What makes a great burger? Most of us would say quality ingredients and familiar flavors. We want our cheese melted and our buns soft — it’s not rocket science. But we can’t discount the importance of convenience and nostalgia when we’re thinking about the burgers we eat on a consistent basis. There are times when we just need something that’s quick, tasty, and familiar. And, you know what, there’s nothing wrong with that. Most of us can’t afford a $20 Impossible Burger every time we catch a craving. Fast food burgers are for the everyday. They’re what we grew up with. And we all have our go-to favorites.
Over at Ranker they asked their users to rank the best fast food burgers on the market. Ten thousand people cast votes and a top ten shook out as the polls closed. Now please note: This is not “The Best Burger On Earth.” It’s more of a popularity contest. It shows what the people who were polled like the best. It’s also about the actual burger, not the restaurant — so places like Wendy’s and Five Guys actually pop up more than once.
Also, Shake Shack’s internet beloved burger came in at number 24, even though our food editor called it the best fast food burger on the planet on the Foodbeast podcast. Do with that what you will.
Without further ado, ready your barbs. The people have spoken and these are the best fast food burgers in America.
10. MCDONALD’S — BIG MAC
Ah, the old classic made it in the top ten. The Big Mac helped make McDonald’s one of the biggest fast food chains in the world. And even though the popularity of this hamburger sandwich has waned recently, it’s still a stone-cold classic (we like our version better though).
9. FUDDRUCKERS — THE ORIGINAL FUDDS
Fuddruckers probably falls more into fast casual than straight up fast food. But that’s okay. The chain is known for their big burgers and using fresh ingredients like in-restaurant ground meats and fresh baked buns.
8. STEAK ‘N SHAKE — DOUBLE CHEESE STEAKBURGER
Steak ‘n Shake started as a humble Midwest burger joint and now has expanded across America, Europe, and the Middle East. Their Double Cheese Steakburger is as classic a burger as you can get with lettuce, tomato, pickle, and onion plus a nice ol’ slice of American cheese.
7. WENDY’S — DAVE’S 1/4 LB SINGLE
Wendy’s first entry on the list is the chains answer to an In-N-Out style burger. The burger comes with standards of lettuce, tomato, (red) onion, and pickle and is completely customizable.
6. BURGER KING — WHOPPER
The Whopper is a king of the burgers over at Burger King. The flame-grilled burgers used to be enough to make this one stand out from the crowd. Now, it’s more of old-school classic than a trail-blazer. Although, it’s also customizable, so it’s on you how good (or unhealthy) you want to make things.
5. WHATABURGER — ORIGINAL WHATABURGER
Texans swear by Whataburger. Indeed, it’s hard to imagine a trip to Austin without at least one dip into the a-framed burger joint. Their burgers are also in the never frozen category and are topped with mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and diced onions.
4. WENDY’S — BACONATOR
Wendy’s next ranking is a bacon bomb that gives your liver a run for its money. This monster burger has two quarter-pound patties, six slices of bacon, and two slices of American cheese smashed between a bun. That’s a half a pound (!) of ground chuck alone. Maybe see a cardiologist after consuming this one.
3. FIVE GUYS — BACON CHEESEBURGER
Five Guys’ huge Bacon Cheeseburger is a burger with just about everything on it. The burger bomb has grilled onions and mushrooms on a classic bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, mayo, ketchup, and mustard. See? Everything.
2. FIVE GUYS — HAMBURGER
People seem to either love or hate on Five Guys. Their burgers are built by you, so hating them has always struck us as odd (unless you just don’t like the patty). Anyway, a classic burger from Five Guys is completely customizable how ever you want it. Go nuts.
1. IN-N-OUT — DOUBLE DOUBLE
Is anyone surprised the classic Double Double is at the top? This fresh, never frozen burger generally comes with two patties, two slice of American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and In-N-Out’s special sauce. From there, you can customize anyway you want with a long list of secret menu options.