The Best Burgers In Los Angeles
Whether you're a purist when it comes to burgers, or like them topped with fancy things like foie gras, Los Angeles has enough different styles of the American classic to keep you sated. From burgers that have grilled-cheese buns to ones with Korean-inspired flavors, here are our favorite burgers, and as always, leave yours in the comments.
Belcampo Meat Co.
Ordering a burger from an artisanal butcher that raises their own grass-fed cows is a great place to start when you're looking for an excellent burger, and Belcampo really delivers. Using an in-house grind of Wagyu-Angus chuck, sirloin and brisket, they create lightly pressed patties. By not packing them too much, the burgers maintain a light texture and tons of flavor as the fat that's rendered during cooking stays inside the burger and doesn't escape on the griddle. The 1/3-pound burger is then topped with a bitingly sharp Grafton cheddar, crisp butter lettuce, caramelized onions, an aioli-ketchup-type "secret sauce" and is served on well-buttered BreadBar brioche buns. And those fries, we can't forget those delicious beef tallow fries that complete the package. It's not the cheapest package in town at $18, but certainly a worthy treat.
Belcampo Meat Co. is located at 317 S Broadway inside Grand Central Market, (213) 625-0304; 8053 W 3rd St, Beverly Grove, (323) 937-0170; and 1026 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, (424) 744-8008.
The team behind Terrine—Beverly Grove's newish French-inspired brasserie—take their meat very seriously, especially all of that delicious housemade charcuterie. So, it should come as no surprise that they went all out for their burger, too. The decadent Terrine Burger starts off with a massive beef patty stuffed with truffle butter, which is then topped with porcini mushrooms, sage aioli, cured tomato, sautéed onions and Sottocenere truffle cheese and served on a brioche bun. And if that mouth-watering excess weren't enough to lure you in, they'll throw foie gras on top for $9 more because, well, foie gras. Go ahead and splurge, you're worth it. You'll also want to check out that beautiful back patio. The burger is currently offered on their Friday lunch menu, which will soon expand to Monday through Friday, beginning October 12.
Terrine is located at 8265 Beverly Blvd., Beverly Grove, (323) 746-5130
Another worthy contender in the cloth-napkin-burger territory comes from a French Laundry-alum at this revamped Melrose spot. Chef Kevin Kathman uses a cast-iron skillet to expertly sear a grass-feed beef patty—with bone marrow added for a serious flavor boost. The towering beast of a burger is then cave-aged Kaltbach cheese, buttered onions, slow-roasted tomato and a house aioli, all served on top of a buttery brioche bun. You're probably going to need an additional cloth napkin or two once you dive into this juicy one.
The Larchmont is located at 5750 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, (323) 464-4277.
Seoul Sausage Company
The guys from Seoul Sausage Company recently opened up their second location in Little Tokyo, and with that comes a much larger space than their Sawtelle spot and new dishes—like their do-not-miss Kalbi Burger. This one is an updated version of their original burger. It's the tender, marinated beef that equal parts sweet and savory that makes this so delicious, and it may also have something to do with the nice helping of their garlic jalapeno aioli spread and perfectly-fried sunny side egg. *single tear* And the best part is they have liquor at their new digs, so you can pair your Kalbi Burger with a nice brewsky on draft. —Jean Trinh
Seoul Sausage Company is located at 236 S Los Angeles St., Unit G, Little Tokyo, Phone number (213) 935-8677
The Office Burger set off a delicious tidal wave of gastropub burger imitators beginning in 2000, but most still can't hold a candle—or a more appropriately, a ketchup bottle—to the original. While Chef Yang Soon's no-substitution-and-no-ketchup policy still irks many have-it-your-way eaters, those who appreciate his resolve know that they're in for a tasty, well-crafted burger. Soon uses 100% chuck, house dry-aged beef that is charbroiled and treated to the French onion soup-inspired richness of caramelized onions and Gruyere. The sharpness of Maytag blue cheese and arugula serve to cut through the deep flavors, while a pillowy soft roll brings it all home. Don't forget to complement your precision-form burger with a pint from their extensive list of craft beers, either.
