If you ask anyone to describe American culture, they’re likely to mention fast food burgers in their description. Whether it’s a reference to McDonald’s or a famous sandwich in particular, people recognize that the burger is part of the American way of life. For this reason, it only felt right to create a comprehensive list of the best fast food burgers that America has to offer. Get ready to get hungry, my friends. Here are the 23 best fast food burgers based on flavor. They're not in any particular order, because how can you rank perfection?

Five Guys: Bacon Cheeseburger

You may be thinking that this burger is a tad basic to be included in the best fast food burgers, but Five Guys takes basic to a whole new level with their bacon cheeseburger.

The sandwich comes with a beef patty, American cheese, bacon and a sesame seed bun. You can also choose from a range of free toppings to enhance your burger, but the bacon is what really takes this burger to another level. 

McDonald's: Big Mac

hamburger bun, hamburger, tomato, mayonnaise, ketchup, cheddar, lettuce, cheese, sandwich, bread, bun
Alex Frank

The Big Mac is just too classic to leave off of this list. It was the first fast food burger that America truly fell in love with, and it's not going away any time soon.

If you're late to the fast food burger game, the Big Mac comes with two burger patties, a three-part sesame bun, American cheese, lettuce, pickles, onion, and "special sauce," which is basically Thousand Island dressing.

Steak 'n Shake: Wisconsin Buttery Steakburger

Although it's a heart attack waiting to happen, there's nothing better than a burger patty smothered in butter. The Wisconsin Buttery comes with two steakburger patties with Wisconsin butter melted on top, American cheese, and grilled onions.

Whataburger: Avocado Bacon Burger

This burger is definitely outside of the realm of a traditional burger, but in the best way possible. This Whataburger sandwich comes with a beef patty, American cheese, bacon, avocado, onion, tomato, and a creamy pepper sauce, all sandwiched between two slices of thick Texas Toast. I'll take five, please.

Smashburger: Truffle Mushroom Swiss

I am dying for a Smashburger near my campus because all of their burgers are incredible. This one in particular comes with a beef patty, truffle mayo, sautéed cremini mushrooms, and aged Swiss cheese on an egg bun.

In-N-Out Burger: Double-Double

In-N-Out is a West Coast cult classic that needs to become available nationwide. The Double-Double comes with two beef patties, two slices of American cheese, onions, lettuce, tomato, and In-N-Out’s secret signature special sauce, all sandwiched between two golden, toasted buns. This is a burger that would make Spongebob proud.

Fuddruckers: Bourbon Burger

Fuddruckers is another fast food chain that needs to spread its goodness nationwide ASAP. They’re best known for their gourmet burger bar, where you can create your own burger by choosing from a super wide range of toppings.

However, they do have signature sandwiches as well, and this one is at the top of the list. The Bourbon Burger comes with a beef patty, sweet bourbon sauce, bacon, bourbon caramelized onions, and crumbled blue cheese.

Steak 'n Shake: Bacon 'n Cheese Triple Xtreme Steakburger

This sandwich is perfect for the days when you're starving for a big, meaty burger. Living up to its name, this sandwich comes with three steak burger patties, two slices of American cheese, hardwood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, and ketchup. As Uncle Jesse would say, have mercy.

Smashburger: Spinach and Goat Cheese

If you're a fan of Mediterranean food, then you will likely love this burger. It comes with a burger patty, cucumbers, spinach, goat cheese, tomato, onion, and balsamic vinaigrette on a multi-grain bun. This sandwich is definitely not for everyone, but if you're an adventurous foodie, this is a more unique fast food burger option to try (and love).

Shake Shack: 'Shroom Burger

Shake Shack is yet another delicious burger joint that is only available mostly on the East Coast and in most big cities, which makes my stomach sad. However, vacations were meant for trying awesome food that isn’t available to you at home.

On your next trip to a Shake Shack-filled city, be sure to try the ‘Shroom Burger: a beef patty topped with a crisp-fried Portobello mushroom filled with melted muenster and cheddar cheeses, topped with lettuce, tomato, and Shack Sauce.

Smashburger: Buffalo & Blue Cheese

This one is for all of you spicy lovers out there. With one beef patty, Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Sauce, blue cheese crumbles, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, all atop an egg bun, this burger packs a tasty punch.

