SLIDERS ARE BACK AND IT'S OH-SO-GOOD
We love our burgers somethin’ fierce. We love them so much, in fact, that we realized we wanted to eat more than just one per meal; thus, the slider was born. Before long, sliders were on every menu you could find. Then began pork belly sliders, fried chicken sliders, and pretty much everything else you can think of.
But all of a sudden, the designer burger emerged and people lost interest. They needed their burgers full size, with gruyere! And truffle! The designer burger craze has gotten so big that most places wouldn’t dare even serve a classic burger-stand style burger anymore. Yet quietly in the midst of this, sliders have made a comeback. Here are some of the best places to find them in OC, LA, and beyond.
Union Market Tustin
This Union Market fave is pumping out sliders that locals lose their minds for. Choose from “Moo”, “Oink”, “Flap,” “Swim”, and “Sprout", to mix and match a slider trio for the ages. Options range from classic burger, to meatloaf, to fried oyster. You’ll pay a little extra, but it is oh-so-worth it.
If you find yourself in the Fullerton Hotel at Happy Hour (5-7, Sunday-Thursday), you’ll want to get in on The Little Burgers People Like, AKA New York strip sliders, with chef’s ketchup, goat cheese, arugula, and spiced tomato jam. And if you’re not there during happy hour? Well, just keep drinking until you are.
4th Street Market, DTSA
PPD knows you crave your pork, so get going on their banh mi-esque pork belly sliders, with crispy pork belly, pickled daikon, hoisin sauce, and creamy cilantro (feel free to wash ‘em down with an order of BBQ pulled pork nachos). And only $5.50 so, you know, get two orders.
Downtown Costa Mesa
Known for its entertainment factor (which includes live music and karaoke), The Wayfarer has also left their mark on Costa Mesa with slider specials every Thursday. Looking for sliders, but want to leave your fate to chance? The Wayfarer is watching over you.
BurntZilla is a marvel of Irvine ingenuity - the legendary Burnt & DogZilla trucks came together to create a killer brick and mortar. Definitely get all up in their fried chicken sliders, or pretty much anything that comes with those knockout pickled red onions. And for $3 a piece? Forgetaboutit.
This place is old school, in every great sense of the word. The menu is simple and perfect - cheeseburgers or fried chicken, fries, soda, and milkshakes. If you’re thinking White Castle, stop it at once - they’ve got nothin’ on the slidery goodness coming out of Twins. You’ll feel like you’re back in the 50s (in a good way).
You love soul food. You love sliders. Lucky for you, in addition to regular sliders The Boil has your back with catfish, oyster, and crabmeat. Crab boils are just that much better when you throw sliders into the mix (though many people attest that the sliders just might impress you more than the actual boil!).
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Wilder Shaw is an LA-based writer and comedian who doesn’t know why somebody would eat one burger when they could eat three. Holler at him on Instagram at @wildershaw and Twitter at @WilderShaw_
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