Los Angeles has a (pretty well-deserved) reputation as the land of kale salads, farro power bowls, and probiotic Moon Juice thermal chambers, but there’s something else this city does better than most: burgers.
From old-school Valley shacks and gourmet truffle patties to the best fast food chain in existence, there’s no denying LA knows its way around an incredible burger. And we’ve scoured the city looking for the absolute best. These are the top 25 burgers in Los Angeles, ranked. You can get back on the goji berries or whatever tomorrow.
The single burger at Everson Royce Bar isn’t just a tutorial in simplicity, it’s the ultimate example of how the damn thing should be done. Don’t expect overbearing sauce, unnecessary fried egg, or soggy vegetables - ERB’s burger is just prime beef chuck, Tillamook cheddar, and pickles all sandwiched between an egg brioche bun. It’s a perfect burger that we’d happily drive to the Arts District every week to eat.
When you just want a burger that looks like an emoji, there’s no better place in Los Angeles than HiHo. Yes, it’s dangerously close to the Promenade. Yes, the room feels a little too much like a fast-casual restaurant. But no, none of that should stop you from coming here. The bun is squishy, the double patties taste like the grill, the cheese and onions get all over your hands, and there’s only the tiniest bit of lettuce involved. Also, we appreciate the fact that you can have a full meal, including fries and the tasty key lime pie, for under $20.
Many people say a burger without a bun isn’t really a burger, and to them we say please find your nearest Screaming Into The Void self-help group, then try the burger at Jitlada. This legendary off-menu item at LA’s best Thai restaurant comes bun-less, drenched in a house honey-mustard-ish sauce, and topped with whatever Thai chiles they have in the kitchen at the moment. It changes slightly every time you order it, but you can count on a ton of heat and a patty with the perfect amount of sweetness.
Electric Owl is a train-station-themed bar/restaurant on Sunset that most people come to for Happy Hour, when they can drink a bunch of $6 cocktails on the front patio. And while we certainly condone that, what’s more important here is the smashburger - which isn’t available on the Happy Hour menu. But you won’t mind paying full price for this giant burger on a parmesan bun topped with griddled shallots, pickles, horseradish-mustard aioli, and white cheddar cheese. It’s special. So special we’d tell you to travel across the city in rush hour just to eat it.
Offered only on the brunch menu (but also pretty reliably as a special most nights at dinner), The Boner Burger is pretty close to a masterpiece. With a patty consisting of short rib, ground chuck, and bone marrow topped with poblano chili, caramelized onion, and “420” sauce, there’s nothing subtle about this thing. It’s a glorious, over-the-top mess. Oh, and good luck not ordering everything else on the menu, too.
Petit Trois’s Big Mec is the double cheeseburger to end all double cheeseburgers. Topped with American cheese, caramelized onions that taste like French onion soup, and a red wine sauce that (may or may not) have foie gras in it, this is an absolute monster of a burger. The highlight is the patty, which tastes more like a steak. You’ll be very messy when you’re done with it, but also very, very happy.
Burgers at a seafood restaurant are generally there to appease 10-year-olds who hate their parents for dragging them to a place with sea creatures on the menu. But at Connie & Ted’s, the burger might just be the best thing on the menu. Skip adding the bacon on top - there’s already plenty going on here.
Button Mash became an Echo Park staple for its excellent selection of arcade games - and its surprisingly excellent menu. But a little-known fact is that their burger is one of the best in the entire city. There’s nothing exceedingly different about it, and that’s why we love it. It’s just a classic double cheeseburger with house-made pickles and all the American cheese they could find. And here you thought it was their Pac-Man game that was going to give you childhood nostalgia.
In-N-Out is a lot like freedom - we take it for granted, but it’s the very reason we can all live our lives to the fullest. It seems impossible that a business so large could be so consistent at every single location, but that’s just the way In-N-Out operates. You already know why this place is a Los Angeles classic, just like you already know that the only acceptable order is double-double animal style. Don’t @ us.
Veggie burgers usually fail when they attempt to taste like real meat. Luckily, Spoke Bicycle got that memo. The veggie patty at this outdoor cafe in Frogtown is made with smoked mushrooms and beets, then topped with arugula, pickled onions, tomato, and garlic aioli. The result is a burger that’s not only rich and smoky, but will actually fill you up, too. The griddled bun is also very good, and you shouldn’t miss the waffle fries.
No burger in the city has caused more friendship implosions, breakups, and multi-generational family disputes than the one at Father’s Office - especially when it comes to the infamous “no ketchup” policy. But here at The Infatuation, we’ll track this classic down every time we’re in Santa Monica (or at their second location in Culver City). Topped with caramelized onions, gruyere and Maytag blue cheese, bacon compote, and arugula, this is the perfect combination of sweet, salty, and extremely tangy. It’s also not so ridiculously heavy that you can’t go on with your day afterwards.
Blue Dog is the kind of burger-and-beer bar that every neighborhood wishes they had. Located right off the 405 in Sherman Oaks, you can show up on a Saturday at noon, and by 2pm, every person on your street is there, too, drinking craft beer, watching sports, and eating one of our favorite burgers in the Valley. There are actually seven different burgers on the menu, and while you can’t go wrong with any of them, the Fire Starter is our usual order. Pepper jack cheese, crispy onions, jalapeno bottle caps, and their own honey chipotle sauce, on a giant half chuck/half brisket patty. It’s so good you won’t even care that your team is unraveling in the 4th quarter. Again.
