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Five Guys vs. In-N-Out

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I live in New Jersey and recently Five Guys started opening franchises here. In my opinion they make the best fast food burger in the area. White Rose is very good as well, but really a different type of burger. Five Guys uses fresh beef, and although well done, the burgers are juicy, fresh, and delicious. The fries are excellent as well, fresh cut and fried twice in peanut oil.

Many people have said that Five Guys is to the East Coast what In-N-Out is to the West Coast. I've never been to an In-N-Out, so I can't make a comparison. I have read a lot of comments on various food forums comparing the 2, and as you can imagine, opinions vary greatly. It seems that slightly more people who've had both prefer In-N-Out though a lot of people prefer Five Guys and say there is no comparison. Jason Perlow of Off The Broiler, whose opinions I respect, prefers Five Guys.

Those of you who have been to both places, which do you like better?

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  1. I prefer In N Out to Five Guys. I like my burgers with lettuce, tomato and onion and the produce out here in CA is markedly better than what I've had in the Five Guys I've eaten in. That helps. I also think the buns at In N Out are better. I'm not sure I think there's a lot of difference in the meat itself though I've found Five Guys to be a bit dryer, comparatively speaking, which I don't prefer. I can see how the Five Guys toppings list would be attractive for those who like more variety on their burgers. I don't have a lot of love for the fries at either place.

    3 Replies
    1. re: ccbweb

      I'm still waiting to try Five Guys since it's not really conveniently located to me, but IMHO In-N-Out is great for what it is; a fast food burger. The burger is high quality, "pretty," tastes fresh, and be customized within reason. I don't think it deserves the accolades it receives as THE ONLY PLACE you can eat a (fast food) burger. Honestly I'd do just fine at Tommy's or Fatburger.

      But if your wandering the streets in a hungry haze and you spot that yellow arrow go ahead and stop on in. You'll be happy and leave with a grin.

      Now the fries...well that's a whole nother thread...

      1. re: ReelMike84

        What's unique about the In-N-Out burgers is that they aren't pre-made frozen patties. They start with freshly-ground beef every day. My only real objection to the place is the perpetually looooooong lines.

        1. re: Will Owen

          At 5 guys, we don't use frozen patties. (i'm an employee at 5 guys). Every morning, we show up at 7am and prep. we prep our patties from ground beef, we break apart heads of lettuce, we cut tomatoes, we do everything you could imagine! our food is only the freshest.

    2. I think In-n-Out is a tad overrated, but it's far superior to Five Guys. I'd really love to like the latter, given that I can't take five steps in any direction without hitting a franchise here in D.C., but it just isn't very good. (Bring in Culver's!)

      4 Replies
      1. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

        I agree that I-n-O is superior to 5 Guys. But I'm not sure Culver's burgers per se are much better if any than 5 Guys. However Culvers has many other items on the menu that are good, and overall if I had to choose to have one or the other nearby I'd go with Culvers (interesting these are three chains we're comparing here that have absolutely no geographical overlap whatsoever, not yet anyway AFAIK).

        I would say, tho, that Culvers cheese curds are, surprisingly, much inferior to A&W's. Their chili cheese fries are better however.

        Admittedly my basis of comparison for 5 Guys is the original location on King St. in Alexandria Va. While the franchise locations may not be as good, my limited experience with them has not been as bad as others have reported on CH.

        1. re: johnb

          5 Guys has now made out to the West Coast. There are two in the Los Angeles area now. Can't wait to try it to do the full comparison! I do like In-n-Out better than Culver's though.

          1. re: chris1621

            My most recent stop at Culvers, a new location in Kentucky, was somewhat disappointing. Hardly any butter on the bun and not much flavor in general. I will admit, however, that was just a few days after I had a butterburger in the inner sanctum of butterburgers, Solly's in Milwaukee, so it's a tough comparison.

        2. re: Bill on Capitol Hill

          five guys is pretty good, but cannot compare to in n out. it's an impossibility.

        3. Five Guys is far and away the better of the two. I still don't understand the hype surrounding In-n-Out, the burger wasn't much better than what you could get at Wendy's. Maybe the location I visited out there wasn't up to snuff, but I was really disappointed after hearing people rave about it. Five Guys always serves up a massive, hot, juicy sandwich with anything I want on it and I couldn't ask for much more than that.

          1 Reply
          1. re: coasterphil

            You prefer 5 Guys. From your handle I take it you're a coaster fan. Interesting if true, since the biggest proponent (hypemeister??) and lover of In-N-Out on these boards is Joe H who is in the roller coaster business. There must be some basic unifying yin-yang factor going on there

          2. I think they're so different in their approach that it's hard to compare the two. They both use fresh beef and cut their own fries from potatoes, but that's where the comparisons end to me.

            One, In-N-Out, has a very bare menu. Five Guys has much more ingredients to work with.

            I definitely prefer the fries at Five Guys, though. I'd take either burger, just depending on my mood.

            12 Replies
            1. re: alliebear

              In-N-Out actually has a very extensive menu, much more than 5 Guys, but it's not posted in the stores. Most I-N-O enthusiasts are familiar with at least some of it, particularly "animal style" which is one of their most popular items even tho it never appears on the menu AFAIK.

              The company's website makes mention of a few of the "secret" items (really variations), but skips most of them. Here is a link to Wikipedia's description. If you do a google you will find dozens more.

              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-N-Out...

              They have recently officially stopped making burgers larger than 4x4, but it is said it can still be done.

              1. re: johnb

                In-n-Out "Unlisted" ingredients consist of mustard, pickles and yellow peppers, hardly extensive.

                { "Listed" ingredients are bread, meat,cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, onions: raw and grilled, and sauce}

                Yes, the menu is is a varying combination of said ingredients (as it is everywhere- ever listen to people order at Starbucks?)

                Animal style burgers and animal fries are not listed on the menu.

                The menu is:
                Single, Cheeseburger, Double, Double Double
                Fries (one size)
                Fountain beverages
                Shakes (chocolate,vanilla or strawberry- or a combination thereof)

                The "combinations" listed on the menu are not any cheaper than buying individual items listed.

                1. re: Cathy

                  The point related to the previous poster's assertion that 5 Guys had a more extensive menu than I-N-O. This is wrong when the extra variations available are considered. It seemed to me that the poster had no knowledge of the "secret" menu, so some description of it was warranted. I might add that I am thoroughly familiar with 5G and what they sell, having been a long term resident of the DC area where they originated and even having arranged many forays to the original pre-franchise 5 Guys with my co-workers in the old days. I-N-O has institutionalized a wide variety of variations, and 5G, tho they do have a few more toppings available than I-N-O, does not do so unless things have changed recently.

                  I'm not going to get into the arguments about which is better, nor whether 5G has gone downhill with the franchise program (I-N-O is 100% company owned--no franchises). 5G does make a good burger, and does offer free shell peanuts while you're waiting for your order, which is nice. They are very good quality peanuts.

                  It is not a question of how extensive the ingredients list is--IMO what matters is the variety of ways the ingredients can be put together, not to mention how things can be toasted or not, which does make a big difference IMO. Nobody expects 100 distinct menu items in a burger place after all.

                  Nowhere did I or anyone claim that ordering combinations on or off the menu brought any economies.

                  1. re: johnb

                    What I meant was not the different variations of the same few ingredients. I am aware of all the different ways to order at In-N-Out, but there are things they don't offer that you can find at Five Guys. Five Guys has free peanuts, plus way more toppings and condiments for their burgers. Not saying that makes one better, just that it makes them very different in my opinion.

                  2. re: Cathy

                    You are missing some other things off the menu, I keep it a secret though.

                    1. re: A5 KOBE

                      I want to know.

                      1. re: alliebear

                        I think I listed everything in the store. It's just combinations of those items...

