18 of the Best Burgers in California, Hands Down

If you thought the only good fare California had to offer was its signature tacos and burritos, think again!

We’ve taken to the highways and byways of the Golden State to find its tastiest burgers, from thick and juicy patties to mouthwatering buns.

Our extensive search has yielded a list of the top 18 burgers that will your mouths watering and taste buds clamoring for more.

So tuck in your napkin and grab a hold of a hearty appetite – these are hands down the best burgers in all of California!

Best Burgers in Northern California

1. Val’s Burgers

Val’s Burgers is a 1950s-style diner that entices diners with its vintage charm and mouthwatering American Classics like burgers, fries, shakes and malts.

These aren’t just any ordinary burgers either – it’s said the legendary Papa Burger packs a whopping one full pound of beefy deliciousness!

It’s no wonder why people rave that Val’s serves the best burger in California.

Address: 2115 Kelly St, Hayward, CA 94541, United States

Flip n shake Burger Sacramento California
Photo by Flip n shake Burger Sacramento California

2. Flip.n.Shake

Flip.n.Shake is a certain stand-out when it comes to the best burgers in California.

It’s the ultimate roadside burger stop with creative hamburgers, mouth-watering milkshakes, and irresistible fries all served up in a laid-back restaurant with colorful booth seats.

If you’re feeling adventurous, order their signature Scavenger Burger jammed with bacon, egg, mushrooms and cheese – you won’t be disappointed!

But beyond the burgers lies an even bigger treat; the milkshakes have been gaining fame as some of the greatest shakes in the state.

Address: 4708 Auburn Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95841, United States

3. Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers

Started in Oakland, Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers has been serving up award-winning gourmet burgers since day one, with options that will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters.

Get your hands on their classic Barney’s Burger – flame-broiled 100% natural chuck beef. Or go big with their hefty one-pound Big Barney’s Burger!

Feeling adventurous? Try the Caribbean Burger, served in a zesty jerk sauce, or delight your tastebuds with the French Burger and its luxurious combination of blue cheese and bacon.

Address: Multiple locations available, check website to confirm.

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4. Mustards Grill

If you’re looking for a legendary meal that successfully combines the best of both worlds, look no further than Mustards Grill in Napa.

Whether you’re thirsting for some of the valley’s finest wines or simply craving an expertly-crafted hamburger, this rib joint has got you covered…with generous portions to boot.

They even make their own pickles, and any seasoned burger connoisseur will tell you just how important it is to have all your condiments top-notch.

If you want a one-stop destination for some truly superior grub and booze, head on over to Mustards Grill!

Address: 7399 St Helena Hwy, Napa, CA 94558, United States

Super Duper Burgers San Jose California
Photo by Super Duper Burgers San Jose California

5. Super Duper Burgers

If you’re looking for a burger that packs more of a punch than your average fast food joint, you’ll want to beeline to Super Duper Burgers.

This small chain has been serving up California’s best burgers for years, and it’s because they know that good ingredients are worth the extra effort.

Their beef is all-natural and ground fresh daily, their veggies are locally sourced and non-GMO, and their buns are artisan-baked – proof that you don’t need to pay an arm and a leg for something tasty!

So if you’re in the mood for something super duper delicious, take a trip to Super Duper Burgers.

Address: 5399 Prospect Rd, San Jose, CA 95129, United States

6. Jack’s Prime Burgers & Shakes

Craving a juicy burger and craving only the best? Head to Jack’s Prime Burgers & Shakes to get your fix!

These delicious flame-grilled gems are made with all-natural Niman Ranch Beef patties and served medium-well.

Try out their signature delicacy, the Whisky Town, topped with bourbon glazed mushrooms and crispy onion strings.

If blue cheese is more your speed, go for the Blue Ribbon and enjoy a heavenly flavor combination of roasted garlic aioli.

For those that want to keep it classic, don’t worry, their Prime Cheeseburger and Prime Hamburger classics never fail to hit the spot.

Address: 3723 S El Camino Real, San Mateo, CA 94403, United States

7. Trueburger

TrueBurger is an American burger joint living up to its name – truly amazing.

They put their money where their mouth is by only serving burgers made from all-natural, pasture-raised beef which is ground daily and hand-shaped into 5 oz patties.

Feeling a bit extra hungry? Order the True Deluxe which is a Cheesy TrueBurger topped with a Mushroom Burger.

If you’re really hankering for something sweet afterwards, nothing compares to one of their homemade milkshakes; either classic or jazzed up with mix-ins that range from tasty toasted marshmallows to a certain childhood favorite (hint: it rhymes with ‘Dwinkies’).

True food, true prices – that’s what you get when you eat at TrueBurger!

