Special Report

The Best Burgers You Can Get at a Fast Food Restaurant

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6. Fuddruckers: The Original Fudds
> Approximate price: $7.39

Fuddruckers offers a DIY approach to burger-building. They supply a patty (available in four sizes from a quarter pound up to two-thirds of a pound) — on a dome-topped house-baked bun. The burger, says the chain, is then “ready for you to pile it high at Fuddruckers free market fresh produce bar.” Various cheeses and premium toppings (from a fried egg to smoked bacon) may be added at extra cost.

5. Five Guys: Bacon Cheeseburger
> Approximate price: $8.69

This is basically the Five Guys hamburger (see No. 6) with the addition of two slices of American cheese and two strips of applewood-smoked bacon, plus, as with the plain burger, a choice of 15 different toppings in any combination.

4. Shake Shack: ShackBurger
> Approximate price: $5.29

The signature burger from this comparative newcomer to the burger game (it started, in something like its current form, only in 2004) involves one or two hormone- and antibiotic-free beef patties on a Martin’s potato roll with lettuce, tomato, and mustardy Shack Sauce.

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3. Wendy’s: Dave’s Single
> Approximate price: $4.39

Curiously, reviewers seem to prefer the single-patty version of this burger to Dave’s Double (see No. 16). The toppings are the same — American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, mayo, and onion.

2. In-N-Out: Animal Style Burger
> Approximate price: $3.75

This California-based chain developed a reputation for having a secret menu, whereby the initiated could customize their orders in various ways. They now promote some of the possibilities on what they call their “not so secret menu” — the star of which is undeniably the animal-style burger, a patty coated with mustard, served with lettuce and tomato, the sauce they call “spread,” and optional pickles and/or grilled onions.