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Best cheap burger?

  • s

Hello, I'm a recent transplant to LA and I'm in the market for a sweet burger. I hear whispers about a place called jay's, no longer with us, and I'm just wondering if there's anything in LA that can stand up to it. The burger of my dreams doesn't have to have crazy stuff on it, it just needs to rule and not be super expensive. Thoughts?

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  1. The Apple Pan

    In-n-Out. Really. Various locations - I just picked one.

    Apple Pan
    10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

    In-N-Out Burger
    7009 W Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

    4 Replies
    1. re: pgokey

      I LOVE Apple Pan, and would recommend Fatburger (at least the Santa Monica location) over In-N-Out.

      1. re: whatsfordinner

        I've only been to LA once, but I would add my recommendation (for what it's worth) for Fatburger!!!

        1. re: whatsfordinner

          I believe the request was for a "cheap" burger. Fat Burger, although very delicious, is not cheap. At least not the one in Woodland Hills.

          Mine was about $6.50.

          1. re: Westlake Jake

            $6.50 is pretty darn cheap when you start comparing it ot the $12-18 burgers found in "trendy" spots in and around town.

      2. Yuca's. http://www.yucasla.com/

        $1.95 for a basic burger.

        2056 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

        1. It's such a personal thing, and every place has its converts...
          Apple Pan
          Father's Office
          The Counter and Houston's (perhaps too pricey for your standards)

          3 Replies
          1. re: Emme

            The Counter, Houstons and Fathers office do not qualify as cheap. I got lots of other places if you want to go up to 9-10 or much more for a burger.

            1. re: Burger Boy

              I never know the cut-off for *cheap* given the options at 25 degrees or Morton's or the like...

            2. re: Emme

              I second pie n burger and father's office!!!! And I'll add Tops.

            3. I also posted this on a thread further down:

              Hawkin's House O Burgers on Fair Oaks in Altadena. You get a beautiful half-pound patty on a grilled bun. Order it medium rare and enjoy. $4.

              1. B&R Burgers in Hawthorne
                Yanakis on Valley Blvd in either El Monte or La Puente
                I still like Cassells on 6th Street near Vermont
                Fresh & Meaty ? on Florence east of Crenshaw i think
                Texas BBQ King on Sunset, only for the burger

                1. Whatever the virtues (or lack of same) of the Apple Pan burger (and it has been argued here with a level of ardor bordering on something akin to the right to life vs. pro choice camps going at it out in front of the Supreme Court Building in Wash. D.C.) I can't really see it as fitting into the "cheap" catagory. YMMV

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Servorg

                    Do we know the price for the basic cheese or the Hickory at the Apple Pan?

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        I would say $6 is in there, but anything more we are talking 26 Beach, The Counter, Coras, Mortons, 25 Degrees, Lucky Devils, The Cat, Petes..etc

                        1. re: Burger Boy

                          I don't think $6 for a burger is expensive at all. Almost any "real" sit down place will charge you at least $10, if not $15 for something comparable.

                          You can get cheaper, but the question wasn't "What's the cheapest burger?" but rather "Best cheap burger?" It's not the cheapest of the cheap, but one of the best of the cheap.

                  2. I don't classify Apple Pan as cheap - I can never seem to walk out of there with a bill less than $25ish for 2 ppl - maybe that's because we get a few extras, but it still seems pricey for diner food.

                    There's McCormick and Schmick's Happy Hour burger for $2 - although, IMO there's way too much bun and it's not that great. But if you're drinking and need some filler, it'll do.

                    I like the Lunch Special at Glencrest BBQ on Abbot Kinney - double cheeseburger, seasoned fries, and a drink for $6.

                    In-N-Out hands down prolly your best bet. Fatburger has a lot more substance, but that too can get pricey.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: umeakai

                      What about Howard's Avocado Burger on Venice Blvd. in Palms? I think it is good and cheap!!

                      1. re: handlertaper

                        SSB - Where do you live?

                        If it takes half a tank of gas to get there, it's no longer a cheap burger. But in general, In-N-Out is your best bet.

                        1. re: Jeryy

                          My pick is B and R burgers. They have a special for $5.00 Burger, Fries , drink.. $1.00 for double meat and thats allot of beef..

                    2. The Best for the price of 13- is still Arnie Morton's Downtown.
                      The Best for $1.95 is:

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: russkar


                        The Yuca's burger for 1.95 beats the McCormick's happy hour burger at the same price ... and it's available all day!

                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Thanks , always looking for a deal on quality grub.
                          Went to Next Door Pizza again the other day on the way to ROY'S, so good!
                          I like it better than Vito's. Russ

                          1. re: russkar

                            Pizza Next Door is a gem of a place.

                            Buy slice.
                            Fold slice.
                            Go back to work happy.


                      2. Try Hinano at the end of Washington Blvd. in Venice!

                        1. Try Daglas on Vanowen and Winnetka in the San Fernando Valley...it's cheap and good...just make sure you're not having your cholesterol being checked the next day

                          1. Lately, I've very much been enjoying the Shack Burger at The Shack in Playa Del Rey.

                            PDR is a cool little neighborhood, sort of unchanged over the years.

                            Anyway, The Shack has very cold Stella on tap and good onion rings.

