Welcome to San Diego Blog | December 14, 2010

Where is the Best Cheeseburger in Downtown San Diego?

I know, I know, it’s not healthy and it’s not fashionable, but there is something so American about a great cheeseburger.  I’ve been eating a cheeseburger a month at different restaurants in downtown San Diego for about the past 3 years and I swear I have discovered and reconfirmed that I truly know where the pot of gold lies at the end of the cheeseburger rainbow.  I’ve been to at least eight Jimmy Buffett concerts so that qualifies me as a certified cheeseburger connoisseur.

So of course, I’m not just going to come out and tell you where you can find the best cheeseburger in downtown, but I will give you some hints along the way and tell you about my journey on the road to my discovery. I searched all of the downtown neighborhoods, but all of the roads led back to the Gaslamp Quarter.  I ventured over to Little Italy to try Downtown’s oldest Bar, the Waterfront for the famous Waterfront cheeseburger and it was pretty good, but no comparison for the winner.  I even ventured into Po Pazzo for their 100% Kobe Beef cheese burger and it was good, but still not quite what I was looking for.  The Burger Lounge…pretty good, but there are better burgers for those who search.

I took the bartender’s advice at the W Hotel and ordered the Big Beer Burger at nullin the Columbia District.  I even went to Downtown Johnny Brown’s in the civic center complex and tried their cheeseburger…nope, not the one!  I have to say that Bareback Grill on E is pretty good with their Average Joe and the Queenstown Fave, but they still don’t have the ultimate American Cheeseburger.  Nice view at the University Club, but nice try at downtown’s best burger.

Getting Closer to Downtown San Diego’s Best Cheeseburger

East Village has some pretty tasty options including the Tilted Kilt, but the scenery distracted me from focusing on my food so the burger wasn’t very memorable.   The Corner, two for Tuesdays is really tempting, but still nothing to make me dream of cheeseburgers in paradise.  No, the yellow brick road to cheeseburger bliss led me further.  “Go west” they said, “go west”…

My journey west led me to East Village Tavern & Bowl for a mean cheeseburger, but still not “the one”.  I was told I must go to the Yard House and I gave it a shot, but it is safe to say the beers on tap and variety of food are what draw the crowds because the cheeseburger was just alright.  I then ventured deep into the Gaslamp Quarter and I found my soul-mate.  It was true love at first bite…

Where could it be?  Where is your favorite burger in Downtown?  Need a hint?  Starts with an N and ends with an S…  drum roll…..

The competition is fierce and getting tougher as Bub’s Whiskey Dive and Hodad’s are under construction as we speak…this is going to have to be an annual event to keep everybody posted on Downtown San Diego’s ultimate Cheeseburger.  Chad’s top burger pick is…

Congratulations Nicky Rottens.  Great Burgers, cold beer & great service.  You’ve got my business!!!


Written by: chad

Categories: Culture, Downtown San Diego, East Village, Gaslamp, Little Italy, Marina District

  1. PS from a downtown resident who is a regular at BOTH places… Water Front is THE best cheeseburger in San Diego. No, I do not work there.

  2. You’ve got to be joking, right? The name says it all: “Rottens”. No flavor hamburgers that were unseasoned and pressed patties. Nothing fresh or juicy about it. Plain awful!

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