Top 3 belly-busting burger joints in Downtown Berkeley

Stomach growling? Make a visit to one of these joints downtown for your burger fix in Downtown Berkeley.
#berkeley, #burger, #bayarea
October 10, 2014

Berkeley is known for many things – a top-ranked university, free speech movements, and some breathtaking views from the hills among other things – but what few don’t know when they visit Berkeley is that it’s also the home of some pretty amazing burger joints. From vegan/vegetarian burgers to burgers topped liberally with bacon, Berkeley has got a little of everything for any burger lover. So the next time you make the ascent up the escalator from the Downtown Berkeley BART station, stomach growling, make a visit to one of these joints downtown for your burger fix.

Bongo Burger (Center Street between Shattuck Ave and Oxford Street)

A Berkeley staple with three locations – Downtown, Northside, and Southside – Berkeley students and residents can’t quite get enough. Bongo Burger brings a bit of a Mediterranean twist to the burger, offering shish kebab sandwiches and Persian burgers with ground lamb alongside the burger classics. Here, you can get your burger fix and enjoy some falafel, hummus, or dolma! I’ve frequented Bongo Burger many times in my days as an undergraduate, and I must admit: I’ve never been disappointed!

Eureka! (Shattuck Avenue and Center Street)

The newest establishment on this list, I had the good fortune to be able to try Eureka recently and each bite of my Jalapeno Egg Burger was better than the last. The patty was amazing, the bacon was piled on, and the fried egg paired perfectly. The fries were astounding, and for those of you over 21, their drinks were prepared strong and delicious. The restaurant is bustling with lines out the door both times I’ve gone by, so get there early to put your name in! Plus, there’s outdoor seating, so you can enjoy your burger and the last of summer weather!

Saturn Café (Oxford Street and Allston Way)

After hearing a rave review from a friend of mine, I decided to have dinner with her at Saturn Café and try their vegetarian burgers. Everything on the menu is vegetarian, and many of their options can also be made vegan for gluten free upon request. Stomach grumbling, I opted for a California burger and also decided to try their vegan mint chocolate milkshake. I am officially a convert. The vegan milkshake – which, by the way, is essentially a soy milkshake – was phenomenal. While at first it was strange not to bite into a beef patty, the vegetarian patty at Saturn Café is amazing and their fries are out of this world – quite possibly the best fries I’ve had in a long time. Suffice it to say, I’ll be popping into Saturn Café again soon, and you should too!

By Kathy Shen