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Life's better with a burger for National Hamburger Day

Friday is National Hamburger Day and whether you're a holiday purist or game for whatever dining shenanigans head your way, we've got a few deals and ideas to help you celebrate.

Pepsi is offering burger lovers the chance to try their favorite burger with a free Pepsi. The only catch is that you'll have to buy it and the company will reimburse you. Simply share a photo of yourself with your burger and Pepsi product of your choice on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtag #BetterWithPepsi.

Diners can also click on a #BetterWithPepsi ad on Facebook or Instagram and share their receipt.

The brand will reach out to verify the receipt that shows the purchase of a burger and Pepsi. Once it is verified, consumers will be provided a rebate via Venmo, PayPal, or digital gift card up to $3.49. (Full details can be found at pepsiburgerday.tryadrink.com/terms.)

Pepsi's #BetterWithPepsi campaign took a deep dive into consumers' preferences, conducting third-party blind taste tests and a survey on how burgers with signature offerings from the top three burger chains — McDonalds, Burger King and Wendy's — paired with different beverages (Pepsi or Coke).

According to their blind taste test, conducted by an independent sensory and product evaluation firm in the L.A. market, approximately 60% of participants preferred their Big Mac, Whopper and Dave’s single with Pepsi over Coke.

Looking for other deals? Offers.com found a few on burgers, cards and more.

Burger King: For a limited time, buy one Whopper, original chicken sandwich, Impossible Whopper, Big Fish, or nine-piece chicken fries at regular price and get a second one of equal or lesser value for just $1.

Carl’s Jr.: Get 15% off when purchasing $20 or more in gift cards online at Carl’s Jr.

Chili’s Grill & Bar: Purchase $50 in Chili’s gift cards online and get a $10 e-Bonus card for free.

Del Taco: Buy one double Del cheeseburger, get one free when purchasing through the Del Taco app.

Jack in the Box: From Friday through Monday, all orders placed on the Jack Mobile App will be discounted 20%.

McDonald’s: Every Friday at McDonald’s, with a minimum $1 app purchase, get a free medium order of fries.

Popeye’s: If burgers aren't your thing, why are you reading this article? But seriously, get a deal on a chicken sandwich on Fridays until July 30. On Popeye’s Free Sandwich Fridays, spend $20 or more ordering Popeye's through Grubhub and get a free chicken sandwich combo and free delivery.

Wendy’s: Use the Wendy’s mobile app on Friday to place your order and get a Dave’s single or junior bacon cheeseburger free.

Local favorites

One of the best burgers I ever had locally was at Henry's in Lake of the Woods near Frazier Park. The little hamburger spot, located next to a small market, also sold Mexican food but it was the burgers that kept my family coming back. My dad and I would stop there if we were working on the route, delivering beef jerky and other snack items when I was younger. He's still a local distributor (buy Carson's Grandpa beef jerky!) but now I'm writing about food and other things for a living.

The burger had a special sauce similar to In-N-Out but the overall hamburger was much better than the beloved chain. It's not easy to eat in the car on those windy roads but I'd do it again for another one of those.

Other great local options you can still get:

The Ortega cheeseburger at Happy Jack's Pie 'n Burger (1800 20th St.). There's a reason the small downtown spot just celebrated 45 years under current owners Ruben and Frances Rosales, who bought it from the namesake "Jack" after he owned it for 13 years. The pepper adds just enough spice to balance the juicy burger, which can be modified with bacon if you so desire. Remember this is a cash-only spot, and don't forget to get a side of Jack's potatoes (better than fries) and a slice of Rudy pie (half peanut butter, half chocolate, all delicious).

The chili cheeseburger at Woolworth Diner (1400 19th St.). The classic lunch counter, which is the last one in operation in the U.S., is dishing up solid burgers, shakes and more, but for my money, the chili cheeseburger is where it's at. Add the onions because you might as well double-down on the possible heartburn. The cowboy burger, another off-the-menu item, is a worthy choice. The burger is topped with crispy onion strings, bacon, cheese and two house-made sauces: barbecue and the special sauce, which is similar to Thousand Island dressing.

Customized burger at Two Goats & The Goose (1514 Wall Street Alley). Back when the downtown spot was Muertos, owner Shawna Haddad-Byers had five burgers in rotation. Now, other than the Hudson, you create your burger based on a list of toppings. I would recreate the homeboy, which came with bacon, grilled serrano peppers, Jack cheese, onions, lettuce and mayo. Two Goats gets extra points in my book since you can select grilled green beans as your side; get those veggies in wherever you can!

The 28-day dry-aged bone marrow burger at Eureka! (10520 W. Stockdale Highway). This small chain has this item on its menu that uses locally raised Santa Carota carrot-fed Angus beef. The burger is topped with bone marrow shiitake butter, charbroiled onion, horseradish mustard aioli and roasted Roma tomato.

Crest Bar and Grill, which already has plenty of burgers to choose from, has added a hip new option: the L.A. burger. It's a certified Angus beef patty topped with grilled chorizo, melted pepper jack cheese, beer-battered jalapeños, roasted Ortega chili, crispy onion strings, fresh avocado, tomato and chipotle mayo on a brioche bun.

Stefani Dias can be reached at 661-395-7488. Follow her on Twitter at @realstefanidias.