6 O.C. burgers that honor National Burger Day all year long


If blood type were determined by what you ate, I’d probably be blood type cheeseburger, or cheeseburger/pizza (kinda like Type AB). Not saying it’s a good thing, just saying there’s something about a grilled/seared/charbroiled beef patty with gooey cheese, cradled between two pillowy buns that I just can’t get enough of.

In celebration of National Burger Day, here’s 6 burgers in Orange County that I could always go for, no matter the day!


The Barrel Burger
The Beach Barrel, Newport Beach

A couple of twists take The Beach Barrel’s signature burger from standard fare to full-on flavor bomb. The patty is peppered with a spice mixture that adds smokiness and heat. That’s balanced with cool avocado and grilled bell pepper. Housemade Thousand Island and a thick slice of gooey cheddar cheese add familiarity, but this burger tastes like nobody else’s. BONUS: It’s available for takeout or local delivery in Newport Beach until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.


Big Papa Burger
Grits Fullerton, Fullerton

Chef Cody Storts recently added burgers to the lunch menu at Grits Fullerton. Try The Big Papa Burger with havarti, peppadew peppers, red cabbage, cilantro and Cajun aioli. Creamy cheese, tangy peppers, a lot of crunch, plus a well-seared, thick and juicy beef patty. It’s all held together by the best hamburger bun of all time, the potato semolina bun, which cradles the ingredients like a memory-foam pillow—dense enough that you’re finger marks will be imprinted in the bread when you set it back down.


Bun Taco
Naugles, Fountain Valley & (coming soon) Huntington Beach

Is it a burger? Is it a taco? Who cares—it’s delicious! A burger bun with taco ingredients (and those signature Naugles spices) done just the way Dick Naugles was making them back in the 80s. Less filling than the other monsters on this list, but it’s nothing a cheese burrito won’t fix!


Pastrami Burger
The Pint House, Orange

The burgers at Pint House are the biggest ones on this list. Massive is an understatement. If you can make it through a whole one you should get a championship belt. Try the Pastrami Burger (sliced pastrami/grilled beef patty) with Swiss cheese, caramelized onions, garlic aioli mayo, spicy mustard, lettuce, tomato and house-made pickles. The vegetables are fresh and the components are all well-made on their own, creating one delectable, over-the-top monster.


Manly Burger
Umami Burger, Multiple Locations in O.C. and L.A.

Essentially Chuck Norris in a bun. The manliest burger one can find. With housemade beer-cheddar cheese, bacon lardons (thicker, chewier, baconier), smoked-salt onion strings, mustard spread and Umami ketchup. Umami has flavor profiles down to a science (the sear! the crunch! the goop! THE BACON!) and this one is their finest achievement. Better with a Maple Bacon Old Fashioned on the side.


Zov’s Classic Cheeseburger
Zov’s, Multiple locations in O.C.

French influences find their way throughout Chef Zov Karamardian’s Eastern Mediterranean menu and even her burger gets the treatment. Simply complemented with fresh lettuce and tomato and a light herb aioli that adds extra flavor to the beef. What sets Zov’s Classic apart though, is that it’s one of the few standard burgers to use uber-gooey brie instead of cheddar or American—and it’s all the better for it.