Ah, Los Angeles: land of the health-conscious eaters. Gluten-free, GMO-free, everything-free. Kombucha. Juice cleanses. Avocados. Oh, and also: a sizzling, juicy, two-patty burger with a side of fries slathered generously in cheese and dressing.
Our beloved no-frills fast-food chain In-N-Out was slingin’ fantastic burgers and fries long before 20 types of kale stormed our local farmers’ markets. Despite its popularity, the chain’s locations are still largely limited to the Southwestern U.S., even 70 years after its founding. For visitors and residents alike, being in Los Angeles carries the special privilege of being able to go to In-N-Out.
The restaurants are deliberately uniform, with the same clean, white interior and straightforward menu (plus not-so-secret secret menu). But that doesn’t mean specific locations don’t have their own feel, especially in a city as diverse as Los Angeles. Here are 10 of the best places to go “animal style”—and beyond.
The original In-N-Out, in Baldwin Park, was razed long ago to make way for Interstate 10. But the area is still a treat for the In-N-Out superfan. A modern-day In-N-Out sits just across the freeway from a replica of the original stand from 1948 (just for show—it doesn’t serve). Anchoring it all is a gift shop and In-N-Out University, where company employees are trained. 13850 Francisquito Avenue
OK, fine. The small town of Barstow—a few hours’ drive from Los Angeles—is a generous interpretation of “Los Angeles area.” Still, cadres of Angelenos regularly descend upon this humble location for one reason: It’s the last chance to grab In-N-Out on the drive from L.A. to Vegas. A clientele of everyone from high rollers to fraternity party buses pulls off the 15 here to fill their stomachs before braving a dreary final stretch through the desert to Sin City. 2821 Lenwood Road
In-N-Out’s Westchester location is the great L.A. airport pit stop, but insiders understand that this lesser known, calmer location is just a few 747-lengths’ further to the south. There’s an uncharacteristically generous amount of outdoor seating at this branch, too—perfect for catching some lovely SoCal weather when you’ve just flown in to Los Angeles from colder climes. 600 North Sepulveda Boulevard
Marina Del Rey
Located on the outer edge of a hopelessly chaotic Costco parking lot, this In-N-Out can be a frantic stop in the otherwise mellow Marina Del Rey. Your best bet is to stay in the car and nab some drive-through, then head to the nearby Venice Beach, Venice Canals, or marina to chow down around more picturesque scenery. Leave the Costco warriors to duke it out for their parking spots and $1.50 hot dogs. 13425 Washington Boulevard
Getting over the mountains from Los Angeles into the Valley feels like another world. The Sherman Oaks In-N-Out is no exception. Despite the area’s growing coolness, it still feels distinctly suburban in a way that you usually have to travel to In-N-Outs much further out of Los Angeles to find. If you’re looking to down some burgers away from the hubbub of the city—but still conveniently close to the 405 and 101 freeways—this is your place. 4444 Van Nuys Boulevard
Hair metal may be dead; animal-style fries are forever. OK, this Sunset Boulevard location is slightly east of the real “Sunset Strip” of rock-and-roll fame, but it still draws a colorful crowd late into the night, making it the best In-N-Out in L.A .for people-watching. On any given night you can find clubbers dropping in before or after hitting the Hollywood hot spots, rocker types who either don’t know or don’t care that the ’80s are over, and tourists migrating over from Hollywood and Highland to see what all the In-N-Out fuss is about. It’s an inspiring microcosm of L.A. weirdness, brought together by the power of burgers and fries. 7009 Sunset Boulevard
Making movies is hard. So is picking a magic wand. People take a break from both to trek across the street from Universal City—home to NBC, Universal, and the Universal Studios Hollywood theme park—and grab some grub to get them through their day. On the Jurassic Park ride, dinos hunt you. Across the street at In-N-Out, you hunt double-doubles and chocolate shakes. Everyone wins. 3640 Cahuenga Boulevard
Commonly referred to as “that one in Culver City,” the Venice Boulevard location is just across the border from Culver City into Los Angeles proper. The nearby downtown of Culver City is stacked with cool bars and restaurants, but when you just crave a double-double, you know where you must go. This location is also a quick walk from the Metro Expo Line’s Culver City station, making it delicious and public-transit friendly. 9245 West Venice Boulevard
Often one’s first or last stop in L.A., this legendary location is permanently overflowing with customers coming from or going to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) across the street. Locals and tourists alike make a stop at this In-N-Out something of a ritual when they travel, whether savoring one last burger while they still can or beelining there to end an In-N-Out drought after time away. Service is fast, but do leave yourself ample time; even In-N-Out isn’t worth missing your flight for. 9149 South Sepulveda Boulevard
Besides the ones near LAX, In-N-Out’s Westwood location is the one where you’re most likely to spot the tears of joy of a convert trying In-N-Out for the very first time. That’s because it lies a mere block away from the UCLA campus, with its tens of thousands of new students each year. Besides them, the location sees plenty of locals dropping in from the surrounding Westwood Village shopping area—especially later at night, when the joint is one of the surprisingly few restaurants around the school still open. 922 Gayley Avenue