Finding Burgers About Town

Burgers at 7 Mile
Burgers at 7 Mile (photo courtesy of Jim Sullivan)

May is National Hamburger Month, and May 28 specifically is National Hamburger Day. So, what’s your excuse for not celebrating? Check out these San Diego hotspots, which offer the most un-burger-lievable experiences!

The newest concept from Trust Restaurant Group, Fort Oak, offers burger lovers an elevated option to curb those cravings. Available on the brunch menu and in the bar, the Wood-Grilled Dry Aged Burger ($17) is made with aged cheddar, truffle onion jam, fried egg aioli, bread, and butter pickle, and comes with a side of fries. Complete your experience with a glass of wine or one of their imaginative cocktails. To make reservations call (619) 722-3398 or visit

Whether you’re a burger connoisseur or just going through a “burger phase” there’s something for everyone at The Bier Garden of Encinitas. Offering 32 tap handles pouring Southern California beers and serving a local bier-infused menu, this rustic, breezy spot is located just a few blocks from some of North County’s most popular beach hangouts. For National Burger Day, choose from their eclectic list of burger offerings including a Fig Burger ($16), a Pork Belly Burger ($17) or the Salmon Burger ($16) made with a pistachio encrusted salmon patty, honey glaze, arugula, garlic aioli, tomato, fennel, and lime-ginger vinaigrette.

With a variety of burgers to choose from and 70 beers on tap, how does one make a decision? The Corner Drafthouse has nine burgers to choose from (all that pair well with a frosty pint) including the vegan-friendly Impossible Burger. If you’re a carnivore at heart seeking a classic, go for The Drafthouse ($14.50) topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, cheddar cheese, and secret sauce. Looking for something a little different? Bite into the savory yet sweet Fig Burger ($15.50) with herbed goat cheese, arugula, tomato, caramelized onions, and house-made fig spread. We’re fairly certain you’ll be back to indulge in another burger and beer pairing sometime soon.

A neighborhood classic for wood-fired fare, the burger at Trust in Hillcrest is no exception to the highly praised concept led by Chef Brad Wise. Available on their weekend brunch menu, sink your teeth into the Wood Grilled Burger ($15) topped with asiago cheese, bacon-tomato jam, pickled onions, arugula, poppy seed bun and served with fries. Have faith in the experts? Order it the Trust Way with house cured-braised bacon and a sunny side egg.

One of the best ways to enjoy a delicious patty is with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Pull up an oceanfront chair at JRDN in Pacific Beach and take a bite into their Tower Burger ($14) a 1/3 pound patty served with American cheese, aioli, lettuce, tomato, onions, brioche, and garlic fries. Go a little overboard and add on an extra patty, egg or avocado.

When you don’t want to wait in line at In n’ Out, head over to Hundred Proof in University Heights to try their jazzed up HP Burger ($15) served with English cheddar; HP spread, pickles, onions, iceberg lettuce, and fries. Pair it with a hand-crafted cocktail by Stephen Kurpinsky, and you’ll have everything you need and more.

7 Mile Kitchen, located inside the beautiful Sheraton/Westin property in Carlsbad, is the perfect spot to indulge in America’s favorite staple food item. 7 Mile prides themselves on their dedication to the craft of elevating and expanding one’s perception of what a burger can be. Basque in the rustic hilltop setting overlooking seven miles of Carlsbad’s coastline while chowing down on their delicious O.G. Burger ($16) or try something new like the Presidential Pardon ($14); a turkey burger made with brie, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, and cranberry aioli, complete on multi-grain bread.

Relax and enjoy your burger with seascape views from inside the chic and stylish setting of what is 20|Twenty Grill, located at the recently unveiled Westin Carlsbad Resort & Spa. 20|Twenty offers farm-to-coast cuisine with a global perspective and ingredients seasonally sourced from California. For lunch, try Executive Chef Julian Quinoñes’ creation of a ½ pound brisket and short rib patty in the Steakhouse Burger ($18) which comes with thick-cut Neuske bacon, grilled onion, aged white cheddar, tomato, onion, and romesco on a whole grain bun.

