Here Are the Six Best Burgers in Los Angeles
6. Double Burger, Irv's Burger, West Hollywood, Calif.
Being greeted by the eager-to-please Hong family that owns Irv's, and are known to draw up personalized doodles on their plates and bags, is a big part of this West Hollywood spot's attraction. But another huge factor, of course, is the juicy, old-fashioned burgers. Angelenos breathed a savory sigh of relief when Irv's reopened in a new location after losing their lease in 2013, partially thanks to a local community group calling themselves The Burger Brigade, dedicated to saving their beloved burger institution — now that's dedication.
5. Röckenwagner Pretzel Burger, 3 Square Café + Bakery, Venice, Calif.
Chef Hans Röckenwagner is one of L.A.’s best under-the-radar chefs, and the trademarked (literally) burger at his no-frills Abbot Kinney bakery 3 Square is spectacular from top to bottom. It starts with a freshly-baked pretzel bun that might just be the best in America, topped with a perfectly seared coarse-ground 8-ounce patty. Topped with melted Swiss cheese and caramelized onions, it’s hearty and soul-pleasing.
4. The Classic 8oz, 8oz Burger Bar, Multiple Locations
This burger joint has locations in Seattle, Miami Beach, Los Angeles International Airport, far-flung Tunica, Miss., and Bossier City, La., and is the brainchild of chef Govind Armstrong, who’s making a name for himself as one of the country’s best. Their signature burger, appropriately called the 8oz, is a Kobe-style house blend from Niman Ranch, topped with lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, and special sauce. Its beauty lies in its simplicity: only the highest-quality ingredients are used, the bun is custom-made, and the proportions are spot-on (and a topping of a fried duck egg and Benton’s bacon doesn’t hurt, either).
3. F.T.W., Grill Em All, Los Angeles
What do you get when you combine a love of heavy metal and a passion for good food? A menu of some 17 burgers with names like “Napalm Death” and “Dee Snider” and topping combinations as out there as you can imagine. Peanut butter, strawberry jam, bacon, and Sriracha? Fried chicken, Cheddar, bacon, maple, and hot sauce on waffle buns? You bet. Chef Ryan Harkins and Matthew Chernus of Grill ‘Em All rose to national prominence as winners of the first season of Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race. The truck is still in operation, but like a fair number of successful food truck entrepreneurs of the past five years, the crew has since settled into a brick-and-mortar location. Grill ‘Em All’s crazy combinations are tasty, mostly because of their sound technique and sense of balance; if they go with an over-the-top bread, they’ll be sure there’s enough moisture to go with it), but there’s perhaps no better example of why they deserve to be on this list than the F.T.W. It’s just a big old juicy burger on a bun with cheese. And you have to respect that. When you go “For the Win,” the classic should be enough.
2. Hickoryburger, The Apple Pan, Los Angeles
This standalone counter-only burger-and-pie place in West Los Angeles hasn't changed since it opened in 1947 (well, except for the prices). The Apple Pan's signature Hickoryburger is a juicy round of hickory-smoke-infused ground beef on a reasonably standard bun anointed with mayonnaise and a secret sauce that tastes like slightly spiced-up ketchup. Pickles and lettuce complete the package, with Tillamook cheddar melted on top for an extra 50 cents.
1. The Father's Office Burger, Father's Office, Los Angeles
What do you get when you go to Father's Office, chef Sang Yoon's gastropub in Los Angeles (now in both Santa Monica and Culver City)? There's a wood-paneled, comfortable vibe of a great local lived-in spot, but it's clean, to the point, and one of The Daily Meal’s 101 Best Restaurants of 2012. There are great craft beers and small bites (think smoked eel, sobrasada, Spanish mushrooms, and white anchovies). You can also "Eat Big" and opt for the spicy oatmeal stout ribs or the bistro steak. But let’s face it, you're there for the Office Burger, which many people in LA refer to as the city's best burger. There's nothing frou-frou about it, just caramelized onion, bacon, Gruyère, Maytag Blue, and arugula. It's a very, very juicy burger with funk, freshness, and great flavor.