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The Alhambra Burger

First off, I promise that I did a search before posting this. There are mention of numerous burger places in Alhambra...and after doing my own google search I have found more reviews. What I haven't been able to find is a thread with a comparison of the burgers at the restaurants in our town listed below:

Tops Jr. - Often see mention of good Chili Cheese Fries and Pastrami -- but what about the burgers?

Burgers, Etc. -- Haven't heard a peep about it -- and it's VERY close to me.

Pharos Burgers -- I've read it's too expensive?

Bun-N-Burger - ??

Palace Burgers - ??

Rick's Drive In N Out Burger -- mediocre reviews?

The Hat - Again, Chili Cheese Fries and Pastrami

And please, mention anything that I may have missed. I realize that I have lived here for over 10 years and have been driving around with virtual "blinders" on. Some of the places I listed above I have seen, but never even considered them for some reason or another.

So, what would you say is the best burger in Alhambra? After driving a little ways to Pasadena today to get a wonderful White Hut burger, I wondered if it is possible to get a good burger here? It was a little bit of a drive and sometimes I like to grab something at the spur of the moment vs. planning a day around getting a burger.

The temptation will be to expand my list with "if you drive a little farther you can get..." but I'd like to keep this within the city limits. :)

THANK YOU and I am very sorry if this is a retread of a previous topic. Like I said I couldn't find anything quite so "Alhambra-centric" and "Burger-centric" within the same thread.


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  1. You forgot Two Heys and In & Out Burger.
    I vote for In & Out for Alhambra's best burger if that helps.

    I hear "Alhambra" and I think Asian food...not burgers.

    10 Replies
    1. re: monku

      Indeed...we have amazing Chinese & Vietnamese food here. I was actually looking to find out about these Mom & Pop type burger places though that are undoubtedly overshadowed by all of the Oriental Cuisine here.

      Two Heys -- I'll need to try them. Although I prefer a place that is more take out oriented (like the ones I have listed).

      In N Out for me is "Bland Burger." I like a little flavor not courtesy of toppings. :)

      1. re: atrac

        If its any help a friend who lives in Alhambra likes Pharos better than In & Out because they charbroil their burgers.

        Near the edge of Alhambra in S. Pasadena is Hi Life Burgers (lots of other stuff besides burgers--kind of like Tops) you might want to try one. I couldn't review the burgers because I usually go there for the "other" things.
        Hi Life Burgers
        1326 Fair Oaks Ave (2 blocks north of Huntington Dr)
        South Pasadena, CA 91030
        (626) 799-5401

        I think the sales of In & Out burgers probably eclipses all the other hamburger stands in Alhambra combined.

        1. re: monku

          The best thing at Hi LIfe ain't the burgers.

          The best thing at Hi Life is those darn fries with ranch dressing!

          1. re: ipsedixit

            The Chili Cheese Fries with Ranch!! ;-)

            1. re: WildSwede

              Whoa ... dunno if I can handle that. Chili and Ranch. Yikes.

          2. re: monku

            I agree with you, Hi Life is better than anything to be found in Alhambra proper. Within Alhambra In-N-Out is the best, in my opinion. I found both Pharos and Rick's to be disappointing.

            1. re: monkuboy

              I have seen Hi Life Burger many times when I make my pilgrimage to Panda Express. I have always been under the impression that Hi Life Burger was some kind of vegetarian burger -- I can see now that I have been mistaken these many years.

              I'll give them a try -- sounds like they are a little expensive though.

              1. re: atrac

                Oh Hi Life is far from being vegetarian! I haven't been there in a while but their prices at that time weren't out of line with other burger places, considering the quality of the food.

                1. re: atrac

                  The name is definitely a misnomer....there isn't much that's healthy there.

                  Most of their stuff is pretty good. I get the club sandwich and the thing is so stuffed with meat two people can eat it. Or the fish & chips is pretty good too...comes with a side of salad. Breakfast isn't bad either.

