Local Wally's Guide to San Diego

Local Wally's Guide to San Diego

Where to Find San Diego's BEST Burgers!

restaurantsLocal Wally3 Comments

I'm not dissing on In N Out Burger because frankly I think they make one of the BEST burgers in the world. I mean, come on, even Thomas Keller of The French Laundry fame, the place where dinner for two will set you back $1,000, says that In N Out is his favorite burger and one of his favorite meals.  But today we're talking San Diego homegrown burgers, the best burgers in town made by local joints so while I love In N Out, and I really do, we're going totally local here.

"Double Double" at Juniper and Ivy in San Diego

Juniper and Ivy

It's not on the menu but 30 people every night, and only 30, can get Chef Richard Blais' version of a Double Double Animal Style burger for under $20. I love all of the food at Juniper & Ivy but this burger is outrageously great. When the small plates start arriving at the table protect your giant burger from those around you who are eyeing your fries with envy. Shoo, shoo!


Tavern has been welcoming big crowds in for drinks, dancing and sport-watching since 1997. With a revamped menu created by Chef John, beach-goers are also flocking to the hotspot for delicious food. You’ll surely crush any burger cravings with the B.E.A.T. Burger; an all-natural beef patty that is surrounded by applewood smoked bacon, arugula, bourbon-roasted tomatoes, garlic herb ale aioli and topped with a fried egg. This is the best way to B.E.A.T. your longings for a juicy patty!

1919 San Diego Suicide Burger


1919 is known as one of the best sports bars in downtown, but it’s menu image002.jpgis equally as brag-worthy. There is no better way to celebrate National Burger Day then with their Suicide Burger in-hand. Made with jalapeno jam, cayenne-candied bacon and pepper-jack cheese, this burger is sure to spice up your night… and your taste buds!


The burgers at barleymash follow suit with the restaurants innovative theme – everything is better with a little alcohol, especially food. The Surf ‘n’ Turf Burger combines multiple proteins as well as multiple alcohol-infused ingredients. A grilled beef patty combines with Añejo tequila n’ butter-poached Maine lobster meat to make an elaborately messy burger of epic proportion. It also includes cream cheese, baby arugula, whiskey-caramelized onions and white truffle aioli.

Backyard Kitchen and Tap

Backyard Kitchen & Tap grills better burgers than your average backyard cookout, and the Bison Burger is renowned in Pacific Beach for “changing the game”.  It is a free range bison patty with Shaft bleu cheese, rocket arugula and basil aioli on a brioche bun.  If that’s not enough, add a fried egg for $2 – and then wash it down with a beer from one of their 20 taps.

Duck Dive in Pacific Beach

Pacific Beach Duck Dive

Pacific Beach’s Duck Dive is an eatery of surf and coastal culture.  The signature Duck Dive Burger is served with an all-natural beef patty, tomato relish, caramelized onions, butter lettuce, garlic aioli and pimento cheese (a southern U.S. specialty made of sharp cheddar, spices and greatness) on a toasted brioche bun.  Swim, surf, drive, bike or run on over to Duck Dive for a bite of a burger and the sun.

Barrel Republic

Barrel Republic’s Oceanside location is serving a burger that’s big on taste and a big win for cheese lovers everywhere! The Barrel Burger entertains the company of 100% chuck black wax cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion, all served on a brioche bun. Order this burger cut in quarters, and share the juicy bite with your friends.

Pacific Beach Ale House

Pacific Beach AleHouse, providing beautiful views of the ocean from their Skydeck, is grilling up a patty of picturesque Brandt all-natural beef (raised in the California sun without hormones or antibiotics) for the Mushroom Truffle Burger.  Mushrooms of course, with Cambozola (a mix of cow’s milk cheese from Italy and France), arugula, truffle butter and a fried egg all fit onto a brioché bun. AleHouse provides you plenty of options to accompany the burger; a choice of seasoned fries, tator tots, sweet potato fries, salt and vinegar chips or cottage cheese is included.  Another courteous option the kitchen offers is switching out any beef patty for chicken breast!

Brazen BBQ's Jalapeno Burger

Brazen BBQ

It seems like the Smokin’ Jalapeno Burger, a meal-sized sambo, was made to show off during National Burger Month.  It’s been contributed to the patty craving community by Brazen BBQ . This burger is topped cheddar cheese, friend jalapenos, and B.R.A.G. BBQ sauce to make this burger a San Diego favorite. Yes, it can get messy, but like the five house-made BBQ sauces (ranging from sweet or smoky to spicy) – a roll of paper towels is on every table for stress-free availability.

Common Theory

One very uncommon take on the burger is at Common Theory in Kearny Mesa.  It’s simply and appropriately titled the Chicken-Fried Cheeseburger; a panko breaded beef patty is skillfully fried and topped with a horseradish Havarti, charred scallions and an aioli-style country spread.  Common Theory sports one of the best rotating selections of unique drafts in the craft beer capital of the world (30-34 taps at all times!).