Empirehouse Urban Palate – Hillcrest/San Diego

There’s a new restaurant in town vying for your affection…

Empirehouse Urban Palate

Burgers = WOW.  I don’t say that often.  But I assure you it’s well deserved.  After a busy morning at the office, Darren and I decided to escape the office and try out this new restaurant in town.  I had heard about this place through the grapevine and figured it was about time to check it out.

Parking was pretty quick, only because we lucked out and snagged street spot.  I imagine during dinner you might need to walk a couple blocks.  (Which may not be a bad thing after stuffing your face with delicious food).  The restaurant itself is composed of a couple buildings which makes it rather unique.  The main dining room has a great modern and eclectic feel.  You can quickly tell you’re sitting in a former house.  I guess the “Empire House” was originally a boarding home/restaurant/bar in New York.


The menu at lunch was simple.  They have several signature burgers, tacos, sandwiches, etc.  Nothing stood out as anything particularly special.  The one thing that caught both of our attentions were the “Casters”.  This is essentially 3 mini burgers of your choice.  I’m a sucker for variety.  I chose the “Combo”, the “Zen Burger”, and the “BBQ Bacon Burger”… Darren did a similar selection, but chose the “Susie” instead of the “Zen”.  He also added some tots to his meal.

Took a little while to get out the food, but we didn’t mind.  The service was very friendly and very chill.  So, here we go….

Combo Burger

Zen Burger

BBQ Bacon Burger

Susie Burger – (No pic, but Darren got this one and said it was fantastic!)

Bare in mind, these are “mini” burgers.  Each of them held their own.  Finally I’ve found burgers lived up to their looks.  It was sooo good.  I even took my wife back in less than 3 days!  Another great thing about Empirehouse is it’s open late.  I think we got there around 10:30pm.  The only bad thing is they ran out of mini buns for Casters.  Oh well, they were cool about it and offered to do a custom “Casters Tacos” which was a sample of 3 different tacos (Ahi, Chicken, and Steak).

“Casters Tacos”  (not on the menu)

“Combo Burger”

The ahi tacos were fabulous.  The combo burger was delicious again, but if you’re like me and love variety, the Casters are the way to go.

Anyhow, I’ll be coming back soon to try some new items on the menu if I can just resist the temptation of the Casters!  This is San Diego food at it’s best.

Empirehouse Urban Palate
127 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103

EMPIREHOUSE urban palate on Urbanspoon

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About Michael

I couldn't be luckier to call San Diego my home the past couple decades. America's "Finest City" is bursting with delicious eats in nearly every corner. Whether you want savory or sweet, fancy or rustic, you can have it all! I have the awesome job of uncovering some of these gems, and sharing them with you. When I'm not chowing down, I also write about $$$ at www.financiallyalert.com. Thanks for stopping by!

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