San Diegans share their favorite burgers

With Americans chowing down on approximately 50 billion burgers a year (that’s three a week), the humble hamburger is one of the country’s most beloved foods. Hailing from 1800s Hamburg, Germany, burgers started out as mere meatballs, but have become a necessary staple for sports events, backyard cookouts, beach BBQ’s, and everyday living.

PACIFIC paired up with Facebook group Eating and Drinking in San Diego (EDSD) to find some of the most beloved burgers in town. As selected and voted on by the group’s members, here are the top five favorites:

The Balboa at The Balboa Bar & Grill

This number one favorite is dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion, American cheese, and “zesty house aioli.” So what puts it on top? Craft beer and burger lover Gonzalo Quintero, AKA Doctor Q, states, “The Balboa Burger is filled with heart. It tastes like it’s made with love because it is, made with love by Tom (Logsdon) and his team.” EDSD member Angelina Giovannini proclaims, “I know for a fact that the bun at the Balboa is the best bun I’ve ever had on a burger!”

1863 Fifth Ave., Bankers Hill, 619.955.8525,

The ½ lb cheeseburger at Rocky’s Crown Pub

This Crown Point favorite is famed for its straightforward burgers, dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles and mayonnaise. When asked why he picks Rocky’s above all others, chef Alex Carballo of URBN Coal Fired Pizza remarks, “I think it’s the simplicity of it and how consistent they are. Simple is the hardest to keep up and they have for so many years!”

Bar Sin Nombre owner Tony Raso stated, “It’s an old-school burger, with a basic set, that is so flavorful. I don’t know what they do to their patties to make them seem like they are infused with butter, but they are delicious.”

And Kristina Blake, tasting room supervisor at Council Brewing Company, said Rocky’s brings out the nostalgia, “It reminds me of summers in P.B. You can really taste the well-seasoned grill and the small peppers on the bar are the perfect amount of spice.”

3786 Ingraham St., Pacific Beach, 858.273.9140,

DFTCB (Dirty Flat Top Cheeseburger) at The Friendly

The Friendly offers a $5 burger with no frills, a white bun, and no substitutions (so don’t try it). EDSD member Hansen Hunt likes to enjoy more than one of this San Diego favorite at a time: “The texture, flavor, grease, and price put the Dirty Flat Top Burger in a class of its own. It’s the only burger I order two of.”

4592 30th Street, North Park. 619.892.7840,

Double Double at In-N-Out

While not a San Diego-specific burger, locals can't get enough of the Double Double from In-N-Out.

While not a San Diego-specific burger, locals can’t get enough of the Double Double from In-N-Out.

(Kevork Djansezian/Associated Press)

The Double Double is a California classic with two beef patties, lettuce, tomato, onions, two slices of American cheese, house spread (a secret recipe since 1948), and a toasted sponge dough bun.

Hunt also spoke up about the burger that draws crowds and accolades from burger lovers around the country: “The Double Double Animal Style is like the Pizza Port Swami’s of burgers — it’s everyone’s go-to burger because you can trust it to be delicious every single time.”

Multiple locations,

Double Bacon Cheeseburger Hodad’s

This Ocean Beach mainstay has been packing in the crowds for years with their juicy, wrapped-in-paper burgers. With a second location downtown, Hodad’s packs on classic toppings of mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, onion, lettuce, tomato, and pickle. Featured on CNN, the Food Network, and Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, it’s a must-visit on any burger quest around San Diego.

Ocean Beach: 5010 Newport Ave., 619.224.4623; Downtown: 945 Broadway, 619.234.6323, Petco Park: 100 Park Blvd.,

How did we do? Is your favorite burger on the list? Or better yet, what’s your favorite vegan/vegetarian burger so that we might add it to our next “favorites” list? Send an email to


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