If you had to guess America's favorite fast food burger, you might start with the obvious choices: the big guys, like McDonald's or Wendy's. If you're a real burger aficionado, you might guess In-N-Out Burger, the regional chain with a national appeal. Whatever your assumption, you'd probably guess wrong. That's because the country's best burger comes from a chain you've probably never heard of, unless you're from California, in which case you'd better have heard of it. According to Consumer Reports, the best fast food burger in America is from The Habit Burger Grill.
The what?! The Habit Burger Grill is a California-based burger chain that started in Santa Barbara in 1969. It has locations all over the Golden State, six locations in Arizona, five in Utah, and that's it. According to the website, New Jersey will soon be home to the only Habit Burger Grill on the East Coast. When Consumer Reports conducted its latest fast-food survey, this CA-based burger restaurant came in first place.
The survey included 65 chains, from which Consumer Reports readers ate a sum of 96,208 meals to weigh in on not only their favorite burger, but also their favorite burrito, chicken, and sandwiches and subs. The question posed to participants was simple: "On a scale of 1 to 10, from least delicious to most delicious you’ve ever eaten, how would you rate the taste?" In the burger category, Consumer Reports rated about 53,745 answers. Not surprisingly, In-N-Out Burger placed high, coming in second. It didn't, however, beat the mystery chain that East Coasters will be scratching their heads about for years to come.
Almost as surprising as The Habit Burger Grill's victory is McDonald's ranking: dead last. The chain that put fast food on the international map fell behind 20 competitors, earning a score of 5.8, when The Habit Burger Grill earned an 8.1. With 75 McD's burgers sold every second, you'd think they might rank higher in taste. McDonald's announced this January that it has committed to buying "verified sustainable beef." Whatever that commitment really means and however it pans over the next few years, consumers have made clear that they aren't lovin' McDonald's burgers. They're loving The Habit Burger Grill's burgers, so get yourself to California stat.