These Restaurants Serve the Worst Burgers in America

We’ve gathered the worst tasting burgers in America. Consumer Reports’ readers ate 96,208 meals and ranked burgers by taste. News outlets also performed their own taste test and gave their opinions. We combined their feedback with Yelp reviews to make a list of the worst burgers in America. To prove there’s still hope for a good-tasting burger in America, we also included the three top burgers.


The condiments on the burger didn’t go over well. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Known for their square beef patties, Wendy’s scored a 6.8 on a scale of 1 – 10 for taste among survey respondents for Consumer Reports. The Chicago Tribune described their baconator as “an avalanche of grease with nothing to balance it out.” The lucky journalist who ate the baconator said in the article the burger made him ill. The amount of condiments on the burger was an additional reason why the burger didn’t score well.

Hint: This burger chain uses ingredients that have fallen on the floor.

Jack in the Box

Jack in the box
The burgers are getting smaller and smaller. | David McNew/Getty Images

Taking the second to last spot on the Consumer Reports’ survey is Jack in the Box. The burger chain scored 6.6 for taste, according to those who were surveyed. A Yelp reviewer described the burgers as shrinking. They say “the burgers keep getting smaller, and smaller.” Another reviewer who used to work at Jack in the Box said their manager instructed them put a hamburger bun back on the grill after the bun had fallen on the floor. The former employee said, “they don’t care about burger buns that fell on the greasy floor to be used again, or tasting what they are serving.”

Hint: Compared to another burger institution, this chain doesn’t live up to the hype.


Krystal Hamburgers
Many customers don’t find the burgers very tasty. | Cculber007/Wikimedia Commons

The burger chain, Krystal, is in 11 states throughout the southern United States, according to their website. The fast food restaurant scored a 6.6 on Consumer Reports’ survey. Yelp reviewers compare Krystal to White Castle, calling Krystal the White Castle of the South. For those who enjoy White Castle, Krystal falls short. One Yelp reviewer described Krystal as, “Dirty, [with] unclean food and the worst, rudest service.”

Hint: Known for their ice cream, this chain makes the worst burgers according to one newspaper.

Dairy Queen

They should stick to ice cream. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

In my mind, DQ preparing bad burgers makes sense. As the name suggests, they’re the queen of dairy products, not burgers. The Dairy Queen scored very low in individual taste tests. According to the Chicago Tribune Dairy Queen’s burgers are “as poorly made as a fast food burger can be.” According to the Chicago Tribune, the Dairy Queen has the worst burgers.

Hint: This restaurant is known for their homemade drinks not burgers.


A&W Restaurant
They’re not super well-known for their burgers. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

The classic American drive-in restaurant scored a 6.7 for their burgers on the Consumer Reports’ survey. According to A&W’s menu, they serve five different burgers. Never in my life have I seen someone order a burger from A&W. In hindsight, maybe that was because A&W isn’t known for their burgers. Their strengths are root beer floats and footlong hot dogs.

Hint: Another fast food restaurant with many drinks falls short with burgers.


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According to the Chicago Tribune, a burger from Sonic is one of the worst around. “The bizarrely bland cheeseburger proves this drive-in has its attention focused elsewhere,” exclaimed the publication’s taste testers. Even the burger patty itself doesn’t look appetizing. “The pallid-looking patty deserves to be covered up with something.”

Hint: These burgers aren’t fit for a queen or king and shouldn’t be in a castle.

White Castle

Fast-food restaurant chains are stepping up efforts to attract late-night eaters.
If you don’t like onions, run. | Tim Boyle/Getty Images

The home of the original slider scored a 7.0 on the Consumer Reports survey. For those who love onions, White Castle sliders are great. For those who don’t like onions, stay away from White Castle. The Chicago Tribune says “the beef is kind of dry” on a White Castle slider.

Hint: This chain forgot to put the hamburger on a burger.

Carl’s Jr.

