Super Duper (Multiple Locations in San Francisco, North Bay, and South Bay)

Super Duper is the best burger place in the Bay Area. Even though it is on the expensive side, the ingredients are of high quality and very fresh, worth the price. A burger starts at $5.50, not including toppings like cheese, bacon, or avocado. On their website, they state that “burgers should not cost $3”, meaning that higher quality ingredients should be used and “higher cost is a direct reflection of our promise of creating fast food burgers using slow food values”.  You can read more about where they get their ingredients and their standards here.

Surprisingly, my favorite on the menu is not their burger but is their chicken sandwich. On their menu, the chicken menu is described as 100% natural free range chicken breast with chipotle aioli, starting at $7.50. The chipotle aioli is the star of the sandwich with the perfect about of spiciness that makes your eyes water but you continue to eat anyway. Personally, to make the sandwich go from good to great, I splurge and add cheese, bacon, and avocado for it to be more filling. It is served on fresh-tasting ciabatta bread that is made from an artisan bakery in San Francisco.

Their burgers are also amazing. The beef is cooked medium, and is perfectly juicy. They are topped with a unique secret sauce that makes them totally unique with a tangy aftertaste. Classicly served on a sesame seed bun, this burger makes a classic to something new again!

Of course, when you get a burger, you need a side of fries with it. Their french fries are always fresh, hot, and crunchy! For only $0.50 more, you can get garlic fries instead. The garlic fries are delicious and made with fresh garlic & 6-month aged cheddar- a perfect combination of flavors!

And if you’re still hungry, soft serves and milkshakes are also available! Made from my favorite creamery in the bay area, Straus Family Creamery, the shakes and soft serves are super as well. You can get the classic chocolate, vanilla, or swirl for both the milkshakes and soft serve, or if you’re feeling like going the extra mile, super shakes with toppings like cookies and strawberries are another option.

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Burger and fries from Super Duper. (credit: connoli_sisters)

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Kara’s Cupcakes (Multiple Locations in Northern California)

With “The San Francisco sweet” as their slogan, Kara’s Cupcakes is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for an authentic Bay Area dessert. The first Kara’s Cupcakes was in the Marina District in San Francisco by Kata Haspel Lind and has opened many locations throughout Northern California since.

I have been to two of the locations, and even though they are different, they have a similar atmosphere. Both were very sleek, clean, and modern. The walls and decorations were mostly white with pink and brown decorations, very simple with the main focus on the menus and cupcakes. The cupcakes are displayed in a class case in the center of the store so you can clearly see the flavors before you decide on what exactly you want to order.

The cupcakes are the perfect combination in a cupcake of frosting to cake ratio, and neither are too sweet. In my opinion, the best flavors are the classic ones:  sweet chocolate, sweet vanilla, and red velvet. They have perfected these recipes that takes an old favorite to a whole new level. The red velvet’s cream cheese frosting is both tangy and sweet leaving you wanting more, and for the sweet vanilla they use Madagascar vanilla, that adds an extra richness that you can taste in each bite.

Even though their classics are my favorite, I also love their original flavors as well. My abosulute favorite Kara’s orginal is the fleur de sel, a chocolate cupcake filled with caramel and chocolate ganache and topped with fleur de sel. I honestly think that the combination of chocolate, salt, and caramel is the best, and this cupcake really captures the highlights of each of the ingredients. Whenever I go to Kara’s, I make sure to pick this cupcake up!

Each month they make a limited edition cupcake that fits the theme. For example, in December they featured a peppermint cupcake, which was incredibly delicious and exciting to try. I like this element because it makes having that cupcake feel that much more special.

 

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Fleur de sel cupcake