Best fast food burgers 2024: A complete ranking

Maddy Kinkead

Sure, chicken nuggets and fries are important, but a food joint should really be measured by who has the best fast food burger.

We’re talking hamburgers, cheeseburgers, and anything else with buns, beef patties and all the other usual suspects. Chicken won’t be listed here because, well, those are technically sandwiches.

You also won’t find any limited edition or no longer available burgers: these are the standard burgers that are available all the time.

Here’s how we rank them.

Best fast food burgers

16. White Castle – 1921 slider

White Castle’s sliders are like mini hamburgers, but unlike the classic slider that has a steamed patty with holes in it, this 1921 slider is a thicker, seared patty topped with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, and caramelized onions.

1921 slider
White Castle’s 1921 slider.

As a homage to their original slider, this one is flavorful, classic, and the bread is so pillowy you could sleep on it. A great appetizer to start us off on the list of best fast food burgers.

15. Arby’s – Deluxe wagyu steakhouse burger

Wagyu beef is the Kardashians of the beef world. It’s boujee, expensive, and kind of a big deal. But, is it worth the hype?

Arby's waygu steak burger
Arby’s have pulled out all the stops.

This is a sous-vide style burger patty topped with American cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onion, a special burger sauce, all on a brioche bun. For their first ever hamburger, Arby’s went big and opted for premium ingredients, and it seems to have really paid off. With this burger being a newcomer in 2023, we’ll have to wait and see if it becomes a classic like their sandwiches.

14. Jack in the Box – Jumbo Jack cheeseburger

Jack in the Box get major points here for the pricepoint. The Jumbo Jack cheeseburger comes with a jumbo patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, chopped onions, and ketchup on a sesame seed bun.

jumbo jack cheeseburger
Jack in the Box provide great low-cost eats.

This classic hamburger has everything you’d expect on it, the ingredients are decent quality, and it’s only $4.99. You can even get a smaller version on their new Jack under $4 menu.

13. Carl’s Jr./ Hardee’s – Single Famous Star

This burger has an Angus beef patty, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mayo, and their signature sauce.

single famous star burger
A stellar burger.

The best thing is, this burger uses a potato bun which has a slightly sweet taste. Just a good burger from a chain that’s always consistent, nice work little star guy.

12. Culver’s – Butterburger

If there’s butter involved, it has to be good. Culver’s make their beef patties from sirloin, chuck, and plate cuts of beef. But that’s not what makes this burger stand out.

culvers butter burger
Butter plus burger equals good.

They butter their buns before adding toppings. It’s a small detail, but it makes the burger amazing. The standard comes with all the usual suspects, with mustard, ketchup, red onion, and pickles, but you can customize how you like.

11. Checkers/Rally’s – Big Buford

The Big Buford means business. This burger is made with two large hand seasoned patties, two slices of American cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise – all on a bakery-style bun.

big buford burger
The Big Buford is a big burger.

Checkers/Rally’s (depending on which coast you’re on) says that this is the ultimate burger for a ‘Fast Foodie’ and they may not be 100% correct about the ‘ultimate’ part, but it’s a pretty good start.

10. Dairy Queen – Backyard bacon ranch signature stackburger

This burger from the DQ makes a large Blizzard look like an appetizer. Anything with ‘stack’ in the name has us excited, and this burger does not disappoint.

Dairy Queen burger
The DQ never disappoints.

You have the option of double or triple patties here, with crispy applewood smoked bacon, onion rings, melted white cheddar, Hidden Valley ranch, and honey BBQ sauce on a soft and toasted bun. You can probably feel yourself salivating right about now.

9. Sonic – SuperSonic bacon double cheeseburger

Sonic recently upgraded their fries to all-new groovy fries, but their burgers have always been great.

supersonic bacon double cheeseburger
Team this bad boy with Sonic’s all-new fries.

This burger has two quarter-pound, 100% pure beef hamburgers, two melty slices of American cheese, lettuce, fresh sliced tomatoes, creamy mayo, and top it all off with crispy bacon. The only thing missing is the pickle, so this one is a good option for all you pickle haters out there.

