Pearl’s Phat Burgers - Burgers - 8 E Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley, CA - Restaurant Reviews

Pearl’s Phat Burgers   - Burgers - 8 E Blithedale Ave, Mill Valley, CA - Restaurant Reviews
6/25/2016 Updated review

I'm very sad to report that Pearl's has closed as of about 2 months ago.At this point, the mantel of best burger in Marin is probably going to pass to Super Duper.Today, we tried the restaurant that took over Pearl's fabled space.  Sadly, it did not measure up.Farewell Pearl's.  You were always a reason to go to downtown Mill Valley.We're going to really miss you!

3/22/2008 Previous review Best Burger in Marin.Sweet Potato Fries are great.  They offer grilled onions.The Buffalo Burger is… Best Burger in Marin.Sweet Potato Fries are great.  They offer grilled onions.The Buffalo Burger is excellent and supposedly healthier for you!The milkshakes are great.  Although recently, they come in a smaller cup.  Darn.  (see 4/9/08 update below)Burgers, Sides and Milkshakes can run close to $10 per person; but, it's totally worth it for the quality of the food.My only complaint is that it's so popular, sometimes it's really hard to get a seat at one of the 4 tables or 5 or so stools.  It's not really a burger that you can eat standing up and I don't think it would taste as great as take out.  To play it safe, we usually stop by at non-peak times.____________4/9/08 Update - Ate there last weekend.  All of our Milkshakes were like chilled milk and really runny.  When we asked what happened?, they said we should of told them that we like it thick.  When you're paying more than $3 per shake, isn't that intuitively obvious?  Gee, they always ask how you'd like your burger cooked, and what type of cheese you want? Why can't they ask how'd you like your shake?  The burgers are great; but, if they continue to mess with the shakes, they're going to lose a star from me.When we asked why the shakes were so much smaller than they used to be, we were told that they couldn't find a non-styrofoam cup the same size so they went to the more environmentally friendly cup they use for the sodas.  When I pointed out that if environmental consciousness was top of mind, why did they switch from small paper cups to put your ketchup in to little plastic ones, I got the Deer in the Headlights look.Personally, I would rather pay a higher price for top quality than have them skimp on the size or quality of the shakes.  If I want a small, runny, shake, I can go to McDonald's.________9/12/08 Update - Was very insistent when I ordered that we wanted the shakes to be thick.  They complied and we were happy.  Since our last visit, it seems like they had changed the onion ring batter to make it more peppery.  Though I was OK with it, neither of my Boys liked the new version and they wouldn't eat them.Wife had the Vegetarian Burger with Mushrooms.  She really liked it.______________4/15/09 Update - The sweet potato fries are crinkle cut.  Today's batch were overcooked.  They weren't as good as I'd remembered.I tried the coleslaw for the first time.  Lots of mayo and not very flavorful.  I see no point in ordering it again.Made sure to insist that they make the shakes thick.  The Boys tried Coconut Shakes for the first time.  They were a big hit.While we were there, they were stocking the fridge.  They buy their meat from Del Monte Meat Read more 4/22/2016

Those willowy women of Mill Valley might look like they eat nothing more than carrots but I've seen them here.  They eat.  How could they not?  Pearl's is well-loved and delicious and that phact alone seems to phly in the phace of the organic-vegan-gluten-free-Whole Foods-loving Marin stereotype that abounds in these parts.  When all those categories have been hit upon though, this is apparently where one comes for the splurge meal.  Not cost-wise; calorie-wise.  Families, teens, solo diners seeking a sinful little splurge?  Everyone is coming here as the lines and full tables sometimes attest.Their burger menu is extensive with mini burgers, kobe beef burgers, buffalo burgers, Ty Flo-endorsed burgers, and the list goes on.  The rest of their menu is also extensive, causing one to flip-flop continually until arriving before the cash register and committing.  Will it be chili fries?  Sweet potato fries?  Onion rings?  Perhaps a Cobb Salad which everyone knows is actually as deliciously bad for you as an actual burger?  The choices are good; the food is tops in this genre.      One thing I particularly like about Pearl's Phat Burgers is that solo dining phenomenon.  Here, I feel no shame as the quality and environment seem a high step above In N' Out.  It's a perfect place to get your phat on before sneaking around the corner and slipping into the movies.Can you tell that I like Pearl's?  I do.  It's one of the best priced, tastiest burger purveyors in town.


A place open past 8 in Marin, YES! I sauntered over to Pearl's after a Yelp event across the street at Milvali Salon to find the place empty (woot no line). My tummy decided that it needed a Mini Pearl Burger and banana shake. The mini burger was the was tasty, juicy and had fluffy bun. The shake was pretty big and also came with a straw equal its size. Banana, ice cream and milk... what more can you ask for.I was glad to have stopped in since I've driven past here a number of times.


