Trust us. We’re picky about our burgers. 

It’s no easy task to find the best hamburger in Orange County. There are hundreds of restaurants serving burgers in Orange County, from fast food drive-thrus to steakhouses.

We here at OC Native like to judge each burger on the same scale, whether it’s a $1 McDouble from the Golden Arches or a $22 burger from ARC in Costa Mesa. It has to nail down the foundation of a great burger to make it worthy of our attention.

The beef has to be fresh and of good-quality. The cook on the patty has to develop a crust. The cheese must be perfectly melted on top. The produce must be fresh. The toppings must have their place within the burger. The bun has hold the messiness of the ingredients and make its own individual statement within the masterpiece.

Oh, and if it has bacon, it has to be the top-notch stuff.

Yes, we’re picky about our burgers. We think you’re going to love our favorite burgers in OC. Without further adieu, here are the Top 3 Burgers in Orange County.

3. TK Burgers

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TK Burgers stays true to its Orange County roots.

Walk in and you’ll bumper stickers of various surf and skate brands adorning the walls. Alternative rock blares through speakers, as attractive college girls take your order.

But TK’s real beauty is in the simplicity of the burgers.

A cheeseburger at this mini-chain always start with fresh, never frozen beef, charbroiled to medium-rare. As a result, the beef is juicy, greasy and tasty. Under the burger’s signature bun, you’ll find house-made secret sauce, American cheese, iceberg lettuce, red onions, tomatoes and pickles.

And that’s about it. No fancy wagyu beef. No goat cheese. Not even a sprig of arugula.

And TK Burgers is expanding. It just opened a location in Santa Ana. Great burgers without having to brave the beach crowds? Is this real life?

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Locations in Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Mission Viejo and Costa Mesa. tkburgers.com

2. Rockfire Grill

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One of the best burgers in Orange County doesn’t even have a bun. It’s nestled in a freshly baked flatbread.

A flatbread that’s slightly crusty on the outside, yet soft and pillowy on the inside. #carbs

You can get any of the burgers on Rockfire’s menu and be pleasantly surprised. One of the best is the bacon cheeseburger. The beef patty is thick and juicy. The bacon is smoky. The burger is topped with grilled onions, fresh lettuce and tomato and a house-made aioli.

The fries are a perfect accompaniment to the burger, seasoned and crispy.

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And if you’re being joined by someone who isn’t feeling a burger, Rockfire also has excellent stuffed flatbreads, pizzas and salads.

Locations in Santa Ana and Mission Viejo. rockfire-grill.com

1. The Riders Club Cafe

There are only a few items on the menu at the Riders Club Cafe: a burger, a carnitas sandwich, a hot dog and a salad. The original roadside shack in San Clemente doesn’t even sell french fries. Fries be damned.

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While the carnitas sandwich is great, a tasty spin on the Vietnamese banh mi, the thing to get is the burger.

Each element in the burger at the Riders Club is perfectly executed. The beef patty is fresh and thick, then grilled. When it comes off the grill, it’s juicy and develops a beautiful crust on the outside. The burger is placed on a Challah bun, which is soft and buttery.

The Riders Club gives you the option of choosing your own toppings. This is what can make or break the burger. Go all out and you might ruin the harmony of the beef and bun.

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So, definitely get cheese, which adds some gooey goodness to your burger. Also recommended, the grilled mushrooms and onions. The savory goodness of both fuse nicely with the cheese, beef and bun.

Gas up the van kids, we’re heading to South County!

Locations in San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano. ridersclubcafe.com

What do you think of our picks for the Top 3 Burgers in Orange County?

Originally posted 2016-04-12 21:50:21.

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