Here's the Beef on the Best Burgers in Marin
We give you the details on the best burgers you’ll find in all of Marin County, pulled from 2017 and 2018 Best of the County issues.
When all the cashiers at your local joint know your name, burger order, and no-ketchup policy by heart, you know it’s time to branch out. We’re here to help. Find out where to go for your next burger fix by checking out our top picks from the 2017 and 2018 Best of the County guides.
1. The Bacon Cheeseburger
When it comes to chain restaurants, food quality drops as the number of locations go up. Not with Gott’s. Despite the sheer number of burgers they dish out, Gott’s achieves a slam dunk each time with their rendition of the bacon cheeseburger. Toppings include American cheese, Zoe’s bacon, lettuce and pickles stacked on a plushy, toasted egg bun — not to mention Gott’s “secret sauce” (yes, lots of sauce secrecy going on). The president of Gott’s himself recommends the “Ballast Point Sculpin IPA on draft that pairs especially well with [the] bacon cheeseburger. It’s a medium-bodied IPA with bright flavors that aren’t too hoppy — it really balances out the richness of the burger but doesn’t overpower it.” – Clay Walker, president (Greenbrae).
2. Le Burger
Featuring French-inspired cuisine made from fresh and local ingredients, L'Appart Resto proudly serves the Marin community, calling themselves the locals' "Paris apartment in the heart of Marin." You can order their popular Le Burger on the early bird menu, which comes with a drink!
“I like to recommend La Parisienne Blonde, a tasty beer from Paris," chimes in Olivier Criado, general manager (San Anselmo).
What's in this glorious Le Burger? Organic grass-fed beef (1/3 pound) and Morbier cheese on a toasted ciabatta roll with a crispy side of frites. We don't know when this ciabatta and beef patty pairing started, but we can't be more thankful that it did. It lends itself to the crunchiest experience when you bite down, releasing a chorus of crackles.
3. The Belcampo Burger
If the beef patty is the most important aspect of a burger for you, visit the Belcampo Meat Company. Topped with white cheddar, caramelized onions, butter lettuce, and the “special house” sauce, the Belcampo burger patty involves a meticulous process:
“Our beef comes from our own farm; it’s all grass-fed, organic certified and aged three weeks before we grind it. That’s unparalleled quality, and you can taste it!” —Anya Fernald, co-founder and CEO of Belcampo.
Bel Campo’s culinary practices not only reflect Marin County’s growing sense of responsibility to public health and environmental sustainability, but also create a burger that tastes superb.
4. The BOS Burger
One of their more creative spins on the menu, the BOS Burger incorporates intense French flavors. Covered in aioli and other French-influenced sauces, the organic Niman Ranch grass-fed beef patty and smoked bacon nestle in a toasted ciabatta roll.
“The BOS Burger is our French take on a bacon cheeseburger. We add St. Nectaire cheese and bearnaise sauce — what could be more French and delicious than that?!” —Susannah Souvestre, co-founder of Fast Food Francais.
To the avid fusion-food fans, we recommend that you add a side of Kennebec fries (and even dip them into the St. Nectaire and bearnaise sauce) for a one of a kind Euro-American eating experience.
5. The Perry’s Burger Classic
When you don’t want to stray too far from the traditional taste and look of a burger, Perry’s nails down the art of simplicity by paying attention to quality above all else: “The Perry’s Burger Classic is classic and simple. High-quality meat, handled minimally, seasoned with salt and pepper, grilled and placed on a lightly toasted brioche bun.” —Perry Butler (Larkspur)
The burger is served with house-made cottage chips on the side. Spice it up by adding avocado, crispy bacon, or extra cheese at an extra cost.
6. The Basic Burger
To immerse yourself in the local experience, we recommend the cozy and scenic Siren Canteen, a window eatery where customers enjoy their burgers on the outdoor patio deck in full view of the Stinson beach. Simple and crafted with care, the Siren Canteen Classic Burger follows the basic model: a grass-fed patty, lettuce, tomato and aioli sauce. The fun is in their sides, which include regular fries, sweet potato fries, cheese fries and tortilla chips with either guac or cheese. The canteen also offers a wide range of colorful toppings along their window sill — mostly of the pickled variety.
