Like you, we love burgers. We’re so crazy about them, in fact, that we’re willing to rank fifteen against one another. We’ll even go so far as to debate burgers down to the patty. At this point, we’re certifiable burger pros ready to gorge ourselves with the best of them. Eat your heart out, Alvin Cailan.
But just when it felt like we’d ranked all the fast food burgers out there, we realized that one category was still slipping through the cracks. A certain type of burger that until now has defied categorization, calling out to be ranked.
No, not plant-based burgers, we hit those; in fact, we’re talking about the polar opposite of those clean new-age meat alternatives. We’re talking about mouthwatering meat bombs that promise indigestion. The gaudiest, wildest, most overloaded, and indulgent burgers in the entire fast food space.
What defines an “overly decadent” burger? It’s like that famous ruling on porn, “I’ll know it when I see it.” It’s a sandwich so excessive in its construction that eating it feels like a borderline dare. Seriously, we’re not sure these burgers are actually functional fixtures on the fast food menus they appear on. They’re “sometimes” orders.
But nevertheless, someone has to rank them. Clearly, it should be us. So without delay, here’s our ranking of the best overly decadent fast food burgers, from complete trash to fast food gems.
9. Burger King — Garlic Bacon King
Total Fat: 74.8g
See why this burger ranking is so vital? How else would you find out if Burger King’s Garlic and Bacon King was worth ordering? It defies categorization! It’s bad. Grabbing our last place spot, as they often do, Burger King’s Garlic and Bacon King is one of the weirdest fast food cheeseburgers I’ve ever eaten.
The burger features two quarter pounder meat patties with two slices of cheese sandwich between them, a few strips of bacon, and chopped chunks of garlic topping the thing, which sits on mayo-slathered sesame seed buns. The garlic is, as you might predict, incredibly fragrant. But not in a good way, this stuff f*cking stinks. The texture of the garlic is also puzzling, it’s mushy, yet dry; chewy but not crunchy.
No joke: it’s the worst use of garlic I’ve ever tasted in my life.
The Bottom Line:
Burger King already has a Bacon King sandwich, why they thought it needed a serving of weird chopped garlic is beyond comprehension. We think they were going for something gourmet here, but it tastes more like the sort of burger you’d only find in nightmares.
Find your nearest Burger King here.
8. Jack in the Box — Bacon Cheddar Loaded Double Cheeseburger
Total Fat: 37g
Leave it to Jack in the Box to give us not one, two, three, or four, but five different bacon cheeseburger options. If you ask Jack in the Box what’s in the box, they’d simply reply “bacon.” To be honest, I’m not psyched about this burger, I’m only including it because the sandwich that I wanted to include, the Stacked Bacon Breakfast Sandwich, isn’t actually a cheeseburger — so I had to disqualify it.
That one is definitely worth eating. This one, on the other hand? Not so much.
Featuring two beef patties, bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce (on top of the burger, blasphemous) and cheddar ranch sauce on a cheddar ranch bun, the Bacon Cheddar Loaded Double Cheeseburger looks like it promises big flavor, but instead it’s — and I can’t believe I’m saying this — too cheesy to be enjoyable.
The cheddar ranch sauce is sharp and sour, I never want to eat it again, and while the cheddar bun is at the very least interesting, it found it more distracting than anything else. It’s rare that I’ll ever find anything too cheesy to enjoy, but Jack in the Box accomplished the impossible.
Too bad that’s not a good thing.
The Bottom Line:
Jack in the Box already has four other bacon cheeseburgers and this is the best they could come up with? Take it back to the lab Jack.
Find your nearest Jack in the Box here.
7. Fat Burger — XXXL Triple Kingburger
Total Fat: NA but assume it’s a lot.
This burger is a frustrating one. On one hand, you can’t deny its decadence, three patties of 1/2lb beef is decadent by every measure of the word. But at the same time, it’s sooooooo boring. No bacon, no strange sauce, no premium gourmet ingredients to set it apart as something special, it’s just a big-ass triple cheeseburger. Most frustrating of all, it’s actually pretty damn delicious too.
