Marlowe, San Francisco, CA
Want to avoid the rush of people trying to get home after a Giants game in San Francisco? Take a short 10 minute walk to Marlowe for American bistro fare and the best burger in the neighborhood. The burger is so good, SF Chronicle restaurant critic, Michael Bauer, once declared it his favorite burger in all of San Francisco.
Opened by a husband and wife time in 2010, this is the first of five restaurants the couple now owns. Modeled after a butcher shop the owner’s grandfather used to own, it has a French brasserie meets rustic market feel. Hexagonal tiles line the floor and butcher paper taped to the walls advertise handwritten drink specials of the day.
Worth getting out of bed for…
- The Marlowe burger. Made with caramelized onions, cheddar, bacon, and horseradish aioli, is this the best burger in San Francisco? It comes on a soft bun from Acme Bakery, lightly buttered and toasted, with just enough chew to add to the burger rather than overtake the beef. The hamburger patty is 80% beef and 20% lamb, giving it extra special tenderness and taste. It’s juicy, cooked just right, and perhaps the only burger that melts in your mouth. The fries, while previously frozen and not made in house, are twice cooked and CRISPY. They will even split the burger in half at no extra charge.
- The cocktails are fun and friendly. Might I recommend The Florist, pictured above? Whiskey, jasmine, elderflower, lemon, prickly pear, and egg white. It’s like a Pisco Sour married an elegant, young lady that likes to wear pink.
Might stay in bed because…
- It’s loud, gets crowded, and you might need a reservation.
- If you sit at a table, be prepared to share your conversation with the table next to you because they are jammed together. They also have a large communal table where you can actually sit with strangers if you prefer.
Sit at the bar. There are ample stools there and also propped in the corner by the window. You could come before or after a Giants game or even after work. Pick a seat or a less expensive bleacher seat. Either way, you still get to watch a Major League game and feel the breeze of the San Francisco Bay.
Definitely worth a visit. Unisex locked stall that is covered with the most beautiful wallpaper of cows.
You could make this burger at home, but that would involve getting grand lamb and ground beef, caramelizing onions, and buying a fresh soft Acme roll. I’d rather just pay $16 to buy the burger here, since it comes with extra crispy fries, a cute place to sit, and cocktails worth drinking.
500 Brannan Street, San Francisco, CA 94107 (Google map)
Open for lunch and dinner daily