Since the beloved cheeseburger was (allegedly) invented in Pasadena in the 1920s, the L.A. area has long been home to a thriving burger culture.
These are 9 spots that do burgers right, in no particular order:
① Comme Cą in West Hollywood
Once a lunch special, the house burger ($18) is now a full-time menu fixture. Its prime beef, Vermont cheddar, shredded lettuce, house-made ketchup-mayo dressing and perfect brioche bun make it one of the best burgers in town.
② Hole in the Wall Burger Joint in Santa Monica
Construct your burger Choose Your Own Adventure-style at this hidden gem. Opt for the pretzel bun and you'll know you've chosen well ($8.95).
③ The Larchmont in Hollywood
Just like The Larchmont itself, the California Grass-Fed Burger ($18) is quite the surprise in this converted craftsman-style house. Chef Cody Diegel goes umami-rich with oven-roasted tomatoes, buttered onions and cave-aged Kaltbach cheese from Switzerland. It's a messy creation that's worth the extra napkins.
④ Pie 'n Burger in Pasadena
This pie shop has been cranking out their classic hamburgers ($7.05) since 1963. It may not be much to look at, but these paper-wrapped throwbacks will take you to a simpler time.
⑤ Stout in Santa Monica, Hollywood and Studio City
This mini empire has you covered in both burgers and beer. Incorporate breakfast in between the buns with The Morning After ($11), an egg- and bacon-topped beast with aged cheddar and chipotle ketchup.
⑥ Father's Office in Santa Monica and Mid-City
The Office Burger ($12.50) launched a million imitators (for good reason). Sang Yoon's oblong creation has arugula, Maytag blue cheese, caramelized onions, bacon and Gruyère, which come together to form a sort of fancypants Captain Planet-style burger.
⑦ The Apple Pan in West L.A.
Grab a seat at the counter to order The Hickoryburger ($7.10), which was once voted "America's Best Burger" by Men's Health magazine. The secret's in the hickory sauce, a smoky hybrid that sits right between ketchup and BBQ sauce.
⑧ The Golden State in Fairfax
The evolution of Fairfax Avenue can be traced to the opening of Golden State in 2009, when the neighborhood's stalwart residents and its new crop of hipster skaters found common ground in this small cafe's superb bacon and cheddar burger ($12).
⑨ Hinano Cafe in Venice
If you're looking for a simple beach burger, look no further than the decidedly un-gourmet beauty at this dive bar, literally steps from the ocean. The World Famous Cheeseburger/Hamburger ($6) comes with chips and pickled cherry peppers, along with a view of all the flip-flops your eyes can handle.
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