The Best Burgers in LA

The LA Burger Bucket List

Los Angeles is a mecca for burgers, from landmarks to New School eateries and even a Michelin-starred French bistro. Read on for more than two dozen of LA's best burger destinations and start checking off your burger bucket list!

Classic Double at Amboy Quality Meats in Chinatown
Classic Double at Amboy Quality Meats | Instagram: @amboy_qualitymeats

Amboy Quality Meats & Delicious Burgers

Located in the former Chego space at Chinatown's Far East Plaza, Amboy Quality Meats & Delicious Burgers lives up to its name with the Classic - a thinly smashed patty is topped with New School American Cheese, caramelized onions, pickles and "Burger Sauce" on a toasted sesame seed bun. Make it a Double for $2 and add chopped chilis for an extra buck. For those with heartier appetites, the DH features a hefty 10 oz dry-aged beef patty. Get "Fancy" with Provolone cheese and garlic aioli.

Chef-owner Alvin Cailan (of Eggslut fame) recently opened a second Amboy at the new Westfield Topanga Social in Canoga Park.

Hickoryburger at The Apple Pan
Hickoryburger at The Apple Pan | Instagram: @applepan

The Apple Pan

With the motto “Quality Forever,” The Apple Pan continues to serve loyal customers as it has since 1947. The current stewards are Shelli and Irving Azoff, who acquired the beloved restaurant from Sunny Sherman and her mother Martha Gamble in 2019 with the promise that there would be no major changes. The Apple Pan is still closed on Mondays and the classic burgers arrive on paper plates, but now credit cards are accepted and you can pre-order on DoorDash. Counter seating is still highly coveted - a pandemic-era patio offers additional seating.

There are two burgers on the menu, and you can't go wrong with either one: the standard Steakburger and the famed Hickoryburger. The latter features a beef patty with a sweet-smoky hickory sauce, mayo, pickles and chilled iceberg lettuce for crunch. Add melted Tillamook cheddar for $1. In another nod to modern sensibilities, both burgers are available with an Impossible patty upon request. And of course, save room for the banana cream pie, baked fresh daily!

Cheeseburgers at Bill's Burgers in Van Nuys
Cheeseburgers at Bill's Burgers  |  Photo: Jakob Layman

Bill’s Burgers - Cheeseburger

Still going strong in his mid-90s, burger legend Bill Elwell personally grills every burger at Bill’s Burgers in Van Nuys. He’s stood behind the same flat-top griddle on weekdays since 1965, bending every burger to his will. His special L.A. style burgers feature seared patties, sliced tomato, shredded lettuce, pickles, and mayo on soft buns. Melted American cheese is a beautiful binding agent. A second patty and crispy bacon only aid matters. NOTE: cash only.

Vegan Cheeseburger at Burgerlords | Photo:  Jakob Layman
Vegan Cheeseburger at Burgerlords | Photo:  Jakob Layman

Burgerlords - Vegan Cheeseburger

Brothers Fred and Max Guerrero launched a Burgerlords window in Chinatown’s Central Plaza in 2015 and added a Highland Park outlet in March 2019. Fred now oversees both Burgerlords locations as well as The Oinkster (see below), following the retirement of their father Andre.

Burgerlords recently reintroduced beef to their menus, but their Vegan Cheeseburger is still one of the best in town. Vegan patties are made daily from barley, roasted mushrooms, eggplant, leeks, chickpeas, cashews and more. The toothsome patty is served with American cheese, tomato, lettuce, onion, and vegan 2,000 Island dressing on a soft "sponge bun."

The Oklahoma at Burger She Wrote
The Oklahoma at Burger She Wrote | Instagram: @burgershewrote__

Burger She Wrote

The smashburger at this counter serve shop in Beverly Grove features a 100% American Wagyu beef patty from Snake River Farms, topped with American cheese, ketchup, onions, pickles, mustard and mayo. Level up with the Oklahoma, which adds thinly-sliced onions that are grilled into the patty. The pared down menu includes hand-cut fries, a grilled cheese and Mexican Coke. The Los Feliz location also offers an Impossible burger, Vegan Caesar and milkshakes.

