We’re not going to say that Sam’s makes the best burger in the world, but we will say that when you’re eating it, you’ll think it’s the best burger in the world. That’s because the best (and in our opinion) only time to come to this place is when you’re absolutely wasted. It’s within two blocks of five separate neighborhoods (North Beach, Chinatown, the FiDi, Russian Hill, and Nob Hill), so you won’t need to convince people that they’re going very far if you’re already in one of those places. And if they don’t want to come with you, leave them behind - they were dragging you down and it’s pretty small in here anyway. It’s called Sam’s Pizza and Burgers, but you’re really only here to get the burger and laugh at the pizza in the window. Getting a hot dog is also acceptable, but remember, it’s cash only.
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When you want to impress someone with great cocktails and small plates, take them Moongate Lounge in Chinatown.
Cold Drinks Bar
Cold Drinks Bar, in the China Live building in Chinatown, serves fancy cocktails in an upscale space.
China Live Market Restaurant
The Market Restaurant at China Live in Russian Hill serves an extensive menu of Chinese food in a large, loud dining room.
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You’re going to wait in line at the Shake Shack in Cow Hollow, but at least there are awesome burgers and ice cream at the end of it.
Mission Bowling Club
Aside from having six lanes, Mission Bowling Club has a great bar and makes one of our favorite burgers in the city.
Roam Artisan Burgers
The fast food-style burgers at Roam in Pacific Heights are much tastier (and more virtuous) than what you’d get at a drive through.
Suggested by our writers
Comstock Saloon is an old-school spot in North Beach serving great food and cocktails. Get the brussels sprouts.
Golden Boy Pizza
Golden Boy Pizza in North Beach sells inexpensive, filling pizza slices worth waiting in line for.
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