                2. re: alliebear

                  THE ESSENTIALS OF A CHEESEBURGER

                  1) THE BUN
                  -FIVE GUYS: soft and soggy bread (maybe because of the foil wrapping?)
                  -In-N-Out: buttered and toasted on one side, soft and fluffy on the other

                  2) THE MEAT
                  -FIVE GUYS: HUGE! Lean, well done and hand pressed. Tasty. It's rather breakable and somewhat dry and over powers. Unbalanced. BUT I'm sure there are people that love that about these burgers.
                  -In-N-Out: SMALLER. Less lean and more juicy. More balanced.

                  3) THE CHEESE
                  -FIVE GUYS: Cheese is nice and melted all over the place. It tastes good. It seems to have a less milky and slightly higher water content though. Like "American Cheese".
                  -In-N-Out: Cheese is nice and melted all over the place. It tastes good. A bit sharper tasting. It seems to have a more milky taste or sharpness. I can't explain it but it can stand alone and on it's own.

                  4) PRODUCE
                  -FIVE GUYS: A bunch of different options. You can even get "everything" (Mayo, Lettuce, Pickles, Tomatoes, Grilled Onions, Grilled Mushrooms, Ketchup and Mustard) or "all the way" (Relish, Onions, Jalapeno peppers, Green peppers, A.1. Sauce, Bar-B-Q Sauce and hot Sauce)
                  I had the "everything". Tomato was bland, Pickles packed a sour punch, I didn't notice the Onions, grilled Mushrooms took over the produce section. It seems that there were a bunch of items that didn't really add to the burger.
                  -In-N-Out: The basics, Lettuce Tomato and Onions (fresh or grilled). It seems to me that each one of these items are really good quality in that they can stand on their own. You actually taste each item in your mouth.

                  5) CONDIMENTS
                  -FIVE GUYS: You can get an array of sauces from the basics of Ketchup and Mustard to A.1. Sauce Bar-B-Q Sauce and Hot Sauce. I only had the Ketchup and Mustard on my burger and it tasted good.
                  -In-N-Out: They do that "thousand island" type sauce or is it called "russian dressing"? I don't know what they actually call it at In-N-Out. It's amazingly good. Sounds nasty but tastes good. That's another item that stands on it's own. It's tangy yet it doesn't over power the rest of the items. I've had that sauce in other sandwiches and burgers and many times it can overpower everything. I guess some people like it that way though. If that's what you like, you won't find it at In-N-Out.

                  THE DECISION:
                  These places are servicing two totally different appetites, taste buds and ideas. They can not be compared to each other at all.

                  On one hand you have certain people that go crazy for HUGE burgers with mounds of toppings. FIVE GUYS kills when it comes to that. They honestly do. But it's not unique. The meat patties burgers from the commercial chain FATBURGER are also HUGE and cooked well done as well.
                  The only difference there is that FIVE GUYS offers an array of toppings where FATBURGER doesn't. I'm totally down with HUGE burgers too...sometimes. Other times they can be rather annoying trying to get a good bit in so that I can taste all aspects of the buger at once. In-N-Out seems to fit my mouth just right. I can actually get everything item in the burger in my mouth at once.

                  As far as the produce goes, it was a no brainer to me. In-N-Out has better tasting produce. Each item can truly stand alone. For example, I could use that crispy iceberg lettuce in a salad. I would use their juicy tomatoes in the salad too. The FIVE GUYS stuff was cool but not as flavorful. Or some of the items i.e. the Pickles and Grilled Mushrooms just over powered every other produce item. The tomato didn't have much taste which is one of the main items I think in a hamburger.

                  The Cheeses at both places are good. Though because of all the toppings I had on my FIVE GUYS, the cheese was not a stand out but was like a tag-along item hanging out in the background which was hardly noticed unless I made an effort to look for it. I think they should use a sharper more rich tasting cheese if they are going to add so much toppings onto the burgers. That would be freaking awesome! The cheese at In-N-Out is nice and rich but is not so sharp that it overpowers anything. It's just and stands on it's own. I would use their cheese for a grilled cheese or even mac 'n cheese. Seriously.

                  As for the condiments sauces, In-N-Out puts a basic relish type russian dressing style thousand island thing on theirs. It really adds a certain tang to the burger that is unmatched. FIVE GUYS adds ketchup mustard and gives you other options (BBQ, hot sauce and A.1.) which IMHO, are really strong additions that once again add to overpowering the rest of the condiments, produce etc. The only thing that isn't overpowered is the hamburger meat itself. That things stands alone and pretty much all by itself.

                  The bun. Here is the final blow. I'm not sure why but I'm guessing it's the foil wrapping that FIVE GUYS burgers all come in. I think the moisture from the hot burger being wrapped up makes the bread-bun soggy. Or it could also be because of all the mounds of produce they put on the burgers or a combination of both. Well, once it's soggy, it pretty much melds into the rest of the burger. It literally become part of the burger. It gets lost in the crowd. It doesn't have a flavor of it's own. The texture is gone. The characteristics of the hamburger gets thrown into a melting pot.
                  On the other hand, In-N-Out burger buns are have a hint of butter to the top toasted side. You can still feel and taste the toasted buttery bottom portion of the bun when you bite into it. The bottoms buns are even toasty too. While toasty from being grilled, the bready insides are still very soft. Those buns hold their own.

                  While FIVE GUYS has a "WOW" factor from it being visually appealing and having the ability to essentially build your burger even bigger than it already comes. Yes, it is pretty dang amazing when you open up that foil and see this big huge mess of a burger before your eyes. It also has one of those non-pretentious feels to it which I think attracts a certain crowd which is the same "WOW" crowd as well.

                  In-N-Out looks plain. It looks like it doesn't really have too much going for it actually. You take one look at it and think, "Dude, that's all? I need to order two!" or "I should have gone to that place that serves burgers and gyros!" BUT once you sink your teeth into it and allow the burger to dance on your tongue...you go into shock realizing that you're actually tasting each item intensely. It's a one of those, don't judge a book by it's cover burgers.

                  If you just want to be satisfied and you're into a balanced taste and quality of each item, truly In-N-Out wins. But if you want to get full and you're into the "WOW" factor and don't really mind an unbalanced collage of flavors, FIVE GUYS is it! They are BOTH good burgers but are unable to be placed side by side. INHO, they are doing two different burgers altogether. Just because they got some meat and veggies and cheese pressed between two pieces of bread doesn't mean they are actually trying to do the exact same thing. I don't think they are. I think one can enjoy both burgers depending on one's mood.

                  1. re: Frexitarian

                    FWIW, In N Out calls their condiment "spread." I think it is Thousand Island, but many purists will tell you it is different. I think it is a california thing. Lots of restaurants use it on their burgers out there, but I haven't found places using it anywhere else in the country except for on the Big Mac (which also uses a different variation of 1k island).

                    1. re: Frexitarian

                      great review.

                      You are right about In-N-Out having very fresh toppings and their buns are incredible. I hate those pasty fast food buns that are so common.

                      I can't stand their fries though. But that is ok, I'm not a huge fries fan anyway. I like them when they are perfect but anything else and I don't bother.

                      1. re: Frexitarian

                        I had occasion to try INO on a recent trip out west. It was, well, underwhelming.

                        You are right that comparing the two isn't really right. It's like comparing delicious with macintosh apples. Ya they're both apples but saying one is better than the other is not a good comparison.

                        Now, I disagree with your bun and cheese analysis. I found neither to be anything more than what 5G has to offer.

                        As for balance of flavours I tend to go for beef taste with the rest of the stuff accenting it.

                        I much better like 5G.

                        DT

                        1. re: Frexitarian

                          I read you review, very nicely done btw, but in 'almost' every instance I kept scratching my head and wondering if you got the two mixed up.

