8 of Our Favorite Burgers in California

East Coast Traveler

CALIFORNIA - There’s a reason why California has become the burger capital of the world. Whether it’s a juicy patty or a stack of melt-in-your-mouth fries, the state’s restaurants are masters at creating epic meat sandwiches.

Among them is the iconic Pie N’ Burger, a diner turned an ode to all things Burger since 1963 that serves impeccable classics. If you’re feeling a little fancy, try The Royale with Cheese topped with caramelized onion bacon jam, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato, dill pickles, thousand island dressing, and yellow mustard.

The Burger at Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank, CA

Bob’s Big Boy in Burbank is a classic diner that has been around for 60 years and still stands out as one of the best burger restaurants in California. It’s got a lot of entertainment history — the place where The Beatles ate during their tour in 1964 – and is famous for its classic car nights, Googie architecture, and iconic swirl-haired cartoon mascot statue that hoists a double-decker cheeseburger overhead. Once it started becoming a renowned burger, Wian changed the name of his restaurant from Bob’s Pantry to Bob’s Big Boy

The Burger at Original Tommy’s in Los Angeles, CA

If you’re looking for a world-famous burger with chili, you can’t go wrong with Original Tommy’s. The chain opened its first location in 1946 and is now spread across Southern California, including Westlake, North Hollywood, Pasadena, and San Bernardino County. The restaurant’s signature chili has been a Los Angeles staple since its introduction and is still a top choice for diners. It’s available on the Double Chili Cheeseburger, the Chili Cheese Fries, and the world-famous Chili Hot Dog.

The Burger at Pie N’ Burger in Pasadena, CA

This OG burger joint has been serving classic California-style cheeseburgers since 1963. It is one of the best places to get your hands on a juicy, griddle-cooked patty topped with American cheese and housemade Thousand Island dressing. It’s a no-frills approach to a classic, but the taste hits home in the right way every time. The burgers here are served on a toasted bun with lettuce, onion, and pickles. The burgers are juicy and tender, the bun soft and squishy, and it’s all made with U.S. prime beef.

The Burger at Hodad’s in San Diego, CA

This laid-back seaside burger joint has been the go-to spot for surfers and hodads. It’s also one of the most lauded burger joints in the country, earning visits from CNN and Food Network’s Guy Fieri. The burgers at Hodad are stuffed to the gills with toppings, including pickles, onions, tomato, and lettuce, all piled on a soft bun. The bacon patty is pressed onto the grill to crisp it so that every bite has crunchy bacon bits, making it the ultimate bacon cheeseburger.

They serve the burgers in mini, single, and double sizes. The single is about a third of a pound with two slices of American cheese, and the double is half a foot tall and can easily serve two people.

The Burger at The Apple Pan in Los Angeles, CA

The Burger at Apple Pan is a must-try for any burger lover in Los Angeles, CA. The restaurant has been serving burgers and pies for generations, and the food is consistently ranked as one of the best in the state. The Apple Pan burgers are modestly sized, cooked through, and juicy. They are topped with crisp, fresh lettuce and pickles. A toasted, squishy bun and plain mayonnaise accompany them. They also come smothered in two housemade sauces, adding a tangy complexity to the otherwise smooth, soft, and slightly chewy patty.

The Burger at Zuni Café in San Francisco CA

One of the most iconic restaurants in San Francisco, Zuni is a two-floor cafe that boasts a sleek, airy setting. The restaurant serves various French, Italian, and American dishes rooted in organic ingredients. The Burger at Zuni Café is the house-ground grass-fed hamburger on grilled rosemary focaccia with aioli and pickles. While this Burger isn’t as popular as the restaurant’s famous roast chicken for two, it is just as delicious and perfect for an anniversary or birthday celebration.

The Gar Woods Grill & Pier Burger in Carnelian Bay, CA

Gar Woods Grill & Pier serves significant portions of approachable American cuisine with beautiful lake views. It’s a great place to get a burger and drink with friends, and you can also find low-fat and gluten-free options on the menu. This Carnelian Bay restaurant offers a variety of breakfast, brunch, and dinner items and has one of the best views of Lake Tahoe. It’s famous for its burgers, which are juicy and flavorful with fancy buns.

The Burger at Squeeze Burger in Sacramento, CA

Squeeze Burger is a Sacramento institution featured on numerous food shows, including Diners, Drive-Ins, Dives, and Carnival Eat with Guy Fieri. Its signature Squeeze Burger is a 1/3 lb patty with mayo, mustard, tomato, lettuce, and red onions on a sesame seed bun. The Burger’s most notable feature is the massive cheese skirt which oozes out over the pattie. The trick is to cover the Burger with shredded cheese completely, add some ice chunks, and cook it into a crispy, addicting halo of cheese that extends outward from the Burger by an inch or so.

Written By William Zimmerman IV - Editor and Writer for The East Coast Traveler

Sources used in this article are The East Coast Traveler and used Wikipedia and establishments websites for information about individuals and places.

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