Father's Office is located in Santa Monica at 1018 Montana Ave. in Santa Monica, and at the Helms Bakery at 3229 Helms Ave. in Mid-City, (310) 736-2224
The Standing Room
What was once the kept secret of hardcore burger aficionados has become a slightly-less-well-kept secret for anyone looking for their burger fix in the South Bay. And sure, you could go to their newer, not-secret-at-all sit-down restaurant in Hermosa, but if you want the full burger experience, head to the back of the Catalina Liquor store in Redondo. There you'll be treated to an extensive line-up of monstrous and messy burgers. From the Classic to the bulgogi beef, kimchi and shishito peppers of the Bull, you can't go to wrong whichever way you turn. Though the brave may tempt fate with the towering Napoleon topped with fried egg and short rib. Whatever you do, don't forget the truffle Parmesan fries.
The Standing Room is located at 144 N Catalina Ave., Redondo Beach (310) 374-7545 and 1320 Hermosa Ave., Hermosa Beach, (310) 318-1272
While most of Van Nuys has left behind the cowboy history of the area's former ranches, the tough-as-nails—yet totally endearing—Outlaw's Café has kept the Western theme alive, especially when it comes to rustling up some grub. One of our favorite mom and pop shops in the Valley, Outlaw's Café serves up a mean Bandito Burger, which features a half-pound patty, topped with blue cheese, jalapeño bacon, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, grilled onions, garlic and chipotle sauce, all served on a pretzel bun. But unless you're looking for a duel at high noon, just remember to follow the posted burger commandments: no cutting the burger, no asking for ketchup or mustard and definitely don't ask for it well done. Though, if you are feeling particularly tough, you could order the Outlaw Burger, the one-pound version of the Bandito.
Outlaw’s Café is located at 6201 Van Nuys Boulevard in Van Nuys, (818) 855-1953.
What would L.A.'s burger landscape be without the classic patty from this circa-1947 institution? We don't wish to imagine such a world. Maintaining a consistently solid burger for decades is no easy feat—and just like the decor—not much has changed about Apple Pan's great, no-nonsense burger. We strongly advise going for the Hickory Burger and adding the Tillamook cheddar. Just be sure to grab plenty of napkins for that house sauce— it's going to get messy.
The Apple Pan is located at 10801 W Pico Blvd. in West L.A., (310) 475-3585
Doomie's Home Cookin'
For the vegans/vegetarians who miss the taste of meat and aren't embarrassed to admit they crave Big Macs, this one's for you. Doomie's Home Cookin' makes a mean vegan Big Mac that pretty much tastes like its McDonald's originator. You get those sesame seed buns, with vegan thousand island dressing, veggie patties, lettuce, pickles, and vegan cheese. Just remember to order this off of their secret menu. You might be mouthing, "I'm lovin' it," after you're finished with this bad boy. —Jean Trinh
Plan Check Kitchen & Bar
If you have a hankering for a burger with a modern twist, may we suggest to you try Plan Check's PCB? It comes from the mind of Executive Chef Ernesto Uchimura (formerly the chef of Umami Burger), in which he uses a ketchup leather (that's kind of like fruit leather strips) instead of liquid ketchup as a topping. The reason behind it is pretty genius: it melts into the juicy Wagyu beef patty instead of making the buns all soggy. PCB's umami-filled cheese has dashi added to it, and it all melds together perfectly with the schmaltz onions and pickles. —Jean Trinh
Plan Check is located at 1800 Sawtelle Blvd. in West L.A., (310) 288-6500; 351 N Fairfax Ave. in Beverly Grove, (310) 288-6500; and 1111 Wilshire Blvd. in downtown L.A., (213) 403-1616.
There's a reason you'll see burgers on many of the tables while eating on the patio of this prime Eagle Rock date spot. And it's not just because burgers were made for romance. The Little Beast burger has been gaining legions of fans over the past couple of years. And what's not to love about this flavor-packed patty that's piled high with cheddar (or Gruyere or blue cheese if you prefer), grilled red onion, butter lettuce, bacon jam and a Maytag blue cheese aioli. Plus, the kennebec fries and spicy ketchup really round out the deal.
