12 of the Best Cheeseburgers in Los Angeles to Eat on National Cheeseburger Day (or Any Day)
Los Angeles is a burger town. And while the city can’t stake the claim of where the hamburger was invented, it just so happens to be the birthplace of the cheeseburger. This means Los Angeles is the perfect place to celebrate National Cheeseburger Day with a hot, juicy cheeseburger. This is a short list of 12 of the best cheeseburgers in Los Angeles.
There’s no shortage of burger joints where you can celebrate National Cheeseburger Day in Los Angeles. The city has long been home to to classic institutions like In-N-Out, Tommy’s, and Fatburger. More recently newcomers like Shake Shack and Five Guys have made their move into Southern California to capitalize on a growing burger scene. And of course, there’s and all those national big-name burger stands to choose from.
But if you’re looking for a burger joint that elevates the experience or eating a cheeseburger into an art form, then any one of these 12 hot burger spots across Los Angeles will serve your needs.
The Grizzly at Amboy Quality Meats
Chef Alvin Cailan (he of the well-regarded, provocatively named Egg Slut and the much-watched, thematically named The Burger Show) opened Amboy Quality Meats and Delicious Burgers, his small burger joint/butcher shop located in Chinatown’s far East Plaza, during the middle of the pandemic.
Amboy’s menu is filled with a variety of inventive, well-crafted burgers, but when it comes to cheeseburgers, The Grizzly is one of the best in Los Angeles right now.
The Grizzly is a smashburger-style, tallow-fried double cheeseburger (double meat AND double cheese — as it should be), resting on an array of pickles and a significant dollop of yellow mustard, all topped with an appropriate helping of thinly sliced red onions and nestled between two halves of a squishy bun. The mustard and onions work in concert to make eating The Grizzly a pleasant, tangy experience. Price: $10.
Amboy Quality Meats and Delicious Burgers • 727 N Broadway (in far East Plaza), Chinatown
Double Burger with Cheese at Hawkins House of Burgers
Hawkins House of Burgers is legendary to burger-savvy Angelenos. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, National Cheeseburger Day is a great day for your first visit. The Double Burger at Hawkins isn’t your thin-patty smash burger. This is a meaty, perfectly messy, monster-sized burger that stands in stark contrast to the current trendy ultra-thin smashed patties.
This massive, meal-sized burger is loaded with lettuce, generous slices of tomato, plenty of sliced Bermuda onion, a few pickles, and slathered with mustard and mayonnaise. Not bad for $8.99. If you’re feeling particularly hungry, step up to the Whipper Burger, which brings a generous helping of pastrami and an entire hot link to the party in what is most likely the biggest burger in L.A. Each burger is cooked to order, so be prepared for a wait — but it’s worth it.
Hawkins House of Burgers • 11603 1/2 S Slater St (at Imperial Highway), Watts/Willowbrook
Goldburger at Goldburger
The current darling of the Los Angeles smashburger scene, Goldburger is making all the “Best Burger in Los Angeles” lists. After transitioning from pop-up to a brick-and-mortar location in Highland Park (after a short stint at the former Hache location on Sunset), this diminutive shop offers up a small selection of burgers. They’re all worthwhile, but the eponymous Goldburger is its showpiece.
It features twin 3-ounce patties of grass-fed beef paired with two slices of melted cheese that are accompanied by (ever so slightly) grilled onions and a few fresh pickles on the bottom. Then it’s topped off with a helping of Goldburger’s own well-regarded, house-made garlic aioli. This is one of the thinnest smashburgers around these days, which allows for some tasty charring but can also leave the patties a little dry. Price: $10.
HiHo Cheeseburger at HiHo Cheeseburger
This Ojai-favorite burger stand made its move to Los Angeles back in 2017, first opening on 2nd Street in Santa Monica. Since then they have opened shops on Mid-Wilshire and in Marina del Rey. HiHo’s biggest selling point is that the burgers are made from 100% grass-fed Wagyu beef, what they claim is the best beef on Earth. If you’re wondering where that is, they tell you — it’s sourced from New Zealand’s firstlight.farm.
