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A seeded bun and burger with melty cheese and lots of shredded lettuce.
Hinano Cafe
Wonho Frank Lee

19 Essential Los Angeles Burgers, Spring 2021

From old school renditions to fancy chef-driven takes, the best places to get hamburgers in Los Angeles

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Hinano Cafe
| Wonho Frank Lee

Hamburgers are truly America’s food. Born from the nation’s obsession with beef coupled with the modern highway system, the humble burger can be high-end or low — grabbed quickly via drive-thru, or sought out as a destination.

It’s hard to say what makes a perfect burger, simply because there are so many different iterations of the seemingly simple beef and bun device. But nowadays, as people venture out from their homes to avoid the ongoing pandemic while still supporting local restaurants and filling themselves with comfort food, it’s good to know that there are as many different burger opinions as there are eager eaters around Los Angeles. From big, beefy concoctions in Redondo Beach to housemade vegan patties in Highland Park, here are some of LA’s most essential burgers right now.

Removed: Tripp Burgers, The Window, Honeybee, Burgers Never Say Die, HiHo Cheeseburger

Added: Corner Grille, Monty’s, Dave’s Burgers, Billionaire Burger Boyz, For the Win

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Corner Grille

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8261 Sepulveda Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91402
(818) 810-6396
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At Van Nuys staple Corner Grille, burgers are sometimes called roscoes, and they may come topped with cream cheese, fried eggs, chili, or more. There are no rules at this Korean-American staple, just lots of meat and Hawaiian rolls for buns.

2. Daglas Drive-In

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20036 Vanowen St
Canoga Park, CA 91306
(818) 883-6313
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Daglas is an LA institution, particularly in the sprawling San Fernando Valley. The burger here typifies a kind of unique-to-LA version of dining, complete with commercial white buns, griddled patties, and lots of shredded lettuce and American cheese.

3. Bill's Burgers

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14742 Oxnard St
Van Nuys, CA 91411
(818) 785-4086

This Van Nuys staple continues to impress with its roadside flair and lovable crank-of-an-owner, Bill Elwell, though recently a For Sale sign has been spotted on the historic stand. Until the place is no more, expect Elwell to turn out freshly-griddled burgers himself.

Bill’s Burgers owner Bill Elwell, a 90-year-old, holds a cheeseburger as he leans into the shot.
Bill Elwell of Bill’s Burgers
Food GPS

4. The Oinkster

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2005 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041
(323) 255-6465
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Andre Guerrero’s Filipino-inflected menu at Oinkster is a reflection of the man himself: colorful, filled with purpose, and open to all. The Eagle Rock location spawned the pastrami-toped Royale burger, a monstrous and delicious two-handed beast.

The Royale burger at The Oinkster
Wonho Frank Lee

5. Pie 'n Burger

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913 E California Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106
(626) 795-1123
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Pasadena claims to be the birthplace of the cheeseburger, and while the truth of such things are lost to history, there is no denying the enduring prominence of Pie ‘n Burger. A legend since 1963, this diner turned ode to all things burger continues to turn out impeccable California classics, complete with special sauce and lightly melted American cheese.

A paper-wrapped cheeseburger with a side of fries.
Pie ‘n Burger
Farley Elliott

6. Yuca's Pasadena

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1075 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105
(626) 788-7448
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Of course the cochinita pibil is great at Yuca’s, but real ones know that the burger is itself a star. With freshly-cooked beef served on a well-seasoned griddle at either location, it’s hard to go wrong with this LA classic.

7. Goldburger

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5623 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042

The takeaway-only Goldburger stand in Highland Park is a little bit of a lot of different things: The patties are smashed but not paper-thin, the branding is sunny and hip without being Instagram-overwhelming. What the place does have going for it is simple technique, executed day in and day out, making for one of LA’s most popular burgers right now.