                          1) The Bun
                          FG: Bun is almost perfect, nice, a little dense due to the egg and slightly sweet but good flavor
                          INO: wonder bread like, flavorless and too light, seems like the cheapest bun you can buy

                          2) Meat
                          FG: Thick, fresh, lean, very strong beef flavor - mmmmmm good
                          INO: Thin, very salty, fatty, bland tasting except for saltiness

                          3) Cheese
                          FG: Melted, nice quality with good flavor, one of the better Swiss cheeses and of course different choices
                          INO: Yuck, pasty, coats your mouth, cross between Velveeta and cheddar flavor, not something I would want to eat again. No choices except pasty yellow cheese or nothing.

                          4) Produce
                          FG - Lots of choices all about average quality
                          INO - Basics but very good quality and fresh.

                          5) Condiments
                          FG - Again lots of choices all of them good.
                          INO - 1000 island with extra pickle relish - the extra relish seems to overpower what little taste the meat has but it does compliment the produce rather well.

                          6)Fries
                          FG - Larger, cooked crisp in peanut oil, and you can get them Cajun style but eat them while they are warm and
                          INO - Smaller, usually limp and greasy, even cooking them extra crispy doesn't help much, plus you have a bout a 2 minute window to consume them after that they seem disgusting.

                          The Decision:
                          The meat, bun, toppings, cheese, fries and condiments are all better at 5G while INO wins in produce and price. If you want a good burger that highlights the meat and you can choose to top how you want and don't mind spending some $$ than FG wins hands down. If you want a burger that tastes mostly of sauce and produce with not much meat flavor, except salt and you don't have much money INO is the place to go.

                          SIDEBAR: When I lived in California we used to do blind taste tests on a regular basis and one time we did fast food hamburgers. There were many people who were INO aficionados there that claimed it would win hands down. It didn't, in actuality INO placed in the bottom half each time we did a blind taste test. (A interesting comment from one of the tasters hat loved INO, he identified the burger as INO but said we were pulling a fast one on him and had removed the meat, we hadn't.) I also did a sneaky thing on some relatives from Europe, they had heard that INO was the best burgers in the world and wanted to try it so I bought some INO and Carl's Jr. burgers on the way over to meet them but switched the wrappers. Guess which one they loved - the one in the INO wrapper. My conclusion from that is INO is mostly about low price and hype.

                      2. Just to sum up...the toppings differences are:
                        Five Guys has the following that In N Out doesn't:
                        Relish
                        Sauteed Mushrooms
                        A-1 Sauce
                        BBQ Sauce
                        Green Peppers
                        Hot Sauce
                        Jalapeno peppers

                        In N Out has:
                        their "spread" - which is basically a thousand islands sort of thing and
                        "chili peppers"

                        Both have:
                        lettuce
                        tomato
                        onion (cooked and raw)
                        pickles
                        cheese
                        ketchup
                        mustard (you can get it cooked into the bun at In N Out)

                        Five Guys also has bacon and hot dogs.

                        10 Replies
                        1. re: ccbweb

                          Five Guys has more selections, even veggie hotdogs and burgers. I prefer In N Out for the food, though. Maybe I'm remembering incorrectly, but the meat for the single at In N Out is bigger and tastier. French fries are thinner cut and Five Guys (this might be a reflection of the franchises) have been thicker w/ skin AND often undercooked so mushy. Five Guys gives you far more fries than one person can eat--our family gets them and still have leftovers. With all the variations on Five Guys, it's easy to overwhelm the burger and it's hard to order. I wish they'd let you input what you want yourself because if you order several burgers, it can take a long time. Oh, and Five Guys doesn't have the shakes which is a big selling point for In N Out.

                          1. re: ccbweb

                            My daughter LOVES 5 Guys hotdogs, FWIW. Someone mentioned that the buns are too bready at 5 Guys - I couldn't disagree more. As someone who hates an imbalance between bread and meat, I think the ratio is right on the money at 5 Guys. As for the fries, anything fried that is immediately contained in an airtight container will go limp. Don't shut the bag! I've never tried I-n-O, so I can't say which is better. I've never had an issue with soggy fries either.

                            1. re: lynnlato

                              I never realized that I didn't follow-up on this post after I had I-n-O in AZ last year. I just returned from CA too, where the I-n-O craze is full throttle.

                              For me, 5 Guys is a superior burger. Better flavor and more meat and the perfect ratio of bun-to-meat. I-n-O's bun is too fluffy, IMHO. And 5 Guys fries win by a landslide.

                              There ya have it folks, the final analysis has been made. Nothing more to see here - 5 Guys reigns supreme. ;-)

                              1. re: lynnlato

                                Now you have to try Smashburger.

                                1. re: hotdoglover

                                  OMG, I've not even heard of those. Good? I did try Whataburger in FLA back in November and it was the worst. The beef patty was the thickness of a pice of Kraft American cheese single and the bun was so thick. The fries were lame too. The service was great and the decor was retro cool, but the food was mediocre. : (

                                  Update: I just checked out Smashburger's website. Looks good. Egg bun and fried pickles too? Yes please! And the veggie frites look interesting. Too bad there isn't one anywhere close to me. But I am going to Chicago in 6 wks so perhaps then I can give it a try.

                                  1. re: lynnlato

                                    My son prefers Smashburger to In-N-Out and Five Guys. I haven't been to In-N-Out yet. But I love Smashburger.

                                    1. re: lynnlato

                                      I also tried a Whataburger in Florida and agree, mediocre burger, lame fries, nice interior.

                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                        My experience is that Whataburger's franchises outside of of their home base of Texas are generally absolutely terrible. They're a textbook example of why regional fast-food chains should stay regional. But by that token, I don't think you can dismiss Whataburger entirely until you've actually had one in Texas.

                                        1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                          I've had one in Texas. They're pretty awful there too.

                                          1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                                            I've never tried Five Guys outside of DC/MD/VA (their home base), but even here, the quality of their product is wildly inconsistent. The DC board is filled with accounts of which ones are good and which are aweful. YMMV.

                              2. Five Guys is fair. My biggest problems with them are the buns, which are too bready for the single burger, IMHO, and the fries, which can be mushy and soggy, even when you ask for them well-done. Maybe the oil is too hot or something.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: JennS

                                  Soggy fries are a sign the oil is too cool, not too hot. Cool oil means you have to cook the potatoes longer, giving more time for oil to displace water in the potatoes. It can also mean there's too little oil. If there isn't enough oil the oil will lose too much heat when the potatoes are dropped in.

                                  1. re: JennS

                                    Get the fries out of the paper bag ASAP. The steam from the hot fries builds up and soggifies them within seconds. Cutting down the time between getting them out of the bag and into your mouth will greatly increase their edibility.

                                  2. Of the chains discussed so far in this tread:

                                    Best Burgers:
                                    1st place Culvers (but, they put butter on them, which is a little unfair.)
                                    2nd place Five Guys
                                    3rd In-N-Out

                                    Fries:
                                    1st 5 Guys
                                    2nd In-N-Out
                                    3rd Culvers

                                    Hot Dogs
                                    1st 5 Guys
                                    2nd 5 Guys
                                    3rd 5 Guys

                                    Shakes

                                    1st Culvers
                                    2nd Culvers
                                    3rd Culvers

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: Paul N

                                      Way overpriced burgers: Guys

                                      Family of four average cost (burger, fries, drink):
                                      Guys: $35 (and that's sharing 1 large fries)
                                      In-n-Out: $21 (and that's sharing 2 fries)

                                      Taste: In-n-Out by a landslide.

                                    2. As an east coaster with a Five Guys across the street from my office, I can compare it to In N Out, which I have visited around a half dozen times in Vegas and LA. I think I-n-O is on another level from five guys. The freshness and quality comes through in the flavor at I-n-O, while the taste at five guys is good, but not memorable. Five guys is a good solid burger, I-n-O is something you think about on the plane flying into Vegas. For reference, I am comparing a double bacon cheese burger at five guys with a double double animal style at In-n-Out.

