Best Burgers in Los Angeles

Heavenly Hamburgers in the City of Angels: Bite into L.A.'s Best Burgers

Some of the most famous hamburgers in the world have been born in and around Los Angeles, including the iconic In-N-Out Burger and the more-recently famed Umami Burger. Even the McDonald's fast food chain started in Southern California, although most Angelenos wouldn't rank a Big Mac as one of the 10Best in town. But Californians know and love their burgers and will fight passionately over which restaurant serves up the top beef patty – with all the fixins', of course. Imagine burgers enhanced with truffles (like at Umami), burgers piled high with extras (think of the tater tot waffle on the Spicoli Burger at Hey 19 Public House) or huge patties made with Wagyu, America's version of Kobe beef (found at Boneyard Bistro). You'll find burgers on English muffins, burgers on brioche, burgers smothered in Brie and burgers that are made in the classic way, with a white-bread bun, lettuce, tomato and American cheese. There's something for every taste in the countless burger joints across the L.A. basin; these are our 10Best picks.


Los Feliz
Hache LA
Photo courtesy of Hache LA

Hache LA puts a Gallic spin on the hamburger, with impressive results. This Los Feliz burger joint makes only steakburgers. ground in house using 100 percent all-natural, hormone- and antibiotic-free Angus beef. That's part of why their burgers are so good; the other reason revolves around all the different toppings that get piled on. Try the Roaring Forties, a gooey combination of blue cheese, caramelized onions and portobello mushroom, slathered in a horseradish sauce, but be sure to have plenty of napkins nearby. Or go for the Habanero, with its four-chile mix, garlic mayonnaise and queso fresco for a spicy bite. Pair your burger with select beer, wine or Hache's non-alcoholic speciality drinks (try the Mojito Iced Tea) and a pile of crunchy French fries while sitting on the large patio and you'll have a meal to remember.

Recommended for Burger because: A relatively new entry in the burgeoning hamburger scene in L.A., Hache LA has made its mark as a serious contender for making the best burger in town.

Jenny's expert tip: Save room for Hache's liquid nitro frozen custard desserts.

Read more about Hache LA →

Pie 'N Burger Diner
Photo courtesy of Vanesser III

Since in 1963, this classic diner has been serving up a legendary classic hamburger. In fact, George Motz's "Hamburger America" lists Pie 'N Burger as one of the best burger joints in the whole country. This little Pasadena diner has been wowing food critics for decades – and for good reason. Their cheeseburger is a thing of beauty, a quarter-pound patty of fresh beef fried up on a griddle, then piled high with pickles, American cheese and a large slab of iceberg lettuce. Then their "secret sauce" (a house-made Thousand Island dressing) is added, the whole thing is wrapped in white paper and ready to delight. Make sure to add an order of crispy fries and leave room for a piece of their wonderful homemade pie, just like Grandma used to make back in the day.

Recommended for Burger because: Consistently rated as a top burger spot in Los Angeles, the Pie 'N Burger makes a classicly crunchy hamburger that purists will adore.

Jenny's expert tip: Save room for some baked peach pie!

Read more about Pie 'N Burger Diner →

Sherman Oaks
Boneyard Bistro
Photo courtesy of Boneyard Bistro

At Boneyard Bistro, all their burgers are made with 100 percent Snake River Farms American "Kobe Style" Wagyu beef, presented in your choice of a five- or eight-ounce patty. Build your own, with ingredients including cheese, bacon, avocado or grilled onions; they'll even slap on a slab of two ounces of foie gras for $15 extra! But the real winners are the "Chef's Creations," special concoctions like "The O.M.G." that's piled high with onion rings, house-made bacon, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onions, pickles and more. The chef asks that no substitutions be made on these special burgers; and they actually post a warning (and something of a dare, we think) on the "Burn in Hell" Burger, written in all caps and saying: EXTREMELY SPICY! NO MERCY! NO REFUNDS! It's got poblano and jalapeño peppers and is smothered in a habanero aioli.

Read more about Boneyard Bistro →


An upscale twist on the ever-growing emergence of elite gastropubs all over Los Angeles, Stout Burgers and Beers offers unique gourmet burgers served with a dizzying selection of handcrafted draft micro-brewed beers. The menu suggests beer and burger pairings with the sole purpose of bringing out the subtle flavors of the house-ground meat, which is cooked medium rare for fullest flavor. Pair the hugely popular Six Weeker, a hearty burger topped with brie and fig jam, with a fruity ale; or try the Goombah, a fat beef patty topped with parmasiano flakes, smoked mozzarella, crispy proscuitto and a lemon basil aioli, and pair it with one of their Pilsners or IPAs.

Recommended for Burger because: The juicy, messy burgers found here paired with one of Stout's special lagers or ales are a burger maven's dream come true.

Jenny's expert tip: Park in one of the nearby city parking garages, or take the Metro to the end of the line in Santa Monica; Stout is nearby.

Read more about Stout Burgers and Beers →

Umami Burger
Photo courtesy of Umami Burger

When founder Adam Fleishman opened his first Umami Burger location in 2009, even he had no idea Angelenos would go crazy for his uniquely flavored hamburgers. Using umami, the fifth taste flavor (after sweet, salty, bitter and sour), to make his gourmet burgers practically irresistible, Fleishman's recipes have taken SoCal and beyond by storm. Now with more than twenty locations across the U.S., he obviously hit on a winning savory and bold taste sensation. All Umami burgers are made with beef that is freshly ground in house and served medium rare; the classic version has Parmesan frico, shiitake mushroom, roasted tomato, caramelized onions and house-made Umami ketchup. The most decadently delicious one on the menu is the Truffle Burger, smothered in truffled aioli, house truffle cheese and a truffle glaze. Every restaurant serves up wine and beer, too, for a complete dining experience.