The foundation of the HiHo Cheeseburger (a double by default, but you can step up to a triple if you’re really hungry) is the standard two patties with double cheese. The twin patties are mustard-grilled and topped off with a selection of lettuce and house-made pickles that give it a good crunch, as well as a tasty pairing of ketchup and onion jam that impart a tangy umami-ness that’s all the rage. On top of being packed with flavor, the HiHo Cheeseburger is one good-looking burger. And at just $8.25, it’s one of the better burger values in Los Angeles.
Hi-Ho Cheeseburger • 6245 Wilshire (at Crescent Heights), Los Angeles (Museum Row) • Additional locations in Santa Monica and Marina del Rey.
Double Cheeseburger at Burgers 99
Another entry in the smashburger style, the Double Cheeseburger at Burgers 99, a burger joint from the folks behind Badmaash, the inventive Indian restaurant in Downtown. Burgers 99 is located in the heart of La Brea’s trendy shopping district, and designed to evoke the feel of a 1950s era diner with a modernist flair.
The Burgers 99 Double Cheeseburger is strikingly onion-forward. In addition to a generous topping raw onions (maybe too generous for some), this Double Cheeseburger consists of two patties, American cheese, and pickles. It’s all topped off with a tasty dressing known as 99 Sauce, a traditional 1000 Island-type but spiced up with cumin and coriander. Price: $9.
Burgers 99 • 131 S La Brea (b/w 1st and 2nd), Los Angeles
Classic 1/3 Pound Hamburger with Cheese at The Oinkster
In 2006, Chef Andre Guerrero took over an A-frame burger joint on Colorado (then called Jim’s Burgers) and opened The Oinkster, a pioneer in the slow fast food movement. For 15 years, Guerrero and his crew have served countless burgers, both traditional and highly inventive — the latter as part of their Burger Week celebration held every June. But if you’re craving a solid, old-school burger experience, The Oinkster’s Classic 1/3 Pound Hamburger will satisfy.
This burger is made from a 5.3-ounce patty Nebraska Angus beef and topped with the traditional trimmings — dill pickles, onions, tomato, and lettuce, as well as The Oinkster’s own special 1000 Island dressing. When it comes to Los Angeles burgers, this is about as classic — and as juicy — as you can get. Price: $9.50 ($10.25 with Gruyère, which gives the burger a funkier flavor profile).
Honorable Mention: Each month, The Oinkster offers an off-menu Burger of the Month, and this September that burger is the Big Max, an excellent homage to the McDonald’s Big Mac.
The Oinkster • 2005 Colorado Blvd (at Shearin Ave), Eagle Rock
The Office Burger at Father’s Office
For years, before the rise of the burgeoning gourmet burger movement, The Office Burger at Father’s Office has been the “you gotta try it” burger in Los Angeles, famous for its prohibition against adding ketchup to the chef’s concept of a perfect burger.
This single dry-aged beef patty is topped with a small portion of Maytag Blue cheese, a smattering of haphazardly placed arugula, and a large pile of caramelized onions, all sitting between two halves of a split roll. All those onions impart a sweetness to the burger, a sweetness that would probably be cloying with the addition of ketchup. The whole thing arrives in a metal basket, already sliced in half (on the diagonal, of course).
10 years ago, The Office Burger set the stage for the gourmet burger explosion in Los Angeles, and it’s still worth seeking out today — even with its $18 price tag.
Father’s Office • 3229 Helms Ave (in the Helms Bakery building), Culver City. Father’s Office serves patrons 21 and over only.
Double Cheeseburger at the Win-Dow
An offshoot of Venice’s American Beauty steakhouse, the Win-Dow is so named because it’s just a walk-up window in what was once the American Beauty parking lot — repurposed into an outdoor dining area in the wake of the pandemic. The Double Cheeseburger is another smashburger-style affair that’s making all the “favorite” lists.
The Win-Dow’s Double Cheeseburger is comprised of twin grilled patties and twin slices of American cheese dressed up with pickles and onions and topped with a 1000 Island-style house sauce. It’s definitely a tasty burger, and well worth a visit if you’re in the Venice area. But what really makes it notable is the price — at $3.95 for a single and $5.95 for a double, this burger has the distinction of being the cheapest (non-chain, non-slider) burger in town. Hint: Get the double. There’s also a Win-Dow location on Venice’s Ocean Front Walk (at 19th Avenue), but the Double Cheeseburger there costs 30 cents more.