                                      1. In-n-Out!! I live on the East Coast and don't want to hate on 5 Guys. I really wish it were the winner in this contest. At five guys, I totally pile on the toppings, but at the end of the day, you've got a patty that doesn't have a lot of flavor. That is the problem IMO. Also, the bun issues that others have mentioned. In-N-Out has got the simple, very flavorful burger, the toasted bun, and the onions grilled in that lovely grease, plus the special sauce.

                                        1. In and Out. I have ate all three, i.e. in and out, 5 guys, and calver's. calver's is a bit different than the other 2 because of the butter in the mix. calver's is tasty but IMO it's in and out. in and out is what a hamburger is all about.

                                          1. 5 Guys does not have Cheddar Cheese for their burgers??? :(

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: BaltimoreBoi15

                                              You don't put cheddar cheese on a cheeseburger, you use american cheese just as In N Out does. I had it tonight and it was definitely american.

                                            2. I've only had experiences with Five Guys but the wide swing on quality from one location to another is rather off putting. One thing about chains Mickey D etc you know what to expect from one location to another. Dreck

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Hue

                                                This seems to be the big down fall of 5 Guys. The only one I've been to in Huntsville, Al (west) was fantastic. How people couldn't like it was beyond me. Then I started hearing about dried out burgers and other problems. So quality control is a big issue.

                                                I have not tried INO but hope to one day.

                                                DT

                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                  Regardless of what you whether you prefer INO or 5G, In N Out's consistency is remarkable.

                                              2. In-n-Out is soooooo much better. Five Guys is heavy and I find a bit to greasy. I-N-O is fresher and manages to not induce a food coma mid afternoon. I tend to love the protein burger at I-N-O when I'm "dieting" and the double double animal style when I am just enjoying what I eat. Fresh tomato, lettuce and grilled onions, I think I just started drooling.
                                                If only In-N-Out would come to Nashville, we have Five Guys springing up on almost every corner right now but no I-N-O.

                                                10 Replies
                                                1. re: bubblet4me

                                                  Five Guys is expanding like crazy. Every time I turn around, I see a new one. I wonder how that'll affect the quality.

                                                  1. re: chowser

                                                    welcome, five guys, to park slope. i can hear the complaining now! :-)

                                                  2. re: bubblet4me

                                                    I have to respectfully disagree. I grew up in CA, so I know In-N-Out well. People slobber all over themselves about In-N-Out not for the taste of the food, but because it's pretty. You've got the light brown bun, the green lettuce, red tomato... they're all put together very (very, very) neatly, and make a nice image. It's this clean-cut image that most people associate with "fresh" even though anything fried in oil, mixed with cream, or cooked in grill grease is anything but. The stores are clean (and only located on the sides of manicured highways or most often well-to-do neighborhoods) and the youths who serve up the food look like they've all been to some form of religious camp. But at the end of the day, the meat is so scarce in an In-N-Out "burger" that I don't think you can even call it a burger.

                                                    That said, In-N-Out is most definitely a grease delivery vehicle, especially if you get anything other than the most basic, simple single. Double-doubles lather on the processed cheese and animal style adds so much thousand Island that you can't taste the little meat that's there. Fries and a shake? That will put an insomniac to sleep.

                                                    Five Guys on the other handy is a big, greasy, (gritty, urban), mess. The floors have peanut shells everywhere and they are often located in areas of town that In-N-Outers wouldn't be likely to visit (at least the ones I've been to in DC). The burgers are sloppy, covered in ingredients that slouch and fall and drip all over. But there's more meat. And taste.

                                                    I definitely couldn't do Five Guys every day, or even every week. But I don't get excited over In-N-Out.... ever.

                                                    1. re: innoutisnotaburger

                                                      In kind, I respectfully disagree. I am not seduced by the appearance of the double double. I love the taste of it. Especially with a side of animal style fries. And a diet coke. :)

                                                      1. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                                        LOL! A diet coke. Then you can go home and say you ate healthy.

                                                        1. re: ReelMike84

                                                          Lol, I'm guilty of eating my burger w/ a diet soda too. I'm more worried about diabetes than I am about hearth disease (because my cholesterol, and BP are good).

                                                          1. re: Ericcc

                                                            Me too. But I just prefer the taste of DC. More so, C0.

                                                            DT

                                                            1. re: Davwud

                                                              Funny, I thought I was the only one who preferred the taste of Diet Cola. Though that certainly wasn't the case when I started drinking it. My taste buds must have adjusted over the years. Bit of advice tho, Sunny Select is an off-brand diet cola that just puts Coke and Pepsi to shame. You can find it at Food Maxx and Save Mart.

                                                        2. re: LA Buckeye Fan

                                                          cheeseburger protein style
                                                          side of animal fries
                                                          Diet Coke ~~ essential

                                                        3. re: innoutisnotaburger

                                                          I'm not at all sure what this is about. I'm not clear that it's about food. The employees are too clean? Was that one of the points?

                                                          Not enough beef but too much grease. Ok.

                                                          Sum total: you've got some sort of beef with In N Out Burger. It's simply not clear what that is.

                                                      2. I used to love In-N-Out, but that was before I discovered that their beef came from places that put downer cows into the food stream. Although they stopped buying meat from that supplier, it made me question the quality of their beef product.

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: jsteingarten

                                                          That doesn't make sense to me. The moment they learned that there were issues with their meat supplier, they dropped that supplier. They didn't wait, they immediately dropped the supplier and moved on to suppliers they could be sure of. Certainly, there were issues during the time when they were getting meat from that company and didn't know about their practices, but their response is one that should give a customer confidence, in my opinion.

                                                          Their statement on the matter is on their website:
                                                          http://www.in-n-out.com/statement.asp

                                                          Looks like you can now be confident in the quality of their beef product.

                                                          1. re: ccbweb

                                                            I don't think that I can be confident (but I'm glad that you can be) about the quality of their meat, since they only ask that suppliers sign an agreement that they won't inject downer cattle into the foodstream. That suggests that they aren't doing on-site inspections of suppliers and just taking their word for it. Nonplussed.

                                                            1. re: jsteingarten

                                                              what do you think they should do? Have 24 hour security at the dairy farm? No business can take those measures

                                                              1. re: chuock19

                                                                isn't that what any kosher establishment does? 24-hour security?

                                                        2. I think that it is impossible to say which is better. From the many threads addressing this same issue and experience, both can offer better than average fast food experience, but are inconsistent. I have eaten at one location of InO and I thought it was horrible. Fries undercooked and the burger flavorless. Compared to Wendy's I thought that it sucked. But, I know that that isn't the norm based on posts by fellow Chowhounds. On the other hand I've eaten at 5 locations of 5Guys. A couple of which I thought were horrible and a couple that I still think have the greatest burgers and fries. Now that I am in MA I miss 5Guys and I'm grateful that I finally had an InO burger last month in San Diego.

                                                          3 Replies
                                                          1. re: viperlush

                                                            This is what puzzles me. Both 5G and In-and-Out are franchises, yet both seem to deliver wildly inconsistent results. I thought the whole point of a franchise was to deliver a consisten product in a uniform environment? You go to ANY McDonalds ANYWHERE on planet earth and you'll pretty much get the same thing with slight deviations (I think in Russia, you get spinach instead of lettuce; in India, you can get lamb burgers, etc). The only exception is the Ledo's Pizza chain, which is universally lousy (the original location is the only place that does it right). I have a 50/50 success rate at 5Guys as well. One of them I had to leave because the do-wop music was too damn loud and irritating (when Wang Chung came out, I'd had enough and bolted). Never tried In-and-Out. I tried a Fatburger in Florida and didn't think it was that great.

                                                            1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                              In N Out isn't franchised.

                                                              1. re: monkeyrotica

                                                                In N Out is family owned.

