To foodies, especially burger lovers, May is known as National Hamburger Month as it’s the time of the year when people start grilling outside. Along with backyard barbecues, it’s always great meeting a friend for a burger and catching up.
I’ve been covering grass fed burger restaurants since the beginning of this blog in 2011. I’m amazed at how many great options there are now for grass fed burgers in Los Angeles. These real burgers can be found at everything such as pop-ups, butcher shops, fast casual joints, cafes, gastropubs, family restaurants, and even fine dining.
While more people understand the concept of grass fed beef, unfortunately the USDA requirements for a grass fed label simply mean the animal was fed grass one day. So now ranchers are using the term “100% grass fed”. All of the entries on this list both use meat from farms I’m familiar and meat which is indeed 100% grass fed.
With the places I list below, I also point out other ways the restaurants and businesses use real food from organic hamburger buns to local and organic produce to grass fed cheese to real condiments. I even list great beverage pairings that these burger eateries include in terms of cane sugar soda pops and shakes made with grass fed ice cream.
In alphabetical order, here are the 16 best grass fed burgers in Los Angeles:
Locations: Larchmont, Beverly Hills, Brentwood, Culver City, Marina del Rey, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Northridge
Originating in San Diego, the Burger Lounge has been popping up all over Los Angeles in the past decade and more recently have opened restaurants in Orange County, the Inland Empire, northern California and Las Vegas. Their beef comes from Grass Run Farms in the Midwest. If you get cheese in your burger, it’s pasture raised cheese from Rumiano, which is based in California. Burger Lounge works hard to also get all of their other ingredients from sustainable sources. The hamburger buns are baked with organic wheat. The 1000 island dressing for the burgers is made from scratch. Their burgers can then be paired with their drinks from the California based Batch Craft Soda. Burger Lounge is even sustainable in terms of recyclable to-go packing, composting leftover food, and using table tops made from recycled water bottles.
Burgers by Standing’s
www.instagram.com/burgersbystandingsWhile Jered Standing was working in and managing retail stores and restaurants, he got the idea to open a butcher which would combine local, sustainable sourcing with top notch customer service. Also being able to lend his vast knowledge of international and lesser-known cuts of meat, he opened Standing’s Butcher in 2017. Along with providing his loyal customer base with the highest quality meats, he’s also glad to pass along his expert cooking advice. Jered has been featured in New York Times, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Los Angeles Magazine. On Sundays, Standing’s serves grass fed cheese burgers outside its location from 11 AM – 3 PM. During the summer, Burgers by Standing’s does numerous pop-ups as well. The farms he uses are Richards Grass Fed Beef and Marin Sun Farms.
Clark Street Bakery
Locations: Echo Park, Larchmont, Brentwood
www.clarkstreetbarkery.comAfter having learned the bread making craft in Portland bakeries, working in traditional stone ground bakeries in his wife’s home country of Sweden, and being an assistant baker for organic farm Kenter Canyon, Zack Hall decided to venture on his own out of his West Hollywood apartment. He first delivered his bread to restaurants and shops and then opened a brick and mortar called Clark Street Bakery. There are now three locations for Clark Street, serving sourdough bread, organic baked goods, plus a breakfast and lunch menu. This includes the cheeseburger with it grass fed beef from Marin Sun Farms on Clark Street’s organic sesame seed bun.
The Curious Palate
Location: Santa Monica
www.thecuriouspalate.comThe Curious Palate co-founders Elliot Rubin and Mark Cannon had come from different walks of life when they launched the restaurant. Rubin was an engineer and Cannon was a television producer. Just as they came from diverse backgrounds, the plan was to also provide a menu with a diverse variety of foods found all over the world. In addition to a large menu, sustainability is an important part of The Curious Palate. Their produce is purchased from local farmers markets. Their grass fed beef comes mainly from Sun Fed Ranch with a part of it coming from Painted Hills Natural Beef. The Curious Palate has several types of burgers with toppings using worldly cuisines from California to Greece to Japan.