Laurel Tavern is a neighborhood bar in Studio City, and the spot where everyone in the Valley grabs a drink and some food while they wait for the after-work traffic on Laurel Canyon to die down. And by “food,” we mean the Laurel burger. Topped with honey mustard, cheddar, caramelized onion, shredded lettuce, and dill pickles, this burger is a perfectly balanced classic that’s always a better choice than sitting on Laurel Canyon.
Big Dean’s has been a staple of the Santa Monica boardwalk for well over 100 years, and we’re still not tired of burning through Saturday afternoons here. And while the multiple patios, relatively cheap beer, and flat-screen TVs have a lot to do with that, it’s their cheeseburger that really keeps us coming back. Two perfectly greasy patties, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, and house special sauce - it’s as classic as a burger gets, and exactly what you want to be eating on your day at the beach.
The newest spot on this list, and also the most difficult to find - right now, they’re at the old Beer Belly space in Koreatown on Saturdays, and Smorgasburg every Sunday. You’ll have to check their Instagram to see where else they pop up, but Love Hour is worth seeking out. This smashburger spot keeps it simple - you choose between a single or a double (the double has the best meat-to-bun ratio), and then add your own toppings like you’re at a cookout. The edges of the burger get nice and crispy, but unlike other smash spots, it’s not overly greasy, so the bun stays intact... and that’s tougher to pull off that you think.
Approximately 99% of the food at Cecconi’s does not need your attention. The 1% that does, however, is the black truffle burger. It’s only available on their happy hour and late night menus, but at just $9 (during happy hour), it isn’t just delicious - it’s one of the better burger deals in town. The layer of pancetta on top keeps the truffle from overpowering everything else, and the whole burger feels compact, and therefore conducive to functioning after your meal.
Yes, it’s a burger without a bun. No, that doesn’t matter. This fun Japanese restaurant in Koreatown has a menu full of everything from curry udon to okonomiyaki, but everyone is here to eat the Original Hamburg. Arriving as a giant marinated ball of raw beef, you cook it on a sizzling hot stone grill, essentially turning your table into a make-your-own smashburger station (only without the bun or unneeded grease). It’s a simple, straightforward dish, but when the quality of meat is as high as it is here, you don’t need any add-ons to cover it up.
Lasa is family-run Filipino spot in Chinatown that’s been one of our favorite restaurants for a couple years now, but it’s their bistek burger that we’re concerned with. Specifically the fact that it seems to come and go from the menu. When they have it, get it - because this double-patty burger is mind-blowing. It comes on a potato bun topped with soy sauce marinated onions, edam cheese, and calamansi (a citrus native to the Philippines) aioli. But this burger goes from good to great the second you dip it into the tiny cup of bistek au jus on the side.
Gran Blanco is right by the Venice Boardwalk, but this trendy spot is definitely not a beach dive like Big Dean’s or Hinano. The burger, though, can stand up to what’s being served at those other excellent beachside spots. Appropriately called The Tremendous Burger, it’s two perfectly greasy beef patties covered in caramelized onions on a bun with mayo and lettuce, and while it’s a bit pricey ($18 is a lot for a bar burger) it’s also an excellent new addition to the pantheon of Westside beach-bar burgers.
Speaking of beach bars: Hinano is Venice’s best beachside dive - a place with sawdust on the floor, guys who haven’t left their seat at the bar since the ’60s, pool tables in the back, and a handful of confused-looking tourists. More importantly, it’s a place with a great, no-B.S. burger. This is another super-traditional option, one that’s grilled right behind the bar and comes in a basket with a bag of chips on the side. You could add a hot link or bacon if you want, but this is one that’s pretty perfect as it comes.
The menu at The Apple Pan proudly proclaims it’s had “The same ownership and management since April 11, 1947,” at that’s about all you need to know. This LA institution has more than earned its place in LA burger lore, and while the classic hickory burger isn’t our absolute favorite among the old-school spots, it’s still pretty tasty. Come pay your respects.
Located on that block in Franklin Village where every LA improv actor goes to network with anyone within earshot, Oaks Gourmet is, for all intents and purposes, a wine-and-beer store. But it’s also got a burger so good you don’t even care that you’re next to two full-grown adults doing “Yes, and...” drills. With bacon, arugula, tomato, jalapeno and pineapple compote, and taleggio cheese on top, the dry-aged burger is fantastic.
You better serve a damn good plant-based burger if you want it to compete with real meat - and Honeybee, the vegan spot in Los Feliz, does exactly that. This tiny spot next to the Los Feliz 3 theater serves a greasy, great In-N-Out-style burger, complete with secret sauce and vegan American cheese. Get it with an Impossible patty - it still gets crispy like beef, and doesn’t leave a funky taste in your mouth the way other fake meat might. If you’ve given up meat but still feel like fast food every once in a while, or you recently started dating a vegan and want to earn (dairy-free) brownie points, Honeybee is your spot.