                                                            2. Listen man, Im a native to D.C. but i travel all over and the ebst burger i have ever had is a five guys burger. I actually just recently got back from sacramento 2 weeks ago. My family knows im a big burger critic so they took me to a bunch of burger joints and they placed a lot of hype on in-n-out. When i went with all the pressure of it being "THE BEST BURGER EVER!" i couldnt eat it at first. I'll tell you, that burger is only fresh, not much else. Theres not much flavor or zest. Now a 5 guys burger is like a party in my mouth. Go ahead ad try in-n-out but dont expect much. 5 guys is the top dog in my opinion.

                                                              1. I prefer Five Guys over In-N-Out. Neither are THAT good. Most towns have a local place that is better. In Raleigh NC it's Char-Grill.

                                                                Five Guys has about the best fries I've ever eaten, including frites in Paris.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: Fu Dee

                                                                  "Five Guys has about the best fries I've ever eaten, including frites in Paris."
                                                                  disagree

                                                                2. I've been to both, and as far as just the burgers are concerned, I prefer Five Guys. However, both are very good, and I really think it boils down to each individual's particular taste. Given that, I do love being able to put A-1 on my burger... Mmmmmmmm.

                                                                  1. In-N-Out over Five Guys, in my opinion. The double double animal style cant be beat.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: baldwinwood

                                                                      Sure it can!!!

                                                                      My all time favorite, 6 x 6 w/ grilled onions. No fries.

                                                                    2. This seems to break down along East Coast / West Coast natives and their favorites. IMO they're both good but totally over hyped.

                                                                      1. in-n-out has the all time worse fries. When I got mine, I took them back to the counter and asked if they had fresh ones because these were hard and dry...the lady look confused, but pulled a new basket out of the oil and handed them to me. They tasted exactly like the first ones...oops, that's how they're SUPPOSED to taste. I don't get it.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: chonger

                                                                          They are made with fresh potatoes that are cut just before being dropped in the fryer. Twice.

                                                                          Not the frozen, coated, precooked stuff you are probably used to.

                                                                        2. Here we go...

                                                                          Im not a native of Ca so I was introduced to In n Out but didn't grow up with them so my gold standard was Steak N Shake coming into this "rumble" (In N Out tops Steak and Shake for everything but variety)

                                                                          after 20 years of In-N-Out - I Had 5 guys for the first time in Miami this week 12/12/09 it was an excellent meal superb the difference here are few but notable between these 2 masters of burger goodness.

                                                                          Burger 9/10 vs 10/10 - The normal 5 guys burger is a double patty- a little more meat than In n out but a little fattier and greasier. In N out produce, meat and bun are better - cheese seems Equal.

                                                                          Fries-9/10 vs 8/10 In N out delivers a super healthy extremely fresh and unique product single fried in canola oil- but down on taste compared to 5 guys double cooked in hotter peanut oil offering. The 5 guys fry is superb and heavy with peanut oil- one upside is its longer table life. in no out is gone by the time you get home from a take out run
                                                                          Note: 5 guys fried tends to lean toward overdone a bit.

                                                                          Cleanliness-8/10 vs 10/10 5 guys is close, but the decor and cleanliness is a notch down. The cool free peanuts end up on the floor as do stacks of potato bags - cool but not as sanitary as the ultra sterile in n out.

                                                                          Cool Extras-9/10 vs 8/10 a wider range of menu offering, plus free peanuts trumps a "secret menu"

                                                                          Really Really close In N Out 36 - 5 guys 35. (Of course this is the Uncle Dave Scale)

                                                                          The net net here in my mind is you win either way.

                                                                          Uncle Dave

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: Uncle Dave

                                                                            Cool Extras-9/10 vs 8/10 a wider range of menu offering, plus free peanuts trumps a "secret menu"

                                                                            5 guys has like 2 items on their menus.. lol.

                                                                          2. Being that we were in Orem, Utah last week and spied a Five Guys, we had to give it a try in order to compare it to our beloved In-N-Out that is so popular in So Cal where we're from.

                                                                            The place itself was nice and clean, with lots of window space. The people at the counter were very friendly and took the time to explain to us newbies about how you order the burgers, etc. The food was ready faster than the usual In-N-Out wait time.

                                                                            Now on to the food: Five Guys makes a good burger. It tastes like homemade, not at all like it came from a chain. I ordered the little hamburger since I only wanted one patty. The patty had great taste and, unlike In-N-Out, the taste was not obscured by the sauce. I think I would have to give a slight nod to Five Guys when judging strictly the patty only, but in terms of the overall burger, I say they are tied. The basic In-N-Out burger is very tasty with its synergy of ingredients. Five Guys makes a larger burger. In-N-Out has better buns because of the slight crunch from toasting.

                                                                            Fries: You get a huge order of fries at Five Guys, one regular order being enough for 2 or 3 people (or even more). That is nice except if you are by yourself it is way too much to eat. The fries look really delicious but taste-wise, I give the nod to In-N-Out, hands down. There is no crunch at all to the Five Guys fries. There's lots of potatoes but they just don't taste that good and I didn't like the texture, either. I would rather have In-N-Out any day, plus the portion size is more reasonable.

                                                                            Five Guys is also very expensive. I paid $7.67 for a combo consisting of a little hamburger, regular fries and a soda. True, the fries are enough for more than one person but there ought to be a choice when it comes to serving sizes, and then lower the price accordingly. The little hamburger was $3.39 by itself; the fries $2.59 for the smallest order, and the drink was $1.69. You can get an In-N-Out combo for much less than that and it is more satisfying because of the fries.

                                                                            In my opinion, In-N-Out is still the champ. That said, Five Guys is miles above any other chain place.. it's just that In-N-Out is a bit above Five Guys.

                                                                            1. I'll throw one more into the mix. I just tried a Boardwalk Burger and Fries and it was very similar to Five Guys, down to the peanuts. Grilled to order, good fries, similar sides. They also have hot dogs, you can get chili, cheese on the fries. It's a small chain, just a handful so far which might be why the quality is better than Five Guys. Five Guys depends on the store and has gotten so large that I think quality control is difficult. I rarely eat fast food as it is but if there is a Boardwalk, I'd do that before Five Guys. Between In N Out and Boardwalk? Pretty close call but I think I'd take In N Out first (keeping in mind I haven't had an In N Out burger since I left California over five years ago).

                                                                              1. While I agree that In-N-Out has a marginally better burger than Five Guys, I live on the East Coast and do not have an In-N-Out anywhere in sight. I rely on quarterly business trips to CA to get my fix.

                                                                                I do like the additional toppings you get at Five Guys and they also have Mello Yello which is as close to Mtn Dew as you can get.

                                                                                The hidden menu at In-N-Out is fun and exciting yet the hidden references to bible verses is a bit disturbing.

                                                                                Five Guys is also more expensive than In-N-Out but it's far less expensive than a plane ticket to an In-N-Out market so I don't mind.

                                                                                In summary, if there was a Five Guys and an In-N-Out next to each other, I'd choose In-N-Out unless the line was too long.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: jrebeiro

                                                                                  In November we spend a week in southern CA and ate at In-n-Out a lot. Then we came back east and had Five Guys two days later.
                                                                                  That's about as close a comparison as we'll ever make.

                                                                                  Price, and value for money: In-n-Out.
                                                                                  Mr Shallots was shocked how low our food bills were in CA, but that's because of InO as well as our discovery of Pollo Loco. And we felt both well fed and that we'd received good value.

                                                                                  Fries: Five Guys. We just like their style better. Both chains are consistant at all the restaurants we've eaten at.

                                                                                  Burgers: InO. I love the way they're presented and the options. The first bite of an InO after an absence verges on total contentment.

                                                                                  Drinks: meh.

                                                                                  Peanuts: from the time when peanuts were all over the place in burger joints on the gulf coast, most are ok. Every so often a Five Guys gets some from a great supplier and the larger ones are really like the peanuts of my youth.

                                                                                  Ambiance: Five Guys are just there. InO has some in magnificent locations. One in particular on the road from Sacramento over to Tahoe had views from their outside tables that many flatland restaurants would kill for.

