When we were kids, burgers were junk food. The separation of haute cuisine from street eats was complete. If you walked into a fine restaurant and asked for a burger, they were likely to direct you to the golden arches down the street.
America has been burger-crazy for decades, but this year -- in this city, San Francisco -- is arguably the Golden Era of the burger.
It seems like every fine restaurant makes one, and takes it seriously. We're eating grass-fed beef topped with local artisan cheeses, house-made pickles, and hand-ground mustards. And these fine-dining touches have trickled down into our local fast-food-like burger chains. We'll never settle for a generic mass-produced patty on a flavorless day-old bun again.
Just a decade ago, deciding on the Top 25 Burgers in San Francisco would have been a greasy slog. This year, though, it was pure pleasure. We can easily name five burgers that didn't make our list that, in the year 2000, we would have made reservations for and touted to all our friends.
So without further ado, but with a side of fries, we present you the Top 25 Burgers in San Francisco.