Why I, as a Californian, prefer Five Guys over In-N-Out

In California, In-N-Out Burger is kind of a cult. To be expressing any sort of indifference about the West Coast chain is considered blasphemy here.

Don't get me wrong, I eat there frequently when Cecilio and I get the chance. And he FAWNS over it. And I really like it too. That's the key word: really like. But I am not orgasming over it whenever we eat there, and I am not willing to wait in the long ass drive-thru that stretches outside the parking lot. And it's usually not my first choice to eat there if I am craving a burger. I get family, friends and acquaintances telling me I'm crazy for even expressing that I prefer the East Coast rival, Five Guys Burgers & Fries.

We Americans are crazy passionate about our burgers. Yeah everyone knows about McDonald's, but there are other burger chains that hail different part of the US. In California (and some parts of Arizona, Oregon, Nevada and Utah), In-N-Out dominates. Back East, you see Five Guys and Shake Shack on every corner. The South has Whataburger, and White Castle rules the Midwest. 

For me personally, I don't like the simplicity of In-N-Out's menu. I'm the type of person that goes to a fast food restaurant and wants to have all of these options in front of me. I'm the type of person that sometimes just gets chicken nuggets and sauce. And yes, I am that person that wants to add different things onto the burger, or create my own pizza. Cecilio is the type of person that wants to order whatever the restaurant's signature item is, and order as is without all of the customizations.

But In-N-Out's bare-bones menu is what most people love about it. It's so simple, but so delicious that it doesn't need any more add-ons. Yes, I know everything is fresh: you can see the potatoes getting cut for fries, the buns are freshly toasted, and the patties have no preservatives. The shakes are made with 100% real ice cream. They use the highest quality of ingredients, but that still isn't enough to satisfy what I exactly want in my burger.

Enter Five Guys. There are a lot of locations in California now. I love being able to add bacon, grilled mushrooms and bell peppers onto the burger. You can even take your pick of what sauces you want: hot sauce, A1, mayo or mustard. If you're not in the mood for a burger, they also serve hot dogs and sandwiches. Although I haven't tried their milkshakes, I like how there are way more flavors than just the standard chocolate/strawberry/vanilla that In-N-Out has. I would love to try Five Guys' Peanut Butter or Cherry shake!

In-N-Out does have their Secret Menu, and you can customize your burger too. You can opt for a low carb burger with a lettuce wrap instead of the buns, and add numbers of patties and cheese slices. There's just no mushrooms or peppers here :( Like I said, the In-N-Out burger is very simple: patty, cheese, onion, pickle, lettuce and tomato. But! You can also ask to have your burger and fries animal style. The animal style sauce is a variation of thousand island dressing with grilled onions and thinly diced pickles. The animal style fries are topped with cheese and grilled onions. When I go to In-N-Out, I get the animal style cheeseburger with no lettuce or whole pickles. The texture of the lettuce gets in the way of the patty and cheese, and I hate pickles (see how picky I am?!) And I get animal style fries, but I like to dip the fries that aren't cheese-coated in my milkshake.

See? I do like In-N-Out. I just find that my fellow Californians obsess way too much over it, and therefore the hype appeals less to me. And I will be honest: if they did offer mushrooms, peppers, bacon and avocado as add-ons, then I would be all over it, really understand the hype, and I wouldn't be writing this post. Well, I am also writing this because In-N-Out lost its title of Amerca's favorite burger joint to Five Guys. I found out through a Bay Area rock station I listen to on Facebook, and so many commenters were angry about it. See? In-N-Out is a cult here. 

Now I am craving for a burger. And when Cecilio reads this post, this is going to make him want to drive us there for dinner even more. And there will be one opening up near our new apartment!

Have you tried In-N-Out or Five Guys? What is your favorite burger joint?


  1. My fiance and I are on the hunt to find the perfect burger, we had some huge disappointments and some that were rated with 4 stars but we haven't found one that amazed us yet. I am so hungry right now :)


  2. I've had five guys but I've never had In-N-Out before, I'm very curious to try it out because of all the hype surrounding In-N-Out. I also wanna try out Shake Shack too! xoxo

    Erika xo

  3. I've only had Five Guys once and didn't love it but I do really want to try In n Out!

    Danielle's Beauty Blog

  4. I haven't tried either because we don't have both where I live. I know my American friends adore both though!

  5. I haven't been to any of them. I totally understand that you want to have more options when you go there.

    Nina's Style Blog

  6. I've never tried an In-n-out burger, I'm quite a simple/picky eater so I'd probably like it! I love 5 Guys as well. My personal favorite is a small chain here in Michigan called Clyde's, it's amazing! Us Americans really are particular about our burgers haha

    Beauty From Katie

  7. This is so not what I expected to be reading when I clicked on your blog hahaha, love the new look by the way and we have a Five Guys in England but no In n Out, so this makes me happy! Thanks for sharing xxx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

  8. I haven't tried either, I know loads of people rave about five guys but I'm not much of a burger person, buuut gimme all the fries haha!


  9. I prefer five guys too! We have in-n-out here in Texas now and Shake Shack, but I haven't tried the latter. And Whataburger is literally 2 am drunk food haha. Five Guys beats Whataburger for sure in my opinion!

    Nida | Caked To The Nines