Ever get so hungry you could eat a horse? Well, no need to resort to that drastic (yet disturbingly legal) option. If you’re in the LA area there are tons of great options for food – especially burgers. Here are ten of the best places in and around La-La Land to get a top notch burger, sure to satisfy even the biggest of big hunger cravings. So check ’em out!
1) In-N-Out Burger
In-N-Out Burger is 100% pure beef. Always fresh, never frozen. This 50’s style joint has been serving up good, fresh, made to order burgers since 1948. Their options are great and their special sauce is to die for. You can get a hamburger, a cheeseburger or a double double. If you’re feeling particularly wild you can try animal style, which is where they grill mustard right into the burger while they are cooking it. They serve cheese fries smothered in warm gooey cheese, and grilled cheese sandwiches. For the super hungry they also serve the 3×3, which is a triple cheese burger and the 4×4, which is a quadruple burger. In-N-Out has a lot to offer including dining inside or outside.
“What made it so good? It was just a soft, plain bun with a well-seasoned, thinnish patty of good meat, a slice of tomato, “hand-leafed” lettuce (whatever that means) and Thousand Island-like sauce. It was one of the best burgers I’d ever eaten — fresh, juicy, wonderfully charred, just perfect. The most important thing about a burger is not its patty per se, nor its bun, nor its condiments, but the burger’s gestalt — the way all those elements work together to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts. This burger had it.”
– Leslie Brenner, Dallas News
If you want a cheap, fresh, tasty burger than In-N-Out Burger is the way to go! Hey, go for the special sauce alone, yum!
2) Umami Burger
Umami Burger makes itself unique by using special ingredients and flavors such as: Miso, Worsterhire, Balsamic and Parmesan to awaken the “fifth” taste bud, as the owner calls it that capture the savory flavors. The Umami burger is house ground beef with oven-roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, parmesan frico, sautéed shitake mushrooms, and house made ketchup. Now if that doesn’t sound like a mouthful of bliss to you, than I don’t know what will. The house made ketchup alone makes this burger pretty special.
“Yes, it’s that good. The themes that ran through Umami Santa Monica were consistency, precision, and intensely satisfying flavors. They truly shamed almost every other burger that we have tried in Los Angeles by executing everything perfectly. This was an exemplary case of quality ingredients prepared with great care. If you have not tried Umami Burger, do it soon, because you NEED to try the best burger in Los Angeles / the Best Burger in America.”
– The Burger Review.com
If you want a burger that’s juicy and has flavor, Umami burger is for you. There are ten savory burgers to choose from on the menu all of which will leave your mouth watering.
FatBurgers are big, juicy and made just the way you want ‘em! They are always juicy, they are always fresh and the cheese is always melted just right. The buns are never stale or hard, but fresh and tasty. You have your choice of toppings for your burger: onions, pickles, lettuce, tomato, mayo, mustard, ketchup, special sauce. And the best part is you don’t have to get just a single burger you can get the double or the triple! Much like In-N-Out they have a 50’s style inside their restaurants too, which comes complete with a jukebox and all. However some of the establishments are only drive thrus, but that doesn’t matter because you can still get the same great food whether you are sitting inside the restaurant or sitting inside your car.
“But more ballsy than that is the option they offer of putting a whole fried egg in their sandwiches. This tasty addition amps up the cholesterol and saturated fat count to…well, I don’t wanna know. Point is, it’s such a perfect combination that I wonder why other joints don’t follow suit. The egg complements the ground beef patty, not masking but enhancing the beefiness in a way cheese never could. Ordering the “Baby Fat” is the usual way I mitigate eating a burger with an egg. Slightly bigger than a White Castle slider and also a lot heftier and thicker, the “Baby Fat” is still the smallest of the brood at Fatburger — but it’s enough of a meal for me when accompanied with a mound of crispy Skinny Fries and those delectably crumbly Homemade Onion Rings. Bigger eaters can order the name sake Fatburger or the regal-sounding but gut-busting Kingburger, which will put anyone on a fast track to look like the Man himself, John Goodman.”
Who doesn’t want a fresh cheeseburger that’s never been frozen made exactly the way they want it? Then you throw Fatburger‘s signature jukebox into the mix and you’ve got heaven!
