If you want a burger from a cable car in San Francisco (and really, why wouldn’t you?), you’ve got two choices.
Starting with Tony’s Cable Car. It’s a simple old-skool hamburger stand at 2500 Geary perched over the tunnel that goes under Masonic. A portion of the ingredients have been previously frozen, so that’s offputting to some. But if you pay $13 for burgers and fries, the bag they put it in will have some heft and the contents will be well-prepared, hot, and yummy.
Now we’re ending with Joe’s Cable Car at 4320 Mission. Did you know that Joe Grinds His Own Fresh Chuck Daily, or something? Lot’s of people know that because this joint has been featured on the Food Network. So you’ll get tourists making pilgramages down to the Outer Mission.
People tend to like the food, but not the high prices (adding 2 oz. more chuck to your burger costs $3.50 – that’s $26/lb!) or the $15 per capita minimum order service charge. All that daily grinding costs money, you see, but some question if Joe has gone too far with his pricing scheme.
The Yelpers seem to prefer Tony’s.
If you’re looking for a tie-breaker, the San Francisco Department of Health‘s most recent report has this to say about Joe’s:
Floors, Walls, Ceilings Improperly constructed, in disrepair, not clean
Improper Storage: Equipment. Utensils, Linens
Foods not separated or protected
For Tony’s, aka “Geary Drive In”, the DPH simply states:
This location has no violations
So there you have it. You make the call.
(Or you could compromise on the cable car theme and check out Bill’s Place on Clement. Lot’s of people like that joint.)