Address: Multiple locations available, check website to confirm.

8. Garaje

The folks at Garaje in San Francisco sure know how to pack a delicious punch.

From burgers and chips to tacos and other Mexican eats, this casual joint has something for everyone’s taste buds.

And when it comes to burgers, there’s only one way to go – the double!

Two 6 oz patties packed with flavorful sizzles of American cheese and griddled onions – talk about an appetite-pleasing mouthful.

Address: 475 3rd St, San Francisco, CA 94107, United States

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9. Zuni Café

If you’re in search of a burger with a little something extra, you gotta check out Zuni Café in San Francisco.

Their grass-fed burger is the stuff of dreams – literally. It’s ground in-house then paired with delicious grilled rosemary focaccia, slathered in aioli for an unforgettable flavor combination.

This isn’t your run-of-the-mill burger; this is an experience that will have even the pickiest of eaters reaching nirvana.

In fact, if burgers had passports, this one would be nothing short of international. California cool vibes await – nothing boring here!

Address: 1658 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States

10. Causwells

If you haven’t heard of the award-winning Causwells, then it’s time to get on board the hype train, because one bite of their famous cheeseburger is all it takes to understand why this place has created such a buzz.

It’s truly delightful – Chefs Adam Rosenblum and Tom Patella have crafted a mouthwatering masterpiece that melts in your mouth and combines perfectly with their house special sauce.

Don’t just take our word for it though – go and see for yourself!

Address: 2346 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94123, United States

11. Squeeze Burger

Put on your bib and get ready for a succulent, juicy burger that comes with a “cheese skirt”.

What’s a cheese skirt, you ask? Picture this: all the mouthwatering cheesy goodness you get from a classic cheeseburger, but with an added layer of fried cheese around the edges for extra cheesy deliciousness.

This burger has been featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” and is sure to fill you up with satisfaction. Don’t forget the fries too!

Address: 5301 Power Inn Rd, Sacramento, CA 95820, United States

Best Burgers in Southern California

12. Pie N’ Burger

A (not really) well-kept secret of Pasadena is Pie N’ Burger, a restaurant that has been serving up cheese-filled burgers since 1963.

With all burgers made the old-fashioned way, you can’t go wrong with a visit to this delicious local landmark.

No need to worry whether the food will be good, because it will be; just worry if you’d like an extra helping of cheese!

Address: 913 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106, United States

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13. Father’s Office

There’s something special about Father’s Office; it’s not just the impressive selection of gourmet burgers that keeps people coming back.

The fantastic beer pairings and charming atmosphere create an unforgettable gastropub experience that many say is absolutely unparalleled.

At Father’s Office, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better burger in Southern California.

Address: Multiple locations available, check website to confirm.

14. Umami Burger

Have you ever wanted to experience a taste that’s truly out of this world? If so, then you’d best be visiting Unami Burger.

Folks have been known to travel near and far just for one heavenly bite of from this burger joint – so put on your traveling pants and get ready for a one-of-a-kind gastronomical experience!

Address: Multiple locations available, check website to confirm.

15. Original Tommy’s

Californians know that when it comes to chili burgers, you can’t beat the Original Tommy’s.

Located right on Rampart, this spot is one of California’s favorite places to satisfy your burger cravings – and with locations spreading out to Nevada, people can get their hands on this delicious treat even farther away from home.

Just make sure to grab lots of napkins before starting the meal – otherwise, you’ll be the one carrying a messy surprise all day.

Address: Multiple locations available, check website to confirm.

16. The Apple Pan

Grab your bib, because The Apple Pan is arguably the tastiest place to grab a burger!

Located in Westwood, this historic dive has been providing classic American fare – from mouthwatering burgers to decadent pies – since 1947.

If you want to try the nation’s best burger, order the famous Hickory burger and some tasty sides.

Address: 10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064, United States

17. In-N-Out

There are a million and one things synonymous with California, but if we had to pick one that truly encapsulates the Californian spirit, it’s gotta be an In-N-Out burger.

Lines snake around the block filled with folks eager to get their hands on some of their legendary “secret menu” items (animal-style fries on the side is non-negotiable).

There will always be room for an old-school burger joint. After all, what would California be without its classic In-N-Outs?

Address: Multiple locations available, check website to confirm.

18. Hodad’s

California might not have invented the burger, but they sure know a thing or two about perfecting them.

And with Hodad’s having multiple outposts around San Diego, it shouldn’t be too hard to grab one of their sizzling burgers!

Some things are timeless and Hodad’s seems to agree; the surfer culture-oriented spot has been around since the 70s and is still going strong today, served up by its third generation of owners.

Address: Multiple locations available, check website to confirm.