Wednesday, April 2, 2014

California Burgers is the best burger joint in SLC (sorry Lucky 13)

Slightly northwest of downtown SLC, there’s a quiet neighborhood where you’ll find West High, Washington Elementary and a soon-to-be-built branch of the SLC Library System. This area, called the Marmalade District, is also home to a restaurant that is challenging Lucky 13 for the title of best burger joint in Salt Lake City. What’s the humble place that you’ve probably never heard of? California Burgers. It’s at 306 N 300 W, directly across from West High and on the southern border of Marmalade.

Run by an efficient Asian family (is that redundant?), the restaurant sits in a former location of Molcasalsa (this is still what you’ll find in Google’s street view, although the new restaurant’s a few years old). Now to the food: the burgers are incredibly tasty, while not being huge like those of the Garage or Lucky 13. The fries come piping hot, medium cut, crispy on the outside and soft inside. They're generous with the fries and seem to always throw in a couple onion rings. There's also great diversity in terms of burger selection without reaching outside their expertise. They’re famous for their bulgogi burger (my wife’s favorite), but have numerous other very solid selections such as an amazing chipotle burger, jalapeno burger (which we haven’t tried yet) and straight up bacon burger.

For those who aren’t so into burgers, they also have French dips, turkey and fish sandwiches and even chicken fingers (I haven’t tried these items, but the people on Yelp seem to vouch for them). The specials are great values; my wife and I have starting getting a combo and extra burger (for ~$11) since the fries are so plentiful. In addition to the flavor being better than that at Lucky 13, California Burger is also a better value proposition as well, which makes it our current favorite burger joint in SLC.

Ignore the decor (they’re in a rough spot with all of the West High kids nearby). Go for the food.

Yelp reviews are here and Google reviews are here.

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