The Counter — Craft your own signature burger down to the detail

By Joshua Lurie

The Counter

Photo Credit: Joshua Lurie

In an era where chefs “politely” decline substitutions and modifications, The Counter is the people’s champion. Jeff Weinstein founded the concept in Santa Monica in 2003, offering Angelenos more than a million different ways to “build your own burger.” The chain has since grown to encompass some two dozen spots in California, plus locations in eight other states and outposts as far off as Ireland, United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

Start your meal by selecting a patty: either hormone-free beef, chicken breast, ground turkey, ahi tuna, organic bison, house-made vegan veggie, or a market-driven wild card. Next, choose your size and personalize your own masterful creation by mixing-and-matching from the 17 cheeses, 36 toppings, 27 sauces, and eight buns—think a rosy lamb patty hosting red pepper–folded feta, punchy fried pepperoncini, shaved Bermuda onions, greens, and tomato on a sturdy bun, with tangy tzatziki on the side. Feeling overwhelmed by option anxiety? Just choose one of the nine signature burgers, and give it a boost with addictive sweet potato fries and horseradish aioli dipping sauce. The menu also hosts hearty sandwiches and salads, plus tempting turkey chili with chunky tomatoes, dried cranberries, corn kernels, and scallions. And for dessert, The Counter offers a selection of creative shakes, some of which are spiked with booze. Bonus!


Mon–Sat 11 AM–10 PM; Sun 11 AM–11 PM

price range

$2 (deviled eggs) to $18.25 (Bison Is Gouda)