San Diego, CA

Where to Get the Best Burgers in North San Diego County

Mike Peterson

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Burgers are an essential American food, whether you grill them up yourself or get them at an In 'N Out. Sometimes those options can get boring. But don't worry, San Diego has a staggering number of delicious burger shops.

From gastropubs and ale houses with great burgers to burger-specific restaurants, here are seven excellent (and locally owned) places to get a delicious burger in North County San Diego.

8. Nessy Burgers

Address: 3235 Old Hwy 395, Fallbrook, CA 92028

Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day

Website: https://www.nessyburgers.com/

This roadside, outdoor restaurant in Fallbrook is unassuming but serves up excellent burgers. The menu is simple, and there's only really one "classic" burger option: the Nessy Burger. However, it's delicious and well worth the drive. You'll also find nachos, chili cheese fries, chicken and turkey burgers, hot dogs, and breakfast burgers.

7. Full Metal Burger

Address: 2550 Jason Ct, Oceanside, CA 92056

Hours: 4 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday - Thursday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday

Website: https://www.fullmetalburgers.com/

If you've ever wanted to blend a love of heavy metal with delicious burgers, Full Metal Burger might be your spot. Located outside of Black Plague Brewing in Oceanside, Full Metal Burger takes the concept of backyard grilling to the next level, with delicious grub cooked up fresh on a metal griddle. You'll find cleverly named burgers like the Rest in Pesto and Black Bean Society Veggie Burger -- and they're all delicious.

6. Chief's Burgers & Brew

Address: 124 Lomas Santa Fe Dr #108, Solana Beach, CA 92075

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day

Website: http://chiefsburgers.com/

A casual tavern-like spot in Solana Beach, Chief's Burgers & Brew, true to its name, offers a variety of pub food and craft beer. Don't expect mediocre bar fare, however. You'll find handcrafted burgers such as The Stropper, which features garlic cream cheese, bacon, mushrooms, avocado, and grilled onions, and the aptly named Hangover Burger, featuring cheddar, bacon, an over-easy egg, and all the fixings.

5. Sublime Ale House

Address: 1020 W San Marcos Blvd, San Marcos, CA 92078

Hours: 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday - Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday - Saturday, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday

Website: https://www.sublimealehouse.com/

A rustic gastropub in San Marcos, Sublime Ale House features a variety of American comfort classics like burgers alongside a range of different craft brews on tap. Their hand-ground burgers feature Angus beef and are served on house-made buns. Unique options include a Slap Yo Mama burger with brie, caramelized onion, and bacon jam, and a Proscuitto 'n Egg burger with the Italian cold cut, fried egg, and sundried tomato aioli.

4. Ty's Burger House

Address: 515 Mission Ave, Oceanside, CA 92054

Hours: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday - Sunday

Website: https://www.tysburgerhouse.com/

A simple locally owned burger joint that offers a wide selection of meat options beyond beef. You'll find venison, elk, lamb, and buffalo burgers alongside signature beef-based options like the Jalapeno Burger and Ty's 2x4 Burger. On the side, you can opt for french fries, sweet potato fries, and hand-battered onion rings, among others.

3. Notorious Burgers

Address: 6955 El Camino Real Suite 107, Carlsbad, CA 92009

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day

Website: https://notoriousburgers.com/

If you like your burgers with a side of mobster flair, then Notorious Burger might be your spot. Serving up local craft beers and burgers, this Carlsbad restaurant features cleverly named burgers like the Big Poppa, which features bacon, onion rings, and BBQ sauce, and the Capone burger, which is topped with pepper jack, crispy onions, avocado mash, and Sriracha aioli.

2. Burger Bench

Address: 237 E Grand Ave, Escondido, CA 92025

Hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday - Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Website: http://www.burgerbench.com/

This Escondido burger joint, located on Grand Ave, features a slew of delicious burgers made from Angus patties on freshly baked brioche buns. Unique options include the Bench Burger, which features blue cheese, grilled mushrooms, arugula, and BBQ sauce, and the Taco Burger, which is topped with salsa and cilantro aioli, tortilla strips, and shredded cheese. They also feature a selection of local craft beers, along with veggie and halal burgers.

1. Encinitas Ale House

Address: 1044 S Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas, CA 92024

Hours: 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday - Thursday, 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday - Saturday, closed Monday

Website: http://www.encinitasalehouse.com/

Encinitas Ale House is actually a pub rather than a standard burger joint, but don't let that fool you. This shop has some of the best burgers in the area, including options that feature unique meat like bison or ostrich. You'll also find Angus and Kobe Wagyu burgers alongside cheesesteaks, pizzas, and a full selection of craft brews.

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Mike Peterson is a journalist, editor, and yoga teacher based in North San Diego County. He's a fan of indie bookstores, local craft beers, and excellent tacos.

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