Burgers and Southern California go hand in hand, in the summer and all year round.
For gourmet and healthier takes on the classic burger in Santa Monica, enjoy these standout downtown area burger joints with delicious menu offerings, takeout options and beer and wine selections.
Get your grill on and eat well on-the-go!
This growing Southern California chain has multiple area locations including Santa Monica and Larchmont, which just opened this month.
Burger Lounge uses all grass-fed beef for its handcrafted burgers. Organic American cheese (sourced from Northern California) and organic ketchup are among the fresh toppings on the "classic” burger here. Other menu choices include an organic quinoa veggie burger, free-range turkey burger, fresh vegetable salad and more. Gluten-free burger buns are available.
The summer season brings an organic buckwheat salad to the menu and for a limited time, a crispy chicken sandwich. Look for house-made lavender mint lemonade, too.
Order online here.
213 Arizona Ave., 424-238-8950, www.burgerlounge.com
Just adjacent to downtown on Broadway, one will find the Quonset hut housing Pono Burger and its organic and fresh grass-fed beef delights. Ingredients are sourced from small California family farms.
Select signature burgers like the “posh” with sautéed organic mushrooms and homemade truffle aioli, or build your own burger. Add a side of organic hand-cut pommes frites. Additional offerings include a seasonal farmer’s market salad (with farmer’s market peaches, local burrata and organic pistachios) or a meatless burger. Gluten-free burger buns are available.
Summer creations include the “Palani” burger with chèvre, bacon, an organic sunny-side up egg, organic arugula and more. Try the organic strawberry milkshake, too.
Order online here.
829 Broadway, 310-584-7005, www.ponoburger.com
Near Ocean Avenue, visit the bustling Santa Monica location of this local chain.
Pick from among several beef burger selections like the "Stout" burger, which has blue cheese, rosemary bacon, roasted tomatoes and more. The“six weeker” features brie, fig jam, arugula and caramelized onions.
Explore veggie burger alternatives like the “Cali fresh” served with pepper jack cheese and avocado, or organic ground chicken burger options. All burgers can be ordered “skinny Stout style” without a bun, and suggested beer pairings complement each burger’s unique flavors.
111 Santa Monica Blvd., 310-260-8679, www.stoutburgersandbeers.com
This popular and rapidly expanding national chain currently has a Santa Monica home within the Fred Segal retail complex, which is set for re-development.
The “original” burger includes a parmesan crisp, shitake mushroom, roasted tomato, caramelized onions and house-made ketchup. The menu has other options like a truffled beet salad, and the "Hatch" burger with roasted green chiles. Order a portobello mushroom for a meatless alternative and lettuce for a bun-less option as well.
500 Broadway, 310-451-1300, find it here.
Writer’s note: Part Two will explore other burger spots all around town.