The hot summer days lends perfectly to grilling weather. As an American tradition, citizens officially start the grilling season on Memorial Day weekend, as that signifies many things. First off, on that weekend, Americans celebrate an important federal holiday to celebrate and honor the lives of those lost while serving for the United States Armed Forces. The weather starts to significantly heat up by this weekend, following the inconsistent weather of April and much of May. As a result of the warmer weather, Americans take advantage of a holiday weekend off of work until the next federal holiday, Independence Day, to gather some friends & family for a party involving grilling. When thinking about grilling for a group of people, what food exactly comes to mind? I guarantee that hot dogs and hamburgers top the list. The notion to purchase these items in bulk contributes to the misconception that these foods do not taste good. The phrase “You get what you pay for” has never applied as much as it does now, as most who purchase in bulk tend to pay low per individual unit. If you seek quality, you will have to drop extra money for it. Hot dogs tend to bear questionable ingredients, but true hamburgers still exist in this world. If you happen to find yourself in Southern California this summer, check out these five places to grab some of the best burgers you will ever have. One bite into these will change the way you look at hamburgers forever.

5. Seoulmate‘s Fresh Off The Burger

In this day and age, people love to eat all sorts of diverse foods. California has almost every type of cuisine from around the world, which may overwhelm people who crave multiple types of cuisines at once. Thankfully, restaurants offer fusion dishes that mix up cuisines and combine two foreign concepts together, something that Seoulmate does very well. Nestled in a small shack that used to belong to Moshers, Seoulmate combines Korean BBQ with Latin dishes. The best of both worlds, this means that you can enjoy the savoriness of Korean BBQ in the form of finger food. For example, take their Fresh Off The Burger, which uses a Kalbi-marinated quarter-pound Angus beef patty. This burger also comes with fried onions, tomato, lettuce, American cheese, Seoulmate’s special spread, sesame, kimchi, and relish. Basically, they put a Korean BBQ bowl on a burger. You can snag this Korean-inspired burger for just $8.75.

4. Dog Haus‘ Holy Aioli

Americans traditionally have eaten at least one hot dog in their entire lives. Hot dogs represent one of the most common American foods when the rest of the world thinks about American cuisine. Depending on who prepares the hot dog, it can take on a variety of flavors based on either the meat or the toppings. This same concept applies to burgers – it can vary in flavor based on the meat and the toppings, and Dog Haus carries enough of a variety of toppings that they can come up with just about anything. Although known for their hot dogs, Dog Haus also deploys a lineup of burgers on their menu, such as their Holy Aioli. They use Hawaiian bread to hold together this burger with smoked bacon, white american cheese, garlic aioli, and caramelized onions. Put together, this burger tastes more like a dessert than a meal, and you can splurge on this because of its low price tag of $5.95. Grab a burger, a side, and maybe a nice cold beer while you dine here.

3. Fusion Burgers‘ Mexican BBQ Burger

One of the themes of my blog follows the premise of “You can’t judge a book by its cover.” Colloquially known as hole-in-the-wall businesses, the external appearance of some buildings may mask the true nature of the business inside. If you drive through a neighborhood that looks worn down on the outside, that does not necessarily tell the story of what goes on inside. If you drive through Highland Park, you may accidentally miss Fusion Burgers if you have no intention of looking for it. Though they appear simple from the outside, this restaurant truly serves some outstanding cuisine inside that rivals many of the more expensive restaurants around Los Angeles County. One of their customer favorites, the Mexican BBQ Burger, uses a burger patty made of al pastor meat, and comes with aillade (a variation of aioli), a grilled pineapple, caramelized onions, and Boston lettuce. Though it does not carry that fancy ingredients, it has all it needs to highlight the amazing natural juices of the al pastor meat. At just $9 for this burger, you cannot go wrong with this burger gone Mexican.

2. The Bottle Room‘s B&B Deluxe

There exists a concept called synergy. This concept states that the interaction of elements, when combined, produce a total effect greater than the sum of the individual elements and contributions. Basically, certain mixes and combinations together make for a greater product than the items separately. For example, bleu cheese and bacon burgers have existed for a while because the contrasting flavors of the bleu cheese and bacon make their flavor come out even more. If you seek an example of such, look no further than The Bottle Room. Locals regard The Bottle Room best for their ever-changing selection of craft beers from across the nation, but The Bottle Room also serves up some world-class cuisine, such as their B&B Deluxe. This marvelous burger contains black fig jam, St. Agur bleu cheese, duck fat onions, bacon, and arugula. I know many people who avoid bleu cheese – I used to stay away from bleu cheese too. However, this burger has the power to change your mind, and show you the wonders of how bleu cheese and bacon synergize so well together. Visit The Bottle Room and devour this burger for $15.

1. Wild Goose Tavern‘s Peppadew Cheddar Burger

People can often get surprised when they discover that a particular place serves food. Most adults go to bars to enjoy a few drinks with friends, or to simply take in the social environment. These patrons would not normally have food on their mind when they go out drinking, but food and adult beverages go so well together for flavor contrasting. When a bar serves food, it can serve to simply fill you up, or it can taste great A.K.A. hit or miss. If you want a bar to hit the mark, seek out Wild Goose Tavern in Orange County. You will often find locals visiting this bar multiple times a week due to not only their generous drinks, but the amazing food cooked up here as well. Patrons looking for a full and tasty meal will want to gravitate towards the Peppadew Cheddar Burger. A perfect handheld meal that frees up a hand for you to sip your beverage, this fulfilling burger comes with golden peppadews, oven-dried tomatoes, arugula, alfalfa sprouts, garlic aioli, and cheddar cheese. This burger not only tastes amazing, but will not break your bank, costing just $8. Come with friends, or come alone, but make sure you leave full and satisfied.

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