Recommended for Burger because: Since 2009, when the first Umami Burger opened in L.A., this casual restaurant has taken the world by storm with its unique flavor profile.

Jenny's expert tip: Order the decadently delicious Truffle Burger for an extraordinary hamburger experience.

Read more about Umami Burger →

Messhall Kitchen
Photo courtesy of Messhall Kitchen

For the one of the best hamburgers in Los Feliz, hit Messhall Kitchen. Located in the domed building that once housed The Brown Derby restaurant and later The Derby nightclub, the structure is now a protected Historical Cultural Monument of the City of Los Angeles. Messhall is an easygoing watering hole that locals seem to love, probably because of its luscious burgers paired with wide-ranging (and funny) drinks. Try The Mess Burger, an oversized beef burger topped with slow-cooked onions, Vermont cheddar, bread-and-butter pickles and a smoky sauce, all presented on a homemade brioche bun. Wash it all down with a sip of White Girls Can't Drink if you like vodka, or go for the Pride, w/Liberal Amounts of Prejudice if scotch is your poison. And you can even bring you dog along, as the restaurant's large patio is pooch friendly.

Recommended for Burger because: Classic burgers or specially crafted ones (like the Pork Belly & Sausage Burger), this is a place that takes making burgers very seriously.

Jenny's expert tip: Go on Monday nights, which is Messhall's Burger Night, featuring a menu of craft burger specials that changes every week.

Read more about Messhall Kitchen →

Hey 19 Public House
Photo courtesy of Hey 19 Public House

Hey 19 Public House has all kinds of wonderful food on the menu, but the burger that makes this fun South Bay gastropub stand out is actually an off-the-menu choice. The Spicoli Burger honors Jeff Spicoli, Sean Penn's burnout character from "Fast Times at Ridgemont High'; and while we're not sure how this applies to that stoner dude, we do know that this burger is world-class good. You'll need to open wide to eat a Spicoli Burger, stacked high with a tater-tot waffle, mac & cheese sauce and bacon bits, with an eight-ounce Niman Ranch natural beef patty anchoring this beautiful mess. Lots of napkins are necessary by the time you've finished this beauty.

Recommended for Burger because: A seriously cool gastropub vibe combined with fabulous food and serious cocktails make Hey 19 not-to-be-missed hot spot in L.A.'s South Bay.

Jenny's expert tip: For a decadent experience, order the Spicoli Burger even though you don't see it on the Hey 19 menu.

Read more about Hey 19 Public House →

The Bowery
Photo courtesy of The Bowery

The Bowery is a little bit of New York City in the heart of Hollywood (literally, it's located at Sunset and Vine), a tiny place that changed the mood of Los Angeles a decade ago. The place is the brainchild of NYC native George Abou-Daoud, whose idea for The Bowery was simple. "I wanted to open a bar that had really good food," he says, and ten years later, he's obviously doing something right. The Bowery Burger, a grass-fed beef burger served on an English muffin is legendary, smothered in cheese and BBQ sauce with a choice of toppings like mushrooms, onions, bacon, avocado, etc. Belly up to the bar and chow down, or simply settle into the comfortable banquette. And don't be surprised if you see a famous face sitting nearby, for this is a popular place with stars who love the Bowery's hassle-free ambience.

Recommended for Burger because: L.A.'s original gastropub, The Bowery makes one of L.A.'s most popular burgers.

Jenny's expert tip: Personalize your burger with jalapenos, red onion confit, garlic, avocado, bacon and more.

Read more about The Bowery →

In-N-Out Burger

No visit to Los Angeles is complete without a visit to one of the iconic IN-N-OUT Burger fast-food places, founded by the Snyder family in 1948. Everything is made fresh to order here, nothing is ever frozen, which is part of the enduring appeal. Locals order from the "not-so-secret menu" that includes favorite items such as the animal-style burger, which is built on a mustard-cooked beef patty, or (for the ravenous carnivores in the crowd) the 4 x 4 , four beef patties stacked with four slices of cheese, lettuce and tomato. Or just go off the regular menu and try the Double Double Cheeseburger, which is exactly what it sounds like. Throw in an order of crispy fries and a real ice-cream milk shake and your IN-N-OUT experience will be complete.

Read more about In-N-Out Burger →

Known for its simple one-page menu, The Apple Pan has been serving up top-notch burgers and succulent pies since 1947. Grab a seat at the U-shaped counter and settle in for a burger experience that has changed little over the past 60 years. No matter which hamburger you choose, expect it to arrive wrapped in paper on a cardboard plate – this is a bare-bones diner experience that is as far from chic and trendy as you can possibly get. Order the classic Steakburger or the zesty Hickoryburger, both made with one of the joint's secret sauces, sip your soft drink from a cone paper cup held by a metallic holder and save room for the fresh apple pie with a dollop of ice cream. Drop by for a bite, and you might just run into a hamburger-loving celebrity, for everyone in town knows about The Apple Pan.

Recommended for Burger because: A true L. A. original, this is THE place in town for classic hamburgers.

Jenny's expert tip: Look for meter parking on the side streets nearby just off Pico.

Read more about Apple Pan →


Meet Jenny Peters

Jenny Peters – aka Jet Set Jen – is a Los Angeles-based freelance journalist, editor and party columnist specializing in travel, entertainment, film, food, wine, fashion and the other good...  More About Jenny