The Definitive A-to-Z Guide to Burgers in Los Angeles

All 57 of our city’s best burgers, in one place.

Photo courtesy of Magnolia House/Facebook

There’s a good burger on almost every corner of Los Angeles; you just have to figure out where to look. WSWD scoured the entire L.A. area for the beautifully juicy legends already known, in the making, and hidden in hushed circles of obscurity. Whether you’re feeling classic or experimental, here’s our definitive list, period, of all the patties and places you need to know.

Photo courtesy of 189 by Dominique Ansel/Facebook

189 by Dominique Ansel
Turns out innovative pastries aren’t the only goodies at which Cronut creator Ansel excels. The burger at his Grove restaurant is both gourmet and superfilling, stacked with two patties, smoky pickles, onions, and tomato confit. 189 The Grove Drive

Photo courtesy of 25 Degrees/Facebook

25 Degrees
25 Degrees is the missing link between greasy diner patties and craft creations. The burgers, while creatively topped, still come massive, sloppy, and wrapped in brown paper just like you’d hope for from an elevated greasy spoon. The Hollywood Roosevelt, 7000 Hollywood Boulevard

Animal
A “Boner Burger” with “420 sauce” might sound like a juvenile experiment, but this brunch (and sometimes off-menu dinner) choice at carnivore paradise Animal earns the name with a patty infused with bone marrow and topped with a deluge of cheese, all between two slices of rye. 435 North Fairfax Avenue

The Apple Pan
One of the longest-running food meccas in the city, the Apple Pan is still regularly crammed with expectant diners prowling the small, U-shaped counter for a seat so they can agonize over whether they’ll have the Steakburger or Hickoryburger. Just order both—unless you want to save room for a slice of its famous apple, cream, or pecan pie. 10801 Pico Boulevard

Photo by Julie K./Yelp

Astro Burger
A local chain of independently run franchises that each dish out classic, greasy, fast food–style burgers, with options like turkey, salmon, and veggie patties for the beef-averse. Multiple locations

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Barrel & Ashes
This smokehouse’s massive Barrel Burger is stacked with cheese, bacon, savory barbecue sauce, and, if you’re there for brunch, monstrous onion rings. It’s almost enough to make you forget about the menu’s impressive roster of other meats and comfort foods…almost. 11801 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City

Photo by Jenny Q./Yelp

Beacon
This joint won the title of best burger at a head-to-head burger festival a few years back, and with a juicy Wagyu-beef patty piled with buckets of melt-y Brie on top, it’s not hard to see why. 751 Echo Park Avenue (at Echo Park Lake)

Photo courtesy of Belcampo Meat Co./Facebook

Belcampo
Whether you stop at Belcampo’s full sit-down restaurant in Santa Monica, airy butcher shop in Beverly Grove, or to-go counter in downtown’s Grand Central Market, you’re guaranteed an excellent burger with quality meat sourced from the company’s farms in Northern California. It’s a tough choice between the thin, fast-food style of the Fastburger or the more substantial heft of the Belcampo, but you can’t go wrong with either. Multiple locations

Bill’s Burgers
If this burger shack—with its simplistic menu and tiny interior—feels old-fashioned, that’s because it is. Proprietor Bill Elwell has been grilling up the same burgers here for more than 50 years, and they’re among the most classic and reasonably priced you can get in L.A. 14742 Oxnard Street, Van Nuys

Blue Palms Brewhouse
If you’re here only because you’re going to a concert at the adjoining Fonda Theatre, you’re lucky you stumbled in. Besides its great preshow vibe, Blue Palms sneakily has some of the more decadent gastropub burgers in town, including one topped with short ribs and a truffle version cooked in duck fat. 6124 Hollywood Boulevard

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Burgerlords
Stroll up to this Chinatown burger window when you’re hankering for burgers but have some dietary restrictions among your gang—the vegan burger options are just as good as the classic patties. 943 North Broadway #102

Photo courtesy of Burgers Never Say Die/Facebook

Burgers Never Say Die
Like Netflix swooping in to rescue your favorite canceled show, bygone burger pop-up Burgers Never Say Die has found new life with an official brick-and-mortar home in Silver Lake. Good thing, too, as the spot’s fun-loving attitude and perfectly crispy, flattened Smash Burgers have spawned legions of adoring fans. 2388 Glendale Boulevard

Photo courtesy of Button Mash/Facebook

Button Mash
Button Mash’s hefty double cheeseburger isn’t experimental like the other Asian fusion dishes on the menu; it’s a straightforward gem that makes perfect fuel for playing the bar’s many vintage arcade games, including, of course, BurgerTime1391 West Sunset Boulevard

