Diner Most-Loved

LA’s 34 Most Popular Burgers

Did you really think the city subsisted on avocado toast alone?

14 min read
6/22/2022
super smash burgers - original smash burger

We all know LA loves its burgers. Smash, double stack, Impossible, turkey, or housemade quinoa-black bean. If you’re craving it, you can find it. Here are your top picks for when you’re in need of something meaty, maybe a little cheesy, and on a bun. The green smoothie in your cart, well, it can wait until tomorrow. 

burgers 99 - burger

1. Burgers 99

We’re grateful for the arrival of Burgers 99. Fairly new on the LA burger scene, it comes from the family behind one of our favorite Indian spots, Badmaash. Who knew they also loved cheeseburgers? In 2020 they opened their burger shop. With only a few burgers to choose from, the menu is short and to the point. The double cheeseburger is classic for a reason. Oh, and they do breakfast, too, if you happen to be craving a bacon, egg, and cheese. 

2. Shake Shack

This restaurant needs no introduction. We all know it and love it. The ShackBurger is this century’s Big Mac. The Shake Shack story all started as a “shack’ in New York’s Madison Square Park and has spread everywhere from Dubai to, likely, right around your corner. When we’re in the mood for some Shack, we go for the avocado bacon burger and a side of those crinkle-cut french fries. You’ll be missing out if you don’t also grab a frozen custard for dessert. 

fathers office - burger

3. Father’s Office

At this point Father’s Office is an institution, and the burger is the thing to order. They have rules here, no substitutions being one of them. The way they make it is the way you get it. They won’t take off the onions for you, but trust us, you want them. The trademarked Office Burger is the perfect combination of a dry-aged beef patty, caramelized onions, bacon, Gruyère, Maytag blue cheese, and arugula. Grab a Petrus Aged Pale Sour to go along with it, and if you’re feeling slightly virtuous, maybe a beet salad, too, because they happen to also have greenery on the menu. 

4. Blair’s

Blair’s is definitely not a “burger place,” but it is a really good restaurant with a really good burger on the menu. Their first location opened in 2002 in Silver Lake, and in 2016 they expanded to a second one in Eagle Rock. I mean, we love their polenta with meatballs, the eggplant Parm, and creamed kale with garbanzos, but let’s be honest, you’re here for the burger. It’s as classic as they come, with a lightly toasted sesame bun, meat cooked to your desired temp, melted gooey cheddar, and a generous helping of pickles to finish. The fries are included, but if you want, you can substitute them with a vegetable side instead. 

the black cat - burger

5. The Black Cat

The Black Cat has been a fixture of Silver Lake since the ’60s. It also happens to be the site of the first documented LGBTQ+ civil rights demonstration in the U.S. Additional fun fact: It also makes one the city’s greatest hamburgers. It comes topped with raclette cheese, melted onions, shredded lettuce, and sweet and tangy pickles. They do an excellent vegetarian version, too. We’d recommend the Little Gem Caesar salad or the roasted corn with miso mayo and fermented hot sauce if you’re looking for alternatives to a plain old side of fries. 

6. Messhall

At this Los Feliz restaurant, it’s all about all-American comfort food like mac and cheese, biscuits, and kale Caesars — but it’s the burger we’re always coming back for. Their Mess Burger comes topped with cheddar, caramelized onions, bread-and-butter pickles, and smoky sauce on a brioche bun. It comes with a side of their double-fried thick-cut house fries. Get a warm fudge brownie for dessert. It comes á la mode, with caramel sauce. 

true food kitchen - burger

7. True Food Kitchen

At Pasadena’s True Food Kitchen, burgers might not be the first thing that comes to mind. You’d likely think the menu might lean a little more toward grain bowl than grass fed, but you’d be wrong because they do both. Yes, you can certainly get your teriyaki quinoa bowl, but you can also indulge a little and grab an umami-packed burger that’s topped with mushrooms, caramelized onions, organic arugula, Parmesan, and mayonnaise on a flaxseed bun. They also do a turkey version topped with smashed avocado, organic tomato, butter lettuce, smoked Gouda, and a jalapeño remoulade. 