8. Burgerlords

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110 N Ave 56
Los Angeles, CA 90042

Whereas some places that do non-meat burgers rely on manufactured corporate products like Beyond and Impossible faux meats, Burgerslords makes its patties (and its vegan chicken nuggets and shakes and everything else) completely in house. You won’t find a meatless burger like this anywhere else in Southern California, that’s for sure.

9. For the Win

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6221 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 871-2026

Smash burger fans love For the Win, the pandemic-era burger pop-up inside Papilles in Hollywood. From the heavy sear to the overloaded sauce and thick pickles, this is the burger for those riding the current LA beef and bun trends.

10. Monty's Good Burger

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8432 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048
(213) 915-0257
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Though lots of new meatless burger shops have opened around Los Angeles in the past few years, few still draw the kind of attention that Monty’s does. Now with multiple locations across the city, including a brand new outlet on West Third Street, this is still the place that folks flock to for the branding, the meat-free burgers, and the shakes.

11. Burgers 99

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131 South La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 297-3380
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Burgers 99 on La Brea is all about nostalgia, offering laid-back throwback burgers complete with red and yellow squeeze bottles and plastic trays. This upstart from the Badmaash family is one for the cool Fairfax kids, the Hancock Park families, and everyone in between.

An overhead shot of colorful plastic trays holding burgers, fries, a breakfast burrito, and more.
Burgers 99
Farley Elliott

12. Amboy Quality Meats

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727 N Broadway No. 117
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 935-8188
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In the land of smash burger ubiquity, it’s nice to see native son Alvin Cailan return to LA with a thick pub-style burger at Amboy Quality Meats and Delicious Burgers, tucked inside the former Chinatown home of Chego.

DH burger at Amboy Quality Meats and Delicious Burgers in Chinatown.
Amboy
Farley Elliott

13. The Apple Pan

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10801 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 475-3585
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There is nothing in LA so iconic as a burger from Apple Pan, even if diners can’t sit inside at the moment. The thick patties and smoky hickory sauce make for an altogether unique experience, only possible on Pico.

Burger from Apple Pan
Burger from Apple Pan
Matthew Kang

14. Father's Office

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3229 Helms Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 736-2224
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Who knew a burger could be so polarizing? Yet here is the Father’s Office burger, a no-ketchup-allowed option served on a split roll and topped with caramelized onions and lots of arugula. This massive sandwich uses dry-aged beef and Maytag blue cheese for a remarkably different kind of burger.

Father’s Office Burger
Burger from Father’s Office
Elizabeth Daniels

15. Hinano Cafe

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15 Washington Blvd
Venice, CA 90292
(310) 822-3902
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Venice’s tiny Hinano Cafe is part beer-focused dive bar, part sandy seaside sneak-away spot, and part burger hero. The bar turns out what may be one of the best burgers on the entire Westside, made simply from behind the bar by the same staff that pours pints. This is classic Venice, done delicious.

Burger at Hinano Cafe
Burger at Hinano
Farley Elliott

16. Hawkins House of Burgers

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11603 Slater St
Los Angeles, CA 90059
(323) 563-1129
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Watts’s most beloved meal is at Hawkins, where the loosely-formed beef patties arrive thick and impressive from their time on the griddle. Service is perilously slow, but in the end that just builds the hunger — which is exactly what’s needed when tackling these behemoths.

17. Billionaire Burger Boyz Compton

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811 S Long Beach Blvd
Compton, CA 90221
(310) 554-4116
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The Billionaire Burger Boyz are the stuff of South LA legend. The currently operate as a catering, food truck, and restaurant outfit based around the Compton area, selling some of the biggest and best burgers anywhere in LA, sold as beef, turkey, or veggie patties with toppings like lobster tails and cheese dip on top.

18. The Standing Room Restaurant

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144 N Catalina Ave
Redondo Beach, CA 90277
(310) 374-7545
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From the big, squishy bun to the messy, extra-juicy patties, there’s almost nothing burger fanatics could find wrong with the takeaway spot the Standing Room, located in the back of a liquor store off a side street in Redondo Beach.

