Life

The Best Burgers In The McDonald’s Lineup, Ranked

Sales numbers don’t lie. Grabbing a burger at McDonald’s is still an incredibly common piece of the American experience. For some of us, it’s an economic necessity. For others, it’s all about nostalgia. Or maybe those famous fries are part of your personal cheat day meal.

Whatever the case, the Arches are still a major player in the fast-food conversation.

Since so many of us are prone to hitting up Mickey D’s for a quick bite, we thought we’d rank the best burgers on the McDonald’s menu right now. Not the special releases, mind you — we’re talking about the nine burgers that are on the chain’s national burger menu. Other than that caveat, our methodology is pretty simple. Which one hits those umami-comfort notes we crave? Which stand up, without having to add or take away a component? Which has the flat out best flavor?

That’s the question of the day and we’re taking it head-on. Let’s go!

9. Hamburger

McDonalds

Average Price: $1.59
Calories: 250

Toppings:

Ketchup, mustard, pickle, and minced white onion.

Burger:

This is one of the most simple burgers on the list and in fast food overall. But it’s in that simplicity where this burger falters. There’s very little “there” there when it comes to both either appetizing or filling. It’s… a little bland. Though the simplicity of the pickle and onion is a nice touch.

Bottom Line:

Even if this is on the Dollar Menu, it still feels like you need three or four of these to feel full. And that’s way too many calories for the flavor you get.

8. Big Mac

McDonalds

Average Price: $5.49
Calories: 550

Toppings:

Shredded iceberg, Big Mac sauce, one slice of American cheese, pickles, and minced white onion.

Burger:

This is the burger that made McDonald’s a powerhouse in the fast-food space. Does it hold up? Not really. It’s big but in all the wrong ways. The extra bun in the middle really doesn’t add much besides an almost-cardboard texture. The Big Mac sauce is great but gets lost with all that bread.

Bottom Line:

Order this without the extra bun in the middle and add an extra slice of cheese and you’ll have a much better burger experience.

7. McDouble

McDonalds

Average Price: $2.69
Calories: 400

Toppings:

Ketchup, mustard, one slice of American cheese, pickle, and minced white onion.

Burger:

This is a standard McDonald’s Hamburger with an extra patty with cheese added. That, in theory, sounds like a great upgrade from the regular old hamburger. But there’s a baffling lack of a second cheese slice that knocks this burger down in any ranking. How often have you ordered this mistakenly — thinking it was a Double Cheeseburger (hey, ordering high can be hard sometimes) — and then realizing your mistake once you unwrapped this disappointing double burger with a single slice of cheese?

Bottom Line:

Who (soberly) orders this instead of the double cheeseburger? Honestly? When does anyone ever decided they want a double cheeseburger with double the meat but not double the cheese?

6. Quarter Pounder with Cheese Bacon

McDonalds

Average Price: $6.59
Calories: 630

Toppings:

Ketchup, mustard, two slices of American cheese, bacon, pickles, and sliced white onion.

Burger:

The Quarter Pounder is a very solid hamburger. Bacon cheeseburgers are a wonderful indulgence every now and then. However, McDonald’s rubbery and lackluster attempt at “bacon” is always such a disappointment. Who would have thought that bacon could bring the Quarter Pounder so low?

Bottom Line:

The play here is to replace the ketchup and mustard with BBQ sauce when you order. That way, you’ll have a McJordan throwback to the early 1990s that works better with the limp bacon.

5. Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese

McDonalds

Average Price: $7.29
Calories: 740

Toppings:

Ketchup, mustard, two slices of American cheese, pickle, and sliced white onion.

Burger:

This is a big double cheeseburger. Again, the Quarter Pounder is a very solid sandwich. The only reason this is lower than the other Quarter Pounders on the list is that this burger gets a bit unwieldy. That second meat patty is always sloppy and your hands are left a mess.

Bottom Line:

This is a pretty tasty burger, albeit a gut-bomb. It’s just a lot. You could eat a ten-ounce steak for about the same amount of calories and get two more ounces of protein. Just sayin’.

4. Cheeseburger

McDonalds

Average Price: $1.59
Calories: 300

Toppings:

Ketchup, mustard, one slice of American cheese, pickle, and minced white onion.

Burger:

It’s hard to argue with the McDonald’s Cheeseburger. Sure, it’s small and you almost always need to order two (or more). But it’s also a testament to how much heavy-lifting a single slice of American cheese can do on a hamburger, especially when you compare this to the classic hamburger.

Bottom Line:

Another testament to this cheeseburger is that you can smoosh two of them together and still have a tastier sandwich than a Big Mac. Bready, yes. But a full-fledged (stoner) classic.

3. Quarter Pounder with Cheese

McDonalds

Average Price: $5.49
Calories: 520

Toppings:

Ketchup, mustard, two slices of Amerian cheese, pickle, and sliced white onion.

Burger:

The Quarter Pounder with Cheese is the classic McDonald’s burger that their ad execs think the Big Mac is. This takes all the best elements of a McDonald’s burger with cheese — simple toppings, simple assembly — and makes it meal size.

Bottom Line:

You don’t need more than one of these burgers, which is a testament to McDonald’s, where a two cheeseburger meal is the norm. Still, it’s just a simple McDonald’s burger.

2. Quarter Pounder with Cheese Deluxe

McDonalds

Average Price: $6.19
Calories: 630

Toppings:

Ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, two slices of American cheese, Roma tomatoes, leaf lettuce, pickles, and sliced white onion.

Burger:

This is as close as you’ll get to a classic cheeseburger as you’ll get at McDonald’s. The addition of diner burger toppings and mayo works on the more traditional Quarter Pounder with Cheese and, yes, elevates it just above most of the competition.

Bottom Line:

The only reason this isn’t number one is that the lettuce has a short shelf life. Let this one sit a little too long (or don’t ask for it to be made-to-order) and that lettuce will wilt. Nobody wants that.

1. Double Cheeseburger

McDonalds

Average Price: $2.99
Calories: 450

Toppings:

Ketchup, mustard, two slices of American cheese, pickle, minced white onion.

Burger:

While value wasn’t really a component of this list, you can’t beat the Double Cheeseburger’s price. This is a simple and very handleable double cheeseburger that hits every mark just right.

Bottom Line:

This burger feels like it’s the only one on the list where nothing can go wrong, nothing needs to be added, and nothing needs to be removed. It’s perfect just the way it is, every single time. More importantly, you don’t feel as bad grabbing a McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger as you do a Quarter Pounder, since it’s so much lighter.

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