Best Burgers

Original Joe's

The classic San Francisco-style hamburger is served at this Tenderloin institution, where sourdough bread enters the equation. It's an elemental, even primal work of art: just coarsely ground chuck, bread, and a few shards of onion — nothing more. Drop by after the kitchen fires up the mesquite grill at 5 p.m. so you'll be assured of a properly smoke-infused experience. Sit at the counter and watch the flames leap and the skillets sizzle and the counterman kneading some chopped onion into an oblong patty of freshly ground chuck with a few sharp karate chops. After its date with the grill, the patty's slipped into a hollowed-out quarter-loaf of crusty sourdough and placed before you along with a pile of fries that you just saw emerge from a burbling vat of oil. In lieu of a milkshake, order the Kahlua with vanilla ice cream, which is just what it sounds like, served in a margarita glass and damnably good.

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