You know what the best burger is? The double cheeseburger. It’s the most American burger that you can eat, filled with more of everything. Double cheeseburgers are beasts. Extra meat, extra cheese, extra satisfaction. It’s bombastic and bomb AF. Two burger patties with melted cheese, some lettuce, onions, tomato, and pickle … add some sweet and tangy burger sauce. Lunch is served. Though, you may need a nap after a burger this big. Or, at the very least, an extra 30 on the elliptical.
Our love of fast food is well-documented. So we decided it’s high time to finally power rank the best of the beast burgers out there. A few rules: no bacon and no fast casual (sorry Umami Burger). Let’s dive in.
10. Double Whopper With Cheese– Burger King
The Whopper holds a weird place in the pantheon on American fast food. It doesn’t have the pop culture cache of, say, the Big Mac. Yet it’s certainly tastier than McDonald’s signature sandwich. There’s something about the skunkiness of Burger King’s thick sliced white onions that keeps the Whopper this low in the rankings. Of course, you can simply order your Whopper sans onions, but still, one component shouldn’t ruin your burger. In the end, this king has no clothes.
9. Ultimate Cheeseburger — Jack In The Box
Jack In The Box has a lot going for it — deep fried tacos anyone? Their burgers don’t quite get the love they deserve. Jack’s Ultimate Cheeseburger wins extra points for having a really solid, buttery bun. This one also eschews the idea of putting anything resembling a salad on the burger and instead focuses on meat and cheese — a lot of cheese. You’ll feel great eating this burger and, if you’re stoned (which come on, you’re already at Jack In The Box), you’ll feel great afterward.
8. Double Cheeseburger — Carl’s Jr.
Carl’s Jr. makes some good burgers. They’re fast, filling, and cheap. Are they the best burgers in the whole wide world? Nah. But they get the job done. A big win at Carl’s Jr. is their hamburger sauce and grilled onions. The tangy sauce adds a much deeper umami dimension that moves us towards the better burgers further down on this list. Still, for $2.49 a pop, you could do worse than this double cheeseburger.
7. SuperSonic Double Cheeseburger — Sonic Drive-In
Sonic Drive-In has a classic feel to it. There’s something vintage-feeling when your burger comes wrapped in that shining paper that lets everything inside meld into a big, gooey, delicious mess. Sonic’s Double Cheeseburger hits all the classic marks of a burger with precision and simplicity. And sometimes that’s all you need. Crunchy iceberg, hints of onion, tangy pickle, acidic tomato, salty burger patties, and extra gooey American cheese tie the whole burger together like The Dude’s living room rug.
6. The Original Double ‘N Cheese Steakburger — Steak ‘N Shake
Steak ‘N Shake makes a damn satisfying burger. Is it the best? Tough to say… somehow it’s not as craveable as its cohorts. Still, there’s little to complain about here. The patties are crispy and grilled up to order with the right amount of salt. The lettuce, tomato, onion, and pickle are all perfectly fine. And the cheese is super melty. Overall, this burger will not disappoint — even if you won’t be running back to Steak ‘N Shake.
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5. Double Cheeseburger — McDonald’s
We’re not going to lie, nostalgia is at play here. But that’s not all. McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger gets this spot because it’s a straight-up outlier when it comes to double cheeseburgers. Nothing is overblown or average about this burger. It’s ketchup, mustard, pickles, minced white onion, two unassuming patties, and plenty of melted American cheese on a very middle-of-the-road toasted bun. It’s the simplest of the simple burgers on this list and it kinda works because it tastes nothing like the rest.
Now, whether that taste is something you dig, well, that’s another matter. Still, how many of us make clandestine Macca’s runs and only order this when we’re there? Exactly.
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4. Dave’s Double — Wendy’s
Wendy’s is the granddaddy of the current big-hitting fast food burger joints. They were making their burgers to order from non-frozen food before it was cool, yo. When you step back and take a look at the current model, this is really where it started. So, yeah, Wendy’s burgers are f*cking good. The patties are well-grilled with a nice dose of salt. The cheese melts just how you want it to, adding a nice messy factor. It’s in the salad on top where Wendy’s stands out. Red onion — you know, the onion that’s best eaten raw. Where the Whopper falls down on their funky white armpit onions, Wendy’s Dave’s Double shines with a smooth yet spicy set of fresh red onion rings that accent and never overpower.
3. Cheeseburger — Five Guys
Five Guys might seem like a bit of a cheat because their burgers are 100 percent customizable. So if you don’t like their burgers, that’s kind of on you. Still, their standard Cheeseburger comes with two hand-pressed and wonderfully salty patties. The rest is an exercise in excess — and what’s more American than that? The bun is so buttery. The cheese is so melty. And the salad components are on point — crunchy pickle, crisp lettuce, grilled white onions or fresh red onions, and fresh, acidic tomato. It’s messy and eye-rolling-in-back-of-head satisfying. Has anyone ever walked out of Five Guys disappointed?
2. The Double ShackBurger — Shake Shack
Spoiler Alert: our fearless editor has already told me I’m wrong for this choice. Well, Steve, you’re wrong. And here’s why. The Shake Shack burger lives and dies by how awesome their bun is. When the bun is fresh and buttery, this burger is great. But, when it’s a little stale and not heated through, this burger starts to fall apart. That’s compounded by the lettuce and tomato which are just average every time (honestly, the lettuce is almost always kinda limp). Now, that’s not saying that the hand-pressed and perfectly flat-top grilled burgers aren’t superb examples of the form — they are damn near perfection. And that cheese melts so well around those burger patties. But, for a burger this simple, details are where it lives and dies. And the wilted lettuce alone leaves this burger one small step from perfection.
1. Double-Double Animal Style — In-N-Out
A Double-Double is pretty wonderful on its own. But In-N-Out’s big burger falls down due to that slice of white onion in the middle — which if that’s your jam, then okay. Now, take that onion and dice and grill it “Animal Style,” and you’ve got something that transcends. Two perfectly grilled and wonderfully salted patties with a whole lot of melted and gooey American cheese. Add extra extra-tangy burger sauce with those grilled onions, always crisp iceberg, crunchy pickle, and thin slices of tomato and you’re getting somewhere tasty. Then there’s the bun. It’s average and simple. It’s butter toasted on the flattop grill and small enough not to be overpowering.
Why this burger gets the number one spot is because you can take that bun away and wrap this burger up in iceberg lettuce and it’s somehow kind of better. The Double-Double Animal and Protein Style keeps all the main elements but loses the bun. The freshness of the iceberg leafs adds a new dimension that works here. Why? Because the core components are that good.