Pasadena Restaurants to Celebrate Local Invention of the Cheeseburger

Published on Jan 7, 2022

Pasadena restaurants will celebrate all things cheeseburger during Cheeseburger Week from January 23rd to January 28th.

Each January, Pasadena honors Lionel Sternberger’s inspirational genius when he became the first known person to put cheese on a hamburger and serve it at the Rite Spot in Pasadena.

According to the legend, in 1924 the teenager 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 in 1924 has been documented by Hamburger America, the Los Angeles Times and even Time magazine in its obituary of Sternberger.

To celebrate Sternberger’s burger masterpiece, Pasadena restaurants are offering specials, unique creations and the tried and true. From the nationally recognized, cheeseburger at Pie ‘n Burger to the Zacatecas Burger at El Portal and Yahaira’s, Pasadena’s burger purveyors pull out all the stops with special menu items and pricing. Dog Haus offers its acclaimed Haus Burger for $6.99 at both Pasadena locations.

Patrons can find 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

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

Make a Comment

  • (not be published)