I’ve got a confession to make. A deep, dark and terrible secret.
I’ve travelled all over the world, to some of the classiest cities, and have been lucky enough to eat in some of the world’s most impressive restaurants. But at the end of the day, there’s nothing I enjoy more, nothing that satisfies my insatiable appetite for meat and carbs, than a good hamburger. There’s something about the guilty pleasure of juicy, hot ground beef, fresh salads, saucy toppings dripping from a tender bun…it’s just… I can’t… it does things to me.
And so, a great deal of my travels involve searching out the best hamburgers a country has to offer. And of course, in the United States, you’re expecting only the very best of hamburgers.
You can get fancy burgers with all the gourmet trimmings and latest fads, like kale and quinoa on a wholemeal brioche, but when it comes down to it, we all have a need for just a good, decently priced hamburger.
So, I’ve seen it as my responsibility to travellers all over the globe to put my stomach on the line in search of America’s best fast food burgers. That is, hamburgers you can buy from a fast food chain that cost less than $10.
Yes, I know that my top four list will cause controversy – I’m expecting a parliamentary inquest and federal level investigation into my findings as a result. But, regardless, here are my own personal top four burger chains that travellers need to check out when visiting the USA.
Washington DC based chain, Five Guys has to be up there as one of my very favourite burger chains in America. It’s an incredibly simple set up. They just sell good hamburgers, with stuff on them. And by that, I mean they sell their basic hamburger, which you can get as a double, and it’s up to each customer to choose what toppings they want on their burger. The best part is it’s all the same price – if you get one topping or all toppings, it’s the same price. I’ve been told that there’s over 250,000 different combinations that can be made from the 15 different toppings. Sounds like a bit of a challenge, if you ask me.
If that’s not enough, each Five Guys store also has a huge box of peanuts for customers to munch on while they wait, for free. Talk about getting your money’s worth! A huge favourite of mine are the Cajun fries – they’re seriously addictive, and I’ll confess, have often become a meal of their own for me…
One disclaimer – Five Guys burgers aren’t the fastest burgers in the world, which I personally see as a good thing. All the patties are cooked to order, and the burgers are put together carefully by their staff. The food is presented simply, which is part of their old school appeal. Burgers are wrapped in foil, which keeps them moist and warm, and then stuffed into a plain brown paper bag and the fries are served in a large paper cup. It’s a big feed and you’ll always be able to get variety here, by mixing up your burger toppings. Depending on how many toppings you get, the burgers will get rather messy – but I’m not complaining.