Written By: Jessica LaGrone and Jessica Ourisman of Locale Magazine
When the American dream comes to mind, one can easily paint a portrait riddled with images of freedom, Lady Liberty, the Bald Eagle and the most iconic patriotic symbol of all—a hamburger. If there is one thing Southern California is never short of, other than sun and surf, it’s burgers. For all of you Orange County-ers, we have compiled a list of 13 outstanding burgers scattered across the surrounding area. Caution for proceeding: may cause a monstrous craving that can only be vanquished with burgers. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Orange County burgers
Burnt Crumbs has done it again, serving up a truly spectacular burger for the books: the Western Bacon Cheeseburger. Angus beef with all your favorite toppings like barbecue sauce, fried onion rings, bacon and, of course, cheese. This is not your average cheeseburger, and is sure to leave you savoring even the crumbs. “Growing up, we’ve always loved burgers. They’re an essential all-American item,” said Co-Owner Minh Pham.
Native Knowledge: Getting their start as a trendy food truck serving the OC area, the wild popularity of the sandwich-oriented menu items at Burnt Crumbs has lead to, not one, but two locations of the local-favorite dining destination.
21056 Pacific Coast Highway, Ste M100
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Photo Provided By: Paséa Hotel and Spa
Did someone say free? From 5-6 p.m. on May 1, Tanner’s Restaurant is pulling out all the stops with free Shishito Sliders and complimentary beverages to celebrate the start of National Burger Month. After the first of the month, the seaside restaurant will be serving the Shishito Burger and a draught beer for $17 till the end of May! So grab your buds and get ready to indulge in burgers and beer all month long.
Native Knowledge: Get your ID’s out! You must be 21 years or older to attend the May 1 event.
Paséa Hotel and Spa
21080 Pacific Coast Hwy
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
We could spend hours debating which local spot has the best burger in town. However, when you’re looking for a great, solid burger, you can’t go wrong with Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern’s Famous Cheeseburger. A local legend for a reason! The patty is juicy with a nice char, the layer of melted American cheese covers the top of the burger and some of its curve, the lettuce, tomato and onion add some crunchiness to it all, and the Thousand Island makes this burger divine. All served with a side of fries.
Native Knowledge: You can order The Famous Cheeseburger any day of the week, but you can take advantage of their happy hour and order a burger and beer combo to get more bang for your buck. So, run, don’t walk, to try this burger.
Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern
Village at La Floresta
3325 E Imperial Hwy
Brea, CA 92823
25001 Dana Point Harbor Dr
Dana Point, CA 92629
Orange County burgers
Meet the carnivore’s favorite menu-item at Ruby’s, Orange County’s favorite throwback dining establishment: “The Hickory Burger.” The Hickory Burger is the bomb-dot-com for satisfying your hunger cravings. Served with two, melted slices of cheddar cheese, thick-cut bacon, onion rings and Ruby’s signature sauce. The burger is then covered with tangy barbecue sauce that will ensure your meal is flavorful and tasty down to the very last bite.
Native Knowledge: Get lunch with a view! The Ruby’s in Huntington Beach located at the end of the pier offers incredible views of the ocean.
1 Main Street (end of the pier)
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Orange County burgers
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The next time you’re craving a gourmet burger made from the finest ingredients, pop over to SOCIAL Costa Mesa for their mouthwatering Drive Thru Burger. Their culinary team, truly outdid themselves in recreating this delectable American classic for a hip and food-savvy crowd. Available on both their Social Hour and dinner menus, the Drive Thru Burger is made with Akaushi Beef for a difference you can taste. Burger-lovers will be satisfied even without opting in on the meal’s exquisite add-ons like a fried farm egg and bacon marmalade, but it’s worth the few extra bucks to get the works. #YUM.
Native Knowledge: Who says you can’t enjoy coffee with your burger? SOCIAL Costa Mesa is collaborating with Thunderking to create a coffee bar.
SOCIAL Costa Mesa
512 W 19th St
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
Food haul! 😲 . . . . . #BurgerBoss #BossYourBurger #BossYourFries #OCFoodies #Foodstagram #BossLife #Burger #Fries #LAEats #BurgerTime #BurgersAndFries #InstaBurger #BurgerLover #BossMoves #BeTheBoss #SimpleIngredients #BossYourLifeUp #CypressCa #CypressVillage #CypressHighSchool #LakeForestCa #LakeForestGateaway #MissionViejoCa #MissionViejoLife #TrabucoHillsHighSchool #PortolaPlaza #RiversideCa #TustinCa #VillageAtTustinLegacy #TustinHighSchool
Build your own burger at Burger Boss! Millennials and the up-and-coming Gen Z crowd can feel at ease with giant touch screens that allow you to fully customize your meal and visualize it in real time. Choose from 100% grass-fed beef, cage-free chicken and turkey, or vegan black bean patties, white kaiser, wheat grain or gluten free buns, a wide variety of cheeses, yes they included gouda, and sauces and toppings as far as the eye can see. With so many options, you’ll be able to have a different burger every time you go, which we assume will be multiple times a week. Stop by any of their locations in Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Cypress, Riverside, and coming soon to Tustin, to get a taste of these incredible burgers.