                  Funny sidenote- I'm not a regular there, but everytime I go I see this slim retired guy always eating there reading the paper by himself. I asked one of the workers how often the guy comes in to eat and they said once a day for years. He didn't look like he can only afford to eat there or lives close by and walks in, he drives there.

        2. Pharos Burgers -- Is not that much more expensive than the next door In N Out. In fact it probably is a better bargain because you are getting much more food.

          The Hat's burgers are underrated. Due to it's heavy hitters like the Pastrami and Chili Cheese Fries. I've eaten them for years and they are very good.

          Rick's has just fallen flat these last years. Many years ago they were REALLY good. Now they are just an empty shadow of quality past.

          1. My choice: Twohey's.

            It kinda depends on the experience you want, really. Rick's is a good charbroiled burger & decent fries. You order at the counter & pick up when ready. Twohey's is a sit-down restaurant with excellent sundaes & a full menu in addition to the burgers. Bun 'n' Burger is a neat place; the burger itself is somewhat forgettable.

            Burgers at the Hat (a local chain) not bad; kinda generic.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jack Flash

              Crap, I just realized that I have eaten at Bun 'n' Burger a few times now. I didn't realize it but I was there about 3 years ago. I did not enjoy the burgers very much. Even worse, the criss-cross fries didn't do it for me at all. :(

              This is the second time this week that I have eaten somewhere but forgotten about it! I'm 38 going on 80. :(

            2. I grew up in Monterey Park/ELA area and went to AHS so very familiar with all those places. These burger places all make them in the classic Southern California style, i.e., thin patty, usually charbroiled, big bun, shredded lettuce, and some sort of Russian dressing. Of that list, I think Twoheys (great fudge sundaes), Pharos, and Burgers Etc. (they take forever though) are the best. I never cared for Rick's since it was so close to AHS and got burned out on it early on, and had a bad experience with their meat once

              1. Does the loco moco at Shakas count? That probably takes the crown.

                1. i don't understand why this burger hunt is only limited to Alhambra? as if the city is large?

                  if the best you can do is joints like in-n-out/the hat/rick's, you might as well just not ea the burger cuz Top's kobe is just pathetic and a complete waste of good beef.

                  for the hand formed patty mixed with onions, try the burger basket on S. Atlantic (E. LA). it's a korean operated mom/pop "American Diner".

                  Burger Basket
                  1264 S Atlantic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90022

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: TonyC

                    I limited the hunt to Alhambra because there are times I am interested in eating at home in front of the tv (more often than in a restaurant actually), and if I have to drive too far the burger (and fries) will be cold and I'll lose the "fresh" experience of it. I know there are plenty of great burger places outside of the Alhambra boundaries, but sometimes when I'm in the mood for a quick dash, I was wondering if any of the places I listed (or some that I am not aware of) are good enough when the "mood to travel" isn't happening for me. A list of seven for a town isn't bad. :)

                    Thanks for the tip on the Burger Basket. That's not horrendously far from me.

                  2. My family loves Pharos and almost freaked out when it appeared it was closed for a long period of time (vacation?) recently. Great burgers without the massive crowds across the street and we love the deep fried mushrooms!! Where else can you find these?!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: SourKraut

                      The fried zucchini at Pharos is scrumptious, you must order this. Crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and not greasy.

                    2. I am very familiar with Alhambra and have ate at all the places that have been mentioined. However, there are two places that make a respectable burger, and I feel they need some exsposure. The Diner on Main St. makes a good double cheese burger, I had one the other night, and I thought it was very tasty and juicy. I would definately order another one there.
                      Another place that makes a good burger is a bar called JD's, it is located on Main St. East of Fremont. They serve breakfast and lunch, and I hear their breakfast is good. Check these places out and let us know what you think.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: iknowfood64

                        Think the OP was looking for take out places. Just wants to take his burger and go home with it.

                        1. re: iknowfood64

                          I also had a very passable Eggs Benedict at The Diner on Main a couple of months ago. What else do people get at Bun N Burger? They sell some of their Mexican food offerings at the Alhambra Farmer's Market on Sundays. Thanks!