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The 8 Best Burgers Joints in Northern California

Photo courtesy of The Charter Oak restaurant in St. Helena

Bread. Meat. Cheese. Lettuce. Tomato. Onion. Is there anything more American than a delicious burger?

While Northern California has a long list of delicious foods in every region, the burger seems to be the most popular among our readers. You can get a quick one on-the-go, sit down for a fancy burger or even easily make it at home. For you health nuts, the Impossible Burger is even making its rounds at NorCal eateries.

We’ve searched far and wide and have chosen the 8 best burgers spots in NorCal. Here are our results:

#8 – Squeeze Burger (Sacramento)

Photo courtesy of Yelp user Luke C.

Sacramento’s “Burger with a cheese skirt” is sure to please with it’s large, crisp layer of hardened cheese covering the meat like an umbrella on rainy day. It’s unconventional style has the locals in Sacramento going crazy, and it even caught the eye of chef celebrity Guy Fieri:

Squeeze Burger

1630 K St.

Sacramento, CA 95814

#7 – Happy Burger Diner (Mariposa)

Photo courtesy of Yelp user Diego M.

Happiness is eating a burger from Happy Burger Diner in Mariposa. Located in the beautiful Yosemite valley, this burger gem is known for cranking out some of NorCal’s best burgers. Happy Burger is known for their charbroiled burgers such as the 49’R Burger, The Mother Lode Burger, and of course the Happy Burger. Family owned and operated since 1995, they have been supplying delicious burgers to visitors of the area for “three happy generations.”

Happy Burger Diner

5120 California 140

Mariposa, CA 95338

#6 – Nobby’s (Chico)

Photo courtesy of Yelp user Jose R.

A Nobby’s burger is a favorite of the Chico crowd. Another NorCal burger establishment supplying guests with “Cheese Skirts” makes this place sure to please. Made famous by the “Nobby” burger and always supplying Chico State students with a solid beer base, Nobby’s is sure to remain a NorCal staple for years to come.

Nobby’s

1444 Park Ave.

Chico, CA

#5 – California Burger Co. (South Lake Tahoe)

Photo courtesy of Yelp user Gabriel D.

When in Tahoe, California Burger Co. is a must visit. Located in Tahoe’s Heavenly Village, this burger paradise is known for their unique burgers such as The Honorary Texan, The Wild Turkey, and their name sake “The Californian.” Whether fresh off the slopes, fueling up before a hike, or trying to just trying to calm a hangry rage, California Burger Co. is a great place to grab a tasty burger.

California Burger Co.

1001 Heavenly Village Way #2B

South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150

#4 – Damburger (Redding)

Photo courtesy of Yelp user Stephanie D.

Redding’s oldest burger joint sure pulls its weight among the best in NorCal. In 1938, 18-year-old Bud Pennington had the idea to sell hamburgers to the thousands of construction workers building Shasta Dam. Today, you can eat the same delicious hamburger at Damburger in Downtown Redding. Check out our review here:

Damburger

1320 Placer St.

Redding, CA 96001

#3 – Eel River Brewing (Fortuna)

Photo courtesy of Yelp user Phillip B.

This burger sanctuary is located in NorCal’s North Coast and is a must stop for any burger enthusiast. Known for beers like the California Blonde Ale and Emerald Triangle IPA, this brewpub is shocking Northern California residents with delicious burgers like The Gaslight and Brew House Burgers. Next time you’re in Fortuna, make sure to stop by for a burger and a pint.

Eel River Brewing Co

1777 Alamar Way

Fortuna, CA 95540

#2 – Yaks on the 5 (Dunsmuir)

Photo courtesy of Yelp user Ian B.

Right off the 5 freeway lies a burger mecca that can’t be avoided. Known for their warm hospitality, delicious sticky buns, and of course burgers like Bob’s Barbalicious BBQ Burger, you can count on the burgers from Yaks on the 5 just as surely as you can count on construction and traffic on that patch of the I-5 corridor. Check out our review here:

YAKS on the 5

4917 Dunsmuir Ave.

Dunsmuir, CA 96025

#1 – The Charter Oak (St. Helena)

Photo courtesy of The Charter Oak restaurant in St. Helena

This simple, yet sophisticated burger is the best NorCal has to offer. Nominated for the James Beard Award for the Best New Restaurant for 2018, the burgers The Charter Oak are churning out are one of a kind. Cooked on the hearth, this cheeseburger is incredible. Throw in fries with cold home made ketchup and you can’t go wrong. Two thin grilled burger patties, melted white American cheese, and jalapeno relish on a soft bun make this the best burger in NorCal.

The Charter Oak

1050 Charter Oak Ave.

St. Helena, CA 94574

The great news is that burgers aren’t going out of style anytime soon. That means this will list will continue to change and jumble. Can’t wait to see what the future has in store for the NorCal burger world!

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Brien O'Brien

As the Food Editor and Co-Founder of Eating NorCal, Brien O'Brien is one of the most influential foodies in NorCal. After being named the “14th Best Home Cook in America” in 2017 by the FOX television show MasterChef with Gordon Ramsay, he moved to the Napa Valley where he spent a year and a half studying food and wine at the Culinary Institute of America. Now, he resides in the Farm to Fork Capital of America - Sacramento.

5 Comments

  1. Squeeze is good, and should be on the list if reviewing Sacramento, but this list should have been named best burgers in small towns in Norcal. Sac has a ton of great burgers! Plus, the bay is Norcal, but nothing there? They must have some decent burgers.

  2. We love Damburger in Redding. Have been eating there since 1970. Another great favorite is The No Brand Name Hamburger Stand in Ferndale. They use the best beef and their garlic fries are to die for. Sorry to see they weren’t mentioned. We never miss an opportunity to eat at either place. Just the best!

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