The Bay's Best Burgers

I've always believed there's nothing like a burger to brighten the day (except during the brief, dark period of my life in which I decided to become a vegetarian.) However, when people ask me where the best burger in the Bay is, I can never choose just one! So, I've compiled a list of all my favorites, from fast-food to gourmet. Read on for my juiciest, meatiest recommendations.

WARNING: Do not read this while hungry! Your mouth will water and you will hate me for it.

True Burger

An Oakland favorite, True Burger holds a special place in my heart. They serve their patties diner-style with lettuce, tomato and American cheese, but with organic and pasture-raised ingredients. Also serving up old-school milkshakes and skinny fries, True Burger is not one to pass by. They say classics never go out of style, and in this case, they're absolutely correct. 

Need I say more? Image via  True Burger

Need I say more? Image via True Burger

Aisle 5

Local brews and great burgers, what could be better? Newly opened in Oakland's Grand Lake district, Aisle 5's pub fare is some of the best. The dish includes all the conventional fixin's, but they prove you don't need glamour for a great burger. Let the high quality, juicy beef and brioche bun speak for themselves.

Heirloom Café

Though this burger is not featured on their menu, it's always available upon request. Though their other dishes are incredible, this one is seriously to die for. This burger is topped with marinated arugula and onion jam, served on a fluffy English muffin bun from local company Sconehenge. The best part? The patty has shallots and creamy Époisses cheese mixed in, blending seamlessly with the tender beef. Delectable.

Don't be fooled -- Heirloom Cafe's plain-looking burger is nothing but. Image via  foodgps

Don't be fooled -- Heirloom Cafe's plain-looking burger is nothing but. Image via foodgps

Hog's Apothecary

This hip Oakland gastropub is a carnivore's heaven. Their burger, entitled "The Heifer and the Sow," is a pork and beef patty that's not to be taken lightly. Like all their other meats, it's perfectly tender and very (very) big. Though I typically hate mustard, I find theirs is so fresh and delicious that I feel the burger lacks something without it! And as a big fan of sweet-and-savory, I'm in love with their bacon and date compote.

4505 Burgers & BBQ

This one is featured on nearly every SF-best-burgers list, and rightfully so. They've earned their spot as burger royalty with a quarter-pound patty that won't quit atop a scallion-sesame bun. The Gruyere cheese and "secret sauce" are really the kicker, though -- it's no wonder their recipe hasn't changed since their opening in 2009.

4505's masterpiece. Currently drooling. Image via  Foodhoe

4505's masterpiece. Currently drooling. Image via Foodhoe

Bonus: Umami Burger

I know this is a chain, but I had to throw it in here. Their entire menu, in my humble opinion truly excellent, but I'm really including this one for all my vegetarians out there. The Falafel Burger is one of my favorite veggie-based burgers I've ever had -- so much so that I'll sometimes order it over regular beef! The falafel itself is crispy on the outside and never dry on the inside. With pickled onion, tzatziki and beautifully pink beet-infused couscous, this is a true Middle Eastern masterpiece-turned-burger.

I'm making myself hungry now. Time for my burger break!