                                                                                  Summary: InO for the burgers that remind me of a great diner in my childhood (Buddy's in Charlottesville VA) with just the right amount of caramelized crisp on the cooked surfaces. I am thankful that Five Guys exists in my part of the country.
                                                                                  Toss up, until they go head to head in this market.

                                                                                2. Is this a trick question?

                                                                                  In-N-Out is all marketing hype; in blind tasting they consistently rank in the bottom third. In other tests people will rank other chains burgers higher when they are told its In-N-Out.

                                                                                  In-N-Out’s buns are the wonder bread of hamburger buns, lifeless and tasteless, 5 Guys much better.

                                                                                  In-N-Out’s meat is greasy, 5 Guy’s has been called dryer, it is less fat more meat, imho that’s better

                                                                                  In-N-Outs secret sauce is just 1000 island with lots of relish added to it.

                                                                                  In-N-Outs fries just suck, lets be honest, they are greasy, limp and not very good.

                                                                                  In-N-Out is CHEAP, they have that good lemonade and it’s cool to say that you like them.

                                                                                  Let the flames begin.

                                                                                  PS I am not a east-coaster, lived in CA for 30+ years and now live in WA state.

                                                                                  5 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                    "In-N-Out is all marketing hype; in blind tasting they consistently rank in the bottom third."

                                                                                    Were those placebo controlled - double blind trials by any chance? lol

                                                                                    1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                      I'm from orginally from Oregon, and currently live in Florida (if anyone wants to draw left and right coast bias from that). Anyway, I have to agree with you. The concept of In-N-Out appeals to me for sure, but the delivery always seems to fall a bit flat when I've eaten there. 5 Guys actually delivers on the concept of a throwback simple burger-fries-shakes joint. Of the popular burger chains, I would have to go with Culvers as being my favorite burger though.

                                                                                      Being that you live in WA now, you are probably familiar with Dick's; that is how a burger aught to be done.

                                                                                      1. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                        I beg to differ.

                                                                                        FRENCH FRIES an essential side order to a burger.
                                                                                        -FIVE GUYS has a larger, fatter, thicker fries (not steak fries) which is seasoned with a sort of salt, herb seasoning. I actually think some of the cajun seasoning (for their cajun fries) had somehow gotten mixed up with my regular five guys fries. The fries are nice and crisp on the outside and more meaty on the inside. More potato basically with seasoning. The bad thing is that they are really oily/greasy. It was pretty shocking to hear my # called only to arrive to a brown bag that was already 50% oil stained from the fries inside. Though, they do give you a BUNCH or fries. I'm telling you, a huge amount.

                                                                                        In-N-Out fries are smaller, thinner and crispier. Less potato and no seasoning. They give you salt so that you can season it to your liking. They are not oily/greasy. I'm sure they because they are deep fried they obviously have some but to tell you the truth you won't find yourself wiping the oily/grease off your fingers. Also, you won't feel that oily taste in your mouth either.

                                                                                        THE DECISION
                                                                                        I like both FIVE GUYS and In-N-Out french fries but it depends on my mood. Though, I do find FIVE GUYS to be a bit too salty for my taste. I wish there were an option to season them yourself, like In-N-Out. I hate steak fries like those at FATBURGER. Hate them. Too much potato. I rally like McDonald's fries from what I can remember. Haven't been there is like 13 years for anything else but the fries (and an occasional Mcflurry to dip my fries in...) To tell the truth I'm much more into McDonald's fries over FIVE GUYS. I like In-n-Out fries too. Therefore, in this debate, I gotta go with In-N-Out for the fries. I'm one of those people who like the tiny burnt and hardened fry "chips". You know what I mean? THOSE are the BEST!!!

                                                                                        1. re: Frexitarian

                                                                                          I know this isn't the Fatburger, but they do offer a choice of either the steak fries or skinny fries. But don't bother with either, when you go to Fatburger get the onion rings. :)

                                                                                        2. re: RetiredChef

                                                                                          I notice that each of your phrases starts with "In-N-Out" - so their marketing seems to be working.

                                                                                          lets face it - 5-guys is bigger and badder, in-N-Out is cheaper and leaner.

                                                                                          Who you prefer depends on what you want.

                                                                                        3. The first time I had In-N-Out was in 1988 my friend and I were driving in LA and spotted it, got off the freeway to try it. It was heaven...Unforgettable. I went a few years later still the same. Great.

                                                                                          The first time I had Five Guys was 1994 in Alexandria VA. We drove from SW DC to try it and it was heaven. Now I go to the FG in Canton and have introduced some of my NYC friends to it. They love it. (But don't let the fries steam in the bag.) Which do I like best? I can't decide. They're both fantastic.

                                                                                          1. They are both solid fast-food-type burgers, far better than the 'generic' chains (McD's, Wendy's, etc.). Can't go wrong with either imo. Except that being on the east coast, it's 5 Guys for me.

                                                                                            BUT: what really rocks my world is the 5 Guys breakfast burger with 2 fresh-cooked eggs, a burger patty, and toppings (cheese, sauteed mushrooms & onions, and hot sauce for me!). 5 Guys does have more options than In-n-Out, even with the 'secret' menu. Alas, the breakfast burgers are only available in the DC airports. Definitely worth checking out!!

                                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                                            1. re: drmoze

                                                                                              Ah, but I can pick up a junior burger, take it home and add a couple of fried eggs to it if I don't want to go to the airport. Thanks for the idea.

                                                                                            2. OK...I have eaten at both numerous times. Both have good beef and buns. 5 Guys has the advantage in regards to toppings and options. However, if you just rate the basic double burgers, done in a classic american way with cheese and classic toppings (ketchup, onions, tomato, iceberg lettuce, and a little thousand island, etc), In 'n Out blows 5 Guys away no doubt! In 'n Out is just a fresher burger period! 5 Guys is good, but it is no In 'N Out! In 'n Out also has much better fries and a better chocolate shake. However, 5 guys has some great french fry variations that are awesome! There shakes are good too and have more of a selection.

                                                                                              Bottom line? In 'n Out is better with the basic simple american burger, 5 guys is better with the creative variations.

                                                                                              You know which fast food burger beats them both? A small Orange County, CA chain called TK Burgers! Originated in surf town Huntington Beach, CA......this burger joint will rule the world if they can figure out how to consistently make their process work in a large chain (100 +) situation. Right now they only have a few locations. Nevertheless, they are top notch!

                                                                                              6 Replies
                                                                                              1. re: IDavis

                                                                                                A new place just opened up in TO and it's modeled after In n Out. I ate there yesterday and it was excellent. I can't wait to try the real deal.

                                                                                                I do love 5 Guys

                                                                                                DT

                                                                                                1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                  Dav Please give us the name and street. Thanks

                                                                                                  1. re: malibumike

                                                                                                    The website isn't much up and running yet but this is it.
                                                                                                    http://www.theburgerspriest.com/

                                                                                                    Here is a thread on it.
                                                                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7140...

                                                                                                    DT

                                                                                                    1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                      Are you saying they have opened up in Thousand Oaks (TO) or Toronto Canada?

                                                                                                      1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                        Sorry, Toronto, Ontario. I grew up with the short form TO. Nowadays the kids call it the Tdot.

                                                                                                        DT

                                                                                                        1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                          I think the LA board folks got all excited and now we are all going "Shoot!"...This is the difficulty with the "Chains" board, no doubt.

