There’s nothing quite like that first bite of a juicy burger that’s piping hot from the grill. If it’s done right, the bun is a little crunchy from being toasted, the burger is flavorful, the cheese adds an extra kick, and the toppings complement and pull it all together. As you can tell – I’m a fan of a good ol’ fashioned American hamburger!
Warning: This post may not be suitable for non-meat-consuming readers! 😂
In Sausalito, there are a number of great restaurants – and many of them serve burgers. But how do you know which are the best Sausalito burger spots? In this post, I’m here to help.
Based on a formula I developed for this site, I’ve got a ranked list of the best spots in Sausalito for a burger. Some of the restaurants on the list might surprise you, as they’re known for other types of cuisine – French! Italian! German! Oh my! – but they all have a burger option that will satiate you.
Oh, and for you non-meat-consuming readers, there are several spots that have a veggie burger option; I’ve marked that with a 🥬 in the table below. You’re welcome to enjoy this post too!
This post was originally published in August 2021, and was updated in January 2023.
Featured image credit: Napa Valley Burger (the #1 Sausalito burger spot!)
The Best Sausalito Burger Spots
Rather than rank these hamburger restaurants in Sausalito based on my own opinion, I’ve designed my own formula that takes into account three factors:
- public ratings (including my own, as I leave reviews on sites like Yelp, Google, and Facebook too)
- the restaurant’s popularity (total reviews)
- proximity to the Sausalito Ferry
These last two factors are “bonus” factors – they give you a sense of which restaurants are universally beloved and easy to reach if you’re visiting Sausalito.
In the end, each restaurant receives a score out of 5 – but a restaurant can score higher than five based on the bonuses for being close to the ferry and how popular it is. I break ties using the total number of reviews. In general, the higher the score, the better – and any restaurant above 5 has a great burger! Here is my ranked list of which restaurant offers the best burgers in Sausalito:
|1||Napa Valley Burger 🥬||5.41||–|
|2||Barrel House Tavern||5.30||–|
|4||Taste of Rome||4.97||–|
|5||Salito’s Crab House & Prime Rib||4.94||↓2|
|7 (Tie)||Joinery, Beerhall 🥬||4.76||↓1|
|7 (Tie)||Lighthouse Café 🥬||4.76||↓1|
|10||FRED’S Place 🥬||4.68||–|
|11 (Tie)||Hamburgers 237||4.66||↓2|
|11 (Tie)||Fish & Chips-Sausalito||4.66||–|
Ready to learn about each of these restaurants and choose your own favorite burger spot in Sausalito?
1. Napa Valley Burger
Housed in the oldest brick building in Sausalito (dating back to 1885), Napa Valley Burger serves no ordinary hamburgers in Sausalito.
One of the best Sausalito burger places, this restaurant serves burgers with a gourmet twist accompanied by a side salad. The ambiance is laid back and friendly, with wine country decor and red brick walls. As for drinks, each great burger can be paired with a glass of equally great wine.
This is a quite popular venue, so expect a wait if you go during peak hours.
2. Barrel House Tavern
This is one Sausalito burger place that will stick out in your mind forever. Tucked in historic downtown Sausalito, Barrel House Tavern serves burgers prepared with locally sourced produce that have a contemporary spin. They also offer an assortment of specialty cocktails, a full bar, and classic seafood dishes. The ambiance is a little more “refined” than you would expect and has a Northern California vibe all over.
Thanks to its location overlooking the Bay, Barrel House Tavern offers gorgeous views of San Francisco’s cityscape and bay to every seat in the house.
3. Zalta Mediterranean
After the past few years, it’s no surprise that some restaurants that used to be on this list are no longer in business – and new ones have opened to take their spots. So it goes for Zalta Mediterranean, which took the place of F3 (Fast Food Français on Caledonia Streat).
While their menu is delightfully different than anything else in town, they do offer a burger, the Kofta Burger. It’s topped with tzatziki, pickled onions, Persian cucumbers, tomatoes, and green zhug – a Yemenite green hot sauce. Even Zalta’s burger is different than anything else you’ll find in town, and a great option for true burger connoisseurs.
4. Taste of Rome
In the mood for an Italian burger? This is the place to come. As the name suggests, Taste of Rome serves many Italian and American continental options including pasta, salads, and much more. Located in the heart of Sausalito by the boat docks in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taste of Rome is known for providing some of the best customer service in town and the most authentic Italian food.
During warmer months, there is outdoor seating that’s very pretty as well. Rumor has it the espresso served there is even better than Rome’s. So, there’s more than one reason to visit this Sausalito burger place.
5. Salito’s Crab House
Yes, the main specialty in this restaurant is crab and ribs, but the burgers at Salito’s Crab House are equally deserving of praise. The highlight of the burger department is the crab burger, which is said to be absolutely mouthwatering. The restaurant has recently renovated the place and now features a nautical theme all over. You’ll also notice the restaurant is huge, which makes Salito’s a popular venue for family get-togethers.
If the weather is nice, you can also enjoy al fresco dining with views of the blue sky and bay.
