LA wears its health badge proudly. We have enough kale salads, farro power bowls, and probiotic moon juice thermal chambers for any and all who want to jump on board our crazy train to eternal life. But we can also be pretty unhealthy when we want to be. Case in point - our burgers. From old-school greasy Valley shacks to gourmet truffle patties to the best goddamn fast food chain in existence, LA knows its way around a solid burger. You just have to know where to look. That’s where we come in. We’ve scoured this city looking for the best so you don’t have to. Here are the top 21 best burgers in the city of LA, ranked according to extensive scientific analysis (aka, what our taste buds think of them).
The people who don’t like Father’s Office are the same people who don’t like Titanic - going against popular opinion simply makes them feel important inside. Well, congratulations to the sheep people, you stuck around and are still eating the best burger in town. FO’s is basically considered the original gourmet burger - topped with caramelized onions, gruyere and maytag cheese, bacon compote, and arugula. It’s the perfect combination of being completely different than anything else and also tasting incredibly familiar. It’s not so entirely gluttonous your day’s ruined afterwards.
Residing only on the brunch menu, 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 in the best way possible. Oh, and it’s also served at Animal. Good luck trying not to order everything else on the menu.
The burger the entire city obsesses about is the Big Mec at Petit Trois. A double cheeseburger to end all double cheeseburgers, this monster is topped with caramelized onions that should belong in French onion soup, aioli, plain ol’ American cheese, and a red wine sauce that is rumored to have foie gras in it. The highlight though? The patty, which actually tastes like a steak. You’ll be very messy when you’re done here, 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. Except at Connie & Ted’s - where the burger might just be the best thing there. And that’s no diss to their other food, the burger is just that good. Come hungry as this burger is big, but skip adding the bacon on top - there’s already plenty going on here.
Many Angelenos might not really have Pie ’n Burger on their radar because it’s out in Pasadena, but this place is a SoCal legend. The dingy little lunch counter has been around since the 60’s, and its cheeseburger is one of our best. Lettuce, onions, American cheese, and all of their housemade special sauce dripped over an old-school greasy patty. Don’t f*ck with a classic.
There are a couple of different ways to burger at Belcampo. You can go the Fast Burger - a blatant Shake Shack rip-off, done with Belcampo’s signature conscience (grass-fed, organic, free range, fluffy mattresses to sleep on) - or, our favorite, the Belcampo Burger. This is A Very Big Burger (they are not kidding around with that half pound patty) that comes with an even bigger mound of fries. Still simple, with lettuce, cheese, onions, and sauce, but very, very satisfying.
Surprise, surprise. The true California golden boy easily makes this list because not liking In N Out is like not liking freedom - we take it for granted when it’s the very reason we can all live our lives to the fullest. It seems impossible that an entity so large could be so consistent at every single location you go to, but that’s just the way In N Out operates - aside from the fact that it’s dirt cheap and there are entire spreadsheets dedicated to secret menu items. Get the double-double animal style or live your life below average.
Say hello to the most underrated burger in LA. Truffle isn’t something you just throw around (onto food or unexpecting friends), but luckily, The Tripel knows exactly what they’re doing with it. Combined with an apricot jam on top (not to mention a duck confit, pork, and beef patty), this thing could frankly all go wrong very quickly, but it doesn’t. Considering that The Tripel’s Playa Del Rey location is the perfect neighborhood hangout spot, this is your ideal post-beach burger binge.
It’s pretty hard to find something you won’t like off Plan Check’s menu, but when it comes to the burger, this thing is operating on an entirely different level than everything else. The patty itself is fantastic, but for us it’s the crunch bun (actually kind of crunchy) and something they call KETCHUP LEATHER™. It’s legitimately trade-marked.
Irv’s is a West Hollywood classic. Its original 1950’s walk-up window was sadly taken over by a terrifying outdoor lounge called Beach Nation a few years ago, but Irv’s landed on its feet at a new order-at-the-counter space just a few blocks down on Santa Monica Blvd. Good news - the burgers haven’t changed a bit. This is still your no-frills, tomato/lettuce/onion double cheeseburger and it’s still great. And at $3.10, the best deal in town.
