If you love burger joints, you’re spoiled for choice these days. There are the creative, metal-themed burgers at Kuma’s Corner in Chicago (where the Led Zeppelin is topped with both bacon and pulled pork); the $35 burger at New York’s DB Bistro Moderne, which is filled with short ribs, foie gras, and black truffle; and the ridiculously over-the-top burgers at Las Vegas’ Heart Attack Grill, such as the Octuple Bypass that comes with eight patties and 40 slices of bacon.
Those eye-catching burgers have their place, but if you’re in the mood for something a bit more traditional, we suggest heading to one of the many hamburger chains dotting the American landscape. At these burger joints, you’ll find delicious burgers that don’t need fancy toppings or other stunts to taste great. Some of their names are well-known — who hasn’t heard of In-N-Out, Five Guys, and Shake Shack by now? But those are hardly the only fast food chains making a good burger these days. Here are five lesser-known burger joints we think you’re going to want to try.
1. The Habit Burger Grill
When Consumer Reports polled its subscribers about their favorite fast food burger, the chain that came out on top was a surprise. The Habit Burger Grill narrowly edged out favorites like In-N-Out and Five Guys. The chain, which was founded in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 1969, has 145 restaurants in nine states, including Arizona, Nevada, New Jersey, Virginia, and Idaho.
What makes The Habit special? Its burgers are grilled over an open flame and served with caramelized onions, and the prices are affordable. “It was easily one of the best chain burgers I’ve ever tasted,” Erin Jackson of Serious Eats wrote in her review.