Chef-Recommended Fast-Food Burgers

After feeding hundreds of people a night, award-winning chefs desire simplicity & quickness. 

Millions adore fast food burgers, including elite chefs. Curious about their home drive-thrus? Shake Shack & various localized businesses are popular. 

Discover which fast-food burgers our top chefs crave & which are the best. 

Boston's Mida & Apizza owner Douglass Williams, a James Beard nominee, claims Wendy's junior bacon cheeseburger is his favorite fast food. 

"More than just eating it, I have so many memories of making it, the touch of the bun, the pride that I took in making it, & understanding its simplicity. 

I can talk about this burger & just smile!" Executive chef David Standridge, who was awarded two Michelin stars with Joel Robuchon. 

Now runs the award-winning Shipwright's Daughter in Mystic, CT, gets his burger fix at Shake Shack. "No contest. 

It's the Smoke Shack Burger from Shake Shack. It's incredibly bacon-y, & the potato bun just sends it over the top. 

Plus, you can get a side of Chicago-style hot dogs!" says Cape Cod chef Charles Withers. 

"The In-N-Out Double Animal Style comes in second...or tied for first," he says of In-N-Double Out's Animal Style. 

Try both & let us know what you think! Chef Michael Serpa, of Atlántico, Select Oyster Bar, & Little Whale in Boston, says, "My favorite fast food—well counter-service—burger here in Boston has got to be Tasty Burger. 

The patties are super flavorful without being too greasy & their ingredients always taste fresh." 

He also likes IHOP & Tasty Burger. "When I'm traveling & need a quick bite, I think it's fun to try the local flavor so I'll go for places like Whataburger down south. 

In-N-Out out west, & other spots that are hard (or impossible) to find in New England," says Boston's The Dubliner Executive Chef Aidan McGee, who loves a burger after long days & nights of creating Irish favorites. 

"After a long day it's perfect for late-night eating," said chef and host Andrew Zimmern to The Daily Meal. 

"I have a weakness in my heart for Culver's. It's a family favorite. It's a mid-Western chain that does custard really well & does hamburgers pretty decently." 

We'd add fried cheese curds! The late Anthony Bourdain was an In-N-Out enthusiast. He told Eater the brand was his favorite in Los Angeles & commended the bun, superb meat, non-limp fresh greens, & ideal "cheese-like texture" of this "amazing" burger. 

Chefs love In-N-Out. "I dare anyone to tell me their burgers aren't as amazing as any you'll find anyplace, from fast food to fine dining," said Tyler Florence, who orders an Animal Style Double-Double Cheeseburger. 

"Burger King is king! I think overall their quick food packs the greatest taste," Laurent Tourondel, BLT Restaurants, various locations, told Delish. 

"My favorite fast-food burger is Five Guys. I get the Little Bacon Cheeseburger," Unique Sweets host & pastry chef Zac Young told Thrillist, "My favorite fast-food burger is Five Guys."

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