- Wojciech Kozielczyk/ iStock
- Shake Shack is a chef favorite for chain burgers
- Whataburger’s mustard sauce makes it stand out
- Five Guys’ customizable burgers give them an edge
Chef-ed up hamburgers – that is, burgers made with premium meats and designer beef blends and labor-intensive toppings like caramelized onions – may be hyper-trendy, but sometimes all you want is a simple fast-food burgers.
Double that if you’re a chef, short on free time and well, maybe burnt out of all the over-the-top burger creations taking over restaurant menus across America. We asked chefs to share their favorite fast food burgers from chain restaurants, so you can order like a pro next time you pull up to the drive-thru.
Shake Shack has lots of fans.
- Instagram/ Shake Shack
“Hands down, Shake Shack. It is fairly priced and delicious.” – Dianna Daoheung, executive chef of Black Seed Bagels
“I have say Shake Shack’s Shack Stack. Simply put, it’s an umami bomb. The stuffed portobello, the cheese, the patty, the potato bun – I love everything about it.” – Eric Sze, chef-owner at 886
“No other chain hamburger comes even close to a Shackburger at Shake Shack. When we opened Somerset, the Chicago Shake Shack location sent tons of burgers and fries to our staff for family meal and everyone was thrilled!” – Chef Lee Wolen, Somerset
“Shake Shack’s ShackBurger is my jam. When I’m trying to not eat meat I’ll get the Shroom Burger and feel less guilty.” – Billy Riddle, co-executive chef, Spice Finch
In-N-Out is super fresh.
- Instagram/ In-N-Out
“I ate two In-N-Out double doubles in one sitting. Its meat, produce, and bun are all super fresh. The burger itself aside, In-N-Out is family- and community-oriented, and the nostalgia, story, and warmth of familiarity of tradition for its region just makes the In-N-Out Burger that much more delicious.” – Simone Tong, chef-owner of Little Tong Noodle Shop.
Whataburger is a Texas classic.
- Hollis Johnson
“In Texas, the king is Whataburger. What makes it so delicious is the mustard, Whataburger is so different from the other guys when it comes to sauce. It’s so mustard forward, which they blend with mayo to make a creamy sauce. I love to go into Whataburger and get what everyone is getting, a burger at 2 a.m. when I’m buzzed from honky-tonks.” Chef Doug Adams of Bullard .
Five Guys has lots of toppings.
- Hollis Johnson
“The best chain hamburger is Five Guys double cheese with fresh jalapenos and pickles.”- Chef Greg Proechel of Ferris.
White Castle has a light bun.
- Drew Angerer/Getty
“There is nothing better than walking down the strip in Vegas handing those beautiful squares off to crazies out on the town! Sharing is Caring! By far the lightest bun known to man and all those beautiful mini onions are so perfectly distributed in every bite!” – Chef Patrick Rebholz of Yardbird
Order the #6 at Wendy’s.
“Definitely the #6 from Wendy’s. I used to work at Wendy’s during high school, so I know the #6 is best.” – Greg Baxtrom, chef and owner at Olmsted.
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