Gone is the day when you can get a decent burger beyond fast food for less than ten bones. Lucky for us, there are choices not too far from a number of So Cal campuses. So here’s part 1 of our list of best burger bang for your college student buck.
Slater’s 50/50 (61 N. Raymond Ave, Pasadena, CA 91103)
Bacon, bacon, and more bacon! Wonder why this gastropub is called 50/50? Because their most popular patty is 50% beef and 50% bacon! If you’re a bacon lover, you’re never going to want to leave this place. Slater’s is known for their bizarre burger combos such as the Peanut Butter & Jeallousy, a personal favorite if you dig that childhood pastime–a whopping half-pound patty topped with peanut butter, strawberry jelly, and two thick cuts of meaty bacon on top of a honey wheat bun. For all you Fritos lovers, they’re also known for putting the famous corn chip in the Fritos Crunch Burger. And for you Mac n’ Cheese lovers, they have an awesome Buffalo Chicken with toasted Cheez-its baked right into the crust. It’s absolutely full of ooey-cheesy-crunchy goodness and worth a try! And you can’t come here without ordering the Mac and Cheese Bacon Balls. While the outside has a perfectly fried crispiness to it, the inside is a soft, melted explosion of flavor. And on the side is none other than bacon ketchup. But don’t be surprised if the salt on the table has bacon in it too. And lasty, don’t forget to pair your burger up with one of their many beers on tap.
The Apple Pan (10801 W. Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064)
Possibly known as one of Los Angeles’s best and most classic burgers, the Apple Pan has been around since 1947 serving the same hamburgers since it’s opening. As you walk in, the main seating area is just a U-shaped counter. Most often times you’ll have to wait for a seat, but it doesn’t take that long. Order the Steak Burger with or without cheese or the Hickory Burger. They wrap the burgers in paper and smack it down onto the countertop within minutes, literally. While they’re not gourmet and covered by a brioche bun, they’re amazing in their own right and simplicity. The burgers are the best you can get for the price in LA, and you absolutely cannot go here without getting an apple pie with vanilla ice cream. The experience you get at this place will be unique, but it’ll make you feel like you’re back in the 1950s.
The Habit (multiple locations)
Growing in size to become the next best burger chain on the West coast, The Habit in my opinion is comparable to the amazingness of In n Out. In some ways, it’s better because the burgers are fresher, bigger, and don’t rely on their magical “spread” to make it taste good. The Habit offers a Double Charburger for as little as $3.50 and many other sandwich and salad options if you’re not feeling beefy. You really can’t beat that price when it comes to a decent sized fresh burger. Their most popular option that was just revealed from their secret menu is the Santa Barbara Style Burger–Two beef patties, cheese, grilled onions, and fresh avocado on grilled sourdough bread—need I say more? It’s essentially everything a hungry college student wants in a meal for a jaw-dropping price of $5.50. Order a half-and-half side of French fries and Sweet potato fries while you’re at it. The sweet potato fries are quite salted, but to the point of perfection right before you wanna squeal from sodium poisoning. If you’re not feeling a burger, the pastrami sandwich is the best I’ve had outside of a Jewish deli. So the next time you’re feeling a good fast food burger, skip the fast food option down the block from you and find the nearest location. Trust me, it’ll be your next habit!