A patty melt is a burger consisting of a hamburger patty, melted cheese and topped with caramelized onions between two slices of bread (traditionally rye or marbled rye, though sourdough or Texas toast are sometimes substituted in some regions, including the southern U.S.). In some places, (not in the U.S.), a patty melt is an open sandwich, served on a single piece of toast or two halves of a bun. It is unclear when the patty melt was invented, but records exist of them having been commercially served as early as the 1940s. The patty melt is a variant of the traditional American cheeseburger, taking the burger back to its sandwich inspired roots by serving it on bread versus a bun.
Several culinary writers suggested that Los Angeles restaurateur Tiny Naylor may have invented the patty melt sometime between 1930 and 1959, depending on the source. Even if Naylor did not invent the sandwich, it is agreed that Naylor and his family helped popularize the sandwich in their respective restaurants, that included Tiny Naylor's, Du-par's, and Wolfgang Puck's Granita, over the past half century or more.