Fat Burger’s meat is juicy and very flavorful, seasoned with what tastes like a mix of salt and black pepper, but that’s all we can say about this burger.
The Bottom Line:
It’s good, not great, and not interesting enough to head out to Fat Burger for. We know Fatburger has it in them to create something truly next level, but it seems for now they rather put that power in your hands than take up the task themselves.
Find your nearest Fatburger here.
6. Carls Jr. /Hardee’s— Western Double Bacon Cheeseburger
Total Fat: 54g
We have a lot of respect for Carl’s Jr’s Double Western Cheeseburger. It’s been around for so long that it’s arguably the burger that put the idea of the overly decadent burger on the map. The Double Wester Bacon Burger walked so Smash Burger’s Smoked Brisket Burger could run.
This burger is constructed with two charbroiled patties, two crispy strips of bacon, two slices of American cheese, two large panko-breaded onions rings, slathered on both sides with tangy barbecue sauce. It’s one of the crunchiest and messiest burgers in the game and it’s addictive and delicious enough to be your favorite burger from Carl’s Jr. but it’s held back by being, well… from Carl’s Jr.
Better meat patties would go a long way in pushing this burger up a few spots on our ranking. Unfortunately, Carl’s Jr’s charbroiled patties aren’t the greatest. They’re dry and strangely grainy with a dirty-burnt flavor that tries to masquerade as charbroiled but tastes more like someone burnt the patty in a toaster oven.
The Bottom Line:
As decadent as they come but this sandwich is held back by the quality of its meat. If you love Carl’s Jr, you’ll love this, but if you’ve never been, it’s not a reason to go.
Find your nearest Carl’s Jr. here.
5. In N Out — Animal Style Burger
Calories: 670 (For A Regular Double Double, In-N-Out doesn’t have Nutritional Facts for Secret Menu Items)
Total Fat: 41g (For a Double Double)
We debated whether we should include In-N-Out’s Animal Style burger, or the gargantuan 4×4, which utilizes four meat patties stacked with four layers of American cheese. Considering any burger can be ordered Animal Style at In-N-Out, we’re just going to go ahead and lump these together.
In-N-Out’s small and unshifting menu is arguably one of the chain’s many strengths. But while the Animal Style is good, and a favorite amongst many, it doesn’t really capture that mad burger decadence we’re looking for — so this is probably the lowest-ranked an In-N-Out burger will ever be scored by us.
The Animal Style consists of extra spread smeared across both buns joined by all the usual burger fixings: lettuce, tomato, and cheese, with a hefty serving of grilled onions, pickles, and a mustard-cooked beef patty. It ups the flavor to a considerable degree with a powerful mix of salt and tang in each bite, followed by a bit of sweetness from those grilled onions and so much sauce that it’ll drop in globs from your burger to the tray (don’t eat this in a car).
For a hack that takes this already excessive burger to the next level, ask them to add chopped chilis on top.
The Bottom Line:
Whether you’re keeping things light with a single or going HAM with a Double Double, 3×3, or 4×4, Animal Style makes each burger a substantially more filling and delicious meal. Still, it’s not quite as excessive as we’d like.
Find your nearest In-N-Out here.
4. Wendy’s — Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger Triple
Total Fat: 86g
For Wendy’s, we had to choose between the triple-stacked Bourbon Bacon Cheeseburger or the triple-stacked Big Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger. Both are so insane that they’ll make your heart explode just looking at them, but we’ve got to give the edge to the Bourbon.
Bourbon beats Cheddar, that’s not even debatable.
This triple cheeseburger features three quarter-pound patties of meat, three slices of American cheese, crispy onions, and a bourbon bacon sauce that tastes like a sweeter, smokier and more complex version of bbq sauce with a much thinner consistency. Wendy’s used real bourbon for this sauce and we appreciate the commitment.
Overall the burger tastes like a leveled up version of Carl’s Jr’s Western Bacon Cheeseburger, the crispy onions are battered in a deliciously seasoned batter, which tastes iike a mix of black pepper and paprika to my taste buds — though, to be honest, it’s a little hard to pinpoint the flavors of this burger.
