and quality meat ain’t cheap, but the fact that it’s easier to find a $16 burger in SF than a $10 is mind-boggling, especially when they don’t always come with fries. So with that in mind, may I present 10 great San Francisco burgers for $10 or below (note my baseline is anything that is $10 or below before tax & tip):

The Melt – MeltBurger ($7.49):

San Francisco Burgers The Melt

This is one sexy threesome. Photo from The Melt.

Mastering the grilled cheese game just wasn’t enough for the folks at The Melt, so they decided to take their cheesy dominance into a whole new arena by releasing the MeltBurger. The burger is more than 1/3 pound of their signature Angus & Wagyu beef, chopped, grilled and filled with loads of melted cheddar, mild jalapeños, pickles and Melt sauce, and it comes on a toasted, artisan bun. They rough chop the beef to make sure that cheese gets in every bite, and they manage to make it happen with no artificial ingredients. It’s magnificent and well under $10.

The Melt
2 SF Locations, soon to be 3 (First & Market St. opening this month)
Find your nearest one right here.

Beep’s Burgers – The 1/4 Pound Beep’s Burger ($6.25):

San Francisco Burgers Beep's Burgers

Beep beep! Who’s hungry? Photo from Beep’s website.

Beep’s has been making kick-ass burgers, fries, and shakes in it’s original Ocean Avenue location since 1962. With a neon sign and lots of parking, Beep’s is a classic drive-in. The famous 1/4 Pound Beep’s Burger comes with lettuce, tomato and Beep’s sauce.

Beep’s Burgers
1051 Ocean Ave. @ Lee Ave.

Curio – The Holy Grail Burger ($10):

San Francisco Burgers Curio

Curious about the Holy Grail? Pop into Curio. Photo from Curio’s website.

The recently opened Curio has something for everyone, especially burger lovers. Chef Mario Tolentino has created the Holy Grail Burger which has a 5oz. patty, crimini mushroom, tomato jam, fried onion, and raclette cheese. Raclette cheese is some seriously sexy stuff.

775 Valencia Street btw 18th & 19th Sts.

Junior Barbecue Burger – The X-Barbica ($10)

San Francisco Burgers Junior Barbecue Burger

Holy moly! How do you eat this thing? Photo from Junior’s FB page.

Cooking on a grill that’s been modified to fit in the back of his van (yes you read that right), Junior makes a Brazilian style burger that is to die for. With the X-Barbica, Junior is somehow able to fit the following between two buns: patty, bacon, egg, hot dog, ham, cheese, corn, lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and a slice of pineapple (yes you read that right). This thing would be deadly if it weren’t so delicious. Plus for $10 it also comes with a Coke!

Junior Barbecue Burger
98 Napoleon St. btw Toland St. & Evans Ave.

4505 Burgers & BBQ – The Best Damn Grass Fed Cheeseburger ($9.95)

San Francisco Burgers 4505

Get in my belly! Photo from 4505’s FB page.

Naming your burger the “Best Damn Grass Fed Cheeseburger” is quite ambitious. Luckily Ryan Farr and crew know their way around quality meat. On weekends people wait in line for there bomb-ass bbq and burgers. This particular one is a quarter pound of grass fed beef with lettuce, onion, Gruyere cheese, and secret sauce on a buttery, griddled sesame & scallion bun. Yum!

4505 Burger & BBQ
705 Divisadero St. @ Grove St.

Sam’s Burgers – Sam’s Cheeseburger ($9.99)

San Francisco Burgers Sam's

Late night salvation. Photo from H.L. on Yelp

Sam’s has been saving late night drunk people from making poor decisions for over 50 years. And much of this notoriety comes from their famous burger. It’s so good that Anthony Bourdain called it one of the best three burgers of his life on his show The Layover. Sam’s classic cheeseburger is a quarter pound of beef topped with mayo, mustard, ketchup, lettuce, tomatoes and onions, cheese, and served on a toasted sesame bun. You will meet some incredibly funny people here on the late night, including the staff.

618 Broadway btw Columbus Ave. & Stockton St.

Popsons – Bacon Blue Cheeseburger ($9)

San Francisco Burgers Popsons

So bacony delicious. Photo by Shelly Isaac

This relatively newcomer is doing wonderful things in the realm of San Francisco burgers. Their tasty food is ethically sourced and their root beer floats are the best in San Francisco. The Bacon Blue Cheeseburger is just as wonderful as it sounds and comes with bacon, blue cheese, onions, and lettuce.

998 Market St. @ 6th St.

Red’s Java House – Hamburger ($5.97)

San Francisco Burgers Red's Java House

They keep things old school at Red’s Java House. Photo form Red’s website.

The patriarch of San Francisco burgers is right here. Serving San Franciscans since 1955 Red’s Java House is an institution. And rightfully so! The burgers are scrumptious and you can get one with a beer for for $10.47. It’s one of those places where, if you sit on the back on a nice day you’re likely to find guys in business suits on one side of you and Hell’s Angels on the other.  The burger comes with mustard, mayonnaise, pickles and onions served on a San Francisco sourdough roll.

Red’s Java House
Pier 30 @ The Embarcadero

Roam – The Classic ($9.49)

San Francisco Burgers Roam

Just…I mean, just look at these beauties. Photo from Roam’s website.

Roam is proud of their food, as they should be. All the meat comes from ethical producers like 4K Ranch and Diestel Family Turkey Ranch, and the food tastes divine! Plus it’s affordable. Turkey and beef burgers start at $9.49 and you can upgrade to Elk or Bison for a few bucks more. The Classic comes with butter lettuce, tomato, onions, house-made pickles, and house sauce. Plus you get to choose if you want your bun to be traditional sesame, whole wheat, or a lettuce wrap. Gluten-Free buns are available for $1 more.

Six Bay Area locations including two in SF and one in Oakland.

Big Mouth Burgers – The Big Mouth ($9.95)

San Francisco Burgers Big Mouth Burger

Hello old friend. Photo from BangForYourBurgerBuck.

I ate at Big Mouth at least once a week in my mid twenties when I lived at 23rd & Guerrero. I love this place. It’s been one of my favorite San Francisco Burgers for years. No frills vibes with huge ass burgers. Plus they might even still have a Broke-Ass Stuart sticker on the fridge for everyone to see. The Big Mouth is a half pound of all natural prime ground chuck, broiled medium on a bun with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, red onions and mayo.

Big Mouth Burgers
3392 24th. St. @ Valencia St.

Which of your favorite places did we miss? Leave them as comments below.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.