Double Cheeseburger at Burgers Never Say Die in Silver Lake
Double Cheeseburger at Burgers Never Say Die  |  Photo: Jakob Layman

Burgers Never Say Die - Double Cheeseburger

Burgers Never Say Die chef Shawn Nee built a sensation with the smashburger pop-up he launched with partners in Hollywood and Glendale Tap before going permanent in Silver Lake. Inside their white and red shop, a motto encourages customers to “Always Order Two.” Twin patties tout crunchy meat skirts, ketchup, mustard, pickle and raw onions on a soft bun.

Le Burger at Camphor
Le Burger at Camphor | Instagram: @kdavs

Camphor - Le Burger

Helmed by Chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George, the Michelin-starred Camphor features French bistro fare with South Asian influences. Available only at the bar and on the patio, the luxurious Le Burger starts with a dry-aged beef and duck patty, then adds smoked Gouda, caramelized onions and beef fat remoulade, served on a duck fat brioche bun for added decadence.

Patty Melt at Cassell's Hamburgers
Patty Melt at Cassell's Hamburgers  |  Photo: Jakob Layman

Cassell’s Hamburgers - Patty Melt

Chef Christian Page and his partners at Hotel Normandie helped to revive a Koreatown classic in 2015. A sequel opened adjacent to the Golden Gopher bar in Downtown LA in October 2018.

The K-town location houses vintage signs, an open kitchen, and the restaurant’s original cross-broiler, which imparts a historic sear on both sides. Patties weigh 1/3 lb. or 2/3 lb. and feature a house-ground blend of chuck and brisket. The Patty Melt pairs patties with caramelized onions and a choice of Cheddar or Swiss on griddled rye.

Single Burger at Everson Royce Bar in the Arts District
Single Burger at Everson Royce Bar (ERB)  |  Photo: Jakob Layman

Everson Royce Bar - Single Burger

Sometimes, a Single Burger is all you need. Chef Matt Molina, Silverlake Wine co-founder Randy Clement and partners transformed a rundown Arts District corner into Everson Royce Bar (aka E.R.B.), a lively destination with an open-air back patio and blue bocce court. The Single Burger has drawn praise thanks to a textbook ratio for the griddled Prime chuck patty, sharp Tillamook cheddar, aioli, and toasted egg brioche bun, which join a dill pickle spear. Stop by E.R.B. during Happy Hour and you can get the Single Burger with fries for just $14.

Office Burger at Father's Office
Office Burger | Photo: Father's Office

Father’s Office - Office Burger

The godfather of gastropubs, Sang Yoon garnered national acclaim with his infamous Office Burger, which he introduced at the original Father's Office when he took over in 2000. The polarizing burger is made with dry-aged beef, caramelized onions, applewood smoked bacon compote, Gruyere, Maytag Blue cheese and arugula on a baguette. Yoon became as well-known for his strict "no ketchup, no substitutions" policy as his groundbreaking creation.

Yoon expanded to a more spacious second location at Culver City's Helms Bakery in April 2008. The sleek, elevated space features a full bar with mirror image craft beer and wine taps - 36 per side. In January 2020, Yoon opened his third and largest location in the Arts District, featuring a 200+ person capacity, the signature burger and the same "no ketchup" policy.

The Helms Bakery location has been recognized as a 2023 Michelin Bib Gourmand: "...the elevated wares found in this kitchen are treasured as one of the country’s first (and perhaps finest) craft burgers."

For the Win burgers at Grand Central Market
For the Win burgers at Grand Central Market | Instagram: @dinner_dumpling

For the Win

Chef-restaurateur Santos Uy launched For the Win in March 2020 during the early days of Covid lockdown. A self-described "burger aficionado," Uy pivoted from Papilles Bistro, his Michelin Bib Gourmand French restaurant, as he says on the FTW website: "I’ve always wanted to serve burgers and fried chicken sandwiches for lunch and we had to change our concept to survive, so what better time to implement the new menu?"

The Hollywood strip mall spot became a hit and For the Win now serves one of LA's most popular smashburgers, with additional locations in Whittier, Glendale, and most recently in the former Kismet Falafel space at Grand Central Market.

Available as a Single, Double or Triple (you can add more!), the signature burger/cheeseburger features a lacy 3 oz patty with grilled onions, pickles, and house-made fry sauce - the ubiquitous Thousand Island style inspired by In-N-Out - on a Martin's potato bun. Along with the extra patties, you can customize your order with bacon, jalapeños, and lettuce+tomato.