Photo courtesy of Cassell’s/Facebook

Cassell’s Hamburgers
Bring your friends of all burger persuasions to Cassell’s, where the generous 1/3-pound patties can be enjoyed in everything from the quietly excellent cheeseburger and a solid sandwich melt to the indulgent breakfast burger, which is topped with an egg and buried between two huge discs of hash browns masquerading as buns. No shame in using a fork. Multiple locations

The Counter
This one isn’t for the indecisive. The proudly Los Angeles–based Counter offers a great menu of preset burger options, but the real draw is the comprehensive create-your-own menu, which lets you customize just about every aspect of your burger experience short of naming the cow. Multiple locations

Photo courtesy of Easy’s/Facebook

Easy’s
Halfway between a true diner grease-sponge and semigourmet, Easy’s burger is tailored to the Beverly Center crowd—and it is totally delicious.
8500 Beverly Boulevard, 6th Floor, Suite 602 (in the Beverly Center)

Photo courtesy of Eggslut/Facebook

Eggslut
Eggslut locations usually draw long weekend lines of diners pining for hangover-absolving egg sandwiches, but next time, opt for a burger instead. It’s small but satisfying and, yeah, still topped with an egg. Multiple locations

Electric Owl
Ernesto Uchimura, the brains behind such L.A. mainstays as Umami Burger and Plan Check, reins in his wilder instincts for the gastropub-on-a-train–vibed Electric Owl, which only features two beef burgers on the menu: The Smash Burger, with a crispy cheese bun and house-made Cheddar slices, and the Healthy Smash, half the cholesterol and all the flavor. 1451 North Gardner Street, West Hollywood

Photo courtesy of The Escondite (Hideout)/Facebook

The Escondite
And the award for most deranged burger creations goes to…the Escondite, by a mile. You can basically get other meals on top of your burger, from versions with mashed potatoes or doughnut buns to the absurd Captain Kangaroo, which is essentially a full breakfast with a patty hiding somewhere in the middle. 410 Boyd Street

Everson Royce Bar
The squat, unassuming Single Burger, flanked by dill pickles and served out on E.R.B.’s patio, appears more like a burger from a suburban cookout than a flavor-packed gem that can go toe to toe with any of the big boys. And that’s how creator Matt Molina intended it. Only those in the know are aware of this minimalist masterpiece. 1936 East 7th Street

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Fatburger
While many burger-makers on this list would strongly disapprove of Fatburger’s claim as the “Last Great Hamburger Stand,” this local fast-food chain is still definitely a great hamburger stand. With an original size weighing in at 1/3 pound and options taking it higher from there, Fatburger is where you go to satisfy your burger hankering for the whole next month. Multiple locations

Father’s Office
Twenty years ago, this Los Angeles staple invented the concept of a “gourmet” burger and sparked a nationwide craze. The Office Burger—defiantly oblong, dry-aged, and infamously prohibiting substitutions—is still the standard by which all other beef-and-bun wizardry is measured. Multiple locations

Photo courtesy of The Golden State/Facebook

The Golden State
The Golden State wants to show you how great it is here by feeding you good gastropub food made from proudly Californian ingredients. When the results are as good as its burger, an unpretentious beef-bacon-cheese affair where the quality speaks for itself, we suggest you let it. 426 North Fairfax Avenue; 241 South San Pedro Street

Grill ’Em All
Grill ’Em All’s glorious lineup of over-the-top burgers, like the Napalm Death (a spicy number with jalapeño poppers on top) and the Behemoth (each bun is a full grilled cheese sandwich!), makes this the most metal burger joint around. 19 East Main Street, Alhambra

Photo courtesy of Haché

Haché
It’s pronounced ha-shay, which is basically French for “damn good burger meat.” This Silver Lake spot uses the steak haché tradition of Angus sirloin freshly ground in-house to ensure everything on its six-burger menu is of the highest quality. 3319 West Sunset Boulevard

Hawkins House of Burgers
You won’t find hearty, greasy, burger-shack burgers stacked any higher or a staff any more welcoming than at this beloved neighborhood outpost. Just be prepared: These made-to-order monstrosities can take a while. (It’s totally worth it.) 11603 Slater Street

Herringbone
Yes, it’s a seafood-specialty restaurant, but nothing beats the aptly named Two-Hand Burger, piled high with bacon-onion jam, heirloom tomatoes, American cheese, and Dijonaise. 1755 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica

Photo courtesy of HiHo Cheeseburger/Facebook

HiHo Cheeseburger
HiHo makes its burgers—just two simple options, each as either a double or triple patty—from Wagyu beef that is 100 percent grass-fed, GMO-free, and sustainable. 1320 2nd Street, Suite B, Santa Monica

Hinano Cafe
Venice’s Hinano Cafe serves many functions: beachside drinking shack, nighttime dive, eclectic pool hall with a rock cover band crammed in the corner. Thankfully, its messy burgers are the perfect companion to any of these pursuits. 15 Washington Boulevard, Venice

