What are the Best Fast-Food Burger Sandwiches?

Updated on August 18, 2018
wpcooper profile image

Finn Liam has a career in librarianship, having worked in a variety of library settings. He currently lives in Southern California.

I've sampled a lot of burgers and rated them according to several factors, including quality and price. Let's get right to it!

The Contenders

Restaurant
Quality
Price
Overall Value
Carl's Jr.
7.5
6
7
Five Guys
7.5
4
5.5
Freddy's
9
8
8.5
The Habit
8.5
7
8
In and Out
8
8.5
8
Jack in the Box
7
8
7.5
Red Robin
7.5
6
7

Carl's Jr.

Western Bacon Cheeseburger

Price: $8 - 10

This has been one of my favorites for many years. A burger patty, cheddar cheese, onion rings, bacon, and barbecue sauce make it a delicious meal.

One of the more filling ones and at almost 1,000 calories if you take in the meal, you get more than half a day's worth of fuel.

This is one hamburger that is hard to default on. Other than the price, which makes it one of the more expensive fast-food offerings, the burger is a guaranteed hit if you are a fan of cheeseburgers.

The price, however, is one of the setbacks. I can still recall a time when you could set down a five dollar bill, order this meal, and expect some change. I guess inflation is everywhere, especially fast food.

Five Guys - the little burger

Click thumbnail to view full-size
No combos available.  Everything a la cartethe burger is pretty typicalI choose a shake - unlimited ingredients (including bacon)
No combos available.  Everything a la carte
No combos available. Everything a la carte
the burger is pretty typical
the burger is pretty typical
I choose a shake - unlimited ingredients (including bacon)
I choose a shake - unlimited ingredients (including bacon)

Five Guys

Price: $15 - 20 (for a meal)

Well, I almost walked out immediately after looking at the menu, but thought that I should at least give this place a try.

The first thing that struck me were the prices. For a small hamburger, you can expect to pay over six bucks. For a bacon cheeseburger - which is what I wanted - you will probably fork out ten.

The hamburgers really are not that special. They do taste like they are hand-pressed and fresh grilled. The patties have an odd shape - they are not round. The beef is actually pretty good, but not worth the extra funds in my opinion.

The French fries are not that much better. They are fresh cooked, but the other place (In and Out) has much better chips.

There isn't much of a variety here either, burgers and hot dogs. I don't think I saw chili on the menu. I guess the fresh cooked is sort of an in thing today and many of the fast food franchises - including McDonald's are taking advantage of it.

Honestly, I would probably head to In and Out if you want a fresh burger. It's not as big. But then again, there is always Carl's Jr.

I really don't understand what the fuss with Five Guys is about. And my meal - a small burger, French Fries and a shake was almost fifteen dollars. At least the cook put some extra fries in my bag. I think he saw the expression on my face when I looked at the menu.

Nutritional Information

I wanted to include the nutritional facts earlier in the article due to the fact that these are important numbers to consider when you consume food. I didn't include the proteins or nutrients but instead focused on the areas which most people seem to be concerned about: fat content, sodium, carbs etc.

These are serious details to keep in mind when eating. Most people neglect their diet until it is too late. They are diagnosed with diabetes, acquire a heart condition or some down with some other ailment that may have been avoidable had they paid attention to what they put into their mouths.

While I enjoy fast food, putting together this essay was an eye opener for me when I compiled the chart below.

Please keep in mind that some of the figures may vary depending upon what you add to your burger, but the numbers alone should probably inspire you to consider healthier choices on a frequent basis.

Nutritional Information

Restaurant
Calories
Carbs
Sodium
Fat
Carl's Jr.
750
75 g
1,500 mg
35 g
Five Guys
480
39 g
430 mg
15 g
Freddy's
460
31 g
1280 mg,
23 g
The Habit
560
34 g
1,770 mg
36 g
In and Out
480
39 g
1000 mg,
27 g
Jack in the Box
700
39 g
1,180 mg
45 g
Red Robin
1,200
75 g
1,610 mg
78 g
Figures are estimates based on internet information and may vary depending upon toppings requested and sides that accompany the burger. Statistics above are for the sandwich ONLY.

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Freddy's Steakburgers

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Freddy's

Price: $6 -8

Well, not your typical burger at Freddy's. It's actually a chopped steak sandwich - which is basically what a burger is - pressed into a patty form.

The meat is delicious and you can have your basic Freddy Burger with cheese, onions and a variety of other toppings.

The French fries at this place are really neat as well. Thin and crispy, but very filling.

