America’s Best Chain Restaurant Burger

Shake ShackShake ShackWhen you're thinking inside the bun, when you deserve a break today, need to have it your way at a place where the fire's ready, where you're the boss and it's your way, right away, what you want is what you get, and they love to see you smile, it's a good time for the great taste. That's right, face it, you need a fast-food hamburger. Maybe it's one that takes two hands to hold. Perhaps it's two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions on a sesame seed bun. One thing is clear - if it doesn't get all over the place, it doesn't belong in your face. Whether it's the best food for fast times, or you're just loving it, there's a time and a place for fast-food burgers, and at that moment, you don't want to be wondering where's the beef - you want America's top chain burger. So what are is it?

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The results were interesting. It's likely that people from the West Coast will be outraged by the burger that edged theirs out for top billing. They can take consolation in the fact that it was a close call; voting was neck and neck, with the winner edging out the second place burger by less than 5 percentage points. It's a result that could be mirrored in the minds of the general population out West after the planned 2014 expansion of one burger chain on this list. Whataburger, Umami Burger, Five Guys - they're all there, joined by the relative upstart of the crew, Iron Chef Bobby Flay's Bobby's Burger Palace.

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Shackburger, Shake Shack

America's best fast-food burger is Shake Shack. Yes, it's better than In-N-Out, and yes, it has its own secret menu… kind of (it's called Danny Meyer's hospitality philosophy). What started as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park in 2001 has made history. In 2004, restaurateur Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group won the bid to open a permanent kiosk in the park, and the lines, buzz, cult following, and even a begrudging review from The New York Times followed. Why is it so good? Quality. And one of the juiciest cheeseburgers (100 percent all-natural Angus beef, no hormones, no antibiotics) you'll ever find on a soft, grilled potato roll (ask for pickles and onions!). Shake Shack's vigorous expansion program - Theatre District, Coral Gables, Abu Dhabi, and now, Las Vegas, means that next year, and for the first time ever, there will be a Shake Shack and an In-N-Out in the same city, setting up a showdown that has been in the works for fans of both chains as their devotees, and word about both burger joints has spread. Place your bets....

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-Arthur Bovino, The Daily Meal

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The 40 Best Burgers in America