Take A Bite Out Of L.A.'s Tastiest Burgers — Your Belly WILL Rumble

[UPDATE: This story was originally published on August 15.]
Satisfaction comes in many forms, but there's no treat quite like a super-savory burger. Sinking your teeth into a scrumptious patty and wrapping your lips around a yummy toasted bun fills the belly bill like no other.
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Since Los Angeles obviously isn't lacking in this department, we set out on a journey to bring you nothing but the best. From the tried and true (hello, In-N-Out!) to utterly gourmet grub (truffle oil, anyone?), take a drive through our top picks and get ready to melt. Oh, and you may want to find a designated driver for the food coma that's sure to strike afterwards. Don't say we didn't warn ya.
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Original Tommy's
Yes, imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but this burger is where it all began. In 1946, when Tommy Koulax concocted his incomparable chili-drenched creation, he peddled the behemoths from a flimsy kitchen in the same spot that stands sentinel in the OG L.A. burger world today. Don't forget to nab a load of napkins to tuck into your shirt and for wiping your face about 85 times!

Original Tommy's, 2575 Beverly Boulevard (near North Rampart Boulevard); 213-389-9060.
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Pie 'n Burger
Pasadena natives flock to this neighborhood diner for the best inland feast to be found. The burger's dripping with Thousand Island dressing mixed right in owner Michael Osborn's kitchen, and the sodas are made right before your eyes, old-school-style with syrup and bubbles. Our tip: Eat half the sandwich to save some room for PNB's sugary selection of pies. (Also, the spot's catering trucks make the most killer party fare).

Pie ‘n Burger, 913 East California Boulevard (near South Lake Avenue); 626-795-1123.
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The Counter
We can't even do the math on 312,120 combos of flavors for a burger, but somehow this Santa Monica joint managed to drum them up! You can obviously build your own meaty madness with all of those options, but we're actually claiming this cuisine as the best for veggie-lovers. Dig into an animal-free snack in the industrial-style space and chill out with cool tunes, and booze, too!

The Counter, 2901 Ocean Park Boulevard (near 29th Street); 310-399-8383.
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The Apple Pan
This A-framed space serves plenty of delish dishes, but its paper-wrapped hickory burger is everything! And although the tastiness speaks for itself, your probable heartburn might be outweighed by this heartwarming fact: Cook Charles Collins has worked at the Pico post for 50 years, and the owner, Martha Gamble, was the first waitress when her parents opened up shop in 1947.

The Apple Pan, 10801 West Pico Boulevard (at Westwood Boulevard); 310-475-3585.
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Black Hogg
It's messy (you may end up using a knife and fork) and a little pricey (17 bucks a pop), but the Buttery Lamb Burger with Onetik Bleu cheese at Black Hogg has quickly become our new hangover helper. There's simply nothing wimpy about the whole dish.

Black Hogg, 2852 West Sunset Boulevard (at Silver Lake Boulevard); 323-953-2820.
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Father's Office
If you dare ask for a substitution at either of this resto's Culver City or Santa Monica locations, you'll be met with a sometimes-stern "no." But even those When Harry Met Sally-style orderers will be pleased with the outcome on their plate — there's carmelized onions, bacon gruyére, Maytag blue, and plenty of arugula to spare. The sweet-potato fries, a cold brewskie (the 36-draft-long list is dizzying), and a daily dessert special makes for the most pleasing gourmet meal in two parts of town!

Father’s Office, 3229 Helms Avenue (near Venice Boulevard); 310-736-2224.
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Pier Burger
Wouldn't you agree that juicy, greasy, and chewy are the essential adjectives to describe the ideal patty cake? Well, that's what they're dishing at this place smack-dab amidst the chaos of the Pier. Just make sure to ride the ferris wheel before chowing down!

Pier Burger, 330 Santa Monica Pier (at Ocean Avenue); 310-587-2747.
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The Spice Table
The name of this eatery isn't referring to racks of saffron, oregano, or parsley — its Southeast Asian grub will set your mouth on fire! And the cheeseburger is no exception. With ground short-rib, shallot mayo, sambal, curry-pickled cucumbers, lettuce, tomato, and Kraft American cheese, you'll def be thirsty for a signature Singaporean lager, Tiger Beer, to wash all that seasoning down.

The Spice Table, 114 South Central Avenue (near West Broadway Street); 213-620-1840.
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Egg Slut Truck
Since Handsome Coffee doesn't serve the other kind of fuel, we like to grab this auto-show burger roadside, then sit inside the hip space to enjoy. The Egg Daddy 2.0 is our favorite in which a 100% all-beef patty marinates with avocados, caramelized onions, over medium egg, and honey mustard aioli — all on a perfectly baked brioche bun.

Egg Slut Truck at Handsome Coffee Roasters, 582 Mateo Street (at Willow Street); 323-606-3593.
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The Oinkster
Well, thank goodness someone is serving up a sando that doesn't cost as much as a plate of filet mignon! It's not a drive-thru, but the Eagle Rock spot presents inexpensive flavor packed into its freshly ground and spice-rubbed 1/3 pound of Nebraska Angus beef (the best from the Midwest!). You can add or subtract Thousand Island dressing, dill pickles, onions, tomatoes, and lettuce at your discretion. When we first dug in, this little piggy didn't want to come home!

The Oinkster, 2005 Colorado Boulevard (near Shearin Avenue); 323-255-6465.
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Little Bear
This Belgian-inspired hangout, which recently opened in the booming Arts District, rarely has a one-time-only customer. The Little Bear Burger is brimming with fresh-ground angus beef patty, mushrooms, truffle oil, Stilton cheese, crispy onions, arugula, and cherry gastrique — all on a brioche bun. Don't forget to swig down some European ale while you're at it!

Little Bear, 1855 Industrial Street (near Jesse Street); 213-622-8100.
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Umami Burger
Well, if you haven't tried it by now, you best hightail it to one of Adam Fleishman's eleven locations (can you even believe how quickly it turned into a phenomenon?). The Umami Master Sauce is the trick, and the Truffle Burger with house-made truffle cheese and glaze is the cow's moo.

Umami Burger, 189 The Grove Drive (near West 3rd Street); 323-954-8626.
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Five Guys
When this East Coast cult fave finally made its way out West, we were so stoked for an alternative to the you-know-who staple (see next slide). It was necessary to shake our taste buds up! (We're curious who you think wins in a battle between the two?). Double patties come standard, so it gives our gut some weird gratification to order the "Little Burger" for our regular menu choice.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries, 530 West 27th Street, Suite 101 (near Magnolia Avenue); 213-749-7710.
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In-N-Out
Does it need words? It's a cult fave for a flavor-y reason. 'Nuff said.

In-N-Out Burger, 7009 West Sunset Boulevard (at North Orange Drive); 800-786-1000.
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