Five Guys vs. Shake Shack: Which burger chain is the best?

Five Guys vs. Shake Shack: Which burger chain is the best?

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Five Guys has been named as the top burger chain for two years running by the Harris Poll's yearly Equitrend Study. Fans love Five Guys because it's the ultimate customized burger. The menu lets you have it all—there are 15 toppings to choose from. But Shake Shack fans are ride or die. Like the two other top burger contenders (In-N-Out and Whataburger), Shake Shack keeps it simple and focuses on getting the burger right. What do you think?

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Five Guys burgers are some of the best out there because you can dial in exactly what you want. The menu has 15 different toppings to choose from, and then there's the secret menu. If you're having trouble finding something you like at Five Guys, the problem's with you, not the food.

But the chain is probably best known for their ridiculously good fries. Here's how Robyn Lee at Serious Eats puts it:

I don't know how to describe how perfect that first bite was, through the delicate, salt-studded, crispy crust to the soft innards, but my reaction was probably something like, "Oh my god these fries are made of crack and rainbows and how the hell can fries taste this good oh sweet jesus I'mgonnaeattenmore." Pang's description is much more eloquent: "The fries tip more crispy than crunchy, and the interior has a creamy consistency with assertive potato-ey notes." The potato-ey notes in my fries were from Pasco, Washington, according to the whiteboard by the potato sacks. Thanks, Pasco!

For many, Shake Shack is the epitome of the burger. The upstart chain took the nation by surprise and exploded from its humble beginnings in 2004 to becoming a nationwide behemoth today. It has been named the best burger in New York, although some fans would probably say it's the best burger in the nation. Like many chains, it keeps its burgers simple, but the difference is Shake Shack uses gourmet ingredients. Everything is carefully sourced and controlled to maintain the highest quality.

Here's how J. Kenji López-Alt at Serious Eats describes a burger from Shake Shack:

The Shackburger, on the other hand, is a marvel of beefy engineering. The flavor and texture of the beef patty is second to none, with an intense beefiness and cooking method designed to maximized browning, and thus our carnal pleasure. Yes, their toppings and bun are great, but at the Shack, it's all about the beef.
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