We all love burgers but America’s love affair with these toasted buns holding juicy beef patties and indulging toppings is much stronger and runs deep into time.
Hamburger on bun with fries is the most quintessential American meal, which surprisingly has an intricate history attached to its coming to US.
There are many explanations that lay claim to introducing beef patties on bread buns to America, but it’s the Mongols, Russians and the Germans who got ground meat patties to NYC.
Mongols had raw ground meat, made into flat patties, kept under their horse saddles while they rode, which Russians adopted in their cuisine with the name of ‘Steak Tartare’ when Mongols invaded Moscow.
Russians passed Steak Tartare to Germany as ships from the port of Hamburg started moving to Russia for trade. It was then the Germans immigrating to US, who finally got along ‘Hamburg Steak’ to the port of NYC.
These were later served in buns, which got us the hamburgers that we have today. And America simply had more burgers for these were value for money meals that were highly customizable.
Today, McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger King are undoubtedly the legacy chains that have the largest slice of the pie when it comes to the US fast food chains market share.
Priyanka Chopra at the Oscars munching an In-N-Out Burger
But crazy sales figures are not enough for these brands to stay at the top of the ranking table.
Consumers aren’t just loyal to these fast food chains alone and in fact have been placing a higher value for customer satisfaction and overall offerings of some of the America’s largest brands, that have earned a cult like loyalty from their customers.
That being said, apart from these legacy chains, US has some of the local fast food restaurants that serve insanely delicious burgers. Damn! What a disgrace if you’ve been to USA before and haven’t been to these burger joints.
Don’t worry, we are here to pump you up for your next trip. Don’t feel guilty, simply try burgers from these fast food restaurants whenever you happen to visit USA.
I-N-Out Burger is an American fast food chain, primarily located in Southwest America, that was founded by Harry and Esther Snyder in the year 1948 in Baldwin Park, California.
The American Fast Food Chain mainly offers three burger varieties including hamburger, cheeseburger and double double along with fountain drinks and milk shakes. There are some additional items as well that the chain offers but those come under it’s secret menu.
Headquartered in Virginia, US, Five Guys is an American fast restaurant chain that opened its first restaurant in 1986 and since then has been serving hand-formed burgers s that are cooked to perfection on a grill along with hot dogs and fresh-cut fries.
The Five Guys menu also includes sandwiches along with handspun Vanilla milkshakes with a variety of mix-ins like Oreo Cookies, Strawberries, salted caramel and the like to choose from.
The 2017 Harris Poll EquiTrend Restaurant Brands of the Year declares Five Guys as the Burger restaurant of the year ousting two-time honoree In-N-Out Burger.
Founded by Dave Thomas in the year 1969, in Columbus, Ohio, United States, Wendy’s is known for its hamburgers with square hamburgers. The square patties were included with the intent that the customers are able to see the quality of meat inside.
Apart from burgers with beef and bacon patties, the fast food chain also serves chicken wraps and sandwiches and freshly made salads for you to savor. Another specialty is the classic real milk dessert, the Frosty, that comprises of ice cream mixed with frozen starches.
Based in San Antonio, Texas, What A Burger specializes in hamburgers and started its first restaurant in Texas in 1950. Harmon Dobson, the man behind What A Burger had the vision of serving people with a burger so big that it took two hands to hold.
For many years, the fast food restaurant was known for its unique A-framed orange-and-white striped-roofed buildings, the first one being built in Texas. And when it comes to the menu, What A Burger serves a great variety in burgers, sandwiches and wraps with a special menu for the breakfast.
Today, the fast food chain has 700 restaurants spanning from Arizona to Florida with its all time favorites menu serves hot and fresh 24/7.
Founded by Gus Belt, Steak N’ Shake started its first hamburger stand in 1934 in Normal, Illinois, US. The word “Steak” in the brand name comes from one of the prominent food items served by the brand, the Steak Burger as it was made from a mixture including round, sirloin, and T-bone steaks.