Hinoki & The Bird
It’s all about timing with this upscale fusion restaurant’s Okonomiyaki Burger, which only appears during the brief Tuesday-through-Friday happy hour (5:30–6:30 p.m.). The bed of peppers and exotic sauces slathered over two beef patties make this a dish that will have you skipping out of the office early. 10 West Century Drive

The Honor Bar
It’s hard to recommend anything here but the divine Ding’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich, but since we’re talking burgers, the Honor Burger is a close second on the menu. Both are well-kept neighborhood secrets. 122 South Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills

Howard’s Famous Bacon and Avocado Burgers
Located on a stretch of Venice is a crowded fast-food burger market—there’s a Fatburger, Carl’s, Smashburger, and In-N-Out within blocks—but Howard’s has one advantage over all of them: not messing with tradition. This spot has been dishing out uncomplicated burgers enhanced with the most Californian of toppings, bacon and avocado, for almost 50 years. 11127 Venice Boulevard, #7

In-N-Out
You’ve already heard all about it, so give in and let In-N-Out’s gleaming golden arrow point you toward a paradise of compact, satisfying fast-food burgs from a basic (but extensively modifiable) menu. It’s an L.A. rite of passage, and we’ve rounded up the best of them here.
Multiple locations

Jeff’s Gourmet Sausage Factory
If you smell corned beef and rye bread, you’re probably close to one of the many delis of Pico-Robertson. Craving something even heavier? Enter Jeff’s, where they sling the best kosher burgers in town, including a pastrami version that’s as good as—or perhaps better than?—most bacon burgers. 8930 West Pico Boulevard

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Little Bear
Given how great burgers and beer go together, it’s a surprise that there aren’t more bars that pair craft burgers with those brewing wizards, the Belgians. Luckily, Belgian “beer café” Little Bear is here to fill that niche. 1855 Industrial Street

Love & Salt
Sure, the brunch-only Love & Salt Burger is made with plenty of love and salt…but factor in the Angus beef, an airy brioche bun, Fontina cheese, caramelized onions, and aioli—and you’ve got yourself a pretty tasty meal. 317 Manhattan Beach Boulevard, Manhattan Beach

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Ma’am Sir
For one of the more interesting flavor profiles you’ll find in a burger, try Ma’am Sir’s Longganisa Burger. The patty is made of longganisa—a style of sweet Filipino sausage and seasonings—and complemented with pickled papaya, creating a burger unlike anything you’ve had before. 4330 West Sunset Boulevard

Magnolia House
Blissfully ignoring the current wafer-thin patty craze is the signature burger at Magnolia House, where a seriously thick patty overflows with dripping Cheddar, caramelized onions, and shoots of bacon. 492 South Lake Avenue, Pasadena

Photo courtesy of Meatzilla!/Facebook

Meatzilla!
You don’t name your restaurant after a legendary monster unless you mean business, and the massive burgers at Meatzilla! earn every bit of the reference. Good luck deciding which insane variation to try. (Can you find the courage to take a bite out of the ghost pepper and scorpion pepper aoli–drenched Ghostface Zilla?) 646 South Main Street

Photo courtesy of Mikkeller DTLA/Facebook

Mikkeller
The stellar craft beer (often made by this Belgian brewery) is the star of the show at Mikkeller, but what would craft beer be without some good ole pub food? The burger here does just the trick, riding high on the dynamic between the big, juicy patty and the crispiness of the bacon and fried onions on top. 330 West Olympic Boulevard

Monty’s Good Burger
Monty’s has the menu of a 1950s diner that got woke, and now everything is plant based. For the burgers, that means patties made from locally sourced ingredients drenched in cheese and smashed onto pillowy white buns, along with lettuce, tomato, and the other usual suspects. An American classic, just updated. 516 South Western Avenue

Photo courtesy of Nook (Neighborhood) Bistro – Official Page/Facebook

Nook Bistro
Nook lives up to its billing as a true neighborhood joint—you won’t find it on any citywide best-of lists, and you’re not wandering through its door hidden in the corner of a strip mall unless you know it’s there. But now that you do, you can be one of the regulars who enjoy its great, juicy burger covered in oozing cheese. 11628 Santa Monica Boulevard

Photo courtesy of The Oinkster/Facebook

The Oinkster
Is the Oinkster a fast-food restaurant that wants to be more gourmet, or a gourmet burger spot that yearns to live in the world of fast food? This charming A-frame eatery’s identity crisis is your gain, as it dishes out thick burgers crammed with toppings for low prices in an open, relaxed space. 2005 Colorado Boulevard

Photo courtesy of Original Tommy’s/Facebook

Original Tommy’s Hamburgers
You might be confused seeing “original” Tommy’s all over town, so know this: The original original is the one in Westlake, but any one of this chain’s 20-ish L.A.-area locations serves up the same fast-food burgers, hot dogs, and fries, all drowned in heaps of its signature chili.
Multiple locations