19. Dave's Burgers

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3396 Atlantic Ave
Long Beach, CA 90807
(562) 424-3340

For old school burger hut decadence in Southern California, it’s hard to beat Long Beach favorite Dave’s. From the timeless seared patties and grilled onions to options for chili and split hot dogs inside the sandwich, this is the place to try it all. Bonus points for having one of the coolest looking stands around, too.

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1. Corner Grille

8261 Sepulveda Blvd, Van Nuys, CA 91402

At Van Nuys staple Corner Grille, burgers are sometimes called roscoes, and they may come topped with cream cheese, fried eggs, chili, or more. There are no rules at this Korean-American staple, just lots of meat and Hawaiian rolls for buns.

8261 Sepulveda Blvd
Van Nuys, CA 91402

2. Daglas Drive-In

20036 Vanowen St, Canoga Park, CA 91306

Daglas is an LA institution, particularly in the sprawling San Fernando Valley. The burger here typifies a kind of unique-to-LA version of dining, complete with commercial white buns, griddled patties, and lots of shredded lettuce and American cheese.

20036 Vanowen St
Canoga Park, CA 91306

3. Bill's Burgers

14742 Oxnard St, Van Nuys, CA 91411
Bill’s Burgers owner Bill Elwell, a 90-year-old, holds a cheeseburger as he leans into the shot.
Bill Elwell of Bill’s Burgers
Food GPS

This Van Nuys staple continues to impress with its roadside flair and lovable crank-of-an-owner, Bill Elwell, though recently a For Sale sign has been spotted on the historic stand. Until the place is no more, expect Elwell to turn out freshly-griddled burgers himself.

14742 Oxnard St
Van Nuys, CA 91411

4. The Oinkster

2005 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041
The Royale burger at The Oinkster
Wonho Frank Lee

Andre Guerrero’s Filipino-inflected menu at Oinkster is a reflection of the man himself: colorful, filled with purpose, and open to all. The Eagle Rock location spawned the pastrami-toped Royale burger, a monstrous and delicious two-handed beast.

2005 Colorado Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90041

5. Pie 'n Burger

913 E California Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91106
A paper-wrapped cheeseburger with a side of fries.
Pie ‘n Burger
Farley Elliott

Pasadena claims to be the birthplace of the cheeseburger, and while the truth of such things are lost to history, there is no denying the enduring prominence of Pie ‘n Burger. A legend since 1963, this diner turned ode to all things burger continues to turn out impeccable California classics, complete with special sauce and lightly melted American cheese.

913 E California Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106

6. Yuca's Pasadena

1075 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

Of course the cochinita pibil is great at Yuca’s, but real ones know that the burger is itself a star. With freshly-cooked beef served on a well-seasoned griddle at either location, it’s hard to go wrong with this LA classic.

1075 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena, CA 91105

7. Goldburger

5623 York Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90042

The takeaway-only Goldburger stand in Highland Park is a little bit of a lot of different things: The patties are smashed but not paper-thin, the branding is sunny and hip without being Instagram-overwhelming. What the place does have going for it is simple technique, executed day in and day out, making for one of LA’s most popular burgers right now.

5623 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90042

8. Burgerlords

110 N Ave 56, Los Angeles, CA 90042

Whereas some places that do non-meat burgers rely on manufactured corporate products like Beyond and Impossible faux meats, Burgerslords makes its patties (and its vegan chicken nuggets and shakes and everything else) completely in house. You won’t find a meatless burger like this anywhere else in Southern California, that’s for sure.

110 N Ave 56
Los Angeles, CA 90042

9. For the Win

6221 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Smash burger fans love For the Win, the pandemic-era burger pop-up inside Papilles in Hollywood. From the heavy sear to the overloaded sauce and thick pickles, this is the burger for those riding the current LA beef and bun trends.