Sonic Drive-In: Bacon Cheeseburger Toaster

As a kid, going to a Sonic Drive-In was so much fun, and it honestly still is as an adult. This Sonic sandwich comes with a beef patty, American cheese, pickles, bacon, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, an onion ring, and hickory BBQ sauce, all sandwiched between two thick slices of Texas Toast. 

Steak 'n Shake: Frisco Melt

Steak 'n Shake's Frisco Melt isn't technically included in their list of burgers, but it's got beef patties, so I say it counts. So many people love it, so it didn't feel right to not include it.

The Frisco Melt comes with two steak burger patties, American cheese, Swiss cheese, and Frisco sauce, all sandwiched between two slices of buttery sourdough bread.

Culver's: Bacon Cheddar ButterBurger 

I first had Culver’s when I was about 13 years old, and it seriously changed my life. Perhaps the best fast food burger on this list, the Cheddar ButterBurger with Bacon comes with a beef patty, aged Wisconsin cheddar, and bacon, served atop a lightly buttered, toasted bun.

Suddenly I feel like I’m starving and in need of all the burgers. Trip to Culver’s, anyone?

Shake Shack: Roadside Double

Shake Shack is at it again with this yummy burger. The Roadside Double comes with two beef patties covered in Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard, and onions simmered in bacon and beer. Let me just repeat that last part for you: onions simmered in bacon and beer. My soul is screaming for this burger.

McDonald's: Maple Bacon Dijon Burger

McDonald’s came out with three new gourmet burgers this year, and this one is shockingly delicious. This burger comes with a quarter-pound beef patty, Applewood smoked bacon sprinkled with sweet maple seasoning, creamy Dijon sauce, grilled onions, white cheddar cheese, and lettuce. You get to choose an artisan roll or sesame seed bun – I recommend the artisan roll. 

Fuddruckers: Three Cheese

This Fuddruckers burger is simple but oh so tasty. Cheese lovers, prepare yourselves: This burger comes with your choice of a third-pound or half-pound beef patty and Swiss, cheddar, and American cheeses.

Don’t worry about the sandwich not coming with toppings – Fuddruckers has a gourmet toppings bar so that you can customize your burger to your liking.

Burger King: Bacon and Cheese Whopper

The Whopper is another cult classic that just couldn’t be left out. But with bacon and cheese, this Whopper reaches a new height of deliciousness that makes is truly worthy of being one of the best fast food burgers.

The sandwich includes a quarter-pound beef patty topped with bacon, American cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, and onions on a soft sesame seed bun.

Wendy's: Dave's Double

Wendy’s burgers, in my opinion, are seriously underrated as far as fast food burgers go. The Dave’s Double is arguably their best burger: it’s a half-pound beef patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion, mayo, ketchup, and mustard on warm, toasted buns. Anyone salivating a little more than usual?

Steak 'n Shake: Cheddar Cheesy Double Steakburger

Calling all cheddar cheese lovers: this is the burger for you. The sandwich comes with two steak burger patties, a ton of Wisconsin cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, mustard, and onion. Is that melty cheese mountain speaking to anyone else on an emotional level?

Smashburger: Spicy Jalapeño Baja

West Coasters and guac lovers unite: this burger comes with a beef patty, fresh jalapeños, guacamole, pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, onion, and chipotle mayo on a spicy chipotle bun. Peep the fried pickles on the side, too. Can't go wrong with Smashburger.

Wendy's: Baconator

Oh, the Baconator. This fast food masterpiece includes two quarter-pound beef patties, six strips of Applewood smoked bacon, mayo, ketchup, and American cheese on a toasted bun. Studies show that bacon makes anything and everything better, so it makes sense that bacon seriously transforms an okay burger to an amazing burger. Thank you, bacon gods.

Smashburger: BBQ, Bacon & Cheddar

Our beloved Smashburger, we end with you. I personally don't think you can ever go wrong with a BBQ bacon burger, and this one proves my point.

It features a beef patty, BBQ sauce, Applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, and haystack onions on an egg bun. Did your stomach just rumble, or was that mine?

Whether you’re lucky enough to live in a city that's home to all of these fast food joints or you can only experience these places on vacation, you’re now armed with a comprehensive list of the best fast food burgers in America. Use it wisely, and let it guide you as it may. Godspeed, burger lovers – may your journey be meaty and delicious.