Best Burgers in the East Bay

Best Burgers in the East Bay

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Clean Plate Club

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It’s official: There are now so many ways to dress a burger that someone really should come up with a Periodic Table of Toppings. And if you can put it on a burger — or make it into a burger — a chef in the East Bay has done it. Not only is the East Bay holy ground when it comes to culinary creativity, it’s also a fertile free-for-all for a new generation of gastropubs, restaurants and burger bars popping up across Oakland. From the traditional diner-style cheeseburger to a double-pattied monster that looks like a Big Mac on steroids (and is entirely vegan — in fact their whole menu is), you can find it here. Taking into account the range of styles, affordability and preference for meat or meatless, here are our East Bay Best Burger winners for 2023, selected by our editors — look for our readers’ choice winner, selected by our audience.

Featured Photo: Peter Dawn

In and Around Oakland

Chop Bar

This laid-back restaurant manages to be on-trend and homey at the same time. The menu, which offers a few quirky items (Oxtail Poutine is a staple), only features one burger — but it’s a really good, locally sourced burger. The beef patty is from Oakland’s Cream Co. Meats, the bacon is house-cured, the produce is from Ground Stew Farms, and the kaiser roll comes from Acme Breads up the road in Berkeley. Tack on avocado, garlic aioli and your choice of cheese from Fiscalini Farmstead in Modesto, Central Coast Creamery and Pt. Reyes Farmstead. Some of the guests probably traveled farther than the ingredients did. Hours are 11:30am to 9pm Monday through Thursday, 11:30am to 10pm Friday, 10am to 10pm Saturday, 10am to 9pm Sunday.

Clove & Hoof

Clove & Hoof doubles as a whole-animal butcher shop and restaurant, so you know where the food is coming from, and chef/owner John Blevins is big on sourcing local, responsibly raised animals. The C&H Burger is two juicy 4-ounce patties of California grass-fed beef with caramelized onion jam, pimento cheese, bread and butter pickles, chopped romaine and pickle mayo on a sesame seed Brioche bun. You can sub out the bun for a gluten-free one from Oakland’s Mariposa Bakery. It’s a serious handful, but well worth it. Get extra napkins. Hours are 11am to 8pm daily.

Malibu's Burgers (Vegan)

This food-truck-turned-restaurant is known for having some of the most aggressively meaty-looking burgers in the East Bay — which is why it takes a hot minute to accept that everything on the menu is vegan. Even the Tasha Grande burger, which looks like a McDonald’s Big Mac on steroids, is Impossible 2.0 burger patties, the “secret sauce” has vegan mayonnaise and the “American cheese” is Follow Your Heart dairy-free cheese made from coconut oil and starches. Equally impressive is the Ghostown Burger with “cheese,” onion rings and barbecue sauce. And no animals were harmed in the making of it. Hours are 2pm to 9pm Tuesday through Thursday, 11am to 9pm Friday and Saturday, 11am to 8pm Sunday.

Park Burger

Casual counter-service burger joint in the Glenview neighborhood that’s committed to keeping it local, from the grass-fed, organic beef sourced from local farms to the local organic produce and the bread baked daily. The menu is all about options: at least seven specialty burgers that are vegetarian or vegan; along with beef patties, meat-eaters can also choose from lamb, turkey and chicken; toppings run from pico de gallo to tzatziki to sweet chili aioli. Pork lovers will love the Pork Blvd burger, which includes pork ground with bacon and jalapenos and, for good measure, it’s topped with more bacon. Even the beer menu is local, with brews from Oakland United, East Brother and Ghost Town Brewing. Hours are 11:30am to 8:30pm Monday through Saturday.

Scolari's Good Eats

Scolari’s manages to make the jump from classic to quirky in just two burgers. The Classic Burger is pretty much that — a beef patty with butter lettuce, pickle, onion, tomato, American cheese and house sauce. The Blueberry Bacon Blue Cheese Au Poivre, however, seems like it would be an acquired taste but it’s one of the most popular items on the menu. It’s a peppercorn-crusted burger with blue cheese, bacon, arugula, red onions, basil aioli and, of course, blueberry sauce. Vegetarian versions of both burgers are available with plant-based patties. Hours are 11:30am to 10pm daily.  

Sideshow Kitchen​

A laid-back, locally owned roadside cafe that serves “classic American street food,” albeit with some influence from Latin and Korean flavors. What Sideshow lacks in varieties of burgers, it makes up for in sauces, including the house-made Aioli, Crackin Sauce, Pineapple BBQ, Mango Habañero, Honey Mustard, Hyphy Hot Sauce and “Good Burger” Sauce (likely influenced by the 1997 comedy film of the same name). The local favorite is the Sideshow Burger, a double cheeseburger with grilled onions, produce, house aioli and Good Burger sauce. Sideshow uses Halal beef, free-range chicken, and wild-caught fish. Hours are 12pm to 6pm Tuesday and Wednesday, 12pm to 7pm Thursday through Saturday.

More Local Favorites in the East Bay

Who’s writing these?

Meet our always-hungry team of foodies who compiled this list.
Please let us know if we’ve missed your favorite

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