Arts & Entertainment

9 cheeseburgers in paradise (aka LA) for National Cheeseburger Day

A cheeseburger ar Villains Tavern.
A cheeseburger ar Villains Tavern.
Photo courtesy of Guzzle & Nosh

Perhaps the greatest national holiday of all happens Sunday: National Cheeseburger Day.

Need a place to celebrate? Here are nine great Southern California cheeseburgers, from simple to fancy.

1. Belcampo

The haute butcher with locations in Santa Monica, the Grand Central Market and West Third St. serves a gussied up version of an In-N-Out burger — but made with grass-fed beef.

2. In-N-Out

Speaking of fast food, you can't go wrong with a double-double from the SoCal burger chain... the flat patty, the melted cheese, the bun, grilled onions (your date will thank you). Pro Tip: Make sure to ask for your fries well done. That's the secret to eating well at In-N-Out.

3. Hank & Frida's Burger Time at Smorgasburg L.A. 

Haven't been to Smorgasburg L.A. yet? This is the perfect excuse to visit the weekly Arts District market. Like a less intense version of San Francisco's Ferry Building, it's stocked with food, drink and tchotchke vendors. This Sunday, chef Jamie Lauren will be onhand with her burger pop-up. Regular vendors will also reportedly server their own burger offerings, which should pair well with whatever's being poured in the beer and wine garden.

4. Dog Haus

Don't let the name throw you. The hot dog house also serves a mean burger. All day Sunday at any of its numerous Southern California locations, you can add a second patty and an extra slice of cheese to your burger for free, normally a $2 fee.

5. Bachi Burger

Asian flavors like shishito peppers, furikake and grilled unagi permeate the menu at this friendly pub. The banh-mi burger is made with pork, shrimp, pickled vegetables and nuoc mam sauce, a combo that recalls the flavors of a Vietnmase sandwich shop. Two locations: Pasadena and West L.A. (on the Sawtelle Blvd. dining hub).

6. Slater's 50/50

The small chain with a handful of locations is famous for adding bacon to its burger grind (hence the 50/50 in its name). Maybe one of its housemade offerings, with a patty as thick as a hockey puck, will tempt you. The original includes pepper jack cheese, avocado mash and an egg served sunny side up. Another option includes peanut butter and strawberry jelly. You can also opt for something simpler or design your own, choosing the size of the patty, the type of bun, cheese and a ton of other toppings.

7. The Escondite

There's something about this downtown bar that always makes it feel like Sunday afternoon — those lazy hours when you're still recovering from Saturday night but you refuse to let go of the weekend. The house creations range from tame — Cheddar, canadian bacon and red onion — to outlandish ones like the Fat Albert: Provolone, bacon, maple syrup and a glazed donut for a bun . Choose wisely.

8. Hinano Cafe

Jim Morrison's one-time Venice hangout still makes a mean burger. They call it the World Famous Burger, which may be a bit of an overreach, but it's still good and unfussy (so unfussy it comes with a bag of chips). True gluttons can order it topped with a  grilled hot link.

9. The Oaks Gourmet Market

Since opening in 2009, this Hollywood market has made one of the best burgers in town. It's half-a-pound of dry-aged beef beef topped with thick, smokey bacon and gooey tallegio, served on brioche. The jammy compote smeared on the bun kicks it into overdrive.