May is beach season. It's also (appropriately) the beginning of outdoor drinking season (hello, happy hour at 620 Jones).
And it's also Burger Month, a 31-day marathon of meaty celebration culminating in one of America's favorite grillside holidays, Memorial Day.
Here are our six picks for making the most of meatastic May.
The Classic: Belcampo Burger
It's worth the 20-minute drive (or ferry ride, trips to cash-only bar optional) to Larkspur to dig into this meaty mound of humanely raised, organic beef sandwiched inside a perfectly-toasted sesame seed bun, with lettuce, ketchup and house-made aoli. Then buy some ground beef at their butcher's counter to take home as you attempt to recreate this masterpiece.
2405 Larkspur Landing Circle, Bldg. 4, Larkspur (415-448-5810).
The Foodie Burger: KronnnerBurger
Don't tell your hipster friends you haven't tried the KronnerBurger yet or you're guaranteed an eye roll. Because this perfectly sized, 21-day-aged beef patty — always served rare — is a #YOLO moment waiting to happen. Top it with bone marrow, order a side of onion rings or cheese curd fries, and prepare to roll your eyes in burgerlicious ecstacy.
2379 Mission St., The Mission (415-656-9871).
The Not-A-Burger-Joint Burger: Marlowe Buger
Topped with carmelized onions, cheddar, bacon, and horseradish aoli, Marlowe and Park Tavern's gourmet burger is as close as SF gets to a signature burger. Once you've had one, it will never not sound good. Our favorite incarnation: ordered at brunch with the off-menu add of a fried egg topper. Actually, that sounds kind of awesome right about now. We'll be right back...
Available at Marlowe and Park Tavern.
The Package Deal: 3Bs at EPIC Roasthouse
What's better than enjoying Epic's cheese-filled Explosion Burger on their waterfront patio? Pairing it with an ice cold Budweizer (or PBR) and a brownie. And at just $20 for all three, you'll have plenty of change left over to order a fourth B: a glass of bourbon on the rocks. Just sayin'.
369 The Embarcadero, SoMa (415-369-9955).
The Veggie: Plant Burger
Just because you're avoiding red meat (or even all meat) doesn't mean you can't enjoy a quality burger. The Plant Cafe Organic's housemade patty built with lentils, beets, cashews, and bulgar wheet packs the protein-filled punch you've been craving, while the sourdough bun will make you feel like you're cheating. Not a vegan? Go ahead and top that sucker with sauteed mushrooms and melted cheese.
The Team Effort: OTG's Burger Pod
The newest meat patty fix for the food truck obsessed: Off The Grid's just-launched burger pod in the Financial District. Escape a particularly trying workweek by challenging yourself to try a different burger five days in a row, as a different burger truck visits the corner of Sacramento and Montgomery every day. And, yes, Fins on the Hoof is in the roster.
Mon-Fri 11a-3p. Sacramento St. @ Montgomery, FiDi.