The 22 Best Burger Joints in LA
From classic diner versions to Instagram sensations.
It’s super ironic given our international reputation as a health-conscious city, but there’s no doubt about it: LA is still a burger town. California is arguably the birthplace of fast food, and certainly of the drive-thru restaurant. As a result, we've got lots of great burger options in LA—enough that it's worth highlighting the absolute best of the best.
Why is this perennial fave on this list of otherwise non-chain spots? Because a Double Double (especially if you add peppers) still hits the spot like no other. If you’re in a hurry, though, you may want to go elsewhere: since COVID times hit, the lines have been looooooooonnnnnngggggggg.
How to order: Pick-up or drive-through at all locations
When the Window at American Beauty opened a couple years ago, the under-$4 cheeseburger seemed like a revelation. It’s a testament to its greatness that not only have they not raised the prices, but the flat-top grilled, American-cheese-laden deliciousness still seems like a straight classic. The Window’s sandos have been in such high demand that they recently added a stand to the Venice Boardwalk, in addition to their OG brick-and-mortar on Rose.
Burgers Never Say Die
What started as a backyard pop-up out of chef/owner Shawn Nee’s Silver Lake residence, turned into an Instagram sensation, and eventually a brick-and-mortar space on Glendale Blvd. in 2019. Known for its purist smashburgers, the menu is simple and classic and you need not make any modifications to the Regular (a single patty topped with ketchup, mustard, onions and pickles). During COVID, BNSD pivoted to takeout and delivery only, but now is back with a few outdoor tables for summer.
Gigi’s owner Alex Wilmot was the co-founder of NYC burger restaurant Whitmans (known for its take on the Midwest Juicy Lucy), so it’s no surprise that the burger at this Hollywood hotspot is worthy of inclusion. The juicy patty here is topped with caramelized onions, pickles and served on a potato bun with expertly made French fries. The only hard part is scoring a reservation.
Once upon a time—like, say, the mid-to-late-’00s—David Myers’ burger at the now-long-defunct Comme Ça on Melrose was literally the greatest burger in all of Los Angeles. Its return to LA in the now-hot burger neighborhood of Venice is something we all can be grateful for: the classic is the DM burger, which comes with aged Vermont cheddar and secret sauce on brioche, but if you want to next-level it get the new Adrift burger, with gruyere, parmesan, arugula, and pickled jalapenos.
The same minds that brought you Sugarfish and Uovo (which is right next door) are in charge of HiHo, which serves double-decker cheeseburgers made with Wagyu beef from one specific (and delicious) New Zealand farm. The burgers are stacked with lettuce, pickles, ketchup, and onion jam served atop a toasted bun.
Grill 'Em All
The metal-influenced burger shop’s storefront in Alhambra keeps hungry heshers satisfied with combinations like the Jump in the Fire (an unholy concoction of a burger topped with fried chicken, bacon, Sriracha, and maple between two waffles—yes, waffles) and the more-standard Metallica, made with Swiss, avocado, bacon, and ranch.
This burger spot from the Badmaash boys has a nostalgia-fueled take on a double cheeseburger that may remind you of a certain chain’s Double Double, with a tangy, slightly spicy special sauce that is definitely worth ordering a side of for slathering across your order of natural cut fries. They’ve also got milkshakes in rotating daily flavors to help round out your order.
This reopened and revitalized version of the long-closed LA classic nails its burgers, the classic version of which is made from grass-fed ground beef and topped with Thousand Island, tomatoes, onions, and pickles on a Parker House bun. Don’t sleep on the patty melt, though: David Chang has called it the best version he’s ever tasted.
It seems that no one really knows the proper name of this blink-and-you’ll miss it, postcard-sized, Oxnard Street stand, but it doesn’t matter: what you do know is that if they’re open, Bill will be there (like he has been for the past 50-something years) and, maybe more importantly, Bill’s grill will still be there too. The perfectly seasoned flat-top adds an extra something-something to griddled double cheeseburgers that simultaneously taste like childhood and the best thing you’ve had since then. Bill, who is 93 years old, has threatened to retire soon—there were rumors during the pandemic that a sale was imminent—so now maybe is the time to go before he actually hangs his spatula up.
