Had Five Guys for the first time this summer and I can safely say they are my new favorite burger joint. A friend warned me against getting the fries since she was getting an order of them. Turns out she was right because just with hers we had plenty for everyone and then some. Love that place so much now. Good good food. Their bacon cheeseburger rocks.
Culver's, Portillo's, and a small place local to me are my go-to's if I'm craving a burger. Five Guys isn't bad if I don't mind overpaying.
Had Whataburger in Texas and I loved it. Made a point to go there fairly often while I was down there. Conversely, In-N-Out was not bad, just very overhyped. Would go again, but I was left expecting more. The best thing about it was how reasonably cheap it was (burger meal was like 6 bucks with fries and drink, right in the heart of LA).
There is an excellent regional chain where I live (exhibit A), and another one (exhibit B) that is not regional but only barely a chain (I think they have like 15 restaurants). These global companies simply can't compete.
Smashburger but all of them around me closed down
I liked being able to get a burger but also Brussels sprouts at the same place. Their fries are also the best fries of any burger joint and I'm surprised other places haven't copied them yet in putting rosemary on their fries.
There was a place I liked going to called Kuma's Corner. Their shtick was having the burgers named after metal bands. The music was loud and they'd have horror movies playing in the background. Despite the gimmick, they were delicious yet expensive burgers. There was a lot of controversy on a burger they named after the band Ghost that had a communion wafer on it. They apologized and donated to a religious organization afterwards. They always do some sort of local charity donation and promote the local music scene as well. Unfortunately, some anonymous ex-employees on social media blamed them for a "racist, homophobic and sexist culture" in the workplace and they apologized yet again claiming that they'd change.
Fast food - Whataburger. I love their ketchup. They sell it in stores now, at least here in Texas, or online. It's seriously the best ketchup out there. Sweet, very tangy without being too much. Comes in spicy too, which is amazing on breakfast burritos - better than picante sauce, and I like picante sauce on eggs (I also like ketchup on eggs for what it's worth). Git sum.
There's a hole in the wall in my town that's amazing, but I can't tell you it's name because dox. Just trust me bro.
Kinkaid's in Fort Worth is pretty good. Family owned too if you like that sort of thing.
I live in the region with the worst restaurant selection, so I'd say Five Guys for lack of access to anything else but McDonalds, Burger King, or Wendy's.
But I never go there because I'm a cheap kike.
Best fast food burger I've ever had was at a local chain called David's Burgers I found while passing through Little Rock, Arkansas. When you walk in, you pass by a counter where you can see the meat they grind up to make your burger, like a butcher shop. Fresh as fuck. Fries are fresh cut, as well.
Honestly the best burger I ever had was in Mazatlan Sinaloa at little stand selling food to construction workers late at night. That burger was so good I still think about it from time to time. As far as chains go the Colorado chain Goodtimes has my vote.
I know it’s a powerlevel, but there’s a burger stand in the area called The Net. Classic burgers, actual fruit in most of their shakes, and every order comes with a handful of fries in the bottom of the bag.