In Chatsworth you’ll find one of the last classic roadside burger stands in Los Angeles.
The Munch Box
Los Angeles was one dotted with roadside burger stands. Over the years, many of these have vanished in the wake of large development projects or changes in ownership (let’s take a brief moment here to mourn the loss of Jay’s Jayburgers in East Hollywood).
But one burger stand that has so far stood the test of time is The Munch Box in Chatsworth. And, because of its status as a excellent example of a 1950s era hamburger stand, it was named a Los Angeles Historic Cultural Monument (No. 750) on June 3, 2003. So it’s guaranteed to stick around for at least a little while longer.
The Munch Box: A Los Angeles Hamburger Stand
The Munch Box was built in 1956. It was designed by architect Marcel Dumar in the distinctive Googie style, a uniquely Los Angeles architectural style named after Hollywood’s Googies Coffee Shop (designed by John Lautner in 1949). The distinctive building, decked out in bright yellow and red, are still part of the stands design today.
The small restaurant — just 300 square feet — has been owned by the same family since its opening. Today’s no-frills menu is almost identical to the menu the restaurant offered when it opened 66 years ago — though the prices are only slightly higher than they were back then.
Although its located along the sidewalk in front of a typical strip mall today, back in its early days there was a hitching post for horses in front of the restaurant. Movie cowboys Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, who owned a ranch in Chatsworth, were known to frequent the roadside burger stand.
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Sometime in the early 2000s, the Munch Box was in danger of being demolished. But a groundswell of local support convinced the Los Angeles City Council to approve it for Historic-Cultural status.
The Munch Box has remained true to its roots. Today it still operates as an old-school burger stand that offers up classic hamburgers, chili dogs, and fries. But they specialize in their Hickory Burger — a chili burger with a smoked patty.
If you’re looking for an authentic Los Angeles Burger Stand Experience, then do yourself a favor and drive out to Chatsworth and pay a visit to the Munch Box. But bring cash … the Munch Box doesn’t take credit cards.
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The Munch Box
- 21532 Devonshire Street, Chatsworth
- GPS Coordinates: 34.257156, -118.599994 [ Google Maps ]
- what3words: ///manliness.hardly.surely
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