Again, a good quality burger with the exact textures and flavors that you would expect, Sonic is an underrated spot that rarely misses the mark.

8. Whataburger – Whataburger Jr.

Burger is in the title so our expectations are high. People often complain about wait times at Whataburger, but this hamburger makes it worth the wait.

whataburger jr.
What a burger.

This is the best tiny burger you’ll ever eat. It comes with a beef patty, lettuce, tomato, diced white onion, and mayo on a potato bun. The ingredients are fresh, the beef is perfectly seasoned, and there’s still room for more.

7. Steak ‘n’ Shake – Wisconsin buttery steakburger

Good quality meat from Wisconsin, and a lot of butter – what’s not to love?

Steak n Shake
Steak n Shake buttery burgers are a thing of beauty.

This burger is a blend of top-quality steak and rich, creamy butter, seasoned with salt and pepper. Simple, high-quality ingredients for an exceptionally juicy and flavorsome burger.

Butter burgers are a special, wholly American affair, and this one literally has a pool of butter under the burger.

6. Wendy’s – Bacon double stack

Wendy’s use square beef patties, and although it probably doesn’t contribute to the taste, it makes them stand out in a world of circular patties.

wendy's bacon double cheeseburger
Wendy’s burgers are almost as good as their Frosties.

Wendy’s does everything right, and this burger with bacon, cheese, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and onions is no exception. You can also get free fries at Wendy’s every Friday for the rest of the year.

5. Shake Shack – Shack Stack

This is a truly decadent burger that won’t disappoint. It’s a classic cheeseburger topped with all the veggies you’d expect, so much so that it looks like a cartoon burger.

shake shack burger
This burger is not messing around.

But that’s not what makes it so great. It comes with a portobello mushroom that’s been stuffed with cheese and then breaded to make a big garlicky monster that goes on top of you burger. Shake Shack don’t mess around.

4. In-N-Out Burger – Double-Double ‘animal style’

Sorry to anyone who can’t have an In-N-Out burger, but it’s worth the road trip. Any burger from there is good because of the authentic smashed burger cooking method, but this one is the best.

in n out burger
Get your burger Animal Style.

Order your Double-Double animal style and the patty will be cooked in mustard and served with pickles, extra In-N-Out Spread and grilled onions, in addition to the standard toppings. Now, that’s a thing of beauty.

3. McDonald’s – Big Mac

You were probably wondering when this guy was going to appear on this list, so here’s the Big Mac.

Big Mac
The OG of burgers.

You can’t go wrong with two beef patties, American cheese, lots of shredded lettuce, diced onion, and the iconic Big Mac Sauce. On top of that, you get an extra piece of bread. Many a burger joint has tried to replicate the Big Mac Sauce, but no one does it quite like McDonald’s

2. Five Guys – ‘All the way’ burger

Five Guys burgers are made fresh in front of you, are fully customizable, and are made with straight-up great quality ingredients. Yes, the price point is high, but it’s worth it.

Five Guys burger
Go all the way at Five Guys

The ‘all the way’ burger comes with a whopping nine toppings: cheese, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, grilled onions, and grilled mushrooms, along with ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.

1. Burger King – Whopper

Burger King’s classic Whopper features a quarter pound of flame-grilled beef topped with tomatoes, lettuce, mayonnaise, ketchup, pickles, and sliced white onions on a toasted sesame seed bun.

Burger King Whopper
The Whopper snags our top spot.

Burger King hands down has the best fast food burger. The beef is juicy and perfectly flame-grilled. The tomato is thick and juicy, and there is the perfect amount of lettuce and ketchup. It’s just so good, it’s the King of burgers – that’s probably where they get the name.

So, do you agree with our estimation of the best fast food burger? Or is there a hidden gem that you know of that didn’t make the (prime) cut? Either way, you’re definitely feeling hungry – so it’s a good thing that Burger King and McDonald’s have released value meals.