Regardless, this packs a whole lot of sweet and savory flavors, and everything compliments one another. This is a real winner.
The Bottom Line:
One of Wendy’s best cheeseburgers. It’s excessive, yes, and big enough for you to share with up four people. This is the type of burger you go out on if you’re planning on giving up eating meat for a while, which after this article, might be us. What a way to go.
Find your nearest Wendy’s here.
3. Shake Shack — Double Black Truffle Burger
Total Fat: 67g
Shake Shack’s Double Black Truffle Burger is a new limited-time menu item at the Shack and it’s dangerously close to becoming our current favorite fast food burger, regardless of category. In fact, the only thing keeping this burger from scoring our number one pick is the fact that despite its use of black truffle sauce and deep-fried shallots (not onion rings), it isn’t that decadent.
A few more layers of random meats would probably do the job, but let’s not mess with perfection. Creamy and salty Gruyere cheese works in harmony with the Shack’s savory meat and umami truffle-packed sauce, with the crispy shallots acting as some much-appreciated crunch with a subtly spicy aftertaste that lingers nicely between bites.
Black truffle-based sauce and crispy shallots are the sorts of premium ingredients that Shake Shack’s gourmet meat always deserved. Here is hoping this remains a permanent menu item.
The Bottom Line:
Black truffles and crispy fried shallots, is this a Michelin Star restaurant or a fast-casual joint? We’re happy that Shake Shack is blurring that line.
Find your nearest Shake Shack here.
2. Umami Burger — KTown Burger
Total Fat: NA
Now, this is what we’re talking about! Eating this burger and being able to talk about it is all the justification we need for creating this ranking. This is decadence at its finest: a tiny four-ounce smash patty is joined by gochujang marinated pork belly, Korean slaw, pickles, and Umami’s signature sauce.
Yes, you read that right, f*cking pork belly on a burger!
This is one of the juiciest burgers I’ve ever tasted, each bite of savory goodness is greeted with a blast of spice and tang that settles into mouthwatering umami-induced sensations across your taste buds. A four-ounce patty might sound unsatisfying, but any more beef would push this burger into the unpalatable territory.
Aside from having pork belly in this burger, this is one of the easier burgers on this list to eat. You’re not going to feel like your stomach is going to explode after eating this thing, it features a surprisingly small form factor, think a slightly bigger White Castle slider with premium ingredients. Since it’s one of Umami’s newer menu items, we don’t currently know how many calories and fat are in a single burger, but we’re willing to bet it’s nowhere near 1000 calories, as some of the monsters on this list.
The Bottom Line:
A must-order — it’s f*cking pork belly on a cheeseburger, need we say more?
Find your nearest Umami burger here.
1. Smash Burger — Double Smoked Bacon Brisket Burger
Total Fat: 82g
Hearing about this new burger from Smash Burger gave us the idea to write this article in the first place, so it’s only fitting that when we finally tasted it, it managed to snag the top spot. Featuring two Angus beef patties, smoked cheddar, bacon, pickles, BBQ sauce, and layers of tender smoked brisket on a brioche bun.
First of all, let me just say, brisket on a burger? Genius move. Smashburger’s brisket isn’t even that mind-blowing, it’s bursting with smokey and sweet flavors, the texture is a little drier than I’d like it to be, but it doesn’t even matter because overall the whole thing tastes so damn delicious that it doesn’t even matter that you’re not getting the best brisket in the world.
The cheddar has a nice balance of sharp and nutty flavor and is perfectly layered between the patties as well as the brisket and bacon. Each pickle is thick and full of sour tang, and if the thing couldn’t get any more smokey, it’s also topped with sweet barbecue sauce. This burger is so packed with umami that Smash Burger might as well change its name to Umami Burger.
Be warned though, this burger edges towards dangerously sweet territories, if you can’t handle sweet with your meat, look to our tangy second choice instead.
The Bottom Line:
Decadence at its finest. Smokey, complex, with a flavor so damn addicting that it’s enough to make you forget that you’re going to instantly regret eating this burger once you’re done with it. This is fast food’s most decadent burger, hands down.
Find your nearest Smash Burger here.