(locations around the Bay)
When in Roam, you gotta do the artisan beef burgers for sure, but you might want to try bison for a change. So many options on the burgers with incredible cheeses and a variety of relish and sauces. Thick and rich, the shakes are organic dairy, and the sodas are hand-crafted with ripe California fruit. The artisan-baked buns are served fresh daily.
WALNUT CREEK (and around the Bay)
(925) 954-6243 • gotts.com
Niman Ranch beef patties are hard to beat, but you can always substitute Diestel Ranch turkey or the vegan/gluten-free Impossible Burger. Impossible not to love their burgers, but you can always consider other things on the menu: fried Brussels sprouts, chili cheese fries, chicken schnitzel, salads, tacos, hot dogs…the list goes on. Oh, and there are often a couple of specials, including Baja shrimp cocktail.
(650) 637-9257 • godfathersburgerlounge.com
Another year on J.’s best list, according to our readers, Godfather’s prides itself on burgers that are fresh, organic, local, vegetarian and vegan-friendly (the “Beyond Burger” is plant-based and rumored to fool most meat lovers). Godfather’s aims to please, even offering gluten-free buns. Other beef alternatives abound: crab cake burger, salmon burger, chicken burger, and a Philly cheese-steak burger. Sides and salads join shakes, floats and desserts.
LARKSPUR (and around the Bay)
(628) 212-2050 • shakeshack.com
Larkspur is the latest NorCal location for the gourmet burger and frozen custard joint, the Shake Shack, long a favorite around the country. Fried chicken sandwiches, fries of every ilk, Shack-made lemonade, and Fifty/Fifty, their version of an Arnold Palmer. Make sure Fido doesn’t get jealous and want some of your burger: bring home a doggie bag of five ShackBurger dog biscuits made just for the Shack by NYC’s Bocce’s Bakery. Plus, for the first time in print, their cookbook with 70 recipes.