A Cut Above
Location: Santa Monica
www.acabutchershop.comAcclaimed chef Eddy Shin founded A Cut Above after having spent over 20 years working at high end restaurants. For five years, he was executive chef at Primitivo Wine Bistro. Prior to that, he gained his fame at Nick & Stef’s Steakhouse in downtown LA, working for Chef Joachim Splichal of The Patina Group. Shin’s resume also includes his time at Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats in Kingston, NY. Additionally, he was featured on the History series Modern Marvels in an episode titled “The Butcher”, where he gave expertise on dry aging. At his current A Cut Above butchery, he sells beef from Novy Ranches in Mount Shasta. A Cut Above has a diverse menu of sandwiches and salads. Among these items is a grass fed burger made from a blend of short rib, ribeye, and brisket, topped with caramelized onions, blue cheese, and a fresh Russian dressing, and on a brioche bun.
Locations: Highland Park, Los Feliz
www.goldburgerla.comThe origins of Goldburger began as an Instagram account about founder Allen Yelen’s favorite burgers and then turned into a burger pop-up all around Los Angeles. In October 2018, they opened a long running pop-up on a Silverlake patio. This lasted until restaurants were shut down on the March 15, 2020 due to the pandemic. On their last day at this location, they served a constant line until they sold out. Goldburger launched a pop-up in Highland Park two months later and ended up turning into their first brick and mortar. A year after, they built a second location in Los Feliz. Their grass fed beef is provided by Grass Run Farms. Goldburger also has Swell Soda on their menu. This soda is microbrewed and hand bottled in San Diego.
Graze and Gather Meats
www.grazeandgathermeats.comIn 2016, after 15 years of public relations for the health care industry, Graze and Gather Meats founder Steve Sabicer decided to try his hand at butchery. Like all of his staff, Steve had an apprenticeship where he trained for 10 weeks. The apprenticeship had him hooked. A year later, he became a partner at Electric City Butcher in Santa Ana. Being a Pomona College graduate and Claremont resident for over a decade, Steve had always wanted to set up shop in the City of Trees and PhDs. In December 2021, he was finally able to live his dream and opened up Graze and Gather. Graze and Gather has since done burger pop-ups and recently introduced a small menu at its butcher shop available on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday afternoons. On the menu are smashburgers and specialty burgers using their grass beef from Marin Sun Farms , Mariposa Ranch, and Stemple Creek Ranch.
Locations: Marina del Rey, Mid-Wilshire, Santa Monica, Studio City
www.hiho.laHiHo Cheeseburger is making a giant splash not only in the sustainable food world, but in the burger world overall. The eatery has won Los Angeles Magazine‘s annual Burger Bracket two years in a row. Last year, it was also awarded the people’s choice at the burger battle in the Los Angeles Times Food Bowl. Their beef comes from First Light Farms, which is a collective of 61 farmers in New Zealand raising wagyu cattle. HiHo’s burgers also contain organic lettuce and ketchup free of high fructose corn syrup.
Locations: Playa Vista, El Segundo
www.hopdoddy.comGuy Villavaso, Larry Foles, Larry Perdido, and Chuck Smith are four friends who shared the goal of creating new standards for a burger bar. Their vision was to bring together craft beer and gourmet burgers with high quality ingredients and even higher standards. In 2010, they accomplished this goal by launching Hopdoddy in Austin, TX. Hopdoddy is now found in 7 states, including California. Earlier this year, Hopdoddy again raised the standards by offering regenerative meat from Force of Nature. Regenerative ground beef is an option for any of their burgers or you can go for the two specifically developed to include the regenerative meat. The Mother Nature burger has Force of Nature’s beef plus Raw Farm‘s grass grazed raw cheddar and Vital Farms pasture raised egg. And the Buffalo Bill burger contains Force of Nature’s regenerative bison patty.