8. The Win-Dow

We really can’t get enough of this spot. Its Venice and Silver Lake locations are open seven days a week slinging some of the city’s most satisfying and affordable burgers and sides. Burgers start at $4.25 — yup, $4.25! It’s fast-food prices, but oh, so much better. Grab one of their smash-style burgers, a single or double, and always cheese topped. The patties are hand-formed and flat top-grilled, and they come with American cheese, pickles, and house sauce. If you’re going meatless, they do an Impossible version with their Beauty Burger. For the non-burger eaters, they also do a $7 grain bowl or a kale salad. 

perch la - sliders

9. Perch LA

You might know this DTLA restaurant for its view. It does occupy the 13th floor of the Pershing Square Building right in the middle of downtown, but we promise the food is just as good — that’s why we deliver it. It’s French-leaning, but the sleeper hit of the menu is their burger. The Perch Burger is a Pat LaFrieda beef patty served on a brioche bun topped with shallots, lettuce, Gruyère cheese, and garlic aioli. It comes with your choice of rosemary-thyme frites or a green salad. 

10. M Cafe 

There’s no beef on the menu at this Hollywood macrobiotic café, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be leaving hungry. Their meatless options are just as satisfying. They have two burgers, a grilled tuna that’s an ahi tuna patty topped with a teriyaki glaze, avocado, shiso leaf, pickled red onion, daikon sprouts, and spicy yuzu mayo served on a sesame brioche bun, and The New Big Macro, a whole grain and vegetable meatless patty, vegan provolone, special sauce, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, and alfalfa sprouts served on a sesame brioche bun. Both come with a choice of side; continue on the healthy route with crispy Brussels sprouts, or go big with a side of sweet potato fries. 

barneys gourmet hamburger - onion burger

11. Barney’s Gourmet Hamburgers

If you like choice when it comes to your burger, Barney’s is for you. With over 20 to choose from, there really is something for us all. For the mega carnivore, there’s the one-pound Big Barney’s Burger that’s a flame-broiled patty topped with lettuce, red onion, tomato, and pickles and served on a French roll. For the more adventurous, they have Asian-, Caribbean-, and Moroccan-inspired options. If we had to choose just one, our heart belongs to the Alpine, topped with melty Swiss cheese, sautéed onions, and mushrooms.

12. Superba Food + Bread

You come here for the bread and pastries, but stay for the food. We’re grateful that they’ve expanded to four locations throughout the LA area. Of course, we’d recommend getting an order of the namesake Superba Breads, a sampling of three of their breads of the day served with butter and chives, but that’s to-go alongside their slam dunk of a double cheeseburger. It comes on a housemade brioche roll and is topped with yellow cheese, Superba sauce, onion, and pickles. 

little pine - light burger

13. Little Pine

This Silver Lake restaurant is 100% plant-based and yet indulgent at the same time. It was founded in 2015 by musician and activist Moby with the idea of giving back to many animal-based charities. The menu isn’t filled with “health food,” but with comfort food such as truffle-flecked rigatoni, eggplant steak, chocolate chip cookies and, of course, a show-stopping burger. It comes topped with beet pickles and garlic-onion jam on a toasted bun. The herby fries it comes with are a welcome addition. 

14. Bourbon Steak

It’s no surprise that at chef Micheal Mina’s steakhouse the burger is impressive. He also gives you options — six, to be exact — from the ultra-decadent Camembert-, caramelized onion-, and truffle aioli-topped black truffle steak burger to the more healthy-leaning, slightly spicy BBQ organic salmon burger. It's topped with jalapeños, cilantro, ginger aioli, cucumber, and a sesame-chile sauce. You should likely add an order of their Famous Duck Fat Fries that comes with a trio of housemade sauces. 

the butchers daughter - burger

15. The Butcher's Daughter

Another option for your burger fix that has ample veggie choices. Everything is vegetarian at this all-day Venice café where they treat fruits and vegetables as a butcher would meat: chopping, fileting, and carving vegetables into dishes like mushroom calamari and crab cake sandwiches. Their burger, though? Definitely one of the best veggie options in the city. Go Impossible or for the housemade beet and kelp patty. Both come on vegan brioche with a side of potato wedges. 