Native Knowledge: Stop by any of their locations in Lake Forest, Mission Viejo, Cypress, Riverside, Tustin and soon to be Newport Beach to get a taste of these incredible burgers.
23642 Rockfield Blvd,
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Fill your appetite without draining your wallet with a cheeseburger at Southern California’s homegrown TK Burgers. Serving the area for over 30 years, it’s easy to see why locals keep coming back. The charbroiled cheeseburger exemplifies simplicity and freshness. This burger, along with TK Burgers other items, are always made to order with fresh ingredients and locally supplied signature egg-buns. The restaurant’s divey atmosphere is perfect for quick bites or eating on the go.
Native Knowledge: Pro-tip! Be sure to order an extra side of their secret sauce for the ultimate fry partner.
24902 Chrisanta Dr
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
This foodie-centric burger joint focuses on the finest and utmost fresh ingredients for the ultimate craft burger experience. The highly popular Primetime is one for the burger books. This all-American grassfed Kobe burger has a thick layer of brie cheese—let’s be honest, brie is the real MVP of cheeses. Also featured is arugula, caramelized onions, truffle aioli and steak sauce to satisfy a diverse palate. “It’s a pretty decadent burger,” said manager Stephen Jors. And he’s right about that, the Primetime is decadent AF.
Native Knowledge: Everything made at Hopdoddy is ground in house, allowing guests to taste the freshness.
Hopdoddy Burger Bar
3030 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92782
If the term “cheddar hat” does not exist in your vernacular, it does now thanks to Tustin’s own American restaurant Hatch. This Orange County based grill is well known for inventive burger and sandwich concepts, including their specialty The Hatch. This all beef contemporary classic includes fried onions, original Hatch sauce and the famous cheddar hat of course. Add bacon for obvious reasons. “[The Hatch Burger is] our take on the classic cheeseburger with a twist: American Kobe Beef for quality, crisping the cheese to create a cheese hat, our Hatch Sauce, which is a special in-house blend and a Portuguese brioche bun,” said Hatch’s business partner Brent Reineke.
Native Knowledge: Nestled within The Union Market at The District, you can reward a laborious shopping day with a side of loco moco style fries that are served smothered in bacon gravy, furikake and topped with an egg.
2493 Park Avenue
Tustin, CA 92782
This wacky, cheesy burger loaded with ooey-gooey melted cheese will win you over, or cure a nasty hangover. The Skinderella comes topped with mixed greens, hatch chili, caramelized onions and a melted cheddar cheese skirt. Enjoy this burger in an equally unforgettable atmosphere that welcomes the friendly and “imperfect.” “Our potato buns are delivered daily by OC Baking,” said owner Donny Gaudiano. “We use steak and manually grind the meat every day.” The crisp, attentively made-to-order freshness is impossible to miss in every bite.
Native Knowledge: Pair your cheesy burger with a beer! Pie Dog has over 20 beers available.
229 E Commonwealth Ave, Ste A
Fullerton, CA 92832
Even if you aren’t checking in to the Balboa Bay Resort, definitely visit A&O Kitchen+Bar for a sensational Classic Kobe Cheeseburger. This one is quite the mouthful and truly exceptional down to the last savory chomp. Each bite of this generously sized burger is filled with onions caramelized to perfection, dill pickles, Vermont cheddar cheese and Thousand Island sauce, centered between a lightly textured brioche bun. “We used to have two burgers but this one was overselling,” said A&O Chef Rachel Haggstrom. “We put together the best components to make the perfect burger.”
Native Knowledge: Get stoked ketchup enthusiasts, because this burger is served topped with a rich housemade, chunky ketchup that is out of this condiment universe.
1221 West Coast Hwy
Newport Beach, CA 92663
GD Bro Burger is steadfastly gaining fame for its wildly delicious, Insta-worthy signature burger, the Juan and Only. Locals are obsessed over combining this bodacious burger with an authentic vividly-colored raspberry bun and a fried egg. The final masterpiece looks like it jumped right out of the technicolor Land of Oz. Don’t believe us? Visit GD Bro Burger and see for yourself. The fun doesn’t stop there because it is jam-packed with jalapeño cream cheese, pico de gallo, avocado and chipotle mayo.
Native Knowledge: Coming to GD Bro Burger means treating yourself. So why not polish one of these bad boys off with a scrumptious Oreo milkshake?
GD Bro Burger
2321 E 4th St
Santa Ana, CA 92705
Some like it hot, and those that do, go to Micks Karma Bar for The Habanero Burger. It is a spicy sirloin steak burger that is drenched in sublimely balanced flavors including four chile escalivada, garlic mayo, lettuce and tomato topped with queso fresco on their proprietary bun No 19. “We use four different types of chiles—roasted red peppers, habaneros, anaheim chile, and jalapeños”, said owner Michael Schepers. “The fresh cheese balances the peppers nicely.” If your ideal burger is full of cheese, spice, and everything nice – then The Habanero Burger has your name written all over it.
Native Knowledge: Guests are adamant about pairing this fire breather with Micks’ Strawberry Basil Lemonade.
Micks Karma Bar
2010 Main St, Ste 170
Irvine, CA 92614