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The Best Burgers In Los Angeles

October 29, 2011 11:58 AM

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If you see two Angelenos engaged in a heated debate, chances are they’re arguing about who makes the city’s best burger. Though it may be tough in this burger-crazed town to reach consensus, it sure is fun doing the research. From fast food to fine dining, here are ten of our favorites.

img 1912 The Best Burgers In Los Angeles

The Number One (credit: Bj Dahl)


25 Degrees

7000 Hollywood Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 785-7244

Named after the difference between a medium-rare and a well-done burger, 25 Degrees has three amazing things going for it: An executive chef who gets it, prime real estate and one of the best burgers in town. Located inside the iconic Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood, Chef Tim Goodell offers a couple of pre-fab burgers as well as a healthy selection of goodies to create your own. However, for my money, the mix of bacon, gorgonzola and caramelized onions in the “Number One” make it the clear winner. This is especially the case after you’ve spent the majority of the evening ponied up to the bar at Public Kitchen & Bar, The Spare Room or Library Bar, all located inside the hotel. Open 24 hours.

featured apple pan The Best Burgers In Los Angeles

(credit: Flickr/IK's World Trip)


Apple Pan

10801 W Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 475-3585

The motto at this L.A. classic is “Quality Forever,” and the tiny counter-only burger stalwart lives up to both parts of the slogan. “Quality” comes from the plump juicy burgers (available hickory or steakburger style) served on simple white buns with an optional slice of Tilamook cheddar. The “forever” comes from the joint’s genuine retro vibe, with its vintage signage, the old-school register, and the kitchen staff in white paper hats. Sinking your teeth into the succulent burgers, you get the sense that it just might be 1947, the year Apple Pan began.

featured yucas The Best Burgers In Los Angeles

(credit: Flickr/Richard Moross)


Yuca's

2056 Hillhurst Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 662-1214

It may be a bit disconcerting at first to order a burger at this tiny taco and burrito stand, wedged into an unassuming Los Feliz parking lot. But in addition to making a mean cochinita pibil, carne asada, and machaca, Yuca’s grills up a mighty fine burger. The super thin patty soaks up the juices from the carne asada on the grill, giving this flat, fast food style burger a whopping punch of flavor, forcing even the most devoted burrito fan into a difficult ordering conundrum.

featured fathers office The Best Burgers In Los Angeles

(credit: Flickr/Hella TJ)


Father's Office

3229 Helms Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 736-2224

1018 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 393-2337

Little goes better with a burger than a beer, and this impossibly hip duo offers the best of both. An impeccably curated list of craft brews, paired to match the small but satisfying food menu, gets beer buffs going, but it is the famed burger that has hipsters lining up in the street. Alterations to the dry aged beef burger — cooked rare — and topped with sweet, caramelized onions, Maytag blue and gruyère cheeses, bacon compote, and peppery arugula  are frowned upon.  But this burger proves that Father really does knows best.

featured lazy ox The Best Burgers In Los Angeles

(credit: Katie Robbins)


Lazy Ox Canteen

241 South San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 626-5299

No other burger in town gets the unadulterated pleasure of “medium rare”, better than the gorgeous specimen grilled up at this Little Tokyo gastropub. Though artfully decked out with buttery cantal and a tangy special sauce and piled on the perfect platform of a toasty housemade bun, the burger remains the star.  With a perfect sear outside and an interior that like the best steak tartare sings the glories of utter beefy goodness.


The Back Abbey

128 Oberlin Ave.
Claremont, CA 91711
(909) 625-2642

The Back Abbey takes that quintessential burger and beer combination and kicks it up a notch with a selection of more than one hundred brews and a sublimely constructed hamburger to match – the eponymous Back Abbey, dressed to kill with pungent aged gouda, caramelized onion, crisp bacon, micro greens, and a creamy mustard aioli.


Rustic Canyon

1119 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 393-7050

Befitting the warm tones and cozy vibe of Rustic Canyon, the Santa Monica wine bar run by Los Angeles’ first culinary couple,  Zoe Nathan and Josh Loeb, is the bistro’s hearty, two-hand burger, topped with all the gourmet trimmings. The beef is Niman Ranch, which is then piled high with a hot mess of sharp cheddar, onion fondue, sweet pickles, and herb remoulade. Don’t be embarrassed as you lick your hands clean – everyone else will be doing it too.

featured comme ca The Best Burgers In Los Angeles

(credit: Dylan Ho)


Comme Ca

8479 Melrose Avenue
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(323) 782-1104

The New York Times called it “perfect.” Jonathan Gold called it the best burger in town. We call it dinner, as often as possible. An uncomplicated, straightforward rendering of the classic bistro burger, Comme Ça’s creation is crowned with a thin slice of cheddar and a simple cabbage slaw and cushioned by a pillowy brioche bun. And most importantly, the aged Angus beef truly is cooked to perfection.

OC Favorites

We’re hard at work eating our way through burger joints in Orange County, so until we release our picks for Best Burgers in OC, we thought we’d wet your appetite with a couple of our favorites.

featured haven burger The Best Burgers In Los Angeles

(credit: Nicole Caldwell Photography)


Haven Gastropub

190 South Glassell Street
Orange, CA 92866
(714) 221-0680

The namesake burger at this OC gastropub is a thrilling hot mess of flavors, piling creamy Saint Agur blue, zesty arugula, tangy red onions, earthy roasted peppers all on a perfectly packed patty — best ordered medium rare.


Riders Club

1701 N. El Camino Real
San Clemente, CA
(949) 388-3758

The new burger on the block, the rendition at San Clemente’s Riders Club Café is already winning accolades as one of Orange County’s best. Served on an eggy challah bun with lettuce, onions, housemade pickles, and a choice of toppings from a poached egg to roasted pasilla peppers, we’re betting this brand new burger’s got some serious staying power.

Katie Robbins is a freelance journalist, based in Los Angeles, CA.  Check out her blog at www.katiesallierobbins.com.

Bj Dahl is the Editor of CBSLA.com

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