16. Sage Plant Based Bistro & Brewery

It’s all plant-based at Sage. This vegan restaurant’s Echo Park location has been open for over two decades, and for good reason. The menu is long, catering to everyone from the brunch crowd to those looking for really good dairy-free ice cream. Yes, the sweet potato pancakes and the baked brownie sundae are delicious, but it’s the Cali Avocado Pesto Burger that keeps Sage in rotation. The tempeh-based burger is different from most of the others we’ve tried, especially since it comes topped with avocado and pesto. It’s savory and nutty. 

gjusta - cheese burger

17. Gjusta 

Another member of the Gjelina family we all know and love. You’ll likely be most familiar with the restaurant because of its legendary bread and pastries. Or maybe because of their very cute shop next door. We’re not saying to skip the anchovy toast on sourdough, but don’t overlook the burger. They have two on the menu: a veggie and a double cheeseburger made with grass-fed beef. Both come on a house-baked ultra-soft pain de mie bun with a variety of toppings.

18. Public School 213

At this restaurant, ordering a burger is a no-brainer. It’s the kind of place where ordering anything else might seem a little suspect. Choosing which one is the tough part. They veer from the over-the-top Our Famous PB&J Burger that comes with crunchy peanut butter, blackberry habanero jam, and bacon on a brioche bun to the tamer appetite, the Backyard BBQ Burger with Gruyère, bacon, peppered mushrooms, arugula, tomato, and a whiskey barbecue sauce.

19. Lunetta All Day 

This Santa Monica café is a strong choice for any meal of the day. A true California restaurant, the menu is inspired by whatever is in season and looks good at the farmers market. They put the same love and care in sourcing their meat as they do their produce, and that’s what makes their L.A.D. Burger one we keep ordering. It’s Snake River grass-fed beef topped with caramelized onions, beefsteak tomato, aged white cheddar, and Marie Rose sauce.

tartine - burger

20. Tartine Santa Monica

You likely know about Tartine because of its legendary bread. They kind of invented the new style of sourdough that everyone has been obsessed with for the last few years. Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt started back in San Francisco 20 years ago and have expanded to multiple LA locations. Who would’ve thought they would make a damn good burger? It’s a grass-fed beef patty topped with cheddar, onion-bacon jam, arugula, and pickle mayo, served on a sweet potato bun. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to grab a country loaf for later, either. 

21. Gus’s BBQ

A little slice of true Southern hospitality in LA County. With three locations spread throughout the city, fingers crossed you’re in delivery distance. Of course, as the name indicates, they do barbecue here — your brisket, pulled pork, and brick chicken — and they do it very well. But they also do burgers: The All-American and Gus’s Famous. If you’re in the mood for a little barbecue in your burger, Gus’s Famous is the way to go; it comes topped with barbecue sauce, shredded onion strings, and smoky bacon. 

urth caffe - turkey burger

22. Urth Caffé 

Burgers definitely aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when we think of Urth Caffé. It’s more of a smoothie, matcha latte, or enormous salad kind of place, but next time you’re in the mood for a turkey burger, we’d recommend theirs. It’s a 10-ounce ground turkey patty seasoned with herbs, sea salt, Worcestershire, and tomato, grilled well and served on a rustic roll with Dijon mustard, mayonnaise, lettuce, and tomato. No need for red meat. 

23. Masa of Echo Park

Masa has been a fixture of Echo Park since 2004. Its location right on Sunset was once home to an auto body shop but is now home to some of the city’s best pizza. They are known for their version of Chicago-style deep dish. They also do a great burger, aptly named The Masa Burger, that’s a half-pound seasoned beef or Beyond patty on a toasted Cuban roll with cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and aioli. Both versions come with a dill pickle and a side of crinkle-cut fries. 

the manchester - burger

24. The Manchester

The food at this Westside spot is meant to be familiar. It’s new American, but with a refined-yet-rustic twist that uses local and fresh ingredients. The burger is the thing to get; it’s classic. Topped with American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, and secret M Sauce, served on a potato bun. Dare we say it’s a better version of a certain fast-food classic? 

25. Super Smash Burgers

At Super Smash Burgers, you’re definitely leaving with a burger, and if you can guess by the name, they are certainly smash-style, meaning the patty has an ultra-crisp, browned, griddled crust. There are eight different options to choose from, from the Original Smash Hamburger — two patties, cheddar cheese, and garlic aioli on a potato bun—to the more over-the-top BBQ Bacon Cheeseburger, a patty topped with cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickles, amplified with a mound of bacon, onion rings, and tangy barbecue sauce.

souley vegan - black bean and quinoa veggie burger

26. Souley Vegan

Another strong choice for the plant-based among us and those plant-curious. This Creole-leaning East Hollywood café is run by chef-owner Tamearra Dyson, who has been cooking vegan since she was 18. The menu is sprawling, filled with comforting soul-food classics — and also two burgers. The seitan-based Ain't Gator Po’Boy is great and all, but so is the housemade black bean and quinoa burger. It comes topped with onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, and garlic aioli. If you’re looking for something heftier, try the Pray 4 Me — double-stacked housemade patties with vegan cheeze, coleslaw, onions, tomato, pickles, ketchup, and a secret spicy sauce.