6221 Franklin Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90028

10. Monty's Good Burger

8432 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

Though lots of new meatless burger shops have opened around Los Angeles in the past few years, few still draw the kind of attention that Monty’s does. Now with multiple locations across the city, including a brand new outlet on West Third Street, this is still the place that folks flock to for the branding, the meat-free burgers, and the shakes.

8432 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

11. Burgers 99

131 South La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036
An overhead shot of colorful plastic trays holding burgers, fries, a breakfast burrito, and more.
Burgers 99
Farley Elliott

Burgers 99 on La Brea is all about nostalgia, offering laid-back throwback burgers complete with red and yellow squeeze bottles and plastic trays. This upstart from the Badmaash family is one for the cool Fairfax kids, the Hancock Park families, and everyone in between.

131 South La Brea Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90036

12. Amboy Quality Meats

727 N Broadway No. 117, Los Angeles, CA 90012
DH burger at Amboy Quality Meats and Delicious Burgers in Chinatown.
Amboy
Farley Elliott

In the land of smash burger ubiquity, it’s nice to see native son Alvin Cailan return to LA with a thick pub-style burger at Amboy Quality Meats and Delicious Burgers, tucked inside the former Chinatown home of Chego.

727 N Broadway No. 117
Los Angeles, CA 90012

13. The Apple Pan

10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
Burger from Apple Pan
Burger from Apple Pan
Matthew Kang

There is nothing in LA so iconic as a burger from Apple Pan, even if diners can’t sit inside at the moment. The thick patties and smoky hickory sauce make for an altogether unique experience, only possible on Pico.

10801 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064

14. Father's Office

3229 Helms Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90034
Father’s Office Burger
Burger from Father’s Office
Elizabeth Daniels

Who knew a burger could be so polarizing? Yet here is the Father’s Office burger, a no-ketchup-allowed option served on a split roll and topped with caramelized onions and lots of arugula. This massive sandwich uses dry-aged beef and Maytag blue cheese for a remarkably different kind of burger.

3229 Helms Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90034

15. Hinano Cafe

15 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292
Burger at Hinano Cafe
Burger at Hinano
Farley Elliott

Venice’s tiny Hinano Cafe is part beer-focused dive bar, part sandy seaside sneak-away spot, and part burger hero. The bar turns out what may be one of the best burgers on the entire Westside, made simply from behind the bar by the same staff that pours pints. This is classic Venice, done delicious.

15 Washington Blvd
Venice, CA 90292

Related Maps

16. Hawkins House of Burgers

11603 Slater St, Los Angeles, CA 90059

Watts’s most beloved meal is at Hawkins, where the loosely-formed beef patties arrive thick and impressive from their time on the griddle. Service is perilously slow, but in the end that just builds the hunger — which is exactly what’s needed when tackling these behemoths.

11603 Slater St
Los Angeles, CA 90059

17. Billionaire Burger Boyz Compton

811 S Long Beach Blvd, Compton, CA 90221

The Billionaire Burger Boyz are the stuff of South LA legend. The currently operate as a catering, food truck, and restaurant outfit based around the Compton area, selling some of the biggest and best burgers anywhere in LA, sold as beef, turkey, or veggie patties with toppings like lobster tails and cheese dip on top.

811 S Long Beach Blvd
Compton, CA 90221

18. The Standing Room Restaurant

144 N Catalina Ave, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

From the big, squishy bun to the messy, extra-juicy patties, there’s almost nothing burger fanatics could find wrong with the takeaway spot the Standing Room, located in the back of a liquor store off a side street in Redondo Beach.

144 N Catalina Ave
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

19. Dave's Burgers

3396 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90807

For old school burger hut decadence in Southern California, it’s hard to beat Long Beach favorite Dave’s. From the timeless seared patties and grilled onions to options for chili and split hot dogs inside the sandwich, this is the place to try it all. Bonus points for having one of the coolest looking stands around, too.

3396 Atlantic Ave
Long Beach, CA 90807

Related Maps