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15 Best Burger Chains in America

person holding a burger from a chain restaurant

The sizzle of the grill and the tantalizing aroma of charbroiled perfection are ingrained in the American culinary fabric in a country known for its love affair with hamburgers. This piece serves as your pass to a delicious voyage through the land of patties and buns, where we’ll investigate the leading competitors in the intensely cutthroat burger industry. These burger chains, which range from classic roadside eateries to cutting-edge, contemporary ideas, provide a wide selection of flavors, toppings, and preparations to suit every taste. You’ll learn about the background, standout dishes, and trade secrets that have made these restaurants famous for their burgers as we explore this delectable terrain.

White Castle

White Castle
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White Castle is truly royalty when it comes to sliders on a budget, but if you’re looking for a beast of a burger then this won’t be your go-to. The tiny burgers are great for a party platter if you’re hosting, but for a quick pit stop on the road, you’ll want to grab about 4 or 5 of these sliders just to make a dent in your appetite. 

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen
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Now if you’re looking for a burger that will blow your taste buds away then Dairy Queen won’t be the place, but they do serve a good variety of burgers from fish, to beef and also fried chicken. The selection of Blizzard treats does make up for the underwhelming flavor of the burgers, but you simply cannot complain when you can get a burger meal and a dessert for only $6. 


The McDonald's logo has branches around the world

You can’t drive 10 miles without coming across the well-loved fast-food burger chain, McDonald’s. Their signature Big Mac is the best-selling burger on the menu, consisting of two 100% juicy beef patties, American cheese, pickles, onions, and the sought-after Big Mac secret sauce all to be devoured within a toasted sesame seed bun. 

Burger King

Close up of Whopper Jr. at Burger King restaurant.

It would be criminal if we didn’t include Burger King on this list of best burger chains. The flame-grilled favorite amongst customers is the renowned The Whopper burger consisting of ¼ lb of savory juicy beef and topped with some fresh vegetables and tangy sauces to bring this burger together. The rivalry between Burger King and McDonald’s will always be ongoing, however, we think Burger King’s menu has more to offer including some tempting vegan options. 

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Johnny Rockets

Having shrimp burger for lunch at Johnny Rockets

If you’re looking to experience that true old-fashioned American diner, then Johnny Rockets should be next on your list. If the eclectic 50’s music doesn’t draw you in, then maybe the loaded cheese tots and the classic or even signature Rocket Joe’s burgers will tempt you. The Route 66 burger is a real twist on the typical burger you find in the US and is made up of Angus beef patty smothered in swiss cheese, grilled mushrooms, caramelized onions and topped with creamy mayo all within a brioche bun. 

Carl’s Jr

fries and cheeseburgers at Carl's jr

Carl’s Jr boasts a diverse menu including burgers, burritos, and even a breakfast menu that will leave the whole family feeling satisfied when tucking into their orders. If you want some recommendations for your next order at Carl’s Jr we’d challenge you to tackle the Triple Fiery Famous Star burger along with the perfectly cooked Crisscut fries and then see if you can squeeze in a hand-scooped ice cream shake afterward. 


Bacon Cheeseburger at Wendy's.

Wendy’s truly does hit the nail on the head when it comes to producing high-quality fast food and puts the likes of McDonald’s and Burger King to shame. Their vast menu leaves new customers overwhelmed with choices whether it be healthy alternatives like a jacket potato or a calorific beast like The Baconator. So if you’re looking for a morning treat or even a weekend cheat day, then Wendy’s should be up there with the places you need to try. 


Fuddruckers Hamburgers restaurant chain located in Grapevine

If the name hasn’t already grabbed your attention then the food at Fuddruckers definitely will. Claiming to have the world’s greatest hamburger (their words not ours), Fuddruckers serves some fresh big burgers that’ll satisfy any burger-loving customer that comes through its doors. You’ll have to pay a little bit more than your typical burger joint, but the quality is certainly reflected in the banging beef patties.

Shake Shack

double cheeseburger with tomato and onion

Shake Shack started as a hot dog stand in Madison Square Park in 2001, and surprisingly they’ve managed to become one of the fastest-growing burger chains around. Shake Shack executes the classic American burger whilst also offering some interesting combos including the Shack Stack that incorporates the original cheeseburger with the Shroom Burger. 

Smash Burger

Smash Burger
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Another late addition to the burger chain world was SmashBurger who at one point also served unique burgers in each city where the restaurant was located, so you could enjoy a variation of menus across the country. Now SmashBurger holds a standard menu with a top selection of fried, grilled, and even veggie burgers. If you’re looking for a real treat, then try to get your hands on the signature Double Smoked Brisket Burger as it’ll have you in a meat coma for hours. 

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Red Robin

Red Robin' Tavern Double Burger and French Fries

Founded in Seattle, Washington, Red Robin has become a firm favorite amongst burger lovers across the country and it’s no surprise considering their eclectic burger options and bottomless subs and sides. The extra few dollars they charge you will quickly be forgotten when you bite into any of their gourmet or tavern burgers. 


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If you’re down in the south then Whataburger will be no stranger to you. The Corpus Christi-founded burger company serves reliably big and mouth-watering burgers that’ll leave you wanting to return the next day. Whataburger permits a slightly smaller menu compared to other burger joints around but what they lack in options they make up for in flavor. 

Five Guys

Five Guys Cheesy Hamburger and crunchy hand -cut fries with Mayo

Looking for a burger restaurant that will leave you discreetly unzipping your jeans to make room for more? Then Five Guys will be your guy (excuse the pun!). If it’s not their signature shakes that have your head spinning then it’s their fresh beef cheeseburgers accompanied with their peanut-cooked signature fries. Five Guys know how to do burgers and they darn well do it well. 


In N Out burger joint hamburgers.

The reputation of In-N-Out speaks volumes itself, so we don’t feel a need to dive into our long list of reasons for loving this burger chain that provides quick service and scrummy food. The customer favorite also allows you to double and even quadruple up on the size of your burgers to push your appetite to its limits. 


Culver's Fast Food Restaurant Butter Burger with Cheese held by a Hand

Culver’s does hold the title of the best burger chain in the US and we don’t want to hear any arguments about it. We’re not sure if it’s their signature buttered buns or their huge choice of toppings, but we have no complaints when it comes to the quality or menu options across their restaurants. Here at Restaurant Clicks, we’re already counting down the days until we can wash down our Butter Burger with a Culver’s ice-cold root beer float.

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  1. Back Yard Burgers is easily in the top 3.! If the Restaurants burgers are not made to order with fresh meat, they shouldn’t be allowed on the list!

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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