Pair French class with an American classic and head over to The Westgate Hotel for National Burger Day. Take a seat in the Plaza Bar where you can enjoy live Jazz music three nights a week and tasty bites off their happy hour menu prepared by Executive Chef Fabrice Hardel. Stop in for Happy Hour on Sunday through Thursday from 4 – 6 pm and snack on their Wagyu Sirloin Sliders ($7) served with your choice of blue cheese, aged cheddar or pepper jack.

‘Ground Chuck Norris’ at Rabbit Hole – Known for their upscale pub food and trendy setting in Normal Heights, Rabbit Hole features a rock wall and an open-air game area. For guests looking to take their burger game to the next level, Rabbit Hole presents the ‘Ground Chuck Norris’: a beef chuck patty, choice of cheese and smothered in house Louie dressing – all topped with a bacon-wrapped and smoked chicken-stuffed jalapeno. Guests have the option to add bacon, avocado, grilled onion, onion strings, fried egg, mushrooms, and/or seasonal peppers (+ $1 each).

‘Double Cheese Burger’ at The Florence – North County’s newest restaurant, cocktail bar and café is serving up fast-food favorites with an elevated twist, including the Double Double. Enjoy the reimagined classic this holiday with the Double Cheese Burger: American cheese, pickles, griddled onion, shredded lettuce, and secret sauce. Vegetarian? No problem. Impossible burger patties are available for an extra $5. Plus, The Florence recently launched a new happy hour Monday-Friday from 3-6 p.m. which includes deals on beer, wine and specialty cocktails ranging from $4-7. High-res images of the restaurant.

‘J6 Burger’ at JSix and Upper East Bar – Exploring San Diego’s East Village this National Hamburger Day? Stop by JSix or head to the rooptop and enjoy views of Petco Park from Upper East Bar while biting into a juicy burger. The J6 Burger is a mix of top secret grind served with American cheese, L.T.O. and thousand island. The burger is served with the restaurant’s famed herbed fries as well as the specialty Kimpton Solamar Lager for just $18 – available all day. High-res burger image HERE and high-res beer images.

‘Triple Double Burger’ at 10 Barrel Brewing Co. –  What’s better than a burger and a beer? Snag a pint of suds with a special burger at 10 Barrel Brewing Co. on National Hamburger Day. Crafted specially for the holiday, the ‘Triple Double Burger’  features two chuck and Wagyu beef patties, four slices of Applewood smoked bacon, four slices of American cheese, house-made Russian dressing, and Sinister Ale onions – sandwiched between a jalapeño cheddar bun. High-res burger images.

The latest and greatest in the world of BBQ, The Pioneer in San Diego also happens to be the name of the game for burgers. Enjoy the Double Cow– a brisket chuck burger topped with caramelized onions, perfectly melted cheddar cheese and special sauce. A meal fitting for anyone looking to explore the inner depths of their love for burgers.

At Barrel Republic in Pacific Beach, you always have the freedom to pour from well over 40 casks of coveted craft beer while munching on the freshest burgers around. Try the classic Barrel Burger, a 100% chuck grilled patty with black wax cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onion, all served on a toasted brioche bun.

Mix it up with the Surf N’ Turf burger at barleymash in the Gaslamp District. It’s the burger that offers you the best of the land and the sea- a grilled beef patty topped with cream cheese, Anejo tequila and butter-poached Maine lobster meat, baby arugula, whiskey-caramelized onions, and white truffle aioli.

It’s okay not to share with others when it comes to your burger at Union Kitchen & Tap Encinitas. You get a little bit of everything with the UNION Burger– Brandt beef all-natural half pound patty, tomato jam, cherrywood smoked bacon and aged New York white cheddar.

Come hungry to the Whiskey House in the Gaslamp District, where the Whiskey House Burger is sure to get the job done. The house ground angus chuck is topped with sharp cheddar, 100 island, drunken onions, bacon, lettuce and tomato, served with a side of hand cut fries or green salad.

Get it on the secret at Bub’s in Pacific Beach. As they say- their double secret burger blend would make your favorite butcher blush! The Woody Burger is a great pick. The fresh in-house ground ½ pound burger is complete with cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions and of course a side of tots.