Outsiders may think of Los Angeles as the land of juice cleanses and matcha lattes — but locals know the city’s got a world-class burger game. Whether you’re a “cheat day” proponent or live by a daily “treat yourself” philosophy (no judgment), there’s no shortage of options for a juicy patty (or two) on a bun, topped with your heart’s desire. Get your napkin ready! We asked five local chefs where they go for the best burger in town.
Jamie Carrano of Fritzi
Go-to burger: Apple Pan’s Steakburger
Why he loves it: Founded in 1947, Pico Boulevard’s destination diner is steeped in history and is consistently excellent. Carrano goes for the classic Steakburger, which is slathered in special sauce and topped with melted Tillamook cheddar, pickles, and lettuce on a soft, mayo-smeared bun. “It doesn’t get better than that,” he says.
(Photo taken by @antifoodiefoodclub)
Check out Apple Pan’s menu.
David Kuo of Little Fatty
(Photo provided by Little Fatty)
Go-to burger: Cassell’s
Why he loves it: When chef Christian Page updated the classic L.A. diner, he (wisely) kept the burger true to its Americana roots. The simple patty with cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, homemade Thousand Island, and a soft bun isn’t flashy, but it’s consistently amazing every single time. “I actually just got it to go and brought it back to Little Fatty — and it was still really good, medium-rare and hot,” says Kuo.
Check out Cassell’s menu.
Brooke Williamson of Da Kikokiko & The Tripel
Go-to burger: The Tripel
Why she loves it: The signature burger at Williamson’s Playa Del Rey gastropub pulls out all the stops. It’s a mixture of duck confit, pork, and aged beef on onion brioche, topped with truffle pecorino, peppery arugula, and apricot jam.
(Photo provided by @thetripel)
Check out The Tripel’s menu.
Dakota Weiss of Sweetfin Poke
Go-to burger: Belcampo
Why she loves it: Made from grass-fed beef from Belcampo’s own NorCal farm and butchery, it’s a burger that makes you feel just as good as it tastes. The highly skilled butchers use traditional hand-cutting techniques to get the most customized cuts, and it shows — “they do a killer job,” says Weiss.
(Photo provided by Belcampo)
Check out Belcampo’s menu.
Charles Olalia of Ricebar
(Photo taken by @kristiehang)
Go-to burger: Burgerlords
Why he loves it: The burger that reportedly launched the gourmet burger trend, this behemoth is made with loosely-ground, dry-aged beef and graced with caramelized onion, applewood bacon, Gruyere and Maytag blue cheese, and a sprinkling of arugula.
(Photo taken by @burgerlords)
Check out Burgerlord’s menu.
Fun fact: Chinatown-based Burgerlords actually started as a burger-themed blog, only to make its restaurant debut in 2015. Now, their “burger world” creative arm sells merchandise and puts on pop-up events. See you there.