Ten Great Burgers in Orange County

St.RoyJC3.jpg
Kevin Lara / OC Weekly
St. Roy Chef's Pub... a worthy stop.

If there's any list of these "Best Of Best Of Best Of" items that's likely to engender bitter debate, it's this one. Burgers inspire more debate than any other food we write about, mostly because everyone in Orange County, even those with wooden palates, know what makes a good burger. Some people think the new upscale burgers are ripoffs; some people think fast food is evil.

We had to limit this to ten, which means some worthy contenders got left off--so let's give them love in the comment section!

10. Pee Wee's

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Dave Lieberman
It's meant to be a throwback, but Pee Wee's is today's Orange County distilled in a single eatery; their bánh mì burger is a long, thin patty that looks like a kabob, stuffed into a French roll and dressed exactly like a bánh mì, with chiles, cilantro, do chua and mayonnaise. 5942 E. Edinger Ave., Huntington Beach, (714) 846-3100; peeweesfamous.com.

9. Riders Club Cafe

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Riders Club Cafe
San Clementeans can keep a secret; the Riders Club is off most burger lovers' radars, but not for long. While it's a pretty standard burger, the addition of roasted pasillas and a fried egg--beg for over easy--makes for some of the best eats in the 949, and at $7.95, it's the lowest price point for fancy burgers. 1701 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente, (949) 388-3758; ridersclubcafe.com.

8. In-N-Out

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Edwin Goei
Sure, it's a huge chain, but its corporate office is right here in Irvine, and no list of top burgers could possibly exist without the burger that inspired jealousy even in jaded New Yorkers. Artisanal? No. Fancy? No. But good? Oh, yeah. Somewhere south of a million locations throughout OC; in-n-out.com.



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82 comments
MoeJoe
MoeJoe

If you think "In and Out" is a "great" burger...then you just totally discredited your ratings. In & Out is "ok" but certainly nothing great...only great compared to McDonald's lowest priced burger

thepotter4
thepotter4

Thanks, Dave for the great info!!! I'm a burger lover!

ChuckUFarley
ChuckUFarley

No Mick's mentioned, but the ever-fellated In-N-Out wafer burger makes the list?  C'mon, Dave....!!

jvolzke1
jvolzke1

Mission Grill, across from Mission San Juan Capistrano. Great burger, great setting, great price.

Joel White
Joel White

You guys should really look into G-burger in La Habra. It would definitely make your list.

jmossman
jmossman

The minute you put Burger Parlor on this list you lost all credibility.  The key to a good burger is the flavor of the meat and Burger Parlor's meat has no flavor.  That's why they load it down with all kinds of other crap.  #coverup

Kit Hope
Kit Hope

Fantastic Cafe's Avocado Burger.

cbc
cbc

The Standard burger at Harry's Deli should be on this list.

Avanti Natural
Avanti Natural

Can't wait till you do the 10 Great Veggie Burgers in the OC Dave Lieberman >> We know our Killer Avanti Veggie Burger packs a flavor punch!

carrollx
carrollx

Where is The Counter Burger? I think there is three in the OC now. Hmmm. Interesting oversight

Combo
Combo

The pictures are making me so hungry...

Mrjdailey55
Mrjdailey55

Wow no Micks Karma bar? The only place that grinds the meat into patties as they are ordered? Someone didn't do there homework when they made this list.

New York City Hotel
New York City Hotel

This is 10 excellent hamburgers, written by Lady. How this excellent discussion beginning somehow represents a problem with our newspaper is unusual..

Mmmm... Umami
Mmmm... Umami

What is happening with plans for an OC Umami? They need to spread the Umami to this side of the county line!

Oscar Gonzalez
Oscar Gonzalez

Ho can you not include The Counter? Am I missing something?