Little Beast is located at 1496 Colorado Blvd, Eagle Rock, (323) 341-5899
No list is complete without a nod to In-N-Out. The fact that we know East-Coasters who will make their first stop in L.A. at the family-owned chain is a testament to how delicious their burgers are. While they're great at getting down to the basics with their regular hamburgers and cheeseburgers, it's their animal-style burgers that are like crack to us. That creamy, addictive sauce, caramelized onions, and perfectly toasted, buttery buns...just gives us the shivers. If you want to go the extra mile, order your fries well done and animal-style, too. —Jean Trinh
In-N-Out has several locations throughout California. Visit their website here for more information.
Umami Burger is the chain you go to when you need a slightly fancier burger to fill your gluttonous needs. At a first glance at their menu, words like "bacon lardons" and "truffle aioli" pop out, so you know this isn't for the faint of heart. You might want to reach over for your heartburn meds right before you nosh on one of their hearty burgers (or maple bacon fries). Our favorite is their signature Umami, not just because of its juicy patty, but also due to its Parmesan crisp that gets sandwiched between the pillowy-soft brioche buns. —Jean Trinh
Umami Burger has several locations throughout SoCal. Visit their website here for more information.
Stout Burgers & Beer
We appreciate a good neighborhood restaurant and bar that takes their burgers as seriously as their craft beer. Stout, which has grown from one location in Hollywood to two more in Santa Monica and Studio City, does just that and then some. On their menus, they suggest beer pairings to go along with their massive burgers. Our favorites include their Stout Burger, which has a juicy patty topped with a hunk of delightfully stinky cheeses like blue and emi Gruyere, rosemary bacon, caramelized onions and horseradish cream for a nice kick. And their Goombah is a winner, too, mostly because we'll say yes to crispy prosciutto and parmasiano flakes any time. —Jean Trinh
Stout Burgers & Beer is located at 1544 N. Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood, (323) 469-3801; 11262 Ventura Blvd. in Studio City, (818) 505-0076; and 111 N Santa Monica Blvd. in Santa Monica, (310) 260-8679
The Oaks Gourmet
The Oaks Gourmet is a Franklin Village market that sells craft beers, wines and fancy cheeses, among other gourmet sundries. But they also have a coffee bar, fresh baked goods and a mean dinner menu. One of the favorite items on the Oaks menu is the Dry Aged Burger. It's a half-pound of dry-aged patty, topped with Oaks' Black Forest bacon, baby arugula, red onion, tomato, smoked jalapeño and pineapple compote and creamy, buttery teleggio cheese on toasted brioche. To be sure, it's not the lightest item on their menu, but when you're looking for a tasteful and unique burger, it does the trick. You can also stop by on Tuesdays for their burger night, where they whip up a new burger for you to try. While Oaks does have a long table and some outdoor seating, you can't drink any of the delicious bottles or cans of beer they sell here. If that's more your style, the same owners are behind Franklin & Co. just a few doors down, where you can score a great turkey burger with duck fat fries, paired with a craft beer. —Juliet Bennett Rylah
The Oaks Gourmet is located at 1915 N. Bronson Ave. in Franklin Village, 323-871-8894
If you're going to go all out on a burger, there's the Truffle Burger at Blue Palms in Hollywood. A white truffle-glazed bun holds a Kobe beef patty cooked in duck fat, black truffles, Maytag blue cheese, peppers, crimini mushrooms, onions, aioli. It's got a lot of flavor and it's extremely juicy. This is not the meal you eat before a run. Now, this bar can get very busy if there's a show at the Fonda next door, but if you time it right, you can enjoy this hearty burger with one of their 24 rotating craft beer selections. —Juliet Bennett Rylah
Blue Palms Brewhouse is located at 6124 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, 323-464-BEER.
Grill 'Em All
Sometimes we like our burgers with a side of heavy metal. Grill 'Em All, the rock-themed joint with a love for puns (come on, a dish called No More Mr. Nice Fries is just delightful) doesn't shy away from making some in-your-face burgers. We're talking about serious ones like the Behemoth, which like its name suggests is a big one, a patty stacked with bacon, grilled onions, BBQ sauce, and get this—sandwiched between two grilled cheese buns. Its Napalm Death is so spicy that it even has habanero aioli and jalapeno poppers in it, and for fancier fare, it has the Exciter, has duck confit with truffle goat cheese and cranberry gastrique. —Jean Trinh
Grill 'Em All is located at 19 E Main Street in Alhambra