Restaurant Review #165: Original Tommy's World Famous Hamburgers, Van Nuys

Double cheeseburger, no chili

Tommy's is a chain, yes, but if you haven't lived in southern California for a while, it's probably not familiar to you. Like me, you might be wondering, "what's so great about these burgers that they think they can call them 'world famous?' "

As far as I can tell, the only unique thing about Tommy's burgers is that they all come with chili on them. So if, like me, you're repulsed by the idea, smell, and appearance of chili on a perfectly good double cheeseburger, make sure you ask for your burger plain--or go somewhere else altogether. Without the chili though, the burger is a bit dry. The pickles add some moisture, but take away from the flavor of the burger, and the tomato slice was mealy -- one of my pet peeves.

If you need me to tell you what these are, you're in trouble

Tommy's fries are thick cut and a little soggy--I liked mine better after a few minutes in the toaster oven. However, I'm really more of a skinny fry gal, since I'm not much of a potato fan. The fries were nicely salted, though.

I also had a chocolate shake. The shakes come in one size (16 ounces) for $1.70 and were neither too liquidy nor too frozen. My chocolate shake tasted like it was made with real ice cream and was the highlight of the meal.

Overall, my visit to Tommy's didn't shake my loyalty to In 'n' Out, which remains my favorite stop for a fast food burger. Tommy's has been around for 60 years though and they're still opening new locations, so plenty of other people must love it.

Tommy's Burgers
14601 Victory Blvd
Van Nuys, CA
Tommy's Website

Multiple other locations throughout SoCal
Tommy's Original World Famous Hamburgers on Urbanspoon


Chubbypanda said...

Mmmm... Chili on a burger...

Damn diet. Must resist!

- CP

elmomonster said...

You know what? My high school was located next to a Tommy's. My college roommates always went on Tommy runs. I know of a Tommy's near the Chinese neighborhood of Rowland Heights where I usually eat with my family...but not once, all these years, have I had a Tommy's burger. I dunno...should I really start now?

Those fries look damn good though.

Anonymous said...

i totally love your blog and all your reviews and i almost always agree with your assessments of places i have also tried, but having tommy's without chili is just plain wrong! :)

it's like going to pink's and not having a hot dog or the counter and not having a burger. at tommy's the chili simply IS the burger. in fact, the place should be named, "original tommy's world famous chili." it is thick, stick to your ribs, clog your heart, make you feel full for the next 2 days good. the chili must be liberally applied to everything-the burgers, the dogs, the fries. tommy's is simply not tommy's without it!


Foodie Universe said...

I agree with you, but I had no idea Tommy's was a chiliburger place until I got my food and had to have the order redone. They were super nice about it, too, even though it was really my fault.

The food looks better than it tasted.

Anonymous said...

I have been eating Tommy's chili cheeseburgers since 1950 and they are the greatest chili cheeseburgers that I have ever savored. In the 1970'S I lived in Portland, Oregon and would fly too Southern California once a month just too have a Tommy's(3-5). Now I live in Lake Havasu City, Arizona and drive too Barstow Ca. once a month for my Tommy's fix and I always bring back a gallon of chili back home with me, this keeps me from going into the dreaded Tommy's chili withdrawels. Tommy's has changed over the years, they no longer have the Nehi soda pop but they do have french fries, malts(in some locations) and a breakfast sandwich, oh yea once upon a time they didn't even have napkins too wipe your hands and face off with, all they offered was the same type of paper that they wrapped the hamburgers in, and beleave me as messy as Tommy's are you needed something. Only one thing left too say, long live Tommy's the greatest chili cheeseburger and hamburger in the known universe.
Ken King, Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Anonymous said...

The Tommy's Restaurant located in Pico Rivera, California used to serve very good food. But, I think that in recent years the quality of the chili has become rather horrible tasting. Their chili doesn't taste the same as it did a decade ago when I used to frequent the joint on weekends. I used to cruise the boulevard with my sisters and our friends. Since then, the chili has become rather bland, pasty, and overcooked. It doesn't taste fresh anymore. They need to fix this problem or they will lose customers.

scooby said...

The tommys in huntington park california sucks....the chili tastes watered down and every single time we go there they screw up our order. Its like they see or recognize our truck. We ask for no tomatoe and they put tomatoe. We ask for picles on the side and they forget to give em. To us ...I ask for yellow chilis and the also forget that I mean attention is everything but damn man get it right...I've had enoug h of this place....I started going to boulevard burger in bell cali they got good burger and the atmosphere is 50s like and the don't screw up ur orders.