Carl's Jr. announced on January 12 that it had decided to close most of its fast-food outlets in Russia due to the economic crisis
They’re not known for being haute cuisine. | Olga Maltseva/AFP/Getty Images

One Yelp reviewer said the customer service was poor. So poor, “they forgot to put the beef patty in the burger!!!” Needless to say Carl’s Jr. isn’t known for their exceptional customer service or burgers. The “pallid-looking patty deserves to be covered up with something,” the Chicago Tribune says.

Hint: Not many people like the burgers at this this fast food giant.

Burger King

Burger King Opens First European WHOPPER Bar
Burger King is on the bottom of the list. | Miguel Villagran/Getty Images

The home of the charbroiled burger falls short for Americans. The Chicago Tribune describes BK’s burgers as “awfully dry.” The fast food chain scored a 6.6 on Consumer Reports’ survey for taste. Burger King landed at the bottom of the pack compared to other restaurants serving burgers.

Hint: This fast food restaurant has served soggy burgers.


Hardee's restaurant exterior and sign
Say no to soggy burgers. | Wolterk/iStock/Getty Images

Hardee’s was my middle school hang out. In recent years, I’ve only seen one Hardee’s location and for good reason. Hardee’s received a score of 7.5 in the survey conducted by Consumer Reports. A Yelp reviewer said they visited Hardee’s twice and “returned the soggy burgers.” No one wants soggy burgers and Consumer Reports’ survey made that clear.

Hint: Paper thin and bland burgers can be found at this chain.

Steak ‘n Shake

Steak 'n Shake Retail Fast Casual Restaurant Chain
The meat is pretty unremarkable. | jetcityimage/ Getty Images

Steak ‘n Shake received a score of 7.5 in the Consumer Reports survey. A Yelp reviewer said the “toppings are sparse, and the meat itself is unremarkable except being paper thin.” Another Yelp reviewer said,“You eat the bland and unsavory burger, only to feel ever-hungry afterwards.” Shakes are the only menu item customers speak highly of at Steak ‘n Shake.

Hint: The most well known fast food restaurant has the worst burgers.


McDonald's Big Mac
They took last out of all the burger chains. | Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

According to Consumer Reports, out of 21 burger chains, McDonald’s took last place in their taste survey. Burgers served at the Golden Arches not only tasted the worst, but the chain got poor marks for cleanliness. The Chicago Tribune points out the flaws in the burgers sold by McDonald’s. The “cheese is never melted,” “the bun dwarfs the meat,” and the beef is tasteless.

Hint: This smaller chain gives customers as many toppings as they want at no added cost.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

A bacon cheeseburger with French fries is viewed outside the popular Five Guys hamburger chain
Burger from Five Guys | PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

According to Consumer Reports, smaller regional chains scored better among Americans. One of those such chains is Five Guys Burgers and Fries. The burger chain scored the No. 3 spot among survey respondents. Five Guys Burgers and Fries is known for their fresh burgers and endless toppings at no cost.

Hint: This west coast staple keeps burger lovers happy.

In-n-Out Burger

In-N-Out Burger, Inc. is a regional chain of fast food restaurants
They came in at no. two. | SweetBabeeJay/Getty Images

In-n-Out Burger took the no. two spot among the best burgers in America. Again, this is a regional chain. In-n-Out Burger has more than 300 locations across the Western United States. In-n-Out Burger received a score of 8.0 from Consumer Reports’ survey.

Hint: An under-the-radar chain scored the top spot for the best burger.

The Habit Burger Grill

Habit Burger
They were voted the number one burger. | The Habit Burger Grill via Facebook

The best tasting burger in America comes from a burger chain found in California, Utah, and Arizona. The Habit Burger Grill has been serving burgers since 1969, according to their website. Consumer Reports survey respondents said they enjoy burgers from this chain the most. The Habit Burger Grill scored the highest among respondents with a score of 8.1.

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Read more: These Are the Most Hated Restaurants and Fast Food Chains in America