Los Angeles is arguably the burger capital of the world. The birthplace of McDonald’s, In & Out and Bob’s Big Boy is also a hotbed for a host of higher-end “Gourmet”-style patties, and everything in between.
You can argue for weeks over what the “best” burger in L.A is. Some might argue for the classics at the venerable ( and newly re-opened) Cassell’s or the old-school Apple Pan. Others may claim Father’s Office has the best. Still others will clamor for the double-double at In & Out.
For my money, the “best” burger in L.A. Is at Original Tommy’s.
Opened in 1946, I still prefer the primal location at the intersection of Beverly and Rampart Streets in LA. There are 30+ locations of Original Tommy’s throughout the Southland, but for some reason, the food seems to taste better standing ( there is no seating) in the warm L.A. evening enjoying a chili burger or tamale while watching a cross section of Angelenos come through.
Although not very photogenic, the burgers are a thing of beauty. The griddles burger and melted cheese are sucked in the fluffy bun and slathered with their secret recipe chili and topped with mustard, chopped onion, pickle slices and a large slice of ripe tomato. For about $3.00, it’s also a great value. Not only will it fill you up for half a day, it is extremely satisfying.
If you are not in the mood for a burger, or if you are like me and want to supplement the burger, I’d recommend a chili tamale. A shredded beef filled tamale with a ladle-full of their famous chili topped with a slice of cheese, chopped onions, pickle slices and a slice of tomato, all for under $4.00!
What makes this so good is the chili; beefy and thick, it has a slightly spicy kick with a little lick of cumin. It is perfect consistency for a burger as it is thick enough to stay on the burger without spilling off the bun.
A huge SoCal classic meal with fries and a soda for $10-12 that you will crave for weeks to come! A junkfoodie hall-of-fame winner!