Whether griddled, barbecued, smashed or vegan, L.A.’s burger diversity arguably offers an assortment of patties nestled between some crazy mixed-up buns to rival any other city in the U.S.  Whether it’s flaming hot burgers in Thai Town, a French-inspired Burger Americaine in Venice or a smashed burger in North Hollywood, here are 15 of our favorites.


Yellow Paper Burger (Ben Shmikler)

The Smash Burger

While the smash burger has been around for years and is nothing new, its crusty beef patty with a caramelized texture and lacy burnt-end edges is currently L.A.’s burger du jour, and a pop-up favorite. Yellow Paper Burger was born out of the pandemic as a side gig for Colin Fahrner and Katie Burnett. Backyard pop-ups grew into multiple residencies at bars and breweries around town. You can catch the red jumpsuit-clad team every week, mostly on the east side of town by checking on Instagram for their schedule and updates. Based in Monterey Park, they log about 36 miles a day round-trip to sling burgers in “Wimpy,” an old Ford Econoline from 1989.

Easy Street Burgers started out – and still makes appearances – as a pop-up on Western Avenue. It’s become enough of a cult favorite that they’ve opened a brick-and-mortar in North Hollywood, with another coming soon to Hollywood. You can get a single, double, triple, 4 x 4 and continue with additional patties for $3 after that. The current record is 12. Deliciously smashed to juicy flat perfection, add on a side order of wild fries with grilled onions, cheese and wild sauce, which can only be eaten with a fork. Or forgo the bun altogether and get a burger smashed on top of filthy fries drizzled with wild sauce. Vegan options are available as well.


Easy Street Burgers (Michele Stueven)

International Flare-Ups

While the hamburger may lay claim to being an American invention, it hasn’t stopped the LA immigrant population from creating international interpretations, both elegant and eclectic.  

What the Royale with cheese was to Pulp Fiction, the Burger Americaine is to Bar Coucou in Venice. Made with a thick pastured wagyu beef patty, it’s topped with grilled onions and smothered with cognac, everything sauce, cheese and frisee in between toasted brioche buns and crowned with cornichons. Also deserving of a chef’s French kiss is Ludo Lefebvre’s Michelin-starred Big Mec at L’Original Petit Trois in Hollywood and Petit Trois le Valley. Perhaps one of LA’s most decadent burgers, it’s made with a foie gras-infused red wine Bordelaise, gooey housemade American cheese and very little veg to distract from its rich beefiness. 


Burger Americaine at Bar Coucou (Michele Stueven)

Another Michelin-starred burger worth its weight in gold is LeBurger at Camphor in the arts district — a combination of dry-aged beef and slowly cooked duck leg meat topped with caramelized onions and house remoulade sauce. The brioche bun is finished off with duck fat and is the perfect companion to a trio of house-made dipping sauces and pommes frites in an elegant setting. A version of the burger is part of the new special 10-item limited menu available exclusively on DoorDash from the modern bistro helmed by co-executive chefs Max Boonthanakit and Lijo George.

Devouring a Crazy Thai Burger on a sidewalk table in front of the Silom Supermarket in Thai Town, it’s easy to forget you’re on Hollywood Boulevard. The signature burger is an intoxicating combination of Thai barbecue sauce, grilled onions, peppers and pineapple on a sesame bun that holds up to the challenge. The Crazy Krapow puts on the heat with a choice of chicken, pork or beef and is topped with a fried egg marinated in Thai bird chili sauce. Pair it with a glass of icy and smoky Thai tea for the perfect balance. The restaurant in Koreatown will be reopening soon, with the return of the Crazy Sticky Rice Burger with larb between two rice cakes. All come with a choice of house salad or fries.

5321 Hollywood Blvd., Thai Town


Crazy Thai Burger (Michele Stueven)

For the 10-year anniversary of the original Ramen Burger, Keizo Shimamoto, the new director of culinary events at The Japanese American Cultural & Community Center, will bring back his famed novelty creation to the JACCC plaza during the 80th Annual Nisei Week Japanese Festival in Little Tokyo on Saturday, Aug. 19, and Sunday, Aug. 20. Shimamoto’s $10 viral sensation features fresh ramen noodles boiled and pan seared and pressed into buns that sandwich a juicy beef patty with a variety of toppings like arugula and scallions and a house-made shoyu sauce.

Smokey BBQ

You can already smell the wood smoke wafting down Ventura Boulevard when you open the door to Boneyard Bistro in Sherman Oaks. In addition to its popular barbecued 420 burger, which is a half-pound smoked barbecue burger with bacon chipotle onion jam, cheese, pickles and Texas aioli, there are revolving special burgers like the  Big Texas Sausage Burger available through Sunday, Aug. 20 made with a  1⁄3-pound lb burger,  1⁄4-pound  grilled house jalapeno cheddar sausage patty, bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, house onion rings, pickles, TX Aioli, and TX BBQ sauce on brioche with a side of TX queso to dip and a side of fries.  If you’re brave, try the heat-seeking Island Burn oak grill version with tropical habanero rum glaze, habanero jack cheese, shredded cabbage and pickled habaneros. Wash it down with an ice-cold frothy Weihenstephaner Weissbier straight out of the tap.