                                                                                              2. Reply to hotdoglover: In & out vs Five guys. That has been the debate out here since they opened up a couple in the southern California area. I have been to In & out probably 300 times over the last 20 years, and one thing I can say about them. You get the same great tasting burger every time. I have been to Five Guys twice now, and the first time I was really wowed. The toppings were really proportionate, the cheese was melted down the side of my burger. My mouth is watering thinking about that burger. Though the next time I went, and brought a few people with me we had a sub par experience. My burger was drowning in ketchup, and the cheese was not melted. I have to say I can't remember a time my burger varied at In & out. However, if I grade 5 guys off my first experience I would say it is a dam good burger. It is vary different from In & out. It would all come down to what mood I'm in (based off my first experience with five guys). As far as the Fries, It took awhile but In-N-Out has really grown on me. Five guys fries were delicious the first time I had them. If you asked me where I wanted to go on 10 different occasions, you would probably get mixed answers from me at about 60% In-N-Out and 40% Five guys. IN-N-Out is definitely a lighter burger, and Five Guys is just a "Mans Burger"

                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: chuock19

                                                                                                  Thanks for the reply. I still haven't been to In-N-Out. I've heard that quality varies at Five Guys, but the three I've gone to have been consistently great. Since one moved to my town, I've stuck with that one. Great burgers consistently. Only bad thing I can say is that they occasionally get my order wrong. But the cheerful service and friendliness of the people working there makes up for it.

                                                                                                  I have heard from people including my son that they are different types of burgers. My son prefers In-N-Out. Have you ever had a Smashburger? It's a Denver chain similar to Five Guys that is expanding. My son prefers it to both In-N-Out and Five Guys and I like it better than Five Guys. Smashed on the grill for 10 seconds by a metal contraption. One patty, either 1/3 pound or 1/2. Similar toppings to Five Guys. A heavy, rich burger. Some find it a little too salty.

                                                                                                  1. re: hotdoglover

                                                                                                    I've been to Smashburger a couple of times. I thought it was good both times. I really like their olive oil and rosemary french fries.

                                                                                                    1. re: hotdoglover

                                                                                                      I like Smashburger more than FG, haven't had In N Out in years, but I remember it being very good.

                                                                                                      1. re: roro1831

                                                                                                        Just had a Smashburger yesterday for the first time. that is the best burger from a chain. They're poised to add 100 locations in 2011 so hopefully the quality won't drop. They are truly fantastic.

                                                                                                  2. A lot of people seem to be complaining about In-N-Out fries. If you are one of those people, I recommend ordering your fries well-done and/or animal style. The animal style fries taste like heaven. You can also order just cheese fries as well, and they are also delicious. Another point no one seems to have made is about mixing the shakes at In-N-Out. The chocolate-vanilla swirl is super tasty, but I usually order my shakes neapolitan. It's excellent!

                                                                                                    Double-double with grilled onions
                                                                                                    Animal-Style fries
                                                                                                    Neapolitan shake

                                                                                                    Admittedly, I have not tried 5 Guys yet, so I'll refrain from saying that In-N-Out is better. There's a 5 Guys that will be opening really close to where I live pretty soon and I am eager to try it. I have to say though, it will be pretty tough for 5 Guys to top In-N-Out. In-N-Out is the only burger that's so good, bacon actually makes it taste worse (and I do not think that In-N-Out is over-hyped)! LOL

                                                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: moosefunk

                                                                                                      What are "Animal style" fries??

                                                                                                      DT

                                                                                                      1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                        Animal style fries include two slices of melted cheese, grilled onions, and their mayo based "Thousand Island" like spread as toppings.

                                                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                          Nice

                                                                                                          DT

                                                                                                          1. re: Davwud

                                                                                                            I have had the feeling that Chego on Overland in Palms used the I&O Animal style fries as their template for their Ooey Gooey Fries and then took them completely over the top as they annoint them with sour cream sambal, melting monterey jack and cheddar cheese, queso cotija, chillies, cilantro and pickled garlic.

                                                                                                            1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                              Those don't sound like they'd suck either.

                                                                                                              DT

                                                                                                    2. I thought I'd posted on a thread about 5GB&F alreaady, hum.
                                                                                                      I&O is cheap, fills the void, a clean place in general.
                                                                                                      5GB&F is anything but cheap, $24 for husband and the wife and we didn't order a beverage.
                                                                                                      It's good though, the burgers are huge and if you eat the fries straight away, they are good, not my favorite or even close though.

                                                                                                      caveat:sidebar:
                                                                                                      I used to think Carls Jr. had the best fries but think they 'were' mashed potatoes that were formed or put through a template then frozen then fried, causing them to be very soft inside and very crisp outside. They're been gone for years now and don't get me started on the devastating loss of their California Roast Beef sandwich which was my very favorite, alas, gone too.

                                                                                                      The 5G do have a large list of what to choose from for your toppings or additives to your buger of choice which is a good thing since I orde it one way, hubby another.

                                                                                                      Then there's Fuddruckers, that's another story.

                                                                                                      1. This a poor comparison.. Different price points. Different styles of cooking. Different menu. Five Guys vs. Fat Burger is a much more apropos comparison if you want to compare West coast vs. East coast..

                                                                                                        1. Sorry In-N-Out lovers, I just came back from San Diego and a trip to INO. SO and I had two good Double-Doubles but some really average and small fries (and lukewarm after less than a 10 min drive down I-8). We sampled Five Guys in Deptford, NJ and Moorestown, NJ in the past month. Five Guys definitely won out on fries and just slightly won out on the burger. On the other hand, it only cost us $12 at In-N-Out and over $20 for the same meal at Five Guys. Plus, In-N-Out has shakes too. Since Five Guys is now in California, more head-to-head taste tests are possible. Hopefully this was a once-in-a-while glitch for INO.

                                                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                                                          1. re: tardis52

                                                                                                            Was in the Bay Area a few weeks back and went to the In-N-Out in San Ramon and the fries were horrible. Almost as if they were allowed to soak in cold oil until they were fully permeated. Somebody mentioned that the fries had been bad for some time. Sounds like they need to get some quality control now that they're poised to expand to other states.

                                                                                                            1. re: achtungpv

                                                                                                              Tried Five Guys in the Santa Clara area. First try was ok, but man the second try hit the spot!
                                                                                                              Go for the jalapeno fries instead of the regular fries. My combination on the burger was "all the way", BBQ sauce, extra mushrooms and jalapeno! This thing is a bomb!

                                                                                                              1. re: pikachoo

                                                                                                                Is that a California thing? I've never seen a Five Guys with jalapeño fries, they only had Cajun Fries (which, sadly, aren't actually spicy).

                                                                                                          2. Although there's a lot to like about Five Guys, In 'n Out clearly makes the better burger. You just can't beat their freshness, and the taste of their beef is better. The whole medley of bun, beef, cheese, fresh tomato, onion and lettuce works better than any fast food chain out there. However, you can make an argument for Five Guys being number two along with a couple other regional chains. Five Guys makes a bigger burger and has a great topping selection that fits their build your own burger concept well. Still, In 'n Out's burger is better and that is supported by a recent poll of leading gourmet chef's, including a couple from the Food Network including Tyler Florence and Alton Brown.

                                                                                                            http://www.cheese-burger.net/stories/...

                                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: IDavis

                                                                                                              >>>>In 'n Out's burger is better and that is supported by a recent poll of leading gourmet chef's, including a couple from the Food Network including Tyler Florence and Alton Brown.<<<<

                                                                                                              Ever since he became a shill for Applebee's, Tyler Florence's opinion on anything has ceased to have meaning.

                                                                                                              I've never had an In-N-Out burger, though, so I can't say whether I like it more than 5 Guys.

                                                                                                              1. re: Jay F

                                                                                                                I'm sure if you were a top chef who's credentials and popularity attracted big money endorsements, you would roll over for Applebees too. If you read the list, you would find the chef's on it to be quite impressive. None of them were paid for their opinion.

                                                                                                            2. Don't know much about In n Out, but Five Guys, wow, greasy, fatty meat, you seen the calorie count from this place?
                                                                                                              http://net.fiveguys.com/files/files/N...
                                                                                                              Got take out from them once, once is enough, its pricey, the bag was a greasy mess, didn't eat half, didn't want those calories.

