The rise of the hamburger in American is tied to the spread of automotive culture during the last century. Already in the 1930s, octagonal or circular fast food restaurants with pull in parking and car-hops were already serving sandwiches and hamburgers. However it was the post-war prosperity of the '50s that saw such a huge shift towards lifestyle and cites built around the automobile.
The Los Angeles area had a big part in this re-imagining of the urban environment and was also the birthplace to a host of hamburger chains during in this era:
was founded in 1946: the original Beverly and Rampart location is still dishing the original chili onto their satisfying burgers (they are open until 3am).
was founded in in 1948 in Baldwin Park and continues to supply the Southland with good fast food at a large number of locations. I am always impressed by the upbeat vibe among the staff and the devotion of the clientele.
was founded in 1953 in Los Angeles; their fare is a little more expensive but definitely a quality product.
McDonalds started their business in the San Bernadino area in 1953 and ushered in a new era of efficiency in the restaurant world. The still operational Downey McDonalds (at 10207 Lakewood Boulevard 90241) was the third McDonalds ever and has only slightly been renovated (it was designed by Stanley Meston and is on the National Register of Historic Places).
There are many, many notable smaller scale hamburger enterprises in L.A. Looking at just Pico Boulevard we have: Apple Pan
, Marty's Hamburger Stand (10558 W. Pico Boulevard 90064), LA Burger (6001 W. Pico Boulevard 90035), and Capitol Burgers (4301 W. Pico Boulevard 90019).
Los Angeles is most definitely a burger friendly city! A lot of the restaurants on the 10 best list take a more upscale approach and offer a gourmet burger.
8479 Melrose Avenue
Parisian Cuisine Meets Los Angeles... read more
10801 West Pico Boulevard
East of Westwood Blvd
2005 Colorado Boulevard
7465 Melrose Avenue
850 S La Brea
Burgers calling upon the fifth taste... read more
426 N Fairfax
Great burgers and funky ice cream... read more
1611 North Vermont Avenue
This fast food chain is a step above... read more
2575 Beverly Blvd
This one is the original Original... read more