The Win-Dow • 425 Rose Ave (at 5th Ave), Venice • Additional location along Venice’s Ocean Front Walk
Cheeseburger at Clark Street Echo Park
Clark Street is a favorite Echo Park bakery and coffee shop, but the menu of this small restaurant, which opened late in 2019, includes a number of savory options — including a classic Cheeseburger that goes against the current smashburger trend.
This cheeseburger is a 1/3 pound organic beef patty from Marin Sun Farms and a slice of American cheese topped with a thick wedge of tomato, an equally thick wedge of red onion, and just enough lettuce to keep it interesting. All this rests atop a helping of special sauce (of the 1000 Island type) on a sesame seed bun. As one would expect from a bakery, the sesame seed bun brings a lot of personality to this burger and is probably one of the better burger buns in Los Angeles. If you want a cheeseburger at 7:30 am, this is the place. Price: $12.
Double Slider at Chris N Eddy’s
The latest newcomers to the Los Angeles smashburger scene, Chris N Eddy’s has been slinging their street-burger Double Sliders from a truck in front of Sunset’s shuttered Sycamore Tavern (right across the street from an In-N-Out, no less) for the better part of the pandemic. But in August they made the jump from pop-up to a full-fledged restaurant inside a small strip-mall space (formerly a Ono’s Hawaiian BBQ) just two miles to the east.
Now these are sliders, so they’re only bite-sized burgers (well, four bites if you’re counting). But don’t let their small size keep you away — these burgers are mighty flavorful. The heavily-peppered patties are smashed paper-thin, so they’re nice and crispy with a lots of charring around the edges. The meat is accompanied by twin slices of American cheese, a generous helping of special 1000 Island-style sauce, and plenty of onions. A squishy, lightly toasted Martin’s Potato Roll wraps around the whole package and each is served with pickle chips on the side. Our advice: Order two. Price: $5.25.
The Burger Burger at Golden State
Los Angeles loves a good comeback story, and Fairfax-stalwart The Golden State is just that. The small restaurant opened during the gastropub boom back in 2009 and immediately became a sought-out burger destination that served burgers and beer to the community for 12 years. Unfortunately, it was forced to close its doors in January 2020 as a result of the pandemic. But you can’t keep a good burger joint down in Los Angeles, and The Golden State took up temporary residence in the kitchen of the Cofax Coffee Shop where they offer a limited selection of burgers, including the fan-favorite Burger Burger.
The double-named Burger Burger consists of a six-ounce patty made from Harris Ranch beef and a generous slice of white cheddar (so large it melts right over the patty). This pairing sits between halves of a slightly toasted bun dressed up with ketchup, arugula, and applewood smoked bacon (on the top) and a house-made aioli (on the bottom). You can add avocado for an extra $2 if you’d like, but the Burger Burger is a delight as it is. Price: $11.
The Golden State, 440 N Fairfax (inside Cofax; b/w Rosewood Ave & Oakwood Ave), Fairfax District. Only available between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Burgerlords Double Cheeseburger at Burgerlords
On addition to a smashburger explosion, Los Angeles is starting to see the rise of vegan burgers. Early into the pandemic, the powers that be at Burgerlords (Frederick and Max Guerrero, sons of The Oinkster’s Chef Andre) made the decision to make their restaurant 100% vegan. So instead of a tri-blend of beef, Burgerlords patties are made from roasted eggplant, garbanzo beans, barley, leeks, and celery — all mixed together with a proprietary blend of spices.
The Burgerlords Double Cheeseburger is built like a traditional burger with lettuce, tomato, and pickles (from Grillo’s), then topped with twin patties, two slices of melty Follow Your Heart American cheese, and a vegan 2000 Island Sauce, all nestled between two halves of a sponge bun. Although it doesn’t really taste like a traditional cheeseburger — and it falls apart very quickly — it’s a tasty alternative for anyone who avoids meat … or who might be suffering from burger fatigue. Price: $10.95.
Los Angeles: Burgertown
If we left your favorite cheeseburger off the list, please know that this is by no means intended to be a definitive list of the best cheeseburgers in Los Angeles. The city is rich with burger joints these days, and it’s an impossible task to pick one “best burger” from among the countless restaurants, burger joints, and pop-ups serving inventive burgers across town. This is a topic that will require additional research. Stay tuned …