Ramen Burger (Michael Marquand)

The Standards

With all due respect to the Original Tommy’s on Rampart and the chili cheeseburger, both portions and quality have shrunk at the 77-year-old institution in the last few years, making room for offshoots that have come and gone. Big Tomy’s on Pico under the 405 has resurrected the classic better than anyone else, with thick slices of fresh tomato, generous sour pickle chips, freshly chopped onions, and topped with plenty of rich house-made chili that can’t be beat.  Despite a long rebuild by 70-year-old owner John Livanis after a fire during the pandemic, the portions remain satisfyingly super-sized in true Greek diner fashion.  One order of fries still feeds two and the tiny hot pickled peppers on the counter are a comforting sight.  11289 W Pico Blvd, West Los Angeles. (310) 479-0601

If you’re feeling nostalgic, you still can find the tiny Dave’s Burgers shack in the corner of the gas station on Atlantic Boulevard in Long Beach. Established in 1956, the Jumbo Cubby stuffed with sausages, grilled onions and crispy iceberg is only $8.19, with prices descending on the rest of the 13 different burgers, including chicken and turkey.   3396 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach (562) 424-3340


Dave’s Burgers and Dogs Long Beach (Michele Stueven)

The Snug Harbor has been a Santa Monica institution since 1941 when Frank Leight fed local aircraft employees and soldiers his Zwiebel Burger and beer. In 1954, Christa Rosenloecher fled East Germany and landed at the Snug. She started mixing malts for Leight and eventually bought the place. Burgers were 55 cents at the time. In the late ‘70s, C.J. Rudolph, like many other Santa Monica natives and who was just a kid at the time, made the Snug a regular hangout. He hounded Rosenloecher for years about buying the diner and, about 25 years ago, she finally gave in. Gentrification has completely taken over the block, but the harbor is still snuggled in between progress. The Zwiebel comes from the original 1941 grill with grilled onions, lots of American cheese, lettuce, pickles and tomatoes, and their spicy Snug sauce.

And speaking of gentrification, we almost lost it when it was forced to move from its original location in West Hollywood, but Irv’s Burgers was able to relocate nearby on Santa Monica Boulevard and has found an additional new home on La Brea Avenue. Established in 1946 along what was Route 66, highlights include The Big Irv with Irv’s sesame bun, burger patty, pastrami, hot dog, chili, cheese and Irv’s sauce, as well as Irv’s double with two patties, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, ketchup, mayo and mustard. As with most of our favorite burger joints, vegan options are available like the Beyond Burger.


Christa Rosenloecher at the Snug Harbor (Courtesy Bernie Rosenloecher)

No Cow No How

While most burger joints carry vegan alternatives, we love No Moo New American Burgers. Housed in the original Johnny Rockets Diner location on Melrose, NoMoo features plant-based burgers, chick’n sandwiches, fresh-baked vegan brioche buns, a variety of non-dairy milkshakes, and locally sourced lettuce and produce. The  BBQ Facon Burger is made with freshly baked brioche, house-made ‘bacon,’ secret barbecue sauce, fried onion strings, an Impossible patty and vegan American cheese.

Roxanne’s Lounge & Latin Grill in Long Beach has a mean portobello mushroom burger with grilled pineapple, coleslaw and house-made whiskey sauce. If you’re dining with a carnivore, have them try the poblano burger with a 100% Angus beef patty charbroiled and served inside a fresh bun filled with fire-grilled poblano pepper, chipotle aioli, melted Swiss cheese and sunny-side-up egg. Served with your choice of waffles fries or side salad. Or, try the pupusa burger — queso con loroco pupusas with an Angus beef patty and Central American slaw served with fries and salsa roja.

Celebrating its one-year anniversary this month, Kevin Hart’s Hart House has already laid claim to four locations in the southland — Westchester, Monrovia, Hollywood and University Park South — spreading its mission to be “plant-based for the people.” Hart House ingredients are 100% plant-based with no antibiotics, hormones, artificial colors, preservatives, or high-fructose corn syrup. We love the barbecue burger with two signature plant-based patties, American cheese, smokey barbecue sauce, crispy onions, pickles, and plant-based mayo, alongside a summer lemonade made from ripe, fresh lemons and a dash of turmeric. 


Hart House BBQ Burger (Jakob Layman)

During the week of Aug.  21, Hart House will honor its first full year of operating with a week’s worth of deals, ending on Friday, Aug. 25: 

  • August 21: Monday Funday
    • Kids under 12 can get an equal or lesser-priced meal for free with the purchase of an adult meal.
  • August 23: Wellness Wednesday
    • Free Kale Crunch Salad with the purchase of a meal.
    • Free custom Hart House water bottles will be given to the first 25 customers at each Hart House location.
  • August 25: Hart House’s One-Year Birthday
    • Launch of the all-new limited-time-offer “House Party” shake – vanilla mint cream swirled with dairy-free whipped topping and chocolate drizzle (available between Aug.  25 through Sept. 12)
    • Free cookie and a cute note with the purchase of any meal.

Dive into L.A.’s best bars and speakeasies here.


LeBurger at Camphor (Michele Stueven)


Ziwebel Burger (Courtesy Snug Harbor)






































































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