7. No.1 Farm Burger
We’ve lauded Farm Burger before, but can’t stop singing its praises. Teeming with sweet and savory flavors, the original No.1 Farm Burger features caramelized onions, the secret “FB sauce”, aged Vermont white cheddar and local bacon (for an extra two dollars) on a sesame-seed bun. True to its name, the burger chain proudly serves 100% grass-fed meats as well as — and here’s the kicker – alcoholic milkshakes. Pass on the usual beer, and instead, wash the burger down with the golden state cider floats or a mission hard root beer. This joint also serves many kid-friendly options that’ll let you bring the whole family along. Just be careful about swapping shakes.
8. Impossible Burger
Vegetarian? Not vegetarian? Doesn’t matter. As long as you own working taste buds, you have to try the plant-based Impossible Burger. Made from 100% natural ingredients, this vegan wonder consists of mixed greens, lettuce blend, quinoa, alfalfa sprouts, toasted almonds, grilled red onions and roasted grape tomatoes with a sesame ginger vinaigrette. What gives this burger its distinct zing, besides the fact that it’s impossibly crispy, flavorful and completely free of animal products, is the garlic aioli sauce.
If you’re also game for a drink, our Corte Madera local feels strongly about her recommendation: “The spiciness of the hops in Samuel Adams’ Sam ’76 complements the garlic aioli in The Impossible Burger — the flavor of the ale is as innovative as a hamburger made entirely from plants.” – April Fogle, Vice President of Restaurant Operations (Corte Madera). The Counter’s “build your own” meal concept allows customers to personalize their Impossible Burger as much as their heart desires, even launching a #CreateYourImpossible social media campaign to encourage partakers to post a photo of their customized Impossible Burger creation online.
9. The Joinery
A casual waterfront restaurant specializing in rotisserie and local brews, the Joinery fills a tall order in the size and scope of their meals. Don’t believe us? Look at their Joinery Burger, a tall stack made of a sesame seed bun and stacked high with tomato, pickles, onions and beef — all swimming in a pool of mouth-watering melted cheese. You can also choose from a variety of fries, served in massive metal trays, to pair alongside your burger. Pick a fry. Any fry!
Selections include sweet potato, garlic and dirty fries with pork belly and cracklings.
10. Buckeye Roadhouse
Sometimes food tries to do too much. If you want the basics, and you want it done well, Buckeye Roadhouse is your spot. Described as “fully garnished” on their menu, the Roadhouse Burger is a formidable player in the burger game by nailing the basics. It involves a solid and simple combination of smoky beef flavors, a black-seeded sesame bun, and pickles. Enjoy a complimentary side of their golden fries with your order and wash it all down with one of Buckeye’s beer offerings: “I would pair it with Mt. Tam Pale Ale or — if you are super lucky — Pliny the Elder double IPA. We only get three cases a week.” – Robert Price, Executive Chef (Mill Valley).
11. Parkside Cafe
Parkside’s Niman burger is a whopping 8-ounce masterpiece of grass-fed beef and house brioche bun, served with hand cut fries and lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and mustard aioli on the side. “A juicy grilled burger after a day at Stinson Beach is simply perfection. Our burger is made with local beef and served on a brioche bun. Eat well, be happy,” says Maxine Gilbert, the chef and co-owner. Well said, and if you like a dense bun, oh boy. The fluffy and floury brioche will be the hallmark of your Parkside experience.
To balance out the decadence, order their fresh cobb or the delectably sweet and crunchy beet, butternut and apple salad for a nice health kick! And if not for the burger, at least visit for the spectacular views of ocean waves hitting the rocky Stinson Beach cliffs while slurping down their raw oysters.
Leslie Lee is the digital editor and content strategist at Marin Magazine. She enjoys Cinnamon Toast Crunch and British T.V. shows to an unhealthy degree. When she is not eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch or shopping at Madewell, you can find her fellow-shipping with her Bible study group or at her local church. While eating Cinnamon...well you know.