The Definitive Burger Chain Ranking

It’s National Hamburger Day, and you deserve a burger ranking that you can trust. But most burger chain rankings are skewed. Some favor high-sellers like McDonald’s and Burger King. Others are based on small samples of people who clearly have no idea what they’re talking about. (In-N-Out? Seriously?)

But on National Hamburger Day, you need a list you can trust. Here’s BTRtoday’s definitive burger chain ranking.

8. Hardee’s/Carl’s Jr.
Their commitment to being nakedly unhealthy gets the nod. The burgers here are barely above average, which makes them perfect for pigging out on before cancelling plans.

7. Wendy’s
Wendy’s chicken is better than their burgers, but their burgers are still pretty great as far as fast food chains go. The Baconator alone makes them worthy of the list.

6. Whataburger
Whataburger tries to toe the line between cheap burger joint and decent dine-in restaurant. But the burgers should be better. Completely serviceable, nothing spectacular.

5. In-N-Out Burger
Listen, In-N-Out is perfectly fine. Its burgers are good, and the Animal Style sauce takes them up a notch. But they just don’t live up to the hype delivered by ex-Californians and Quentin Tarantino fans. Is that fair? No. But the ranking is appropriate.

4. McDonald’s
McDonald’s sells a crapload of burgers for a reason. Sure, it’s mostly due to affordability. But it’s also because classics like the Big Mac and Quarter Pounder always deliver.

3. Steak ‘n Shake
Options are king at Steak ‘n Shake, but you can’t really go wrong—the burgers are no-nonsense tasty. They do a brilliant job of straddling the line between fast-casual and straight-up fast food.

2. Five Guys
Five Guys know they aren’t selling salads and broadcast the gluttonous nature of their fare. Any burger less than a double is considered “little.” They cook their fries in peanut oil. You can gorge yourself on actual peanuts while you wait. And their burgers reach the ideal level of greasiness that’s delicious and not too overwhelming.

1. Shake Shack
Shake Shack burgers are the pinnacle. Both the patty and toppings are fresh. They don’t hit your stomach with the same sickening thud of their competitors. Shake Shack is the best fast-casual chain out there, and it all starts and ends with their burgers.