BiteClub, Burgers, Healdsburg

HBG in Healdsburg: Best burger in America?

HBG in Healdsburg gets a best burger nod from Food & Wine magazine. See who else is on the list (hint: more Bay Area burgers)

A photo of the burger at HBG from Yelper PepperT.
A photo of the burger at HBG from Yelper PepperT.

One of the best burgers in America is a closer than you think.

Food & Wine Magazine has just named Healdsburg Bar and Grill’s HBG Burger one of the Best Burgers in America

A photo of the Ahi tuna burger at Gott's Roadside © Michael Lamotte via Food & WIne
A photo of the Ahi tuna burger at Gott’s Roadside © Michael Lamotte via Food & WIne

Co-owned by Top Chef Masters star Douglas Keane, the understated HBG elevates simple diner food to Michelin standards, most notably their freshly ground Angus beef patty with Sonoma Brinery pickles, Costeaux Bakery buns and garlic aioli on the side. All the burgers are cooked medium unless otherwise requested, and at $10.50 they’re something of a steal.

In-N-Out was named a best burger by Food & Wine magazine. Photo © Jess Lander
In-N-Out was named a best burger by Food & Wine magazine. Photo © Jess Lander

Other Bay Area burgers tapped include In-N-Out Burger, SF’s Mission Bowling Club, Zuni Cafe, and Napa’s Gott’s Roadside’s ahi burger (a BiteClub fave).

The list of 30 top picks also includes burgers from around the country including NYC’s Shake Shack and Peter Luger, celeb chef Michael Symon’s B-Spot burgers in Cleveland, and Father’s Office in LA.

Keane is currently creating a yakitori-style restaurant at the newly remodeled Freemark Abbey in St. Helena called Two Birds/One Stone with Sang Yoon of Father’s Office. He is the former executive chef of Cyrus, which received two Michelin Stars before closing.

What are some of your favorite spots for burgers?

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Comments

44 thoughts on “HBG in Healdsburg: Best burger in America?

  1. Credit should go to John Grimson who is the actual chef at HBG. Doug is a great chef but John is the one making it happen burger after burger.

  2. Heather, first of all I really like you’re Bite Club blog despite all the negative people it brings out! That said the review was about the best burgers. I may be old school, but that means to me meat, hamburger! Btw Burgers and Vines in Sonoma is not to bad.

  3. Super Burger on 4th Street in Santa Rosa still by far the BEST! Btw, try their onion rings and fries too, yummy!

  4. Though not SoCo, if you’re ever in the area……
    Sutro/Cliff House in SF. They do a beef and bacon ground patty. Was very impressed. Its a package deal really, awesome location and view, the dining room is stunning and the food is not a pricey as one would think for a tourist-y restaurant.
    Whale City Cafe & Bakery in Davenport. New owners. Pigeon Point Burger. Outstanding. That and a beer on the patio watching loony traffic and a peak of the ocean. Good times.

  5. HBG is my choice as well. So a burger drenched with Sriracha or Blue cheese is better? Lol, Try the basic burger to compare the quality. HBG has the best bun imo too.

    I have not tried Healdsburger yet, but is better then, the still very good, Superburger.

  6. These are some very high-level burger mavens opining, but I firmly side with the Superburger vote in Santa Rosa. Also, have had wonderful burgers at Jackson’s Pub in Railroad Square. My all-time favorite burger in the Bay Area is The Balboa Café, but my favorite burger experiences nationally remain Mellon’s in Manhattan and East Hampton: pure simplicity.

    Please stop with the In n’ Out nonsense. If you need to stuff your burgers and fries in a bag, head for Five Guys. Clearly what is needed here is more research!

    1. Burger and fries in a bag still has its place in the discussion. That said it all comes down to preference. I LOVE In n Out and am way MEH on Five Guys. So Don….glad you won’t be in line in front of me cuz the wait’s long enough already.

      1. I’m an In-N-Out fan, and not just because my progeny work there. It’s torture when my son comes in from work smelling like a Double Double. But I also know all the secrets, now, too. 🙂

  7. The HBG burger I tried last month was solidly dull-average; I couldn’t see any reason to ever return. Of course, any food/wine mag that picks In and Out as a top burger choice…this wouldn’t have been the April Fool’s edition, by chance?

    I’m a serious burger guy, and the Underwiid never disappoints! Sounds like I definitely need to check out Healdsburger, though.

