Zagat’s Best Burger?

There seems to be a lot of debate around the water color regarding which place has the best burger, In-N-Out or Five Guys.  In fact,  Five Guys, which has been gaining in popularity in recent years, has taken the #1 spot from n-N-Out in Zagat’s 2010 Fast Food Survey.  Pdho got wind of this and discovered that there was a somewhat new location in Fremont, so we headed on over to make our own assessment.


Generally speaking, the prices are more expensive than your average fast-food joint, but the cost is somewhat deserved when you look at the size and quality of the hamburgers.  We ordered a Cheeseburger with all the toppings includings grilled onions, tomatoes, lettuce and pickles.  Instead of the Thousand-Island like sauce that goes on In-N-Out burgers, it’s just mayo, ketchup and mustard on these burgers.  The beef patties are slightly thicker and juicier, and the bun to patty ratio was good.  The Cheeseburger was actually pretty good, and I can’t really think of anything that was wrong with it except maybe that it just kind of tasted like a plain old Cheeseburger.  Nothing out of the ordinary.  However, in comparison to the In-N-Out Animal style Cheeseburger, I think that Five Guys comes in second.

Hot Dog

In addition to burgers, the menu also offers a couple different hot dogs, so we ordered a Kosher-style Hot Dog.  Truthfully, I actually liked the Hot Dog better than the burger.  It was just a little more flavorful.  Interestingly enough, they sliced the hot dog in half which I really liked, because it balanced out the dog to bun ratio.

The most obvious weakness of In-N-Out is its fries, and this is where Five Guys wins out.  The fries are thicker and starchier, but they weren’t necessarily that flavorful.  In retrospect, we probably should have ordered the the Cajun-style fries which would have added a little more spice and kick.

All in all, the food is good and in terms of quality, I think Five Guys‘ burgers are just a smidge better, but if given the choice, I prefer an In-N-Out burger any day.  I think it’s just a lot tastier and they way toast their buns really helps to add some flavor to the burger.  However, without taking away from Five Guys, I do think their burgers are ok.  It’s just a different story when you’re forced to compare it to In-N-Out.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries
43518 Christy Street
Fremont, CA 94538

PAFO Ratings for Five Guys Burgers and Fries:
Price 2½ stars
Ambiance 2 stars
Food 3 stars
Overall rating 3 stars

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Pearline says:

    Haha. I see you’re a loyal fan of In-N-Out. I also recently went to Five Guys, and I ordered their small bacon cheeseburger with everything. I have to say I found myself liking it better than the In-N-Out cheeseburger with grilled onion (what i usually get). I feel like the In-N-Out patty is getting smaller, and several time noticed it’s dried out and no flavor in the patty itself. =P But Five Guys definitely cost more. So if you factor in the cost factor, may be In-N-Out still win. But if Five Guys is close to my house, I would probably pick that over In-N-Out.
    I tried Five Guys cajun fries, and was a little disappointed, because I was expecting more flavor. It only has a hint of the cajun spice taste to it. As for the hot dog, it was good, but I think I would still go for Costco Hot Dog, factoring in the price difference. My two cents. 🙂

  2. IC Eyes says:

    Thank you for a cool review. Will try 5 guys out.

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