Cheeseburger Week Will Celebrate the Invention of the Cheeseburger in Pasadena Back in 1924

Published : Thursday, January 9, 2020 | 3:40 PM

During Cheeseburger Week from January 26th to January 31st, Pasadena honors Lionel Sternberger’s genius in being the first to put cheese on a hamburger and serve it at the Rite Spot in Pasadena in 1924. Forty of Pasadena’s favorite restaurants, lounges and burger joints offer their signature burgers, some special creations and great deals during Pasadena Cheeseburger Week.

In 1924, as legend has it, teenaged Lionel Sternberger burned one side of a hamburger patty at The Rite Spot, his father’s roadside stand along Colorado Boulevard (then Colorado Street) in west Pasadena. Rather than throw away the spoiled burger, he masked his mistake with a piece of cheese and served it to a very appreciative customer. Word soon spread and customers flocked to The Rite Spot for The Aristocratic Burger, A Hamburger with Cheese. Sternberger’s achievement is the first verified instance of someone serving a hamburger with cheese to a customer.

Over the years, Sternberger perfected his Aristocratic Burger, much to the delight of customers at The Rite Spot. Sternberger’s culinary achievement has been documented by Hamburger America, the Los Angeles Times and even Time magazine in its obituary of Sternberger.

To celebrate Sternberger’s culinary masterpiece, Pasadena restaurants are offering specials, unique creations and the tried and true. Patrons can experience the Zacatecas Burger from El Portal and Yahaira’s, the K-POP from Dog Haus and Dog Haus Biergarten, the Impossible Burger at Umami or the traditional, and nationally recognized, cheeseburger at Pie ‘n Burger.

New participants for 2020 include Roy’s, Alexander’s Steakhouse, Smitty’s Grill and Granville. Pie ‘n Burger, Dog Haus and Dog Haus Biergarten and Roy’s are among those offering special prices and/or offerings created for Cheeseburger Week.

Patrons can experience a terrific burger experience, from top-of-the-line fine dining experiences to burger stands and lounges. Those wanting a variety of experiences can organize a cheeseburger crawl or follow one of the pre-planned themed crawls.

Information on venues, specials, cheeseburger crawls and more can be found at

Here is the current list of participants:

Cheeseburger Week is a Pasadena Restaurant Week and California Restaurant Month event presented by the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce. Cheeseburger Week is generously sponsored by Wells Fargo.






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