Roam Artisan Burgers Opens First Oakland Location


Roam's special Springtime Burger with chimichurri and fresh mozzarella. - PHOTO COURTESY OF KASSIE BORRESON
  • Photo courtesy of Kassie Borreson
  • Roam's special Springtime Burger with chimichurri and fresh mozzarella.

A popular, local burger chain is coming for Oakland.
Roam Artisan Burgers (1951 Telegraph Ave., Ste. 2) opens today in the Uptown neighborhood, bringing sustainable burgers — including some vegetarian options — to the neighborhood.

Roam first opened in San Francisco’s Marina/Cow Hollow district in 2010. Since then, it has expanded with more outposts in San Francisco, Lafayette, and San Mateo, serving burgers, sides, shakes, sodas, and wine and beer on tap.

“We’ve been excited about the area for a long time,” said Joshua Spiegelman, co-owner of Roam Artisan Burgers with Lynn Gorfinkle. “It’s a good mix of demographics. There are a lot of young people — office workers during the day, and vibrant activity at night.”

What sets Roam apart from most burger joints is the focus on quality, sustainable ingredients. Spiegelman said they also strive keep items at affordable price points. Much of the produce is sourced locally — they serve a seasonal farmers market salad, for example. Their sodas are all housemade (“no Coca-Cola, nothing artificial,” Spiegelman notes). Their rich shakes are made from Straus Family Creamery’s organic soft serve.

Roam moved into a retail space on the bottom floor of The Uptown Apartments, in a previously unoccupied space that is about 2,000 square feet, right next to Little Giant Ice Cream.

For vegetarians, there is a housemade organic veggie burger made from quinoa, brown rice, black beans, beets, and spices. And the gluten-free can get their burger on a gluten-free bun or wrapped in lettuce. Their burger menu includes a 100 percent grass-fed beef burger (from 4K Ranch in Montana), a free-range turkey burger (Diestel Family Turkey Ranch in California), a bison burger (made from pasture-raised bison), and a rotating protein, which is currently elk from Durham Ranch in Wyoming. There are fries, too, and plenty of drink options, including wine, local beer on tap, and kombucha.

The basic burger starts at $9.50, and the kids’ meals start at $7.50 for a grilled cheese-and-fries combo. The menu is similar to other Roam locations, including signature burger styles, like the BBQ, with aged white cheddar, barbecue sauce, caramelized onions, jalapeno relish, and oil and vinegar slaw. They also offer a few seasonal options, like the Springtime Burger with chimichurri, fresh mozzarella, tomato, arugula, and an herb mayonnaise.

Roam is open for lunch and dinner. The ambience is modern-rustic, with a large communal table made from Douglas Fir. There’s also bar seating, regular tables, and an outdoor patio. “We’re really excited to open it in Oakland,” Spiegelman said. “This project has been a long time coming. With all the arts and entertainment going on, we’re really excited to be a part of it.”