clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
The Downlow Burger, Love & Salt
The Downlow Burger, Love & Salt
Love & Salt

22 Essential Los Angeles Burgers

From classic to new school, the best places to get burgers in Los Angeles

View as Map
The Downlow Burger, Love & Salt
| Love & Salt

Hamburgers are truly America's food, born of the country's fascination with beef amidst the 1950's commoditization of farming. Those same mid-century decades also spawned the rise of the nation's modern highway systems and LA's fast food culture in general, making the lowly hamburger something to be sought out as a destination or grabbed quickly on the way home.

Today's Los Angeles hamburger landscape is no longer necessarily focused around freeway exits and major thoroughfares. You'll find amazing burgers available off-menu at South Bay dinnertime hotspots, tucked away in Valley parking lots, or hiding right under the nose of some of the city's best chefs.

There's also no convenient diagram for what makes a perfect Los Angeles burger. Some hew close to the Southern California standard, with thin griddled patties, fresh toppings, American cheese, and a slightly tangy spread. Others stack multiple massive patties together for a bit of primal indulgence, while still more trade in mayonnaise for foie gras-inflected bordelaise sauce. Whatever your pleasure, there's an essential burger in Los Angeles for you.

Removed: Ledlow, The Standing Room, The Hat, Capitol Burger, Badmaash

Added: Grill 'Em All, ERB, Love & Salt, Republique, Shake Shack

Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
If you book a reservation through an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Belcampo Meat Co.

Copy Link

Belcampo’s $5 fast burger shows what’s possible when good people control every level of a process. Because the team behind Belcampo raises their own beef and owns the humane production line process, a reduced-price fast food-style burger is possible from their multiple LA locations — and it’s one that doesn’t skimp on flavor in the least.

Bills Burgers

Copy Link

This Van Nuys staple continues to impress with its roadside flair and lovable crank of an owner. Fresh meat is brought in daily and patties are griddled in front of customers (mostly because there’s nowhere to hide inside the tiny shack), which means all you’ve got to do is belly up to a stool with a friend and enjoy the show.

Cassell's Hamburgers

Copy Link

Koreatown’s Cassell’s is a history lesson in real time. Hanging signage recalls the longtime former location not far away, though today’s iteration inside the Hotel Normandie is a glossy reminder that times change. Thankfully the well-griddles burgers are as sturdy as ever, lovingly overseen by burger whisperer Christian Page.

Ryan Tanaka

Everson Royce Bar

Copy Link

This new Arts District favorite is among the most talked-about beef and bun options anywhere in Los Angeles. Former Mozza lead Matt Molina has turned up the seemingly simple burger to 11, showing that it’s not always about stacking ingredients — sometimes you just have to work with really great product, and not mess with it too much.

Everson Royce Bar

Fatburger

Copy Link

On the other end of the fast food spectrum from the likes of In-N-Out is Fatburger, a beloved local institution with franchise locations worldwide. This is a maximalist place for hearty, hefty burgers that come loosely packed with well-browned beef, and routinely include an egg on top.

Father's Office

Copy Link

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 jammy onions and lots of arugula. It’s Sang Yoon’s modern burger, and one that has spawned a thousand think pieces.

Elizabeth Daniels

Grill 'Em All

Copy Link

Formerly running a food truck, the Grill ‘Em All guys now sling massive burgs (their word) from an unassuming space in Alhambra. They’ve got legions of fans who show up for their overclocked concoctions, and with a full slate of craft beer, heavy metal on the playlist, and wrestling on the TV, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.

Stan Lee

Hawkins House Of Burgers

Copy Link

Watts’ most beloved meal is 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 your hunger — which is exactly what you’ll need when tackling these behemoths.

Hinano Cafe

Copy Link

This Venice staple is a must for anyone heading to the beach. There’s nothing fancy about the burger or the dive bar digs, but that’s the point: this is an everyman’s burger joint, complete with the smoking flattop griddle at the end of the bar.

In-N-Out Burger

Copy Link

Picture one LA burger in your mind, and it's likely to be from In-N-Out. That's how embedded the locally-based burger chain is in the minds of Los Angeles, and speaks volumes of the enduring deliciousness of the Double Double. In short, it's one of the best, most important burgers on the planet.

Irv's Burgers

Copy Link

Once a quaint roadside stand tucked onto the near-end of Route 66, today’s Irv’s Burgers is a different sort of success story. Run for decades now by Sonia Hong and her clan, the new location just down Santa Monica Boulevard keeps the personal charm of the original location without sacrificing the quality of the burgers themselves.

Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson are trying to topple the fast food experience, one burger at a time. Cut with grains and tofu and using a special bun from Tartine founder Chad Robertson, this $4 option is a lesson in restraint and revolution.

