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The Best Burgers In Los Angeles
One of the best things about living in L.A. is that we've got some of the best chefs out there grilling up some badass burgers. There's nothing more comforting than noshing on a juicy beef patty with fresh and crispy lettuce and onions, sandwiched between a buttery bun. And just as diverse as our city is, so are our burger options—from the old-school, no frills kind to fancy, kicked-up versions. Here are our favorite burgers, and as always, leave yours in the comments.
Comme Ca Burger (Photo via Facebook)
Comme Ça is known as the type of place that serves moules frites and beef tartare, but one of its most sought-after items on its menu is its burger. Chef and owner David Meyers has created a beautiful burger, with aged prime beef (as the shining star of the creation), Vermont cheddar and a cabbage slaw sandwiched between a pillow-like, fluffy brioche bun. For $18, this burger is a huge one (and it comes with fries), so show up hungry.
Comme Ça is located at 8479 Melrose Ave. in West Hollywood, (323) 782-1104
What we love about the Oinkster is chef Andre Guerrero's "slow fast food" mentality, which means you'll be getting high-quality versions of some old-school burgers. They've got a classic hamburger with thousand island, and their stacked Royale is full of bacon, chili and pastrami, which you can top with gruyere (BTW, not for the faint of heart). But what especially brings hordes of folks out to their Eagle Rock spot is their annual Burger Week, where they showcase their take on classic faves like the Big Mac or one with a Juicy Lucy spread. And luckily for those of us who don't live in the Northeast, they launched a new Hollywood location on Vine Street in April.
The Oinkster is located at 2005 Colorado Blvd. in Eagle Rock, (323) 255-6465; 776 Vine St. in Hollywood, (323) 536-9248
Plan Check Burger (Photo via Instagram)
Plan Check Kitchen & Bar
Plan Check's Executive Chef Ernesto Uchimura (formerly the chef of Umami Burger) whips up burgers with a very modern twist. Take his lauded Plan Check Burger (PCB, for short), which employs a ketchup leather (slightly reminiscent of those fruit leather strips you used to eat in grade school) that slowly melts into the wagyu beef patty. Why? So you won't have a soggy bun! Genius. Even the cheese is kicked up with an umami flavoring of dashi added to it. And if you feel like going the extra mile, try the Chefs Favorite Burger, where you can have cheese not one, but two ways—fried and regular—and top it with a sunny-side-up egg and hot sauce. If you catch the specials, you might also be able to try their Banh Mi Burger or Pollo Hamburguesa.
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
The Behemoth burger from Grill ’Em All (Photo by Al Pavangkanan via the Creative Commons on Flickr)
Grill 'Em All
At first, Grill 'Em All’s burger concoctions can seem intimidating. The heavy metal-themed food truck and Alhambra burger joint boasts such strange flavor combinations as peanut butter, strawberry jam, bacon and Sriracha on the Dee Snider, or pepperjack, pickled jalapeño, cream cheese, jalapeño poppers and habañoero aioli on the Napalm Death—not to mention great rock ’n’ roll puns like No More Mr. Nice Fries. One taste though, and you’ll forever look at cream cheese and strawberry jam as viable burger toppings. Those who truly don’t give a f--- can try the Behemoth, which has grilled cheese sandwiches for buns (!), plus BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese, pickles, bacon and beer soaked onions. It’s no wonder these guys won Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race. Or, you could wuss out and get Winger… The Salad. Rock on. —Billy Gil
Grill ’Em All is located at 19 E Main Street in Alhambra. Follow the food truck on Twitter at @GrillEmAllTruck.
Hawkins House of Burgers (Photo via Facebook)
Hawkins House of Burgers
Hawkins House of Burgers is a mom-and-pop shop that cooks up some behemoth burgers. Their menu boasts burgers with different variations of chili, chili cheese, bacon and eggs on top. And the juicy Angus beef patties are never frozen. The Whipper Burger takes it to the next level as it's a double patty topped with pastrami and hot links. Sometimes you might get stuck in a line waiting for your burger at this spot, so definitely go when you're not in a rush.