These burgers are delicious! Nice and big and juicy, highly recommend. Garlic fries are to die for. Also this place is not going to kill you on price. Can't go wrong!


The Kobe Beef Cheeseburger is wow, my favorite. In my opinion it's up there with Super Duper and maybe even better. Try the chili cheese fries.

Whelp... Here's the before pic of the Kobe Bacon Burger. No wonder Tyler Florece and Bobby Flay rave about it. Whelp... Here's the before pic of the Kobe Bacon Burger. No wonder Tyler Florece and Bobby Flay rave about it. 4/15/2015

I didn't choose the Phat life, the Phat life chose me!I can't seem to get enough of those juicy fat burgers from PPB! Ever since Brian introduced me to this burger joint, I officially converted my burger soul into the Phat life. As soon as I walked into the door, the cashiers and staff greets me with a warm smile ready to take my order. I choose the Phat Combo which comes with a Phat Burger, fries, and a soft drink to choose from for about a good $12. It was definitely money well spent!While waiting for my scrumptious burger to be made, there are pickles to grab and munch on. Also, there's some television to watch and kill time while waiting for my meal. Once when my burger combo was prepared and delivered to my table, I pull out my iPhone and take sexy pictures of my plus sized model burger. Afterwards, I take a bite into my phat burger and experienced burger-gasm. The burger bun was nicely toasted and fluffy. The fresh lettuce and onions had the perfect crunch whenever I take a bite, and let's not forget about the juices oozing out of the perfectly seasoned beef patty with some mayo. After finishing my phat burger, Brian freaks out how someone small as me finished the phat burger while I experience feeling burger hungover. It was worth the drive and definitely worth the stroll down the Downtown Mill Valley after finishing that satisfying meal in one sitting.

Love at first bite Love at first bite 1/12/2016

Ate here while working up on Marion and guess what. I'm eating here again with the guys because we're working here on West blithdale .....oh yea!Great burgers , so tasty, and i love mine with blue cheese. Fries, and of course cold beers.See You there in Mill Valley.

Pearls burgers. I couldn't be happer place. Pearls burgers. I couldn't be happer place. Great burgers, natural beef, yummy. Great burgers, natural beef, yummy. 2/5/2016

Love this place. The burger is always cooked perfectly. The service is good. The quality is really there. I want a burger in my belly right now. I usually order the avocado burger with ranch and jack cheese. And an order of garlic fries. The shakes are delicious too. A great deal for a meal. They offer all types of patties too like bison, beef, and turkey.


I came here with some extended family because one of them heard it was really good. My first impression of the place was that it was very small. There were maybe 25 seats in the place. The menu was very easy to understand, we were all able to pick something without having to ask any questions. The food took a little long to come out but it was SOOOOO worth it. The meat was cooked perfectly, I got the Yucatan Spicy burger and it was really good. The burger and toppings were very well cooked, and worked really well together. The fries were very good. We could've done without the onion rings; they looked burnt but tasted okay. I'd be happy to come here anytime and would recommend it to anyone.

Burger Party with the family Burger Party with the family Avocado Club was tasty Avocado Club was tasty The Crunch was pretty good 8/10 The Crunch was pretty good 8/10 See all photos from Danh T. for Pearl's Phat Burgers 11/25/2015

The roller coaster local burger place.  At one point it was very good, at another I think they were selling semi-gelled beef fat.  I think part of the problem is the original owner (started Phyllis') bailed.  Now its a hit or miss place where you can get a very good burger or a not so good burger.  Fries and onion rings are also along for that ride.  The shakes and malts however are fairly consistent and fresh made with real ice cream.


A bit pricey for what you get (~$10/burger) -- not super healthy and my grilled chicken burger was drowning in bbq sauce. Reminded me a bit of theme park food. + $0.27 if you want a wheat bun instead of white bun. Not the worst, but not the best...would try elsewhere.


The burger was utterly unremarkable in terms of all the other burgers I've had in my life.Maybe this place used to be good but for the life of me I cannot figure out why this place has such good reviews.I ordered a kobe beef phat burger medium rare that did *not* come out close to medium rare nor did it taste like kobe beef. I suspect it wasn't. The fact that this place gets a one-star instead of say, a 2 or a 3 is because the price of these two garden-variety burgers plus sweet potato fries set us back $30. The whole meal was certainly not worth more than $10.Skip it.


Absolutely terrible. I ordered a veggie burger, fries, rings & coleslaw. The rings & fries were ok. The coleslaw smelled gross and tasted like watered down mayo, I took 1 bite and threw the rest away. And the burger was inedible. The tomato smelled like a dirty mop and was mealy, the lettuce was completely limp and the burger was gross, hard and dry and it tasted horrible. I took 2 bites and threw that away. I was thoroughly disgusted by it all and went and got pizza somewhere else. What a waste of money and time.