Love & Salt

Copy Link

Available off-menu most nights and on-menu during brunch, chef Michael Fiorelli’s so-called Downlow burger is a South Bay mainstay. Folks have been clamoring for the twin-pattied star to make a return ever since chef’s Mar’sel days, and now here it is.

Love & Salt

Original Tommy's Hamburgers

Copy Link

If you consider chili to be a mains staple on any burger — or even just an occasional indulgence — you have Tommy's to thank. The chain is now 70 years into a long run marrying beef, bun, chili, and cheese, and shows absolutely no signs of slowing down any time soon. That's a good thing.

Matthew Kang

Petit Trois

Copy Link

Chef Ludo Lefebvre’s Big Mec is the stuff of legend, with its near-$20 price tag (sans fries) and shimmering photo-worthiness. Double-stacked patties drop with a foie gras-spiked Bordelaise sauce and melted cheddar, an ode to the sloppy burger favorite found at Chicago’s Au Cheval.

Matthew Kang

Pie 'n Burger

Copy Link

Pasadena notoriously 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.

Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

Copy Link

Plan Check has grown from a single location on Sawtelle to destination points all across the city, largely on the strength of his umami-rich burgers. Dense, satisfying, and always well balanced, a Plan Check burger remains one of the better casual dining options — complete with a full bar and one killer fried chicken sandwich sidekick — anywhere in Los Angeles.

République

Copy Link

Chef Walter Manzke’s La Brea restaurant Republique can seemingly do no wrong, as his massive dry-aged lunch-only burger can attest. Loaded with Thousand Island dressing on a housemade poppy-seed bun, this is considered by many to be a true new classic in the burger genre.

Shake Shack

Copy Link

With tons of anticipation built up before they even opened, Shake Shack has delivered on just about every promise with their three LA-area locations in West Hollywood, Hollywood, and Glendale. Sporting long lines, awesome service, and the sort of quality product you’ve come to expect from this booming chain.

Susan Stapleton

The Apple Pan

Copy Link

There is nothing in LA so iconic as a burger from Apple Pan. Wrapped in Formica counter seating and manned by occasionally gruff old men, the restaurant itself is a throwback to a different time. But it’s those burgers, especially the smoked hickory option with a mass of crunchy lettuce and strong pickles, that remain as timeless as ever.

The Golden State

Copy Link

As one of the burger destinations that started the modern upscale craze, Golden State deserves a spot on this list. Their classic Harris Ranch beef burger with bacon and arugula is a timeless look at the early days of a thoughtful burger renaissance.

The Oinkster

Copy Link

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, and still plays spiritual home to LA’s annual Burger Week.

Loading comments...

Belcampo Meat Co.

Belcampo’s $5 fast burger shows what’s possible when good people control every level of a process. Because the team behind Belcampo raises their own beef and owns the humane production line process, a reduced-price fast food-style burger is possible from their multiple LA locations — and it’s one that doesn’t skimp on flavor in the least.

Bills Burgers

This Van Nuys staple continues to impress with its roadside flair and lovable crank of an owner. Fresh meat is brought in daily and patties are griddled in front of customers (mostly because there’s nowhere to hide inside the tiny shack), which means all you’ve got to do is belly up to a stool with a friend and enjoy the show.

Cassell's Hamburgers

Ryan Tanaka

Koreatown’s Cassell’s is a history lesson in real time. Hanging signage recalls the longtime former location not far away, though today’s iteration inside the Hotel Normandie is a glossy reminder that times change. Thankfully the well-griddles burgers are as sturdy as ever, lovingly overseen by burger whisperer Christian Page.

Ryan Tanaka

Everson Royce Bar

Everson Royce Bar

This new Arts District favorite is among the most talked-about beef and bun options anywhere in Los Angeles. Former Mozza lead Matt Molina has turned up the seemingly simple burger to 11, showing that it’s not always about stacking ingredients — sometimes you just have to work with really great product, and not mess with it too much.

Everson Royce Bar

Fatburger

On the other end of the fast food spectrum from the likes of In-N-Out is Fatburger, a beloved local institution with franchise locations worldwide. This is a maximalist place for hearty, hefty burgers that come loosely packed with well-browned beef, and routinely include an egg on top.

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 jammy onions and lots of arugula. It’s Sang Yoon’s modern burger, and one that has spawned a thousand think pieces.

Elizabeth Daniels

Grill 'Em All

Stan Lee

Formerly running a food truck, the Grill ‘Em All guys now sling massive burgs (their word) from an unassuming space in Alhambra. They’ve got legions of fans who show up for their overclocked concoctions, and with a full slate of craft beer, heavy metal on the playlist, and wrestling on the TV, you’re guaranteed to have a great time.

Stan Lee

Hawkins House Of Burgers

Watts’ most beloved meal is 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 your hunger — which is exactly what you’ll need when tackling these behemoths.

Hinano Cafe