Hawkins House of Burgers is located at 11603½ S. Slater St. in Watts, (323) 563-1129
The Apple Pan
This L.A. institution has been open since 1947, so you can be sure the owners are doing something right with their burgers. Not much has changed since then, though, because when you step inside, you feel like you've time-traveled to the past. Your sodas still get served in old-fashioned paper cone cups and you can plop yourself up at the counter to eat your burger and pies. Try their hickory-smoked burger—it's a no frills, back-to-the-basics type of burger, with plenty of sauce (it can get messy), and something that you can top with Tillamook cheddar cheese. Pro-tip: It's a cash-only place, and since there's no host, you might have to wrestle someone to get a seat when it gets crowded.
The Apple Pan is located at 10801 W Pico Blvd. in West L.A., (310) 475-3585
When a restaurant pairs its burger with its beers on tap on its menu, you know they mean serious business. Nestled in the heart of Hollywood, in the same plaza as Big Wangs, this burger joint prides itself in its juicy patties and creative concoctions. We recommend their Stout Burger which is stacked with a hunk of deliciously stinky cheeses like blue and emi gruyere, and topped with rosemary bacon and caramelized onions. And their Goombah is definitely a crowd-pleaser as well—you had us at crispy prosciutto and parmasiano flakes. Definitely pair your choices with some sweet potato fries, which are some of the best in town. And the best part is this restaurant is open until 4 a.m. everyday, so you can get your burger fix whenever you damn well please.
Stout is located at 1544 N Cahuenga Blvd. in Hollywood, (323) 469-3801
Golden State burger (Photo by Julie Wolfson/LAist)
The Golden State
The Golden State menu isn't overly complicated, but it's the little touches (and high-quality ingredients) that make the difference. Take their signature burger, aptly named "The Burger," which uses Harris Ranch beef, topped with Fiscalini Farms cheddar and applewood smoked bacon. But if you're swearing off the red meat, their turkey and veggie patty options are equally good. And side note, we love everything else on their menu, too. So, you might as well make it a feast and pair it with their amazing sweet potato wedges and get some Scoops ice cream there for dessert. Okay, and wash it down with their specialty beers from the titular Golden State—perhaps in a beer float.
The Golden State is located at 426 N Fairfax Ave. in the Fairfax District, (323) 782-8331
Burger from Bill & Hiroko's (Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist)
Bill & Hiroko's
This classic burger shack is always packed to the gills with locals craving their perfectly charred burgers, which are made on top of a well-seasoned flat top. There's nothing froofy about this place. They don't even serve french fries. It's all about the burger, which can only be edited by adding a pre-made chili brick or cheese. This is old school burger badassery at its best. —Krista Simmons
Bill & Hiroko's is located at 14742 Oxnard St, Van Nuys, (818) 785-4086
We couldn't leave In-N-Out off of this list. The special thing about this family-run burger chain is its simplicity, cheap prices, and secret menu. (Oh, and we like that they pay their staff a decent wage.) You'll seriously wait in line for up to half-an-hour or more just for a taste of an animal-style double-double; the sauce they put in that burger is like crack and the caramelized onions are always grilled to perfection. Don't get us started on that buttery, toasted bun either. And despite keeping their menu low key, they still cater to other diets, like the protein-style for the folks on the no-carb diet, or the grilled cheese for the herbivores.
In-N-Out has several locations throughout California. Visit their website here for more information.
Blue Dog Beer Tavern
Blue Dog Beer Tavern is really into two things: burgers and beer. Out in the Valley, this local joint (that is also perfect for watching your fave sports game) has a pretty extensive burger menu. And they don't kid around when it comes to toppings; we're talking about burger creations like the El Scorpion that has jalapenos and nacho chips on it, or the Chi Chi Burger that is essentially a kicked-up McGriddle. They're doing it right with their buns, and you can choose between beef, turkey and veggie patties here.
Blue Dog Beer Tavern is located at 4524 Saugus Ave. in Sherman Oaks, (818) 990-2583
This is the burger that started a million trends, so naturally it is one of the most polarizing foods items in L.A. It's Father's Office who kicked off the gastropub trend that has been dismissed by most as overpriced hipster bar food, and the burger renaissance that came in its wake has provided critics with more options to prefer over the OG. Most diners have also come to resent the fact that FO won't allow any substitutions on The Office Burger, but why mess with perfection when the tangy caramelized onion jam blends so perfectly with the sharpness of the Gruyere and Maytag blue cheese? That it's served on a roll instead of a traditional hamburger bun and dressed with arugula instead of iceberg lettuce is also seen as snootiness from chef Sang Yoon. Whatever. Let the haters hate. — Carman Tse
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