4) Pie ‘n Burger
Pie’n Burger is a good old fashioned diner with a great diner burger. The burger is so good in fact that the locals justifiably worship it. With homemade Thousand Island dressing, melted cheese, pickles and lettuce, it is easy to see why the locals are eating this burger up. While inside you can also enjoy traditional fountain drinks and tasty pies and the feeling of being in a dinner. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think you can beat that feeling of sitting in a booth in a good diner with your friends and enjoying some good talk and some great food.
“With onion, lettuce, great dressing, deliciously melted cheese, various other ingredients, and a quarter pound of succulent meat, you can see why this venue has a reputation as a good burger joint. The fries are traditional, cut in such a manner more accustomed for a diner restaurant. The malts are good here too, but even better is the pie that comes afterward. The cheesecake is fantastic, but choose any pie and you’ll order more to go. Peanut butter meringue is highly recommended too and you’ll find that they’re all delicious pies. It’s a simple menu but each item is done extremely well.”
– Privy 5, Los Angeles City Guide
If you want the full diner experience with a great, delicious burger then definitely visit Pie ‘n Burger. They have it all, even malt shakes and yes, pie!
5) Go Burger
Go Burger offers 100% Black Angus beef burgers, and features familiar BLT Burger favorites, as well as new signature burgers, like the “UltiMELT” and the Smashed Burger. There is also a Turkey, Salmon and house-made Veggie Falafel burgers for the healthy eater. The “UltimMELT” sounds like it’s probably the best thing since sliced bread. Here is what it is: A Black Angus beef patty, caramelized onions, bacon, and go burger sauce between two slender rye and gruyere grilled cheese sandwiches. Um, can anyone say yes please? The smashed burger is interesting as well. It is a grilled hand smashed burger studded with onions and topped with American cheese. Go Burger is nothing if not original, and the dining experience tops it all off with its modern décor.
“The quality of the beef is evident. I really enjoyed the depth of flavor, but it could have handled a bit more seasoning and coarser grind. While the temperature was right on my patty, there wasn’t the hefty crust I look for. The soft bun is a very good rendition of the classic commercial variety that gets a nice toasting. The toppings are all fresh and pleasing and make for a decidedly upscale, yet classic flavor. What I did truly enjoy was another Signature Burger, the Prime STEAKHOUSE Burger. It was my favorite of the burgers I sampled, but at $18, it doesn’t come cheap. If you aren’t thrown by the price tag you’ll enjoy a custom blend of 30-day dry aged prime beef. In this case, they use brisket, short ribs, and sirloin. The patty has that fantastic and distinct dry aged flavor, but the beef doesn’t reach the full-blown funkiness that can turn some people off. I actually liked GO Burger’s mellower version. The caramelized onions were cooked nicely so as to add some sweetness and the patty itself was powerfully juicy.”
– Damon Gambuto – A Hamburger Today, Serious Eats
If you want to try a unique burger in a modern dining area than Go Burger is the place to do it. They have a variety of different burgers you can choose from, even healthy ones! So, if you are looking for something just a little bit different you’ve found it.
Stout has six signature burgers. The Stout burger, The Goombah, Shu burger, Imperialist, Six Weeker and the Morning After all paired with different beers that go well with the burger. (Provided you are a drinker). The Stout burger consists of blue cheese, Emi guyere, rosemary bacon, caramelized onions, horseradish cream and roasted tomatoes and they have it paired with a malty high alcoholic beer like an IPA or a barley wine. They also serve sweet potato fries. The ambiance inside is that of a warm, upscale pub. They even have a hanging beer chandelier. Stout is big on the alcohol so if you are a connoisseur of any kind you definitely want to check it out.
“The first burger I sampled was the signature Stout Burger. The beef patty (you can also choose chicken or veggie if you must) is an economical six ounces that is a proprietary grind. From what I tasted, I suspect you’d find a little flank along with the expected chuck. It’s nicely (and freshly) ground to a medium coarseness. They add some blue cheese, “emi” (sic) Gruyère, rosemary bacon, caramelized onion, and horseradish cream. The bun is the “gourmet” staple brioche-style, but this one is actually a bit smaller than I normally come across and matches the smaller patty nicely.”
– A Hamburger Today, Serious Eats
Looking at the Stout burger menu makes my mouth water, so I can only imagine what would happen should I actually sit down and eat one. Then to be able to wash it down with a great beer? Well that’s just icing on the cake. And who doesn’t like icing on their cake? Two thumbs up for Stout!