  8. Though not SoCo, if you’re ever in the area……
    Sutro/Cliff House in SF. They do a beef and bacon ground patty. Was very impressed. Its a package deal really, awesome location and view, the dining room is stunning and the food is not a pricey as one would think for a tourist-y restaurant.
    Whale City Cafe & Bakery in Davenport. New owners. Pigeon Point Burger. Outstanding. That and a beer on the patio watching loony traffic and a peak of the ocean. Good times.

  9. I’ve had that burger at HBG, and honestly, it’s just a burger. Best burger I’ve ever had in Sonoma County is the Black and Blue Burger at Bear Republic. Add a side of their onion rings and it don’t get much better.

  10. The biggest, and best burger I found is at Skillets in Windsor. The California Burger. Awesome. 7 AM – 3 PM. Try it. Prove me wrong.

    1. I so wish Skillets was open in the evening. I have had GREAT breakfasts there but I’m usually not in the area during lunchtime.

      Next time I’m going to try a burger – no matter what time it is!

  11. I would like to learn how that burger is a steal at $10.50 without fries because Im feeling like a schmuck right now! HBG: Ground Angus, check, bakery bun, check, no cheese, check, fries extra, check. Superburger has fresh daily ground Angus chuck with chuck trim added to the grind , check, fresh bakery egg wash bun, yes, our signature Gartichoke (Roasted garlic and artichoke puree) sauce on the side, yessir if you want it no charge and fresh brined pickles as many as you want. $7.50. Want a big ol grass fed Humboldt county burger the same way? $9.50

    1. Yeah, but it’s how much in gas money to get there?

      I’m vegetarian but when I was eating meat, that burger at HBG is the bomb. “fresh bakery egg wash bun” – whatever, the buns at HBG are from Costeaux. They have all those gold medals on their wall for a reason. HBG has a damn good burger.

      This said – is this “Windsor Superburger” I am seeing listed as applying for license next to Oliver’s in Windsor related? I’ll definitely try it out!

      1. That’s my understanding. I’m looking forward to seeing Superburger open in Windsor because they are killing it in SR and Cotati. Just try to stand down wind of either location and not have your stomach growl. Unbelievably good.

    2. Don’t worry, I love Superburger, too, Bill.
      One thing I noticed was that most of the burger spots in the article had “notable” chefs (ie: celebs).
      Frankly, I don’t think it’s possible to really quantify the best burgers because there are too many. I can’t even do it in Sonoma County, because every time I try, i get overwhelmed.

  12. I like the HBG burgers, a lot; but wouldn’t have thought of them if you asked me to name the top hamburgers in Sonoma County, and would have gone to St. Helena is we streched the search to the Redwood Empire.

    But I’ve had burgers at HGB four times, and they were perfectly cooked every time. The buns are killer; the pickles are good; and the service is very good. Try it!

    1. Using higher quality cuts of beef instead of adding fat will keep the burger moist and flavorful. Fat is flavor and moisture, but it also melts away like butter and leaves a smaller patty behind.

  13. Wow. The burger is okay, but up there with the best in the country. Healdsburger has the best in town by far.

    1. i don’t even think it’s the best burger on the block… give me the smash burger at wurst any day of the week… little added jalapeno ketchup and i’m a happy man.

  14. I’ll have to try the HBG burger but I don’t think anything beats the St. Helena at Superburger. All of their burgers are the tops.

    1. Thanks for the Martin Mack’s tip in the Haight. I’ll give it a go next time I’m ending a day in the Park.

      But, if in San Francisco, it feels a bit like cheating to not get the burger at Joe’s. Now that’s one civilized burger that never had to apologize for being served in a restaurant. Of course, if the Taylor Street place was still open it would be cheating; and you’d miss the chance to order it was a glass of “burgundy” at the bar.

  15. Kin in Windsor has a delicious burger combination of Pt Reyes Blue Cheese and macerated bing cherries-total yum. It is a Turkey Burger which makes it even better.

    1. A turkey burger is better? Fine, but I wouldnt throw that opinion around on this too many times unless you have thick skin.

    2. Shut your mouth!!! I need that freaking right now. Personally, I know a lot of people hate turkey burgers (rightly so because usually they are drier than dust), but I rarely eat beef unless i’m “working” and sometimes I really appreciate a lighter burger

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