Locations: West Hollywood, Studio City
www.hugosrestaurant.comTerry Kaplan founded Hugo’s Restaurant with the vision of “a kitchen producing original, wonderful foods found nowhere else”. He describes the restaurants as “real food made in real ways”. They prepare the meals the way they’d feed their own families. Hugo’s sees that the principle of sustainability relies upon meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Their dishes are made to order from scratch using organic, non-GMO, and sustainable ingredients. Hugo’s has a large menu providing different items for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Among their lunch items is their burger using beef from Grass Run Farms, a collaboration of family farms producing 100% grass fed beef.
Lady Byrd Cafe
Location: Echo Park
www.ladybyrdcafe.comLady Byrd Cafe is a small neighborhood cafe in the Echo Park community. The restaurant is somewhat hidden as it’s surrounded by houses. Lady Byrd’s commitment to sustainability, isn’t limited to just it’s food. Its outdoor dining is filled with plants, flowers, and small greenhouses where people can privately dine. It also has two large open-air patios along with seating inside. Founder Misty Mansouri was inspired by European al fresco dining and the Amsterdam restaurant Mediamatic, which placed greenhouse for outdoor dining last year. As for Lady Byrd’s burgers, the beef they use is Grass Run Farms.
www.linguafrancaco.comHuHusband and wife restaurateurs Peter & Lauren Demos hit it big on the Los Angeles culinary scene when they debuted the sandwich shop Wax Paper Co. in 2015. In 2017, they opened a second and larger location of Wax Paper. But it would take six years before the concept of Lingua Franca would happen. Peter & Lauren wanted to create a restaurant where all ingredients were local to the state of California. And from their first Wax Paper being located in Frogtown, they loved the idea of having a restaurant on the walking path of the LA River. After being delayed due to the pandemic, Lingua Franco finally opened its doors in 2023. Among its menu listings is its burger with Stemple Creek beef and Point Reyes Toma cheese. The burger can be nicely paired with the root beer from the Indian Wells Brewing Company.
www.marketburgers.comTorrance Certified Farmers’ Market has one of the largest farmers’ markets in California with its 60 California famers every Saturday morning. The Torrance Market also has nearly as many food vendors, including Market Burgers. Market Burgers prepares its burgers with Novy Ranches beef and toppings from local farms. Market Burgers also does pop-ups in breweries in the South Bay, Long Beach, and surrounding areas.
Location: Santa Monica
www.ponoburger.comThe word “pono’ is Hawaiian for “to do things the right way”. This fits well with Pono Burger‘s Chef Windy “Makani” Gerardi’s philosophy listed right on the menu of using organic and farm fresh ingredients s for a handcrafted burger made with integrity that above all, tastes great. Their beef, in particular, comes from Eel River, which is located in Humboldt Country and part of the business collective Humboldt Made. Their toppings for burgers include produce from various organic California farms. One And if you’re in the mood for a shake with your burger, they’ve got milkshakes crafted with organic ice cream from the Straus Family Creamery.
True Food Kitchen
Locations: Pasadena, Century City, Santa Monica, El Segundo
www.truefoodkitchen.comTrue Food Kitchen was founded by Dr. Andrew Weil, a renowned physician of integrative medicine. The restaurant is all about serving food which works for people by nourishing them as healthfully as possible without sacrificing the flavor. True Food Kitchen carefully selects every ingredients of their signature dishes on the menu. Their grass fed burgers are a top menu item with its Cape Grim Beef and flax seed bun. Among the burger variations is their Peruvian grass fed burger with caramelized onion, Peruvian pepper sauce, a Vital Farms fried egg, and Point Reyes blue cheese. Another one of their burgers uses Force of Nature bison. On True Food Kitchen’s refreshers menu is limeade from the Tractor Beverage Co., the first only organic certified non-GMO beverage company for the restaurant and hospitality industry.
Location: Studio City
www.tuningforkla.com Chef Jason Jay Bedassie prepares burgers and other menu items with locally sourced ingredients at this Studio City gastropub. Tuning Fork supplies its beef from the Premier Meat Company, which has Sun Fed Ranch grass fed beef. Several nights a week, Tuning Fork has live entertainment with bands performing and its open mic Monday.