There are certain foods that even the pickiest of eaters won’t turn down—macaroni and cheese and pizza immediately come to mind, along with another all-American classic: a burger and fries. Of course, if your kid has only ever tried the patties at, say, Island’s or In & Out, then it might be time to broaden your burger repertoire. Read on for where to find LA’s best burgers, both the real and Impossible kind, that kids will love.
A Valley institution that never lacks a line of loyalists clamoring for one of their famous burgers, Bill’s Hamburgers in Van Nuys serves up some of the tastiest burgers you’ll ever put in your mouth. There's nothing fancy-shmancy here—no wagyu, no truffles, no lettuce sourced from sustainable farms. Just good old fashioned beef patties and buns cooked to absolute juicy perfection and a bag of chips on the side (Bill’s doesn’t do fries). This gem of a burger joint is actually a small unassuming stand so there are only a handful of stools to grab a spot at the counter but your wait will be rewarded with one of the best burger meals in town.
Good to Know: Bill’s Hamburgers is only open from Tues.-Fri. until 4 p.m., and it's cash only.
14742 Oxnard St.
Monty's Good Burger
Just as all beef patties are not the same, so too are plant-based Impossible patties. (Preparation is key!) If you've tried one of these environmentally friendly meatless burgers in the past and thought, meh, then you definitely haven't been to Monty's. The all-vegan spot (with an original location in Koreatown and a just-opened one in Echo Park) serves up perfectly cooked Impossible burgers with vegan cheese, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles and house sauce, all on a fresh-made potato bun. It's so good that no one will ask, "Where's the beef?" Of course, no burger joint is complete without shakes and fries and Monty's delivers on that front too, offering fries (and tater tots), plus dairy-free shakes that are as good as the real thing.
516 Western Ave.
1533 W. Sunset Blvd.
As the only burger restaurant to exclusively serve 100% grass-fed Wagyu beef, Santa Monica’s popular HiHo Cheeseburger takes the burger experience to a whole new level. You'll get meat that’s melt-in-your-mouth tender, that not only tastes better, but it’s also better for you too.
Their premium Wagyu is low in saturated fat, high in Omega-3s and vitamins, and is certified humane and sustainably raised with no antibiotics, GMOs or hormones. The HiHo and classic burgers are both outstanding, especially when served with a side of piping hot hand-cut fries and a slice of banana cream pie for dessert (wink-wink). Families who are looking for a high quality, clean burger meal are sure to become loyal customers.
1320 2nd St., Ste. B
The second plant-based patty to make our list comes from this new Fairfax spot that just opened in September. Not only are the Impossible burgers here cooked to order and served with yummy Follow Your Heart dairy-free cheese and homemade sauces, but the service is top-notch, the space is bright and inviting, and for every meal purchased, VOWburger donates a meal to fight hunger in Los Angeles. Plus, they serve shakes! (Milk-free, of course.)
519 Fairfax Ave.
A staple on Route 66 since 1946, West Hollywood burger stand Irv’s Burgers, not only cooks up some of the most to-die-for burgers around but the restaurant and its extremely warm and cheerful owners, the Hongs, have also become part of many Angelenos’ families. Throughout its history, it's even been known as a popular hangout for rock stars like The Clash, Jim Morrison and The Doors.
Expect juicy, tender and bonkers delicious burgers every single time. Irv’s Burgers never disappoints. But your kiddos' favorite part of their visit may be the paper plate their food is delivered on. Owner, Sonia Hong, personalizes each plate with a little illustration and love note to their customers that showcases the meal was prepared just for them.
Good to Know: Irv’s Burgers is open every day except Sun. for “surfing” reads the sign on the door. Cash only.
7998 Santa Monica Blvd.
Since 1948, Cassell’s Hamburgers has been serving LA families premium hamburgers that are ground daily in-house using the original grinder, cooked on the original crossfire broiler and are made into patties via the original press.
Cassell’s original location is in Koreatown’s historic Hotel Normandie and features a classic '50s breakfast menu, a variety of milkshakes and malts, a coffee bar, homemade pies and a fully stocked bar. (They also have a location downtown and at LAX.) The burgers are outstanding, but if littles are in the mood for something different, we highly recommend the DFC Fried Chicken Sando—yum!
The Apple Pan
Some things just get better with age. Case in point, The Apple Pan in the heart of West LA. For over 70 years, The Apple Pan has delighted customers with their famous hickory burgers quickly followed by a slice of mmmm-mmmm good homemade apple pie. The place is small and cozy with only 26 counter seats but it’s well worth the long wait to grab a bite. And its close proximity to the Landmark Theater right across the street at Westside Pavillion makes it the perfect spot to grab lunch and a movie with your tribe.
Good to Know: The Apple Pan accepts cash only.
10801 Pico Blvd.
Pie ‘n Burger
Using the same wonderful recipes they did when they opened their doors 46 years ago, Pasadena’s Pie ‘n Burger remains one of the best burger spots in the Southland. Some of the OG waitresses still work there and even the countertop and swivel chairs have stayed the same over the years, giving this joint a timeless charm punctuated by dependably great food, kid's menu to boot.
Make sure to leave room for a slice of their famous pie as well—from banana and dutch apple to chocolate and strawberry, there’s a flavor for everyone in your brood.
Pie ‘n Burger
913 E. California Blvd.
–Shahrzad Warkentin, Jennifer O’Brien & Shannan Rouss
featured photo: Monty’s Good Burger via Yelp