Cheeseburger Week Returns With Everything

Annual Celebration honors the accidental merging of burger and cheese
By CYNTHIA YANG, Weekendr Staff Writer
Published on Jan 14, 2021

Pandemic or no pandemic, the cheeseburger thrives. While you may be enjoying this year’s cheeseburger offerings in your car or at home, Pasadena’s second favorite holiday season returns, with everything,  in 2021.


Forty restaurants, burger joints and other eateries will celebrate the 1924 invention of the cheeseburger in Pasadena during Cheeseburger Week, which runs from January 24th to January 29th. 


We’re just telling you now so you can line things up, and keep extra napkins in your car, because, for now, Cheeseburger Week is a take-out event. (Should Governor Newsom relax outdoor dining restrictions, we’ll keep you posted.)


The week honors Lionel Sternberger’s accidental genius in being the first to put cheese on a hamburger and serve it, over at the Rite Spot in 1924. 


Meanwhile, as the legend holds, a  teen-aged Lionel Sternberger burned one side of a hamburger patty at The Rite Spot, his father’s Colorado Bouvard roadside stand. 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’s culinary achievement has been documented by Hamburger America, the Los Angeles Times and Time magazine in its obituary of Sternberger.


Pasadena restaurants are offering specials, unique creations and the tried and true for this year’s event. Patrons can experience a wide range of take-out burger experiences,  from fine dining experiences to burger stands and lounges. If you’d like to dive in deeper, you can organize a cheeseburger crawl or follow one of the pre-planned themed crawls.


Several participants in the 2021 Cheeseburger Week celebration and Cheeseburger Challenge are offering special meals and deals. Let’s peep it:


  • Clearman’s Galley (The Boat) has their Charbroiled Cheeseburger Combo on special for $14.95.
  • Dog Haus (both locations) has 99¢ Cheeseburger Sliders and any of Dog Haus’ 7 amazing Haus Burgers for just $6.99 during Cheeseburger Week!.
  • The Raymond offers their Classic Burger with Fries for $18 and the Impossible (veggie) Burger with Fries for $20.  
  • The Stand has their French Onion Soup Burger for $12
  • Kathleen’s has their sublime Avocado Bacon Cheeseburger, with their house-made thousand island dressing. Served with onion rings or fries.
  • Mi Piace in Old Pasadena has created the Black Label Burger: exclusive Prime Rib Eye and Brisket mix with aged Vermont cheddar, raw Vidalia onion, organic tomato, Boston lettuce, and fresh made 1000 island dressing, with a toasted sesame brioche bun for $20.


Be hungry. Be very hungry.


For a full list of participants and more specials, readers can visit  You can also vote in the 2021 Cheeseburger Challenge, which opens January 24, 2021, and ends January 30, 2021.


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