                                                                                                              1. Having eaten at 5 Guys several times now (and I do like them), here's the deal. In 'n Out has better tasting beef, period. In addition, their flavors work really well together. The tomato, onion, cheese, pattie, dressing and bun are all harmonious. With 5 Guys, they require that you build your own burger and choose your own toppings. If you know how to match your ingredients well, a 5 Guys burger can compete with In 'n Out's. Still, In 'n Out still has the edge in freshness and taste of beef. Both fries are comparable and it's a matter of choice.

                                                                                                                1. I love In-N-Out. I think 5 Guys sucks. And I believe Smashburger totally RULES!

                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                  1. re: GroovinGourmet

                                                                                                                    I prefer Smashburger to 5 Guys. Still never had In-N-Out. So you like Smashburger better than In-N-Out? My son has been to California and rates them 1) Smashburger 2) In-N-Out 3) 5 Guys

                                                                                                                  2. 'm not sure why people are trying to compare Five Guys to In 'N Out.

                                                                                                                    One is a franchise hole-in-the-wall greasy spoon. The other is a fast food place with a drive-thru. And the prices of the burgers reflect that difference. The time it takes to get the burger also reflects the difference.

                                                                                                                    As far as the actual burgers go, Five Guys has better tasting meat. But the buns and produce are fresher on the In 'n Out burger. Five Guy's buns are mushy and don't hold up well. And the lettuce and tomato aren't crisp.

                                                                                                                    Five Guys should be compared to franchise greasy spoons like Fatburger. Not In 'N Out. And believe me, Fatburger is way better than Five Guys. And even so, I'd still take an In - N - Out burger over Five Guys since the meat still tastes good (not as good as Five Guys but still tasty) and the ingredients are better.

                                                                                                                    1. I have been to both and would say that it is like comparing a 68 Mustang to a 68 Camero. both are good and fun - and some people will always stand by one or the other. 5-G is like the camero - bigger, more options, and a little more expensive. INO is like the Mustang - a little smaller, more nimble, and slightly better quality. It's basically a matter of taste and preference.

                                                                                                                      Me? I grew up with Mustangs and In-N-Out and they will always be my preference. But I also owned a 67 Camero that I loved and go to 5-guys on occasion.

                                                                                                                      on the fries - I prefer the smaller crispier INO fries over the larger, heavier 5G fries. but my best friend prefers the 5G because they are bigger and you get more. To each his own.

                                                                                                                      1. I travel between south Florida and Vegas (where the In-N-Out lines are unbelieveable -I prefer In-N-Out s burgers - they cant be beat!
                                                                                                                        But Five Guys fries are the best . Ive ever had.I can go there and just eat the fries or take them home to have with whatever I am cooking.-So I suggest they move onto the same street and make everyone happy. !Ive been in shopping centers where Burger King ,Arbys & Mc Donalds exist near each other.

                                                                                                                        1. 5 Guys & I-N-O will be going head-to-head now that 5 Guys has moved into the LV area/market...

                                                                                                                          1. I've only been to Five Guys once. There are a few more things in the menu that I might have to go back and try.

                                                                                                                            For the basic lunch of a cheeseburger and fries, I prefer In-N-Out. I get a double-double ($3.15) and fries ($1.40). The quality of the ingredients is a little better, and this is the right amount of food, for me. The Little Cheeseburger is $4.69 at my nearby Five Guys. I don't know how is compares, in terms of size, but, the In-N-Out double-double is plenty for me, and over a dollar less, I successfully ate the Cheeseburger ($5.99), at Five Guys, but, it was way more than I need. Regular fries at Five Guys is $2.89. I hardly ate any. The portion was five times what I would eat.

                                                                                                                            I don't like wasting food, or overeating, so, Five Guys doesn't really work for me at all. Maybe I would go again with a group of people that wanted to split an order of fries, and I could get one of the little burgers.

                                                                                                                            1. I have been to 5 Guys now many times, and I really like them. It is kind of hard to compare to In 'n Out, because of the many more topping options. However, if we take a basic Double Double from In 'n Out, and compare it to the 5 Guys double pattie burger with similar toppings, In 'n Out wins. The fresher tomato, bun, lettuce and onion gives In 'n Out the edge in addition to their better tasting beef pattie. However, 5 Guys makes a bigger burger which is kind of nice, and again, I really like the topping options. I don't think there is a clear winner in the french fries department, but I prefer In n' Out's regular fries slightly, but prefer 5 Guys Cajun fires overall. In 'n Out also has better shakes, but 5 Guys makes a good shake. I haven't tried 5 Guys lemonade yet, In 'n Out makes great lemonade.

                                                                                                                              Because In 'n Out is cheaper, it is a better value, though I don't think 5 Guys is grossly over priced for the quality, and as I said before, they make a bigger burger. In the service department, In 'n Out wins hands down. Somehow they are able to find really good servers with great attitudes and their process is much faster than 5 Guys. To be fair to 5 Guys, they have more things on the menu to deal with and more topping combinations to consider when making their burgers. Nevertheless, In 'n Out is super fast. They have been making burgers for 50 years the same way and no one is faster or friendlier. They even deal with a drive thru, and 5 Guys doesn't have drive thu's, and In 'n Out is still much faster.

                                                                                                                              I know I give the big nod to In 'n Out, but I still like 5 Guys and recommend them, especially if you love lotsa topping options and haven't tried them yet. Next to In 'n Out, they might be the best regional chain fast food burger. They are certainly much better than the national chains such as McDonalds, Jack in the Box, Carls, BK, etc.

                                                                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                                                                              1. re: IDavis

                                                                                                                                5 Guys would have to be considered a national chain now.

                                                                                                                                DT

                                                                                                                                1. re: IDavis

                                                                                                                                  "In 'n Out also has better shakes, but 5 Guys makes a good shake." I thought 5 guys doesnt sell shakes?

                                                                                                                                  1. re: sdv231

                                                                                                                                    Five Guys does NOT sell milkshakes.

                                                                                                                                2. I moved from INO country to 5G country 3 years ago. At first, I thought it was pretty equal. I really liked both places. However, after some time has passed, I am finding that I never go to 5G. I went to INO at least once a month, and we make sure we go there anytime we make it back to LA. We live 3 miles from a 5G, and we never even think about going there. I don't crave it. I certainly wouldn't feel the need to go out of my way to get it. I'm not saying it is bad or that I have had a bad experience there. I am just finding that I really prefer INO over 5G.

                                                                                                                                  1. I can appreciate both.

                                                                                                                                    I live 1 mile from an In-N-Out and I work 2 miles from a Five Guys (live 5 miles from one too). They are definitely not the same.

                                                                                                                                    First and foremost, In-N-Out is fast. Even when crowded it's fast. I can leave at halftime, drive over there, get my 3x3 protein style, animal style, mustard grilled, peppers, no spread with 1 or 2 well done fries and be back before the second half finishes.

                                                                                                                                    Last time I was at 5 Guys, it was empty with 2 people in front of me and a full kitchen. It took me over 25 minutes to get a bacon cheeseburger with (soggy) well done fries. That's not to say I don't like 5 Guys, I'm planning to go there for lunch today and see if they can do a lettuce wrap, it's very good but it's not fast the same way In-N-Out is fast. It's on the same level as Fatburger, I wouldn't say it's better than Fatburger, but similar. I guess it's better than Fatburger, I only need to drive an extra 3 blocks for a Fatburger drive-thru and I haven't been there since this 5 guys opened.

                                                                                                                                    They really need to do something about those fries though. My roommate loves soggy fries (like standard In-N-Out) but I can't stand them. At least at In-N-Out I can get well done or extra well done, and they'll do it. Or how about well done steak fries at Fatburger, delicious.

                                                                                                                                    So I would say 5 guys makes a better burger, sure. But I'm waiting a long time and paying more, this puts it in a different category. If I'm waiting over 15 minutes for a burger, I can get a better burger at Father's Office, Ford's Filling Station, Westside Tavern, etc...