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Best Burger

Los Angeles

No matter how trendy and far-out the Los Angeles dining scene gets, we will always have our great burger standbys. From original Californian-style fast-food burgers to bacon-topped behemoths, there’s a lot to savor. The 2014 Zagat Burger Survey aims to find out if In-N-Out’s Double-Double really reigns supreme or if other homegrown chains, like Fatburger, make the grade. And where do gourmet creations, like Sang Yoon's inspired Father’s Office burger, fall in the mix? Without furhter ado, here are the top 10 LA burgers, as voted by Zagat readers.

Ratings are out of 30. Key to ratings

Hamburgers are rated in three categories — flavor, ingredients and value — on a 30-point scale.

26–30Extraordinary to perfection
21–25Very good to excellent
16–20Good to very good
11–15Fair to good
0–10Poor to fair

Ratings have been rounded to the nearest whole number, but the top burger rankings are calculated using the non-rounded scores.

  • Overall
  • Flavor
  • Value
  • Ingred.
  • Ingredients
  • In-N-Out

    Double-Double

    • 23
    • 22
    • 27
    • 21
    #1

    The iconic Double-Double ($3.45) “always comes in first for a reason,” according to one voter. The fast-food chain is legendary in the West, especially for the fact that no freezers are on premises. That means fresh ingredients, always. The double beef patty burger with sauce, American cheese, lettuce, tomato and grilled onion “never disappoints.” Read more about In-N-Out on Zagat.

    www.in-n-out.com

    Photo by Val D'Aquila via Flickr

  • The Golden State

    The Burger

    • 22
    • 24
    • 17
    • 24
    #2

    This seemingly simple burger ($12) is the sum of its well-thought-out parts: a good beef blend ground daily, Fiscalini cheddar cheese, wild arugula, bacon, aïoli and ketchup on a locally made brioche bun. While it seems like the Golden State guys “don’t take themselves too seriously,” as one voter puts it, it’s really apparent that they do. Read more about The Golden State on Zagat.

    thegoldenstatecafe.com

    Photo by Lesley Balla

  • The Hungry Cat

    The Pug Burger

    • 21
    • 26
    • 12
    • 27
    #3

    It’s true that David Lentz’s twin Hollywood and Santa Monica restaurants specialize in seafood. But fans go just for the towering burger as much as the seafood towers. The well-seasoned beef patty topped with blue cheese, bacon and avocado is “quality and flavor,” says one voter. “But it comes with a price:” $17, to be exact. Read more about The Hungry Cat on Zagat.

    thehungrycat.com

    Photo by Noe Montes

  • Father's Office

    The Office Burger

    • 21
    • 24
    • 15
    • 24
    #4

    Sang Yoon’s gourmet burger ($12.50) has attracted many copy cats over the years. But his original still reigns supreme. Loosely packed, medium-rare, dry-aged chuck layers with caramelized onion, Gruyère, blue cheese and arugula on a soft, oval-shaped bun. Critics say it’s “tasty but overrated." True fans say “there’s no way you can’t love this burger.” Read more about Father's Office on Zagat.

    fathersoffice.com

  • The Apple Pan

    Steakburger

    • 21
    • 22
    • 19
    • 21
    #5

    For more than 70 years, it’s been tough to choose between the hickory burger, with its tangy hickory sauce, and the steakburger ($7.75). Served since 1927, the latter often wins out for its pickle relish. Both get generous portions of mayo, lettuce, cheese and pickles, making for "a good old-fashioned American burger that never disappoints,” according to one fan. Read more about The Apple Pan on Zagat.

    www.applepan.com

    Photo by Marshall Astor via Flickr

  • Plan Check Kitchen + Bar

    PCB (Plan Check Burger)

    • 21
    • 23
    • 16
    • 22
    #6

    Chef Ernesto Uchimura created his own condiments for the beef burger ($12) at his gastropub. The cheese has dashi for more umami flavor. The ketchup is a chewy “leather.” Onions are cooked in schmaltz, and the pickles are made in-house. Add in the crunch bun and you've got “a real winner,” says one voter. “Everything works well together.” Read more about Plan Check Kitchen + Bar on Zagat.

    plancheck.com

    Photo by Dylan + Jeni

  • Pie 'n Burger

    Hamburger

    • 20
    • 22
    • 18
    • 21
    #7

    The old-school Pasadena diner is no-frills, as is the burger ($7.05). But it’s still perfection. A well-seasoned patty is griddled right before your eyes and it’s served on a toasted bun with crisp iceberg, a Thousand Island sauce and tomato. Add cheese ($0.35) and you've got “one of the best burgers in LA.” Read more about Pie 'n Burger on Zagat.

    pienburger.com

    Photo by Lesley Balla

  • Slater's 50/50

    The 50/50

    • 19
    • 20
    • 16
    • 21
    #8

    The third-pound 50/50 burger costs $10.95 for a bacon-beef patty surrounded by pepper jack cheese, avocado mash, chipotle adobo and a fried egg. “It’s delicious and juicy,” says one voter. “Until they opened a location in Pasadena, I would drive 40 miles down to Huntington Beach for Slaters,” admits another. Read more about Slater's 50/50 on Zagat.

    slaters5050.com

  • Hole in the Wall Burger Joint

    Pretzel Burger

    • 18
    • 19
    • 13
    • 22
    #9

    No matter which meat, toppings and bun you pick at Hole in the Wall, the burger’s ($8.95) a winner. The custom-ground Angus beef patty on a pretzel bun is the most popular choice, topped with mustard-pickle relish, fresh leaf lettuce, tomato and red onion. It's “tasty with good meat and sauces and an excellent bun,” says one voter. Read more about Hole in the Wall Burger Joint on Zagat.

    www.holeinthewallburgerjoint.com

    Photo by Daremoshiranai via Flickr

  • Umami Burger

    The Original

    • 18
    • 20
    • 12
    • 21
    #10

    Celebrating the fifth taste in all its glory, Adam Fleischman’s original Umami burger ($12) tops a proprietary beef patty with a Parmesan crisp, shiitake mushroom, roasted tomato, caramelized onions and housemade ketchup on a fluffy U-stamped bun. “It’s a unique burger experience to be sure,” says a voter. Read more about Umami Burger on Zagat.

    www.umami.com/umami-burger

Ratings are out of 30. Key to ratings

Hamburgers are rated in three categories — flavor, ingredients and value — on a 30-point scale.

26–30Extraordinary to perfection
21–25Very good to excellent
16–20Good to very good
11–15Fair to good
0–10Poor to fair

Ratings have been rounded to the nearest whole number, but the top burger rankings are calculated using the non-rounded scores.

Burger Anatomy: Plan Check Kitchen & Bar