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Best Burger: Tiny place, papa burger, giant rep 

Val's Burgers

Val's is small. Its burgers, however, are so large that they cast shadows all the way to the northernmost points of the East Bay, stretching as far as perennial favorite Barney's. But it's an apples-and-oranges scenario. Val's hamburgers are simple, flame-broiled affairs, with little adornments to cloud the smoky, meaty taste squeezed between those buns. You won't find obscure cheeses or ornate vegetable combinations at this '50s-style greasy spoon, either. Be sure to arrive early and get in line, because this tiny, shiny restaurant is often overcrowded with beef aficionados craning their necks in an attempt to order a baby, mama, or papa patty, a basket of thick fries, and milk shakes so thick they could choke a bear. Just don't show up on a Sunday or Monday: Val's takes these much-deserved days off.

Readers' Pick:
Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers
Multiple locations
BarneysRestaurant.com

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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