Whereas, the word “shakes” refers to the famous hand-dipped milk shakes prepared using whipped cream and toppings. The menu at Steak n’ Shake includes primarily hamburgers and hand-dipped milkshakes, although other side items and drinks are also available.
George Culver started with the first Culver’s outlet in Sauk City, Wisconsin in 1984 to serve a signature combination that comprised of Butter Burgers and Fresh Frozen Custard crafted using the finest dairy plus cold pressed vanilla and Dutch blend chocolate.
Apart from the signature combination, the Culver’s menu has something special to offer to everyone, be it Crispy Chicken Sandwich, Cheese Curds or seasonal sweet-and-summery Lemon Ice. And if burgers are not your way, then freshly made salads can satisfy the healthiest of your appetites.
Known for its square hamburgers popularly known as sliders, the American regional hamburger restaurant chain started in 1921 and sold burgers priced at just five cents in a castle shaped restaurant building.
The sliders come stuffed with a patty, either beef, bacon, fish, chicken or vegan, steam grilled on a bed of onions and a slice of pickle. And to market the signature square patties, White Castle offers its customers a Crave Case that comprises of 30 sliders stuffed with any patty you want.
Jack in the Box is a restaurant company that was founded in 1951 and offers a selection of innovative products for fast food consumers like hamburgers, salads, specialty sandwiches and ice cream shakes.
Apart from offering some signature hamburgers such as Jumbo Jack, Sourdough Jack, Ultimate Cheeseburger and Buttery Jack, the fast food restaurant’s menu also features Jack’s Deals that includes items such as tacos, chicken nuggets, a chicken sandwich and a Jr Bacon Cheeseburger.
Also, the customers can customize their meals and substitute ingredients that suit their individual taste.
Founded by Lovie Yancey in Los Angeles, California in 1947, Mr. Fatburger started as an eatery that served custom made big burgers sold with the idea that such burgers would act as a meal as they had everything in it.
The fast casual restaurant chain is known for using freshest ingredients and its core products include fresh-never-frozen, lean-beef, chicken, turkey and veggie burgers & sandwiches, hand-scooped, real ice cream milkshakes and onion rings.
Founded in 1953 by Troy Smith and Charles Pappe, the Sonic Franchise started as a hot dog stand by the name of Top Hat and turned into a franchise that runs more than 3,500 restaurants.
The Franchise is known for its unique drive in model that incorporates canopy-covered spaces where customers park their car and are served with made-to-order food and drinks on pushing Sonic’s signature red button.
The customization, control and choice offered by Sonic makes the franchise stand apart from the rest of the Quick Service Restaurants.The menu at Sonic includes burgers, hotdogs, breakfast toasters and burritos, breakfast sandwiches, snacks and sides for you to savor.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews was founded in September 1969 in Seattle, Washington in a 1,200-square-foot building as an American chain of casual dining restaurants and since then, it has been serving fresh, fire-grilled burgers stuffed with different patties and toppings.
Apart from burgers, Red Robin also offers entrees, appetizers, wraps and sandwiches, fresh salads, soups and sides thus having something for everyone. Red Robin also has a dedicated menu for kids that ranges from Cheesy toast, pepperoni pizza to burgers and meatballs.
Started as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in Manhattan in 2004, this modern day roadside burger stand serves delicious burgers, hot dogs, frozen custard, shakes, beer, wine and more. Shake Shack uses 100% all-natural Angus beef and has no hormones or antibiotics.
It also offers gluten-free buns for those who are allergic. And few of the Shake Shack outlets also serve breakfast that includes cage-free egg topped with pork sausage or smoked bacon and American cheese along with organic juices and coffee.
Smashburger, an American fast-casual burger restaurant chain, opened its first outlet in Denver, Colorado in 2007. The fast food restaurant is known for serving made-to-order, never frozen, smashed burgers that are seared to perfection on grill.
Apart from burgers, the menu also offers freshly made salads along with fries and sides such as haystack onions, veggie frites and fried pickles. The menu is kid friendly and vegetarian-approved and is topped off with hand-spun milk-shakes.