Been here on and off over the years......the burger is bomb. they could salt it during the cooking process if you ask, but you can add salt and pepper afterwards. its big, hearty and on point. cheddar cheese..... mushrooms...... ketchup........... long cut fries......... woooooooooo................ ric coma.........the shakes are the perfect ending to an excellent satisfying meal. woooooooo!


Pearl's lived up to the hype. Yes, its endorsed by Tyler Florence, who happens to live nearby, and Bobby Flay, one of the top burger mavens in the US, but I have to say it was damn fine. Niman Ranch beef, seared on a hot griddle, cooked properly, was super juicy. I got the Bula Burger- Not sure why its called that, but who cares? it tasted great. It had a saucy white swiss cheese like sauce on it, thick cut perfect bacon, and a spicy pineapple bbq that was bomb. Other members of our party had the Turkey burger, which they loved and the Veggie burger which was equally raved about. This place is a hole in the wall, but legit. If you find yourself in this little elite enclave of Norcal, then please give it a try, I doubt you will be disappointed.

The old school menu The old school menu 3/13/2014

Yes, each item is under $10, technically. But everything comes individually. For a meal, I'd probably have to promise my first born. I got the Phat Bob burger and added avocado, so with ONLY  a burger, my total would have been just over $10. Wowzers. It was absolutely delicious, so there ya go. I paid for my burger +avocado, my cousin's burger (the Sly one-- very spicy, very good, she killed it), a beer and a soda, and spent $31!! Whoooooa. That's enough to stop me from going back unless I'm in starving and walking down East Blithedale after a long hike up Mt. Tam and need a phatty burger (pun intended). Then, yes, I'll be back. Until then, I'll look for something good, but a little easier on my wallet.... you understand. We came in on Thursday evening and only shared the place with a few other patrons. Our burgers came quickly. We sat outside on a perfectly cool evening and ate slowly. Very nice and relaxing.Staff was friendly. Store was clean and well-stocked with condiments, etc. We found street parking directly across the street in front of Stefano's.

Phat Bob burger Phat Bob burger 10/22/2015

Yes, only 1 star. Deserves 0. I am as surprised as you are! I first heard about this place a few years ago and was so looking forward to trying it once I was up this way. Had even once considered making a day trip from Santa Cruz just to have one of their famous, incredible burgers. SOOOO happy I never did that!Here visiting a friend for a few days and jumped at having dinner last night at Pearl's. Even dieted a few days before in preparation. Went nice and hungry. What a disappointment and waste of money!!Ordered the Phatburger with cheddar, Frings, and cole slaw.Cole slaw was bland and tasteless. No salt, pepper, fresh herbs, just tasteless mayo and cabbage/carrots. Abandoned it after 3 bites.Fries were nothing special, tasted like everyday frozen fries cooked in oil that wasn't the freshest. Couldn't eat more than 6 of them and I was starving.Onion rings were the only thing I'd rate as ok: cooked through and crunchy, but like the slaw, lacking in any type of flavor pop.The burger.....thick, juicy, tough, FULL OF GRISTLE and bland, bland, bland. Didn't even finish half of it, was so grossed out.All in all, $15 worth of flavorless disgustingness and disappointment. Where do all the rave reviews come from? Was I there on a night with an untrained cook? Had the spice rack been vandalized the day before? Did somebody accidentally drop a bag of beef cartilage in the meat grinder? I will never know and I will never return to or recommend Pearl's. :-(


I don't have much to say on this one except for the turkey burger. It's what I always get. It's very good. It's why I go there. I've had the basic burgers which are good too in a traditional burger sense but I'm a creature of habit when it comes to Pearl's. My friends rave about the specialty burgers which one day I might try but they're huge! 50's style place, limited seating but once you're in, it's comfortable and the people that work there are always, and I mean always nice and helpful. I've seen many of the same people there for years which is a good sign for an establishment.Probably the defining moment for me at Pearl's was standing in line with Robin Williams a number of years back. He liked Pearl's too.


Delicious burgers! We have a tradition of hiking at Muir Beach and coming here to replenish after. My daughter is an English major in College and wrote a paper about it.


Definitely the best burger I've had in a long while. It's thick and juicy, really flavorful, and it'll fill you up for the rest of the day. You can build your own or order one of their creations. Both of our burgers were under-cooked, which could've sucked if I'd cared more. We both ordered ours "medium," and both burgers came out rare - in fact, mine was still bloody - but DAMN it tasted good. The buns weren't toasted so ended up soggy. The burgers are definitely pricey (helloooo Mill Valley), but if you're craving red meat, you might as well have a Nieman Ranch burger!! The ambiance is very fast-foody - pump-your-own ketchup, fluorescent lights, low budg chairs, TV flickering in the background - but if you're just there to satisfy your inner carnivore, you're golden. Take as many pickles as you want and plan to use extra napkins!

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