How to order: Walk up and order or call 818-785-4086 for pickup.
The Standing Room
Both locations of the Standing Room offer up massive patties, with toppings like braised short rib that have made them favorites not just for local beach-dwellers, but a destination for burger lovers as well. Prefer a classic burger? Try the Naked, which comes with a half-pound, medium-cooked patty, American and cheddar cheese, a fat slice of tomato, onion, spring mix, and a dollop of ketchup.
“But,” you may argue, “Wasn’t the Father’s Office burger the best burger in LA, like, 10 years ago, grandpa?” OK, that’s true. But knocking the FO burger is sort of like knocking Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band: without it, all the greatness that came afterwards would never be able to exist.
So this is smart: This steakhouse takes the leftover choppings from their Wagyu steaks and grinds them together for this beast, and then tops it with Camembert, cheddar, tomato, red onion, and marrow mayo, all on a miso Dutch crunch bun.
Can you imagine the outcry if we didn’t put this Westside staple on a list of the best burgers in town? This all-American, perfectly salted, freshly made patty is the best late-night option near the beach and tastes even better topped with a hot dog, especially if you’re a few drinks in when you get it.
Originally a pop-up, then a stand at Smorgasburg, and finally a brick-and-mortar at The Line in KTown, Love Hour hits the still-going smashburger trend with thin, crispy, oniony, cheesy greatness. They’re still operating as an order-ahead-a-couple-days-a-week walkup, so make a picnic plan for Wed, Fri, or Sat and head on over.
Everson Royce Bar
Nearly immediately after opening, this Downtown gastropub started getting raves for its deceptively simple and petite burger, made by a Mozza alum and topped with Tillamook cheddar, a fresh-chuck single patty, and mayo. Back with a large COVID-era outdoor seating area, there’s plenty of room to enjoy with your whole crew.
The Golden State
Though the brick-and-mortar version of this LA staple closed due to COVID, you can still get their superlative burger in the evening at Cofax. After over a decade, the burger still remains among the city’s best, mostly because it’s always cooked to perfect medium-rareness, and their ratio of patty-to-bun-to-cheese-to-bacon is impeccable; they also have a smashburger burrito if you want to mix it up.
This brunch spot has been a quiet burger-game contender for years, since the restaurant’s sandwiches are often overshadowed by its (stellar) scrambles. Don’t sleep on these monstrous burgers, though, especially the weird ones —spicy tuna may seem like an oddball topping for a burger, but it seriously works. Seriously.
The Apple Pan
Head to Apple Pan, wait in line to sit on their new picnicky patio (fingers crossed we’ll be able to sit on those swinging bar stools soon) and when it’s your turn get the Hickory burger (some people may tell you to get the Steakburger; those people are wrong): immediately you’ll be hit with nostalgia for a time you probably never even experienced, when burger joints were called soda fountains, everyone behind the counter was a gruff old man, and the sweet, savory taste of smoky sauce and crisp iceberg was as heavenly as it could get.
Pie 'n Burger
Constantly on Best Burger lists of all kinds, this LA diner staple that opened in 1963 is a must-hit that is fortunately still going strong. Pie ‘N Burger is once again offering indoor and patio seating, so head in, put in an order of their stone-cold, simple classic, and save some room for dessert because, well, it’s in the name.
Disciples of the Oinkster crow on and on about its classic Angus beef-pattied burgers, and they’re absolutely right to do so. They’ve essentially perfected the burger with an impressive salt-to-meat ratio that makes it a shame the Hollywood location closed a couple years ago—but blessed that Eagle Rock’s going strong.
Jitlada Thai Restaurant
This ultra-spicy burger was famously off-menu for years, but the colorful owner/chef Sarintip "Jazz" Singsanong has finally added her eponymous patty to the actual menu; the beef is marinated in palm sugar and garlic before being topped with Thai basil and chili, and is wrapped in lettuce instead of buns, for extra crunch (and no extra carbs) (which means you can also order the pad Thai).