I’ll admit it. I’m a sucker for a good burger and fries. It’s funny, but somehow they always manage to taste better when I’m on a road trip or about to board a plane. Thanks to my red meat cravings, I’ve found some of the best regional hamburger chains while traveling across the US. Here are four of my all-time favorites (my mouth is watering just thinking of them). Enjoy!
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A small burger chain with just under 40 locations, Burgerville serves up delicious patties topped with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients. For those looking for something other than a burger, they also serve chicken and turkey sandwiches, vegetarian burgers, and fish & chips. An environmentally-conscious company, Burgerville adopts sustainable practices such as recycling and composting at all of their locations throughout the states of Oregon and Washington.
It’s hard to beat this California burger chain that’s known for its fresh ingredients and mouthwatering burgers and fries. One of my favorite things to do is to grab a burger and fries at the In-N-Out near LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) before a flight (and then I sleep like a baby). I go all in and order both my burger and fries “animal style” (pickles, extra cheese spread, grilled onions and mustard fried onto each meat patty, in addition to the standard lettuce and tomato). In-N-Out does more than serve up great grub, they also support organizations that serve neglected children, victims of abuse, victims of substance addiction, and non-profits that work to end human trafficking. You can find In-N-Out Burgers on the West Coast and in the Southwestern US.
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One regional burger chain that has really taken off is Smashburger. Founded in Denver, Colorado in 2007, the chain has grown quickly over the past decade and locations can now be found in 37 states across the US and in 10 other countries across the globe. Variety is key here. In addition to its renowned 100% certified Angus beef burgers, Smashburger serves chicken sandwiches, salads, sides, and sensational shakes. Their signature Smash fries (tossed in Italian olive oil, rosemary, and garlic) are not to be missed. Some regional locations have started to partner with local breweries to add beer to enhance an already quite enjoyable experience.
There are over 700 Whataburger locations in 10 states across the country, but we northerners have to head south to indulge in this Texas-based fast food sensation’s offerings. Whataburger starts with a 100% pure American beef patty and a thick, buttery bun (yes, the bun makes a difference) and lets you build your burger with seasonal toppings like avocados and mainstays like lettuce, tomato, onion, jalapeños, and a variety of cheeses. Or you can do what I always do when I’m driving through the South and order your burger “all the way” (mustard, onions, pickles, lettuce, and tomato).
What are your favorite regional fast food chains? What’s your favorite thing to order there? Let us know in the comments section!