Patrick’s Roadhouse
Better show off your beach bod across the street at Will Rogers Beach before going to Patrick’s, because the half-pound burgers at this elevated dive will have you expanding to “dad bod” in no time. Go classic or opt for any number of increasingly ornate toppings. Just remember to wait an hour—or five—before you get back in the water. 106 Entrada Drive, Santa Monica

Penny’s Burgers
Lots of restaurants in the current burger craze claim to be fast food with a heart of gold, but few can back that up with the quality, retro origins, and showing mercy on the wallet like Penny’s can. 6300 North Figueroa Street

Photo courtesy of Petit Trois

Petit Trois
Petit Trois may be the casual little brother of French fine-dining establishment Trois Mec, but there’s nothing little about its Big Mec Burger. Molten cheese and tangy bordelaise sauce form a small lake on the plate around the hefty twin patties and fluffy bun. 13705 Ventura Boulevard, Sherman Oaks; 718 North Highland Avenue

Pie’n Burger
At first glance, this looks like just another old-school joint with the same fast-food burgers and the same few toppings and the same sauce and the same white bun…. At first bite, you’ll realize all your preconceptions were wrong and that Pie’n is, in fact, the gold standard to which all those lesser imitators should be held. 913 East California Boulevard, Pasadena

Photo courtesy of Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

Plan Check
Best known for its deliciously weird toppings like “ketchup leather” (ketchup with the consistency of a Fruit Roll-Up) and “pig candy” (sweetened bacon that you’ll dream about for weeks), Plan Check’s greatest triumph is that its burgers don’t even need all the intricate accoutrements to shine. Besides the few versions always on the menu, an ever-changing roster of off-menu experiments ensures you’ll always find some interesting new alchemy. 1401 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica; 1800 Sawtelle Boulevard; 1111 Wilshire Boulevard

Pono Burger
Pono’s towering layers of burger add-ons would topple over before you could even snap them for Instagram. The spot’s Hawaiian flavor comes through best in the Spicy Kuawa Crunch Burger, stuffed with house-made potato chips and a guava rum sauce with a kick. 829 Broadway, Santa Monica

Photo courtesy of Severance Wine Bar/Facebook

Severance
If you’re going to eat a “fondue burger” somewhere, make sure it’s at a restaurant that specializes in fondue. You can rest assured that the classy Swiss take on melted cheese you’ll have drizzled over your double patties and brioche bun tastes as smoky and irresistible as it does on the shores of Lake Geneva. 7274 Melrose Avenue

Slater’s 50/50
Sure, you can have bacon on your burger. But why just do that when you can have bacon in your burger? Lucky for you, that question has already been answered at Slater’s 50/50, where ground beef and ground bacon combine their powers to make burger patties richer than any you’ve had before (there are still regular beef, turkey, and veggie patties for you traditionalists). Multiple locations

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Smorgasburger
With a name like that, L.A.’s weekly food fest Smorgasburg was almost obligated to run with the pun and introduce Smorgasburger, a rotating guest cast of different burger specialists gracing the event each week. Past participants have included burger pop-ups both new and long-running. 787 South Alameda Street (at ROW DTLA)

Smosh Town
Dog-ear this one for later—the burger pop-up, located in the parking lot of a Pasadena auto shop, is on temporary hiatus while it figures out how to better accommodate the burger-crazed masses it has drawn in just a few short months of operation. When it returns, prepare yourself for the best possible version of the current smash burger trend: thin, crispy discs of beef, puffy bun, and unpretentious toppings—all adding up to perfection. 250 North Hill Avenue, Pasadena

 

Photo courtesy of Stout/Facebook

Stout Burgers & Beers
Along with Plan Check and Umami, Stout was part of the holy trinity of local gastropub chains that caught fire in the early 2010s and cemented L.A. as the place to guzzle burgers and craft beer together. It’s still going strong, with tasty, fat burgers that live up to their name. 1544 North Cahuenga Boulevard; 111 North Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica; 11262 Ventura Boulevard, Studio City

The Tripel
The Tripel Burger unites three craft-burger flavor favorites—truffle, fruit jam, and duck confit—to create one you’ll go home and write poetry about. In lesser hands, such a potent mashup would be a disaster; at the Tripel, it’s a revelation. 333 Culver Boulevard, Playa del Rey

Courtesy of Umami Burger

Umami Burger
Umami Burger is the only reason many people even know there’s a fifth basic taste (the savory umami). If literally expanding the flavor vocabulary of thousands of people piques your interest, then seek out a location and try the dish that changed the L.A. burger game: a harmonious balance of specially seasoned beef patties and carefully perfected toppings that each lift up the other to become a sensation.
Multiple locations