ERB’s burger might not look like much on the plate - but don’t be fooled. This thing has more flavor than it knows what to do it, and feels like a burger from that place in your hometown you always stop in first to when you’re back for Christmas. Another bonus? It’s not so massive that after eating one you’ll have to go home either. And at a place as fun as ERB, no one wants to leave early.
You probably roll your eyes when your friend who lives in Venice suggests Gjusta AGAIN. We get it - one of us is the friend who lives in Venice and the other is the eye roller. But it’s worth making the effort to try the burger here - like everything else at Gjusta it’s both a bit overpriced and really tasty. The big patty is topped with gruyere, a smoked tomato confit, arugula, pickles and aioli, making for a deliciously juicy mess. Obviously the seeded bun is kind of the best part.
We’re aware of the scene that is Cecconi’s on the weekends, but if you make your way to the Weho spot during Happy Hour (Tues - Sat, 4pm - 7pm), you’ll be rewarded with a burger that has no business being as good as it is. Running just $7, Cecconi’s black truffle burger isn’t just delicious, it’s one of the better deals in town as well. The layer of pancetta on top keeps the truffle from overpowering, and the whole burger in general feels compact and conducive to still being able to go about your night afterwards.
We always prefer a restaurant to tell us exactly how to eat their burger, but when it comes to Bowery - we make the exception. The only build-your-own spot on the list, Bowery is a testament to just how good their actual patty is. While there are plenty of enticing toppings to choose (hello, fried egg), our advice is to keep things simple - gruyere cheese, onion confit, and avocado. You can technically choose your own bun too, but getting the English muffin is an actual requirement.
Another LA institution, Apple Pan has been open since at least the early 1600’s and is probably the best-known name in LA burger lore. And while the classic hickoryburger isn’t our absolute favorite among the old-school spots, nothing beats stopping in for a quick lunch at their nearly 70-year-old West LA counter. Come pay your respects.
Button Mash became an overnight sensation for having an awesome arcade and serving even better Chinese food to its tipsy patrons. But did you know they have a burger that rivals any in town? Now you do. There’s nothing exceedingly different about it, and that’s what we love. A classic double cheeseburger with housemade pickles and all the American cheese they could find. And you thought their Pac-Man game was going to give you childhood nostalgia.
If this list was about all-around experience, Bill’s, a tiny shack opposite a hubcap store in Van Nuys, would be right up the top. The double cheeseburgers are perfectly fine, but you’re here for Bill, the lovably grumpy burger flipper who will work his way around the seven seats around the counter, showing you the Mr. T talking keychain he seems to have only just realized is a thing. He’s been doing this for over 50 years, and some of the customers have clearly been regulars since the beginning. It’s also cash only, mostly because they’re using the original cash register. Go here.
Who doesn’t love a feel good burger story? After a quick decline a few years ago, Cassell’s closed up its 70-year-old shop and the classic burgers seemed gone for good. Fast forward to now, and Cassell’s is operating out of a cool retro space (with most of the furniture from the old location) inside Ktown’s Hotel Normandie. And the burgers? Better than they ever were before. You can add a fried egg or bacon on top if you’re feeling powerful or uncomfortably high, but it doesn’t need it. The patty itself is just that good.
Located on that block in Franklin Village where every LA improv actor goes to network with no one, Oaks Gourmet is for all intents and purposes a wine and beer store. But they also have a full menu home to our of our favorite burgers in town. With bacon, arugula, tomato, jalapeno and pineapple compote, and taleggio cheese on top, the Dry-Aged burger is a hardly a practice in subtlety, but it is excellent.
Stout is one of the few places on this list that doesn’t have one burger you should eat. And it’s because they have seven. Whether it’s the fried egg and bacon-topped Morning After or the quinoa patty and chutney Bollywood burger, you can’t go wrong here. Sure, Stout has several locations around town these days, but don’t let that scare you off. The quality has remained at every location and so have those great, low-key vibes.
If there was ever such thing as a “light” burger, it would be the Harvest Burger at Bondi Harvest. Sure, this ‘light’ burger has bacon and parmesan cheese, but somehow won’t make you feel in need of a nap afterwards. Australian burgers are generally a less heart attack-inducing affair (unless you order one “with the lot” - google it), so this is a good option for when you’re looking for something different.