Ah, the great debate of burger joints. If you're on the Eastern side of the USA, you may be more of a Shake Shack fan. However, for those of you on the West Coast, you may be more partial to some In-N-Out or Whataburger.

Unfortunately for me, I am smack dab in the middle with many other flyover states, and close to none of these amazing burger joints. However, I do travel a lot and have had the opportunity to try all three varieties, time and time again (I just love burgers, okay?). So here is my completely unbiased and truthful breakdown of who does it best.


meat, mayonnaise, ketchup, french fries, hamburger, bun, sandwich, cheese, tomato, lettuce, bread
Abigail Lindquist

For most Texans and other SouthWest states alike, Whataburger is a way of life. Sounds exaggerated, but really, it is, and for a good reason.

With a menu as big as Texas itself, there is something for everyone—from breakfast honey butter chicken biscuits to the classic burger and fries. And you can get it for less than $5. The true star of Whataburger is their extensive menu and array of delicious items. Unlike its competitors, they aren't only good for their burgers and fries, but good for everything.

Shake Shack

lettuce, bacon, cheddar, hamburger, bun, beef, cheese
Elisa Djuhar

This East Coast favorite started as a hotdog stand in Manhattan and has quickly turned into one of America's favorite burger grabs. Known for their tasty burgers and delectable milk shakes, many East Coasters live by these burgers, and would quite possibly argue them to #1 on this list.

With an extensive menu, offering allergen-friendly options, vegetarian options, and more, there is surely something for everyone. However, these options come at a price, a single burger rings in at around $8.00 which is surely high, but worth it.


sandwich, bread, meat, lettuce, ketchup, bun, cheese, hot dog, french fries
Alex Frank

Now, no one can call me biased here. I am a Midwest native with a competely open mind when it comes to this heavy burger debate. However, In-N-Out is just a hit out of the park. With their fresh and never frozen beef, hand cut fries, and incredible prices, you really can't go wrong.

With a single cheeseburger at less than $3.00, it is hard to beat such a tasty yet affordable meal. Unlucky for most of the USA, this chain can only be found on the West Coast, which is all of the more reason to make your way to that side of the USA.

How They Stack Up

Burgers: In-N-OutNothing beats their fresh, never frozen beef and kickass secret sauce. Sorry, not sorry. 

Fries: In-N-Out – Again, this burger joint cuts their fries by hand for every order, and it definitely makes a difference that can't be beat.

Menu: WhataburgerThose honey chicken biscuits really just get me.

Environment: Shake Shack There's a reason you pay almost triple for their burgers than the rest. Bougie but effective. 

Value: In-N-Out – Nothing beats those prices AND they taste better than the $8 Shake Shack burgers.

Overall: In-N-Out I'm sure you saw this coming, but I promise I'm not biased. It's just the cold, hard truth. 

So there you have it burger lovers—a completely unbiased and (in my opinion) accurate review of some of our country's favorite (and most coast exclusive) burger joints.

Want the final breakdown? For taste, I'd have to go #1 In-N-Out, #2 Shake Shack, and #3 Whataburger, although all three are shining, greasy stars in my heart and stomach.