Where to find great burgers in San Diego


In honor of National Burger Day, I have decided to crawl out of my quarantine hole and write up a little blog for you! Today we are going to explore some awesome local spots to grab a burger in San Diego (in our opinion at least!). A few quick notes before we get this party rolling. One, these places are in no particular order. Two, this is by no means an all-inclusive list, it is just some of our favorite spots/burgers. Three, before we get the MASSIVE flooding of comments- no we have not tried Rocky’s yet. Yes, we know it is a San Diego foodie sin. Once everything has cleared up, it is first on our list! Ok, I think those were all the disclaimers I needed to make. Moving on to mouth-watering meaty goodness. 



I think we have definitely written a blog on The Friendly before, but they have made some changes since then! They have opened a second location that explores crazy delicious combinations of burgers, sandwiches, and calzones. However, the real money-maker is the O.G. Dirty Flat Top Burger. It is exactly what the name implies- two patties, lots of cheese, chopped grilled onions, and mayo on a toasted buttery bun. Simple, flavorful, and perfect in every way! Pair it with the onion rings and you will not be upset.



Fernside also has a great classic burger. The Fernside burger is two smashed patties, American cheese, Fern sauce, shredded lettuce, onion, and house made pickles. Excellent combination of all the classic favors you want in a big, hearty burger. The waffle fries are also excellent! They have a little bit of cornmeal on them to add some crunch. Ah crud, I’m focusing on carbs too much instead of the burgers. I am who I am, friends.



Dunedin has a lot of our favorite dishes, but there is one dish that stands out above the rest for us. The McDowell’s burger. Basically their version of the Big Mac, but with amazing, fresh ingredients. The sauce and onion combination marries wonderfully. It gives you all the impact of nostalgia, but with better (more adult) ingredients.



Ok this is a fresh one! We have not written a (solo) blog on this one yet, but we totally will in the future! This is a little hole-in-the-wall burger joint meets bar located in the Banker’s Hill area. The burgers are a ridiculous bargain. They are so cheap for the quality and quantity you get! The burgers are expertly crafted and each ingredient complements the other nicely. The patties are thick and meaty. I added avocado to mine for a little creamy goodness! Also, order the garlic fries. Couldn’t help myself!



The Royale is an old-school diner with a modern flair. It is located in Point Loma. (Across the street from Cesarina- another one of our favorites!). The burgers are juicy, meaty, and cheesy. They have one with an onion jam that is just heavenly. I also appreciated the toasty level on the buns!



You can’t have a San Diego burger list without Hodad’s. It is an institution. The burgers are crazy packed with toppings. If you get bacon, it’s like a little bacon net! I actually prefer to get the smaller one because it’s more meat than toppings. You can even get some pastrami on top of it thanks to the man himself- Guy Fieri. The vibes are awesome as well! 



I threw this one one the list for Ian’s sake! Granted, I like the burgers there too, but there are lots of good things on the menu! I am a huge fan of the garbage plate which does have little sliders on it! And they are actually good sliders. Not dry and flavorless like some sliders! Ian is OBSESSED with the peanut butter covered burger (The Rory) at Corvette Diner. It sounds weird, but it actually works pretty darn well! The nuttiness kind of adds an Asian flavor and a depth to the flavor profile. 



Amy’s has a few locations, including one in Santee and one in Kearny Mesa area. They have huge, toppings-packed burgers with some crazy combinations. There is definitely no shortage of flavor, or calories on those darn things! Amy’s doesn’t make the classic overly topped burger mistake that other places tend to make. That mistake is to have a lot of toppings that then overshadow the patty itself. Amy’s patties are able to hold up all the toppings and not get lost! 



We have also written a blog about this place, but it is definitely worth mentioning again! The burgers at Cali-O’s give you all the good flavors of a burger, but with fresh and healthy options. Ian even likes to get his cabbage wrapped! The cabbage tends to stand up to the weight better than lettuce in our opinion. 


If you haven’t heard of this place, don’t worry, you are likely in the majority. Beef N’ Bun is an old school burger place located in La Mesa. It is a tiny, order-at-the-counter restaurant with a small menu full of deliciousness. The burgers are no-frills and yummy. Pair them with a scrumptious milkshake.


If you have any suggestions of burgers we need to check out, please send us a message! We will update this when we try some new places- including Rocky’s 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Even though I don’t eat meat anymore, I have tried most of these burgers in the past and I have to say The Balboa was my favorite!

    Liked by 1 person

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