LA Special at Goldburger
LA Special | Photo: Goldburger


Allen Yelent launched Goldburger as a Silver Lake pop-up in October 2018, then opened a Highland Park walk-up window in May 2020 that became his first brick-and-mortar. Yelent opened a sequel in September 2021 on busy Vermont Avenue, tucked between Skylight Books and the Los Feliz Theatre.

The smashburger specialist features the eponymous Goldburger, a grass-fed 6 oz double cheeseburger with American cheese, grilled onions, fresh pickles, and house-made garlic-mustard aioli. The LA Special adds pastrami and Dijonaise slaw to the proceedings. Offered Monday-Friday till 4pm, the $16 Combo Meal includes a choice of Goldburger, Classic or Americana with fries and drink.

Behemoth Burger at Grill 'Em All in Alhambra
Behemoth Burger at Grill 'Em All  |  Photo: Jakob Layman

Grill ‘Em All - Behemoth Burger

Grill ‘Em All has never been bashful in their approach, topping burgers with everything from sausage gravy to peanut butter. Chef Ryan Harkins and business partner Matt Chernus started with a truck, which won the Food Network’s Great Food Truck Race, before they opened an Alhambra restaurant in 2013. Their Behemoth Burger lives up to its name, featuring a half-pound “burg” sandwiched between two grilled cheese buns with Cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce, bacon, grilled onions and pickles.

Whipper Burger at Hawkins House of Burgers
Whipper Burger at Hawkins House of Burgers  |  Photo: Jakob Layman

Hawkins House of Burgers - Whipper Burger

Hawkins House of Burgers is a legendary Watts burger destination that favors never-frozen Angus beef. Cynthia Hawkins currently carries on her father’s burger tradition. She serves three specialty burgers, including the Whipper Burger crafted with a double patty, lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mustard, mayo, and two devastating toppings: pastrami and a butterflied, griddled hot link on a soft bun.

Short Rib Burger at Heavy Handed in Santa Monica
Short Rib Burger at Heavy Handed | Instagram: @rjacobsonphoto

Heavy Handed - Short Rib Burger

Heavy Handed launched in April 2020 as a pandemic pop-up in the driveway of Danny Gordon's Mar Vista home. Gordon and co-founder Max Miller then rolled out a popular food truck before they opened their first brick-and-mortar in October 2022.

Available as a single, double or triple, the Short Rib Burger features a lacy beef patty topped with caramelized onions, American cheese, house-made pickles and secret "heavy" sauce. The shoestring fries are fried in beef tallow - "Make 'em Heavy" for an extra five bucks, and they'll be served with the same toppings as the burgers.

HiHo Double Cheeseburger at HiHo Cheeseburger
HiHo Double Cheeseburger at HiHo Cheeseburger  |  Photo: Jakob Layman

HiHo Cheeseburger - HiHo Double Cheeseburger

Jerry Greenberg started HiHo Cheeseburger with Matt Levin, Ajay Sahgal and Lowell Sharron in Ojai in 2015. The flagship relocated to Santa Monica in 2017 with more modern branding and patties ground daily, primarily from chuck. The mini-chain has since expanded to locations in Mid-Wilshire, Studio City and Marina del Rey.

HiHo favors a patty made with well-marbled, grass-fed Wagyu beef from First Light Farms in New Zealand. Their signature burger starts with a double portion of patties featuring mustard-grilled beef, cheese, ketchup, onion jam, lettuce, house-made pickles. There's also a more basic Classic Double with just beef, cheese and ketchup.

Double-Double Animal Style at In-N-Out Burger
Double-Double Animal Style at In-N-Out Burger  |  Photo: Jakob Layman

In-N-Out - Double-Double Animal Style

Lynsi Lavelle Snyder carries the In-N-Out banner for grandparents Harry and Esther Snyder, who founded the iconic chain in Baldwin Park in 1948. The Double-Double stars two burger patties, two American cheese slices, raw onion slices, tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, and Thousand Island spread on a soft toasted bun. The not-so-secret Secret Menu includes the famed “Animal Style," which unleashes extra Thousand Island dressing and pickles, mustard-grilled patties, and grilled onions.

