Sara Deseran and Jessica Battilana
When Jessica and I realized we had both separately made reservations at the “new” SPQR, we decided to write up our observations without first comparing notes. Although we’re two people that share some tastes, Jessica’s been far more of an SPQR aficionado than I have been. She loves rich and rustic, where I often like things a bit lighter and refined. Despite this, our two takes on one restaurant (no cheating allowed), turned out to be very similar. —Sara Deseran
There are approximately 600 restaurants in SF that have a burger on the menu. But who makes the ultimate gourmet burger, the pièce de résistance, the gold standard by which all others should be measured? To narrow it down, we set some standards (burgers must be high-end, include all-beef patties and be served for dinner), then we tasted, pondered and scrutinized 20 of the city’s best. Here they are, ranked in order, from 10 to one. The victor? It’s not who you think it is.
Photography by Ed Anderson.
Lark Creek Steak
Though Lark Creek Steak’s burger narrowly missed inclusion on our top 10, we give high marks to the hand-cut, Lincoln Log–like fries, with their blunted ends, crisp exterior and creamy interior. 845 Market St., 415-593-4100, larkcreek.com
Bix fries their hand-cut potatoes in rice-bran oil before piling them high and showering them with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. 56 Gold St., 415-433-6300, bixrestaurant.com