Greg Goodall
Greg Goodall

Burger Stop in San Clemente or A's Burgers in San Juan Capistrano should bump In n Out rigth off the list...ANY homestyle burger joint should bump In n Out off the list...over rated, over salted...

jack
jack

The 50/50 burger is better as a leftover

Tqt888
Tqt888

I agree with "thatguy". Mick's Karma Burger in Irvine is great. Very juicy and full of flavor. Unique combinations as well. You guys should try it.

gabriel san roman
gabriel san roman

I'm staring too long at that bacon burger coming in at #2. Must.go.now.

Jerry
Jerry

G Burger should have been number 2 and Riders Club should have been number 1, end of story.

Bob Hunt
Bob Hunt

Good selections all and I'll add one you wouldn't associate with a burger. Jerry's Dogs at 17th and Tustin and other locations. Try it, you'll like it.

Brphx602
Brphx602

Pee Wee's kills it! The el diablo!

bob
bob

Sparkling logic.  I live in La Habra, so it annoys that G Burger, named Best Burger by the Weekly just months ago is left off the list, but Burger Parlor, closed for four months now (and was only open for about the same length of time) is No. 1 here.  

Following that thread of reasoning, why not include Eat-A-Burger (corner of Imperial/Harbor about 10 years ago, where the Molca Salsa is now--it closed after about a year open); that guy was ahead of his time, taking the In-N-Out experience to the next level using fresh meat, fresh fries, artisan buns, interesting toppings, etc.

The list is bound to leave out any number of decent burger joints, but this really makes one wonder what's going on down at the OCW with the staff. 

Newportblue65
Newportblue65

In-N-Out.......It's passed the test of time !.........

N Ali2
N Ali2

Mad props to Mahon. The guy knows bad ass burgers. Much love 2 g burger too.

-Hamburgular

TheRefriedMexican
TheRefriedMexican

I gotta give it up to Islands Burgers although their fries suck. If I could switch Islands fries with Fatburger's Fat Fries then that would be heaven on Earth! George's Hamburgers in Fullerton would be my choice for favorite mom and pop joint. In N Out of course is king I don't care who you are.

Rick
Rick

Of course if the list had included all of Southern California.........Hodad's in Ocean Beach would have been at the top of the list!.......... Why no one has copied Hodad's bacon masterpiece is beyond my comprehension!...restaurants are dropping like flies, yet no one in the O.C. has gone with this proven winning concept??.........I even asked Slater about doing a bacon patty......he was like......"Nah....what we have is better"........I'm like........WTF?????

jon
jon

watermarc burger w duck confit is pretty great

TylerDurden
TylerDurden

@Mmmm... Umami They'd be crazy to open one up south of the county line.  People there simply don't have good taste

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

The one in Laguna Beach is expected to open late spring; the one in Anaheim had to have the plans re-done and construction was just starting; the new one announced for the Camp (same developer as in Anaheim) is in the planning process.

TylerDurden
TylerDurden

@Oscar Gonzalez yeah, your taste buds.  Cuz the Counter sucks

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

First of all, I haven't been to G Burger yet. I will get there eventually. I don't write about places I haven't been.

Second, since it was a Best Of pick, it's already in our Best Of application. These ten are also now in there, which makes the Best Of application more useful.

Third, Burger Parlor is opening imminently. Watch this space for that announcement.

909Jeff
909Jeff

If you read the whole article you would have seen that Dave wrote this..."We had to limit this to ten, which means some worthy contenders got left off--so let's give them love in the comment section!"Flag

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

This is 10 great burgers, written by Dave. How this great conversation starter somehow signifies a problem with our paper is bizarre...

gustavoarellano
gustavoarellano

WHOA, THE HAMBURGLAR!!! But where's Grimace???

Sent from my pinche iPhone

Tqt888
Tqt888

Hodad's is burger paradise

Thomas
Thomas

Dave,A big mistake not including G Burger.  Voted Best Burger of 2011 by the very magazine your writing this for, your ignorance is untolerable.

thepotter4
thepotter4

@Thomas "magazine your writing for" - YOUR should be spelled YOU'RE

Dave Lieberman
Dave Lieberman

Hence why it's already in the Best Of app, written by someone who has been there. Sorry I've ruined your life through an Internet blog post.

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