Just past the railroad tracks of Chatsworth sits a small bright yellow burger stand, The Munch Box. This tiny walk-up has been serving Chatsworth locals and others since 1956. Today the ketchup and mustard colored building continues to be family owned and operated.
When The Munch Box opened in 1956 it made root beer on site, and it even had a hitching post out front for horses. Arriving at The Munch Box in the 1950s meant you even had the possibility of bumping into famed western stars Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, who were known patrons of the tiny burger stand. It also became a hot spot for the local high school, many of whom return for a burger when they visit for Chatsworth High School reunions. Sadly, root beer isn’t made on site anymore, and the hitching post is long gone, but it is a miracle The Munch Box remains, and it is thanks to locals.
At 300 square feet, The Munch Box isn’t fancy by any means, with picnic tables and the tiniest counter you’ve ever eaten on, but it is a relic of a fast fading time in Southern California history. In the 1950s walk-up burger joints with outdoor seating fit for sunny California and were common place, but today they are disappearing, one by one, being wiped off the map, especially here where land is worth big bucks. When threatened with closure due to surrounding development, the community banded together, writing 1,700 letters to the city council, urging for Cultural and Historic Landmark status. The Los Angeles City Council didn’t even discuss the matter when the question was raised, seeing the value instantly and unanimously passing the motion that honored The Munch Box as Historic-Cultural Monument number 750 in 2003.
Stop by The Munch Box for root beer and a burger at 21532 Devonshire Street in Chatsworth.