The Best Meatless Burgers in San Francisco


By: Christina Mueller


Burger Week 2016 is still six months away, but San Francisco’s appetite for burgers cannot be confined to a small parcel of days. With beef under pressure from water conservationists, the new “it” burgers in town defy the drought by skipping the beef entirely. 
Let’s call them alterna-burgers (veggie burgers are so 1989) for they are as varied and modern as they are delicious.


The Beet Burger from Seed & Salt

The Beet Burger from Seed & Salt - photo credit Aubrie Pick
Neighborhood: San Francisco, The Marina


A hearty mix of roasted beets, Puy lentils and mushrooms is layered with pimentón and smoked sea salt, this burger packs in the nutrients and the flavor. Add strips of eggplant “bacon” and layers of umami flavor come thundering across your palate. Even better, choose a whole grain bun, gluten-free bread or collard greens, then attempt to eat this big boy with one hand. It is a feat worth undertaking.


Grits and Egg Sandwich from 4505 Meats

Grits and Egg Sandwich from 4505 Meats - Photo Credit: Christina Mueller

Neighborhood: San Francisco, Alamo Square


A barbecue joint is not the place most vegheads would pick as most likely to offer a killer burger, but the egg and grits sandwich from 4505 Meats Divisadero outpost redefines the simple power of these two breakfast staples. Coarse-ground grits and an over-easy egg act as the foundation for a mess of flavorful additions. Scallions, melted Pecorino and a dab of melted foie gras torchon (definitely not veg), all perched atop a sesame seed bun, push this burger into a new realm of savory goodness. This burger redefines barbecue for the 21st century.


Escargot Slider from Bisou Bistronomy
Escargot Slider from Bisou Bistronomy
Neighborhood: San Francisco, Castro


Everyday French meets every day American in this cross-continental hybrid. Chef Nick Ronan stays true to the original Burgundian escargot dish he serves – lots of parsley and garlic-laced aioli - then took it to a new place with Guindilla chiles and a sherry vinegar reduction.  At first bite, the flavor is at once intimately familiar and richly satisfying with just a soupçon of thrilling unfamiliarity. Who knew (besides the French) that escargot could be this good?

 
 

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02 Dec 2015


By Christina Mueller