Essential Hamburgers of America

In-N-Out Burger 

There are plenty of detractors who don't understand the beautiful simplicity, everyday accessibility, and overall wholesomeness of this burger," Kang says. 

Workingman's Friend

Burgers can be ordered as singles, doubles, and topped with cheese, though make sure to marvel at the patties, so thin you can nearly see through them.

Santa Fe Bite 

The burger itself has steak-y heft, and the hint of Swiss in the cheese mix slightly mellows the smokiness of the chilies."

Pie 'n Burger 

os Angeles's Apple Pan did it first (opening in 1947), but according to Solares, the old-school Pie 'n Burger lunch counter in nearby Pasadena serves "the quintessential version of the Southern California burger."

Matt's Bar 

Best of all: the griddle at Matt's has long cooked nothing but beef and fried onions.

Founded in 1963 as a true drive-in, its burgers — including cheeseburgers and the McD's-like Quarter Pounder with Cheese — seem "untouched by time," Solares says.

All-American Drive-In