Bill’s Hamburgers

Opened in 1965 on an industrial stretch of Oxnard Street, Bill’s is the quintessential burger shack serving the quintessential fast-food burger (“What In-N-Out used to be,” we heard a regular announce to no one in particular). There are eight stools in front of an open window, a tiny covered eating area in the rear, and an even tinier kitchen, where 85-year-old Bill Elwell still flips elemental burgers ($3.50). They come with just mayo, onions, and pickles (no ketchup)—and potato chips (no fries) on the side. Cash only.
Best Classic Burger, August 2011
It’s been the same at this Van Nuys shack since 1965: beef, cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, and mayo layered with brilliant simplicity. At 84, Bill’s Hamburgers owner Bill Elwell is only a few years older than his well-seasoned flattop. If practice makes perfect—you get the idea.