Irv's Original Roadside Burger at Irv's Burgers
Irv's Original Roadside Burger | Instagram: @secretfoodieinsta

Irv's Burgers

After a four-year hiatus, Irv's Burgers made a triumphant return in 2022, a half-block from its original location on Historic Route 66. Owner Sonia Hong - she took over the beloved burger stand in 2000 and endeared herself to locals with her delightful "Just for You" doodles - brought on Off the Menu founder Lawrence Longo and chef Armen Piskoulian (Oui Melrose) to update the menu and expand to a second location on La Brea.

Irv's Original Roadside Single Burger features a freshly ground quarter-pound chuck and brisket patty, American cheese, tomato, lettuce, onions, pickles and Irv's sauce on a butter-toasted Irv’s bun. Build your own burger with the Just for You, which is simply dressed with pickles, cheese and Irv's sauce on a sesame seed bun. Customize the burger to your heart's content - options include extra patties, grilled onions, pastrami, bacon, chili, fried egg, Hatch chiles and more.

For an extra $4, you can make any burger "Brady's Way" (includes cheese sauce and fries) and Irv's will donate $1 to Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

Monty's Good Burger
Monty's Good Burger | Photo: Jakob Layman

Monty’s Good Burger

Monty’s Good Burger proved to be such a big hit at festivals like Coachella and Stagecoach that business partners Nic Adler and Bill Fold (Goldenvoice), Erin & Derric Swinfard (Monster Media) and Dirk & Amy Alton (Best Beverage Catering) teamed on a bold plant-based Koreatown restaurant. Locations in Echo Park and Culver City have since followed.

The signature Single Cheeseburger features an Impossible patty with Follow Your Heart vegan cheese, house spread, lettuce, tomato, pickles and grilled onions on a Bosch Bakery potato bun.

The Rampart at Moo's Craft Barbecue
The Rampart at Moo's Craft Barbecue | Instagram: @mooscraftbarbecue

Moo's Craft Barbecue

What began as an East LA pop-up in 2017 has been recognized for the second consecutive year as a Michelin Bib Gourmand. Located in Lincoln Heights, Moo's Craft Barbecue serves up Texas-style BBQ with a Cal-Mex twist. The Smoked Burger is made with a smoked thick patty, topped with American cheese, razor thin onions, house-made dill pickles and aioli on a Martin's potato bun. Available Friday-Sunday only, The Rampart is inspired by the classic Original Tommy's chili cheeseburger (see below) - smoked thicc prime brisket patty, American cheese, yellow mustard, dill pickles and diced onions, topped with smoked Texas chili on a Martin's potato bun.

The Royale at The Oinkster in Eagle Rock
The Royale at The Oinkster  |  Photo: Jakob Layman

The Oinkster - The Royale

Chef Andre Guerrero reinvigorated an old Eagle Rock A-frame and opened The Oinkster in 2006, focusing on crave-worthy comfort food. Following Guerrero's retirement, his son Fred (co-founder of Burgerlords) announced in January 2023 that he was taking the reins.

The Royale is a truly deluxe burger featuring a 1/3 lb. Nebraska Angus beef patty, bacon, chili, pastrami, dill pickles, onions, sliced tomato, crisp iceberg lettuce, Thousand Island dressing, and a choice of American or sharp Cheddar cheese.

Double Chili Cheeseburger at Original Tommy’s
Double Chili Cheeseburger at Original Tommy’s | Instagram: @mrmadmunchies

Original Tommy's - Chili Cheeseburger

There are dozens of Original Tommy’s across L.A. County (and a slew of knockoffs), but the must-visit location is the first one, which founder Tom Koulax opened in May 1946. Located in Westlake at the corner of Beverly and Rampart Boulevards, Tommy’s is open 24 hours and a quintessential late-night LA experience.

Chili is the draw, whether it's in a gloriously messy Single, Double or Triple Chili Cheeseburger; slathered over a hot dog and fries; or piled on a tamale with a slice of cheese, pickles and tomato. Dig in at one of the stand-up counters or enjoy an after-hours feast at your car.

Ode to MOS Burger at Ototo in Echo Park
Ode to MOS Burger at Ototo | Instagram:

Ototo - Ode to MOS Burger

The Chicken Katsu Sando is rightfully a favorite at Ototo, the James Beard Award winning sake bar in Echo Park. But don't sleep on the Ode to MOS Burger, inspired by the Japanese fast food chain of the same name. To bring it full circle, MOS Burger founder Satoshi Sakurada was reportedly a regular at Original Tommy's in the '60s and brought the made-to-order concept back to Japan. The Ode to MOS Burger features a nicely charred patty topped with American cheese, house-made chili, tomato and "special sauce" on a fluffy sesame bun. Available nightly from 5-7pm only.

