Pier B 2

I was overdue to step foot on the Santa Monica Pier. Last week, the driving force behind the oceanfront visit was the promise of a great burger.

On an unusually cool day for Santa Monica I drove out to Pier Burger with a friend, in the nexus of tourists and a trove of eats and spectacles, past the warm scent of cinnamon wafting from a churro vendor.

Pier Burger serves exactly what you’d expect—nothing over-complicated, no Roaring Forties blue cheese or arugula, no custom grind on a baked brioche; they favor simplicity, with an Angus patty and American cheese all up for a reasonable price. For those looking for something beyond the pale, they serve fish and chicken sandwiches too.

Pier BurgAfter a ten-minute wait single- and double-pattied burgers arrived. With shared fries, we were out sixteen dollars—not quite In-N-Out prices but I’m sure oceanfront rent is steep!

They were beautiful creations; in a cardboard box framing appealing sandwiches nestled in their parchment pouches, maintaining an even meat-to-veggie ratio. The flavors were pure, the American cheese lending a buttery layer of flavor, a judicious application of Thousand Islands sauce that supported the seasoned and tender quarter-inch patties.  The veggies were fresh, cool and crisp and the bun was reminiscent of croissant, flaky and fluffy. All the elements came together well. The fries were on point too, seasoned liberally with coarse crystals, adding a little snap to the soft burger bites.

A trip to the Pier, in the off-season, played out marvelously. No lines, easy parking and missing traffic both ways while the burgers were solid. I couldn’t have asked for more on my first visit to the historic Santa Monica Pier.