7) Rustic Canyon
Rustic Canyon offers a burger that is made with fresh Farmer’s Market ingredients. It comes with sharp cheddar cheese, onion fondue, house made pickles, herb remoulade and an option to add bacon or a farm fresh egg. It also comes with hand cut French fries. Enjoy this burger while dining inside a classy warm lit dining room with enclosed booths and tables in the middle of the room. The cozy warmth of this restaurant will make you never want to leave.
” Rustic Canyon’s burger is, like the rest of its menu, a contemporary take on a very old tradition that manages to tease out the best from both. Funke has worked up a burger that is so thoroughly delectable that I’ve found myself mentioning it as one of the best I’ve come across anywhere. I’m so glad it’s local.”
– A Hamburger Today, Serious Eats
Just the term “Rustic” makes me want to go inside and have a taste. The critical acclaim only helps matters, it sounds as if Rustic Canyon makes one snazzy burger and they add a bit of class to it as well. This burger or any of their burgers sound absolutely delish!
8) Oaks Gourmet Market
Oaks Gourmet Market is a small neighborhood market serving a high quality gourmet burger, they also offer a vegetarian burger for those non meat eaters out there. The dry aged burger is a half a pound of meat blended with taleggio cheese, black forest bacon, red onion, tomato, baby arugula, and their smoked jalapeno-pineapple compote on toasted brioche. Enjoy a unique shopping experience in this quaint little market while you wait for your burger to be made. They have a wide variety of things to choose from including wine, cheese, and gourmet jarred items like pickles and peppers.
“Go get this burger now, especially at a fair price of $11.50. The dry aged meat makes this one of the beefiest burgers in town. The other crap they put on it is not all that great, but the bun is decent and the meat really shines. I highly recommend this burger for the dry age aficionados out there. This burger meat alone easily makes this one of the best in LA. Go eat it now.”
Sounds like Oaks Gourmet Market is a sweet little place with a mighty tasty burger! Their use of gourmet flavors topped with Arugula makes this burger sound like a dream. I’d like to have one now please?!
9) Bill and Hirokos
Bill and Hiroko’s offers a cheap yet satisfying burger from a small stand in Van Nuys, with a sign that states: “You can’t have it your way! This is not Burger King!”. The owner makes the burger HIS own way, by putting a freshly ground patty onto the grill along with chopped onions and some bacon. Then he puts fresh white buns onto the grill for a light toasting. When the burger is done it is served with the onions and bacon from the grill then lettuce, tomato, and mayo. It is served to you his way and his way only and it has been that way since the stand opened in 1965.
“Moving slowly, Bill opened the undercounter and pulled out two freshly ground patties, plopping them onto the grill along with a small mound of chopped onions and two slices of bacon. Fresh white buns hit the grill for a requisite toasting. Within minutes the burger was dressed with lettuce, tomato, and mayo and wrapped in paper. This burger is a thing of beauty, a hallmark of simplicity in an age when almost every “gourmet” burger cannot elude arugula or brioche. This is what an In-N-Out aficionado might consider ideal, with the melty American cheese binding the elements in its wonderful industrialized ooze.”
This sounds like a place that would make me feel all American. A small walk up stand with few tables, you order your food, you sit down and you enjoy it outside in the fresh air. The fact that the burger itself sounds amazing just adds to the Americana of it all. Makes me want to sing: “And I’m proud to be an American, cause at least I know I’m free.” I say definitely check it out, sounds like good eats to me!
10) Comme Ça
Comme Ça offers authentic French bistro cuisine with fresh ingredients. The Comme Ça burger is a special blend of certified Black Angus beef and Vermont cheddar served with pomme frites. The dimly lit dining room and the cozy seating areas make this a very warm and inviting place to have a good meal. There is a full bar and art work hanging on the walls. The vibe this place exudes makes me want to go in and stay all day. Vive La France!
“The genius of his Comme Ça burger is that it is consistently juicy, perfectly seasoned and precisely medium-rare. The patty is charred on the outside and rosy pink from edge to edge. It is a radical improvement on what most people already do, but it’s not much more complicated. His trick is to treat the burger the way many chefs do a steak. He puts a good hard sear on both sides using his plancha, the freight train of flat tops, then transfers it to a 375-degree oven to finish cooking. After it comes out, there’s a built-in resting period while he toasts the buns and makes a last-minute lettuce salad.”
– Jane Sigal, The New York Times
Comme Ça sounds like it offers a pretty inspiring burger. A lot of time and thought goes into the preparation and presentation of this one. I believe it shows that the chef truly cares about giving the best product to the customer, wanting to leave them satisfied. I would try this in a heartbeat.