When I'm in the mood for a unique burger, I head out to Freddy's. It's filling and very tasty. Better than your average fast food sandwich.

The Habit

The Habit offers juicy burgers and fresh cut fries
The Habit offers juicy burgers and fresh cut fries

The Habit

Price: $8-10

A relatively new restaurant where I happen to live on the West Coast. By new I mean within the past ten years or so.

The habit offers large portion burgers with fresh bread and toppings. Portions are generous and the burgers have a charbroiled taste because they are (supposedly) cooked on an open flame. (I really didn't pay attention to the details when I ordered my food).

The fries are fresh cut - which seems to becoming fashionable now a days.

As far as value for your money - you get a nice sized burger that tastes fresh for a pretty good price. There are nice variety of options to pursue as well: barbecue bacon, avocado, cheeseburgers.

Many locations offer other meats to choose from such as chicken or steak.

A great value when you feel like going out to a burger restaurant. Usually, they are pretty crowded curing peak dining times which is a testament to their popularity.


In and Out

In and Out - the basic cheeseburger

Price: $5 - 7

Well, this was one of my favorites years ago. A toasty bun, a fresh cooked patty, and your choice of toppings. You can choose the meal with a side of fresh cut fries and a soda or shake.

A lot of hype surrounding the place. I think the last time I tried In and Out, it wasn't as good as I remembered it. I don't know if the franchise's quality is slowly subsiding now that it's expanding as much as it is or if it is a sign of the times.

The burgers are still pretty good, but they do seem to be getting smaller. The best part about In and Out is the French Fries which are made right in front of you with the potatoes diced up right in the restaurant.

A pretty good deal as far as fast food is concerned. I recommend it if you're hungry or happen to be driving by and catch a whiff of the delicious aroma that surrounds every In and Out Burger Place.

I like the fact that the buns are usually grilled crisp with a toasty coating and just the right kind of seasonings.

They are supposed to have a good reputation for taking care of their employees as well.

Jack in the Box

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Who makes the best Hamburgers?

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The Sourdough Jack

Price: $6 -8

One of the staples at Jack in the Box is the Sourdough Jack.

The sandwich includes a patty, bacon, Swiss cheese, tomato, and dressing on a sourdough patty. I usually skip the tomato and dressing.

Overall a pretty good sandwich. I sometimes find the meet to be a little dry, but I do like the bacon and cheese.

Most of Jack in the Box's food taste the same and this is no exception. While not spectacular, this burger hits the spot. With the fries and the drink, it makes a good combination for lunch or dinner.

Good if you're traveling or looking for a local staple. And the price is right.

I would recommend it.

Red Robin

The Whiskey River is one of my favorites
The Whiskey River is one of my favorites

The Whiskey River

Price: $12 - 15 (plus tip)

One of the promises made by this establishment is the bottomless French fries. Unfortunately, my recent experiences with Red Robin has taught me that they are not very generous with this rule. Often they will bring me a plate with six to eight steak fries. Sometimes they taste like they were re-fried too.

The burgers are usually pretty good and my favorite is the Whiskey River.

The patties are not that large - they may have been at one time - and are what you can expect from a regular fast food restaurant.

The taste is average even though the ambiance of a sit down restaurant is supposed to add to you dining experience. You should ask yourself though is it worth paying twice the price? Unless you are here for a business meeting or like an afternoon cocktail before your lunch, you might be better off somewhere else.

I've had both the chicken and the beef version of the Whiskey River and have to say that the taste of the food is not that much better than I could expect from somewhere else. The buns are packaged and not made fresh in the restaurant. The toppings pretty standard.

Overall I would probably skip it.

Questions & Answers

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      • wpcooper profile imageAUTHOR

        Finn Liam Cooper 

        4 months ago from Los Angeles

        Thanks Larry. I guess you can only say so much about a hamburger - they all kind of taste alike now.

        I had fun with my surveys though.

      • Larry Rankin profile image

        Larry Rankin 

        4 months ago from Oklahoma

        Interesting analysis.

      • wpcooper profile imageAUTHOR

        Finn Liam Cooper 

        4 months ago from Los Angeles

        I remember a place called Fuddruckers back east. I haven't seen one in awhile.

        I'm kind of on the verge of giving up red meat. I like a burger maybe once a week or so.

        I had Five Guys today and that really turned me off.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        4 months ago from USA

        I haven’t eaten red meat in more than 20 years, however I used to really love a restaurant called Fuddruckers that specialized in hamburgers. Don’t know if they are still in business but they were phenomenal.

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