If there’s an In-N-Out Burger or Five Guys near you, chances are you’ve heard someone claim that it was the best burger joint, like, in the history of ever. So when we read an article saying the Habit Burger Grill makes the best burger in the US, we decided to do some snooping around to see if it was true. As a loyal customer to In-N-Out who had never before been to Habit Burger, I decided to do a fresh taste test. Here’s what I found:
Maybe I’m biased because I went to the hot, hot, hot Arizona location, but the breeze of cool air that welcomed me from inside already had me feeling good about my experience. The majority of seats were booths, and a good amount of customers dined and lingered, enjoying their time. In-N-Out is so popular that it can frequently feel stuffy inside, with middle school soccer teams and tank-wearing bros lounging all over the place. Habit Burger balances enough interest without having to deal with overwhelming crowds.
The service at Habit is much better than you expect fast food restaurants to dish out. Once you order, they hand you a buzzer that notifies you when your food is ready. While I was eating, employees made rounds a couple times to ask how the food was and to clear any trash off the table. Although In-N-Out has had employees check up on customers now and then, it wasn’t necessarily to this capacity.
At the Habit Burger Grill, there’s a large menu to welcome you inside as well as several paper menus you can take with you to decide at your table. These are nice options to have, but the downside of too many options is that they sacrifice simplicity. Unlike In-N-Out, there’s no simple four-option menu, and no drive thru to save you the time. In the fast food world, Habit just isn’t that fast.
Habit Burger offers many more menu options than its simpler fast food rivals. Not only do the burgers come in teriyaki, BBQ and mushroom Swiss varieties, but they also offer grilled sandwiches, fresh salads and a kid’s menu. Even better, you can pay $1 to add avocado to pretty much anything. I think we have a clear winner here.
I ordered the classic charburger, sweet potato fries and a vanilla shake. My sister ordered a chicken club sandwich, onion rings and a soda. Her friend ordered the BBQ bacon charburger with a side of French fries and a soda. We all tried a bit of everything.
- Fresh ingredients provide a variety of juicy flavors.
- The French fries are so on point.
- Overall, very delicious food and well put together plates.
- Overwhelmingly large portions are too much to eat.
- Developed a stomachache afterwards.
- Shake wasn’t well blended and its consistency was too thin.
My sister and I shared a bill that totaled to $21.06, which is pretty decent for two entrees, two sides, a shake and a soda. I’m not exactly impressed though, since I once ordered four burgers and four fries from In-N-Out for around the same price.
Students Weigh In
“I’ve tried the Habit. [Their] burgers always gave me stomachaches for some reason… I’m too big of a fan of In-N-Out to prefer Habit, but both are good.” – Eunice Choi, University of California, Berkeley
“[Habit Burger] is pretty good. It’s one of the best ‘fast food’ burgers I’ve had, but I wouldn’t say it’s the best burger ever. I’ve only been once, and I was pleasantly surprised. I’d go back.” – Dave Keyser, Arizona State University
“I definitely like going to the Habit because their food is awesome and I like the energy there. It’s a lot better than In-N-Out because they have more options, like salads or chicken sandwiches, and their fries are amazing. Plus the Habit isn’t packed all the time, so you can hang out with friends without feeling rushed. It’s a cool place that people should check out.” – Marnie Schleicher, Duquesne University
Final Score: Habit Burger: 3, In-N-Out: 2
Overall, is it the better burger? Probably, but not enough that it particularly stands out against its competitors.
Will I be realigning my loyalties? No. People are, and always will, be dedicated to their brands, and I’m no different. In-N-Out gives me everything I need: convenience and reliability. Habit Burger is better than In-N-Out in many ways, but it lacks the familiarity that the average consumer seeks. Just you wait, fast food world—Habit Burger is making a name for itself. And I know this isn’t the last time I’ll hear of it.