Located adjacent to a yacht harbor, Fish. is a lovely restaurant that’s all about freshly sourced fish and sustainability. The restaurant only has one burger on the menu, the Half-Pound Cheeseburger. However, it’s a total beast. This burger is prepared with oak-grilled Stemple Creek grass-fed beef and comes with organic cheddar cheese on Panorama bread. As for the seating, Fish. has picnic-style outdoor tables; there’s also an outdoor patio located on the shoreline adjacent to a sailboat harbor.
While the restaurant’s atmosphere is far from high-end, the prices definitely are. So, bringing some extra cash might be a good idea.
7. (Tie) Joinery
This traditional American beer pub serves some of the best Sausalito hamburgers. With a casual yet classy atmosphere, Joinery has a great variety of comfort food you can order for yourself, or to share. This is an excellent spot to come if you have vegetarian friends, as Joinery can sub the meat patty for a veggie one without compromising the quality and flavor of your cheeseburger. They also have a wonderful beer selection, especially IPA’s. So, be sure to order one to complement your succulent cheeseburger.
Besides the excellent food, their restaurant itself is astounding, with indoor seating that opens out to the water and outdoor seating right next to the docks as well.
7. (Tie) Lighthouse Café
Right from the grill, Lighthouse Café serves some of the best burgers in Sausalito. This small café located right on Broadway street is a classic diner serving delicious American breakfast and brunch options (and few European options, too.) They also offer vegetarian burgers. The truth is all dishes are great. You can’t go wrong!
The Lighthouse Café has only one grill, so your burger may take a little more time to arrive at the table. There’s indoor and outdoor dining available. Although indoor sitting is a bit tight, you can see the kitchen staff cooking, which creates a cozy diner vibe.
9. Le Garage
If you have a hankering for some French flavors, then Le Garage is your place to go.
As the name suggests, Le Garage is an all-French restaurant. The owners are two Frenchmen. Most of the servers who bring your order are French. And the menu is straightforward French. To no surprise, this old bistro overlooking Schoonmaker Point Marina in Sausalito serves a hamburger with a French twist, too. Their 1/2 lb Organic Grass-Fed Beef Burger is fabulous, and it includes morbier cheese, tomatoes, butter lettuce caramelized onions, aïoli, ciabatta, and house-cut Kennebec fries.
10. FRED’S Place
FRED’S Place is an iconic place in the Bay Area with many die-hard fans. Besides serving one the best breakfast ever, FRED’S Place arguably sells the best burgers in Sausalito. Their menu boasts ten mouthwatering burgers options, which are served on a toasted Bordenave bun and come with pickles on the side. Those who don’t enjoy grass-fed beef patties can substitute them for chicken breast, turkey, or veggie patties.
However, what truly makes FRED’S Place a special spot in Sausalito is that, despite its enormous popularity, it still preserves the laid-back, cozy atmosphere of its early days.
11. (Tie) Hamburgers 737
Located in Downtown Sausalito, Hamburgers 737 is a casual restaurant serving hamburgers that are real showstoppers. The famous spot is recognized by locals for the rotating charcoal fire grill in the front window. They serve 4 types of hand-made fresh organic Angus beef burgers; all so tall that you will have trouble trying to fit them in your mouth. If you take your order to go, don’t be surprised if people stop you asking where you got that huge hamburger!
11. (Tie) Fish & Chips Sausalito
A lovely shop with a pastel pink facade, Fish & Chips Sausalito is a place you can’t miss when you visit the area. Conjured up by chef Isaac Lappert, the restaurant offers a cafe-style menu with tacos, chicken avocado sandwiches, and, of course, a generous variety of hamburgers and cheeseburgers. Their quick bites can be enjoyed in their homey indoor seating, or you can snag a table outdoors. You can also take the food to go and enjoy it in the park across the street.
13. The Trident
Located on the Sausalito waterfront, The Trident is best known for its spectacular views of San Francisco, Angel Island, and Alcatraz. It also is a restaurant steeped in history. During the ’60s and ’70s, The Trident was a center of the San Francisco Rock scene. In fact, Janice Joplin was a regular customer and even had her own table here.
Within the menu, they offer the filling and very tasty Trident burger, which comes with one-half Pound 100% Angus beef chuck, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickle, and brioche bun. They also let customers personalize their burgers with their many “build your own” options.
13. Bayside Café
Tucked away next to a bait and tackle shop and Mike’s Bikes, Bayside Café is not the easiest restaurant to find in Sausalito, especially for non-locals. However, you’ll be very happy once you do.
This little diner serves one of the best burgers in Sausalito. Among their most delicious burgers, you’ll find the Farmers Burger, Cowboy Burger, and the Jazzy Jalapeno Burger. While they do not offer veggie burgers, there are plenty of meat-free sandwiches you can choose from.
Besides the good food, Bayside Café also has a wonderful view of the marina and an old-fashioned diner vibe you’ll always remember.
Do you know any other good Sausalito burger spots? Or have feedback on my final ranking? Let me know in the comments!