OyBar Burger
OyBar Burger | Instagram: @oybarla

OyBar - OyBar Burger

Chef-owner Jeff Strauss garnered a loyal following with Jeff's Table, his Highland Park "sandwich speakeasy" that serves up cult favorites like the Dirty Baby chicken salad melt and "Jeff's Special" Reuben. Strauss recently took over the kitchen at OyBar, formerly the Oyster House in Studio City.

The signature OyBar Burger bucks current trends and is not smashed - the thick patty is served with Point Reyes Toma, house-made hoisin ketchup, lettuce, red onion, cilantro, cucumber and Dijon on a sesame "holla" bun. The next-level bar menu is well worth exploring, but the burger is a must.

Big Mec at Petit Trois
Big Mec at Petit Trois  |  Photo: Jakob Layman

Petit Trois - Big Mec

Petit Trois is a classic Paris-style "bar à la carte" from Ludo Lefebvre, wife Krissy and partners Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. While many menu items would be instantly recognizable in the 6th Arrondissement, Parisians would no doubt be stunned by the Big Mec at Petit Trois locations in Hollywood and Sherman Oaks. The decadent double cheeseburger features twin patties, melted American cheese, garlic aioli with minced pickles, and a cascading pool of sticky Bordelaise sauce on a brioche bun.

Cheeseburger at Pie 'n Burger in Pasadena
Cheeseburger at Pie 'n Burger in Pasadena  |  Photo: Jakob Layman

Pie ‘n Burger – Cheeseburger

Pie ‘n Burger is a Pasadena favorite near Caltech that dates to 1963. Current owner Michael Osborn has worked there since 1972. Their griddled burgers come with Thousand Island dressing, iceberg lettuce and pickles on a soft bun. Swiss cheese complements the seared meat. A neon clock by the entrance features a coconut cream pie at the center of the clock hands. Listen to the clock for more than time.

Dry-aged beef burger at Republique
Dry-aged beef burger at Republique  |  Photo: Jakob Layman

Republique - Dry-Aged Beef Burger

At République, the multi-faceted Mid-City restaurant and bakery from chefs Walter Manzke and wife Margarita Manzke, brunch is always in session during the day. Their dry-aged beef burger has become a customer favorite, featuring a substantial, medium-griddled beef patty made with equal parts short rib and Prime dry-aged ribeye; American cheese, caramelized onions, and special sauce (ketchup, mayo, house-made pickle relish) on a house-baked, poppy seed-studded pain de mie, served with French fries.

Tokyo Burger at The Rose Venice
Tokyo Burger at The Rose Venice | Instagram: @therosevenice

The Rose Venice - Tokyo Burger

Jason Neroni is fluent in comfort food at The Rose, a juggernaut that reopened in 2015 and draws throngs of Silicon Beach techies, bohemian Venice denizens, and every person in between them on the spectrum.

Available on the lunch and weekend brunch menus, the Tokyo Burger is made with aged ground short rib, Japanese curry, avocado, miso mayo, teriyaki, caramelized onions, bacon and "shredduce" on a sesame seed bun. An Impossible version is available; both burgers are served with house potato chips.

The Dinner Burger at Salt's Cure
The Dinner Burger at Salt's Cure | Instagram: @saltscure

Salt’s Cure – Dinner Burger

Chef Chris Phelps showcases sustainable, humanely raised animals at Salt’s Cure in Hollywood. Phelps introduced The Dinner Burger in July 2023, featuring a ribeye and brisket patty; house-cured bacon, smoked gouda, caramelized onion, arugula and Dijon mustard on a pretzel bun.

Double Cheeseburger with fries at The Win-Dow
Double Cheeseburger with fries | Photo: The Win-Dow

The Win-Dow at American Beauty

Burgers don't come any more straightforward - or more affordable - than at The Win-Dow, a takeout window attached to the American Beauty steakhouse in Venice (there's another location in Silver Lake). The smashburger patties are flattop grilled with onions and topped with American cheese, pickles and house sauce on a potato bun. The Cheeseburger is just $4.25, the Double is $7.50 and the veg-friendly Beauty Burger with Impossible patty is $8.25.