                            The signature burger has a sliced hot link on it, but they have a variety of burgers.

                            Go on Tuesday. The special on Tuesday is all burgers a dollar off. So a Shack Burger is five bucks on Tuesday.

                            Something about the sea air and the casual beach vibe make it my go to summer burger.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: PaulF

                              love love love the shack burger!!!! there is also a location on wilshire

                              1. re: woofer

                                I go the the Wilshire location, too.

                                But I don't know if they have the dollar off on Tuesday special.

                                FWIW - The Shack in PDR has changed it's menu, basically eliminated some stuff, more of the entree type stuff (I think). The burgers, apps and sandwiches are still on the menu and so are the salads.

                                The two locations are very similar, but in the summer, I really like the beach location.

                            2. My personal cutoff between cheap and high-end is the $10 mark. That said, I'd go with Fatburger or Apple Pan. McCormick & Schmick's $1.95 happy hour burger is also a fantastic deal.

                              In N Out is completely overrated. Great bun, but the tiniest thinnest meat patty you will ever be served anywhere. Except maybe in a McDonald's hamburger.

                              Arnie Morton's downtown lunch-only burger (see photo) is tops in my high-end category at $14, and worth every penny. The burger of my dreams indeed.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: LisaStitch

                                You know what? You are so dead on with the In n Out remarks. The bun is great, but the meat is too small, and results in a dry burger. Maybe that's why animal style is so popular; the cheese, onions and spread cover up the dry lifeless patty.

                                1. re: blackbookali

                                  I think there's a certain balance and appeal to an In n' Out Burger. Is it a thick juicy burger? No, it's its own thing, but that thing is not necessarily bad.

                                  1. re: blackbookali

                                    Ask for the burger medium rear. Since they grind their own meat they will do it.

                                    A nice juicy burger that is not too rare.

                                2. In'and'Out's double-double costs $3.09 after tax. I get mine with the raw onion, I used to get the grilled onion that comes mixed in with the cheese, and I always order easy sauce. It is a great treat, especially because of the crisped bun, generous cheese, and crisp lettuce and tomato. Fries are mediocre at best, which is ordered well/crispy -- I think it may be due to them not sprinkling a lot of salt.

                                  McD's double-cheeseburger consists of two pre-grilled thin patties and a two slices of cheese slapped together and nuked to warm. I special order mine without mustard, but that no longer gives me a fresh-grilled burger. But it is only a buck. ONE dollar!

                                  I've posted before that my favorite burger on the westside is at Philly West, the little dive bar on Westwood just south of Santa Monica Blvd. A large oblong burger char-grilled over flames and served on a roll with lettuce, tomato, and onion. Medium-rare with a char comes tasty, juicy, drippy, messy and delicious -- barely $5.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: nosh

                                    ah yes. thanks for the reminder to try the burger at philly west.

                                  2. Burger Mondays at the Library Alehouse in Santa Monica. All their burgers are $5.99 and that comes with salad, fries or mashed taters. I usually get the ahi burger or the beef burger. My husband loves the turkey and his dad gets the salmon burger. Oh yea, they also have boca and veggie.

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: zoomchic

                                      THANK YOU for this special, which I'd never heard about. I've enjoyed the back patio, service, and good burger at Library Alehouse, but gosh I thought it was very expensive and indeed overpriced.

                                    2. Billy's in SFV is really good.. Corner of Van Nuys and Mariposa. S. E. Corner. Also some exotic burgers.

                                      The Fries are great.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Wes

                                        I don't eat beef, so I recently tried their buffalo burger. The nice lady and cook behind the counter said it tasted similar to beef, but with lower fat.

                                        Having been skeptical about it at first, it turned out to be the best burger I've had in a long, long time. Very flavorful, kind of beefy tasting, not gamy at all. The burger was slightly charred on the outside, but still tender and juicy on the inside. It was served on a toasted (grilled?) bun, with their 1000-Island like sauce, fresh green leaf lettuce, and a nice ripe tomato slice.

                                        Overall, a very tasty experience, all for about $8. I'd take that over In 'n Out or Fatburger any day of the week, and twice on Sundays!

                                        Anyone else have one of their exotic burgers?

                                      2. i feel compelled to put a plug in for the $1.95 burger at mccormick & schmick during happy hour. WITH meaty steak fires.

                                        1. 3x3 and well done fries at In N Out should do the trick! Sprinkle some salt on the fries and voila! (They don't put a lot of salt on your fries) A great meal for around $5.50. I get mine with extra grilled onions. Double double with fries is only $4.35. It used to be only $3.50 :(

                                          1. I just gotta put in a plug for irv's in west hollywood (santa monica and sweetzer, i think). we went friday and it was so good we're thinking of going back today.

                                            1. It is not what I would call a destination burger, like Apple Pan or Father's Office, however if you are in the SFV - you may want to try Jack's Classic.

                                              I really like the burger at Jack's, good bun, not too thin, not too thick of a patty and it has the road-side shack/burger stand charm that you want in a good burger. Now that there isn't Rick's in Pasadena, Jack's is kind of my standby if I am craving an old-fashioned burger.

                                              Jack's Classic
                                              11375 Riverside Dr (where Tujunga, Riverside and Camarillo meet)
                                              North Hollywood, CA 91602
                                              (818) 760-3682