I always enjoy the fact that the ethnic diversity of our community is reflected in the diversity of restaurants along Castro Street. And, of course, hamburgers are the one item that are probably expected on the menu at an “American” restaurant, right?
Anyone who grew up in Mountain View could tell you all about Linda’s Parisian Burgers. I wish I had experienced that special burger, but sadly I think I arrived shortly after it closed. Here’s a link to the Mountain View Historical Association. They recreated Parisian Burgers a few years ago for their annual barbecue. There have been several attempts over the years to offer a modern day version of the Parisian Burger, but none of them are on anyone's current menu.
Mountain View has a pretty good variety of hamburgers, and here's a solid list of the standard places to grab a burger around town...
Let's get started…
Eureka Restaurant: My favorite place for burgers. I always stick with the Fresno Fig Burger, but the Bison Burger and Bone Marrow Burger are quite popular. The Jalapeño Egg Burger was perfect for brunch last week and I’ve been told that the local veggie-loving crowd is pleased with the Veggie Beet Burger. It has red juice and if you didn’t know it was beet, you might not even notice. They change up the menu periodically, so check back often. I like that they named themselves after the expression of delight for finding something cherished, like California’s gold. The setting is rustic and industrial, with a brown bar (bourbon and beer) that has something for everyone. #HolySmokes
Clarkes Charcoal Broiler: Old school, favorite with long time Mountain View residents. Celebrating almost 75 years of continuous operation, at its original location on the El Camino, in the heart of Mountain View. Yes, it has grown a little, has a few more items on the menu now, and you can order online now, but it’s basically the same awesome burgers that our grandparents enjoyed. You’ll always see someone that you know there.
In and Out: Cult following, secret menu (that’s not really much of a secret anymore), great customer service. I love that they walk the drive through line and wait on customers in-person, instead of making each car wait until they get to the speaker thing that takes your order. Two locations in Mountain View. They first opened in Los Angeles in 1948. The best fast food burgers in town. Favorite place for random tourists, and people who don’t know about the 100 restaurants on Castro street, or if you’re just going down 101, looking for something fast. Don’t leave anything valuable in your car if you go to that location at 101, Charleston road and Rengstorff. Seriously.
Five Guys: The East Coast version of In & Out Burgers, and ‘Burger Brand of the Year.’ They first opened in Virginia in the 80s. They’re fast food, but better than others and proud of their freshly made french fries. Free peanuts while you wait, if you’re into that.
Steins Beer Garden and Restaurant: The Steins Burger is a blend of short rib, brisket and sirloin and it goes perfectly with a stein of German beer. The outdoor seating is friendly and makes the experience even better. Authentic German beer garden and a great place to bring out-of-town guests.
Bierhaus: Another favorite biergarten in Mountain View. I love that they imported their authentic tables and benches from Germany. Super dog friendly.The Bierhaus Burger is good and their menu puts more emphasis on the beer, than food, so order your beer first and worry about the details later. I clearly remember the first time I saw a tour bus go down Castro street. I was having a beer at Bierhaus with the Chamber of Commerce (staff lunch! #ilovemyjob) and we watched it drive by. Needless to say, this place is great for people watching!
The Counter: I’m a regular. The new menu is a serious improvement. “Bison is Gouda” is one of our go-to-dinners. I didn’t realize that they had 40 locations throughout the country, until I looked at their website for this article. They definitely seem like a nice small company that still cares about quality, even though they have over 40 stores. Good job!
Please let me know if I missed your favorite burger joint. I’ll keep updating this list.