Best Burger of San Leandro is proud to be serving its fourth generation of loyal customers, who are drawn to its winning combination of quality food and friendly employees.
“It’s one of the few remaining local independent restaurants,” says owner Ed Chittenden.
“We buy our meat locally in San Leandro, and buy our produce locally at Jack London Square,” he says. “We hire local kids and they stay with us a long time. We’ve seen some of them go through high school and college, get married and start their own families.”
A steady stream of new and regular customers comes and goes, greeting the restaurant staff and complimenting the food. On a typical day, patrons include a 101-year-old woman who stops in twice a month, a mom bringing her kids in for lunch, young adults with healthy appetites, and well-dressed business people looking for authentic, made-to-order burgers.
“Best Burger has been in the same place for 20 years (at the corner of Washington Avenue and Floresta Boulevard, near the Pak ’n’ Save),” says Chittendon. “I’ve added a few items — cheese steak sandwiches, salads and chicken tenders, but other than that it’s always been the same menu. If you live in San Leandro, you’ve heard of Best Burger.”
Chittenden is a fifth-generation Californian, who earned a communications degree from Cal State East Bay (back when it was Cal State Hayward). He worked in publishing for many years, at magazines such as MacWorld, PCWorld and Wine Country Living. His wife Barrie had a restaurant background, and 13 years ago the couple decided to buy Best Burger and try their hand at running their own business.
“It’s a great local restaurant, and we still get a lot of local folks in here. But we face the same battles that all independent businesses face, especially the rising cost of goods, and fuel charges on almost everything that’s delivered here,” says Chittenden.
Still, Best Burger has only raised its prices once in the last two years. The menu features 1/3-lb. “Gourmet Burgers” topped with fresh lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, onions and condiments on a large sesame seed bun. The popular “Best Burger” comes with Swiss cheese and pastrami, and costs only $5.25. Veggie and Turkey Burgers are $4.50, and a Double Bacon Cheeseburger is $6.25. Junior Burgers are a bargain at $3.75.
Other favorites on the menu include Chili Cheese Fries, Garlic Fries, Onion Rings, BBQ Chicken or Pork Sandwiches, Charbroiled Hot Dogs and Linguica Sandwiches.
Best Burger is open seven days a week. Store hours are Monday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Best Burger is located at 14393 Washington Ave., #J. Call 357-0808 for take-out orders. VISA and MasterCard are accepted.