27. Saddle Ranch Chop House

This restaurant has been a fixture of the Sunset Strip for over two decades. It’s definitely got a theme — let’s say “rock meets Western” — and, fun fact, it is home to Hollywood’s only mechanical bull. Not super relevant for delivery, but still. Grab one of their burgers: We’d recommend the signature Hollywood Burger, topped with a balsamic, red onion and bacon reduction, crumbled Gorgonzola, and mixed-green lettuce on a toasted brioche bun. Don’t worry, you can skip the bull ride. 

forma - cheese burger

28. Forma Restaurant

We love Forma. We normally go to this Westside Italian restaurant for the pasta and arancini, but they also have a cheeseburger that is worth putting in the rotation. The restaurant is born from two restaurant veterans, Piero Topputo and Mario Sabatini, who aren’t skipping any steps when it comes to sourcing their ingredients. The burger is natural beef chuck, topped with Fontina, avocado, arugula, and aioli mustard and served with perfectly skinny, crispy fries. 

29. Wise Sons Deli

This Culver City restaurant is a take on California-inspired Jewish deli food. Everything is made in-house with the best ingredients available; that includes everything from the hormone-free meat for the pastrami right down to the Guittard chocolate in the rugelach. Their burger is a fusion of deli and fast food. It’s two smashed grass-fed beef patties topped with melted cheese, pastrami jam, garlic aioli, red onion, and pickles on a griddled challah bun. A new Jewish-American classic. 

the cat and fiddle pub & restaurant - quinoa burger

30. The Cat And Fiddle Pub & Restaurant

At this Michelin Bib Gourmand pick pub, the burger is a standout choice. Yes, they have all those British pub classics like Scotch eggs and shepherd’s pie, but they also have four burgers to choose from. You’ve got your traditional Angus beef and the namesake Cat & Fiddle, gussied up with English bacon, Gloucester cheese, and caramelized onions. For the vegetarians, there are two options: Impossible or a housemade cauliflower-red quinoa patty. 

31. Lala's Grill 

They take their meat very seriously at Lala’s. This Argentinian steakhouse has two LA locations to bring you everything from New York strips to perfectly grilled salmon. In terms of burgers, you have options. We like the blue cheese burger, certified Angus beef that comes topped with lettuce, tomato, and blue cheese on brioche. But if pungent cheese isn’t your thing, don’t worry. Grab a regular burger with Argentine sauce or maybe a chimichurri-topped salmon burger. 

great maple - steakhouse burger

32. Great Maple

Great Maple bills itself as a modern American eatery, and we’d agree. It’s a family-friendly restaurant that does a killer brunch, but you can’t claim to be an American restaurant without having one of the most American foods on your menu. The Steakhouse Burger is a stunner — it’s a thick patty topped with aged white cheddar, arugula, tomato, pickled red onions, and aioli. If you want to get a little fancy, maybe top it with an over-easy egg. 

33. Carbon Beach Club

The only Malibu pick on our list is this PCH-adjacent restaurant located in the Malibu Beach Inn. Yes, the seaside view is spectacular, and eventually you should go, but we know traffic is bad, and tonight isn’t that night. But don’t worry, we’ll bring the beach eats to you. The burger is a hearty classic — a grass-fed patty topped with melted Tillamook cheddar, herb aioli, red onion, and lettuce on a pan de mie roll, served with your choice of fries or salad. They do a  Beyond version, too. 

bossa nova - bossa burger

34. Bossa Nova

There’s a little taste of Rio over at Bossa Nova, but also a whole lot of other things. The menu is extensive, with everything from Brazilian-style sausages to bolinho de bacalhau, aka salt cod fritters. They have burgers, too — many of them. The Bossa Cheeseburger is our pick — it’s a half-pound Black Angus patty topped with white cheddar, mayo, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions. We’d recommend getting a side of plantains because that’s an option that’s tough to find anywhere else.


Author

Kyle Beechey

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