There are hundreds of articles, blog entries, and listicles (does that word rub anyone else the wrong way?) floating about the World Wide Web that rank the best hamburgers (or cheeseburgers or salmon burgers or veggie burgers) in Los Angeles. The problem? Most of these pieces are focused on burgers that will set you back upwards of fifteen bucks. Can’t a guy enjoy an honest chunk of beef, buns, and some toppings for less than the price of 2009 bottle of Foxglove Zinfandel (um… just go with it)?
Related: The 4-1-1 On Smoked Meat
The answer is yes, yes a guy can. You see, our list may feature a few fancy Los Angeles hamburgers, sure, but we’re also all about getting the most meat for your money. That’s why we’re shamelessly starting our list with a piece of bona fide California culture, the one and only…
That’s two slabs of beef, two slices of cheese, lettuce, onion (grilled or fresh-cut, just ask for “Animal Style” if you want to be cool), tomato, and a special spread served since 1948. That’s right, these guys got their tasty burger recipe locked in the same year the Berlin Airlift kicked off. That’s the taste of history for ya, baby. And a Double Double meal, complete with fresh cut fries and a drink, will set you back of all around six dollars.
OK, yes, you got us dead to rights: this is a fancy burger that costs nearly $12. But it’s worth it. Oh… it’s worth it. Why? Because your Umami burger comes topped with:
- Parmesan Frico
- Shiitake Mushroom
- Roasted Tomato
- Caramelized Onions
- Umami House Ketchup
So that’s why. This growing chain currently has nearly a dozen locations around Greater Los Angeles, including one at LAX airport, so even if you’re just passing through town, you can still sink your teeth into this fine lite fare. (For the record, the Umami Burger is far from “lite fare,” we just wanted to use the term.)
If you can get a great gourmet-level burger for ten bucks, you’re winning the game, buddy. And if you go to Stout Burgers & Beer, you can not only get just that, but you can pair it with a great beer recommended by a member of the knowledgeable waitstaff. A great burger for a good price alongside a fine beer? Now you’re winning at life. At Stout, they top their signature burger with Gruyere cheese, Rosemary bacon, and horseradish cream sauce (and veggies, of course). It’s hard to top that at the same price point.
Want to step back in time to the Los Angles of the 1960s? The LA of the Beach Boys, the bikini and um… like uh… the… olde tyme hamburger? Sure you do! Then stop by Pasadena fixture that is Pie’n Burger and indulge in a burger, and then a slice of pie! Their burgers are simple and wholesome, topped with a housemaid Thousand Island dressing, pickles, and lettuce (ask nice and they’ll add other stuff, too). And when you’re done with dinner, the restaurant usually has now fewer than 20 different types of pie on hand for dessert!
The Great White Hut is the place you thought didn’t exist anymore. This relic of the mid-20th Century sits on a nondescript corner in downtown Glendale, and is about the same size as a large SUV. It has been serving up delicious burgers since 1947, and believe us: this place may be diminutive in size, but it’s food is big on flavor. Prices? Well those are diminutive too, FYI. As in a hamburger will cost you $3.65. Want a double cheeseburger? Still less than six bucks. In addition to burgers, The Great White Hut serves up tacos, quesadillas, and breakfast burritos, all of which can be topped with fresh-made guacamole and salsa. Perhaps the best thing about The Great White Hut? It’s open until ten P.M. Sunday through Thursday, and until three A.M. on Fridays and Saturdays!