Fortunately my little family lives not far from both a Five Guys and multiple In-N-Out locations, so my taste buds can be treated with both. I will say that Five Guys has had a hold of my (burger) heart long before In-N-Out came to town.
When In-N-Out came to town, it was all the rage. Lines for hours, literally hours, for a hamburger. I felt like Five Guys was being neglected and I wanted to protect her like the little sister I never had. When I finally did break down and eat at In-N-Out, I really didn't give it a fair shake. I thought, this is it?! People waited hours for this?? Ridiculous, I declared, Five Guys wins hands down!
In preparation of this post, I have since given In-N-Out several more chances to redeem itself...and it has! In comparing these two, I am pulled in both directions - the decision is much more difficult than I thought it would be. Below you will see how I un-jumbled my burger feelings.
Winner is In-N-Out by a slight margin, and it all comes to down to the crowd. Almost any time of day, In-N-Out seems to have people flowing in and out. This is appealing to me. It is fun and exciting to be where the action is, so for that reason I had to go with In-N-Out. Both places were clean, had friendly workers, and were family approved.
Easy decision here, as I don't know of a Five Guys with a drive-through. When I want a quick bite, you can't beat In-N-Out's convenience, friendliness, and speed.
Dang, this is looking like a blowout. Again, no contest here, I can get a lot more for my hard-earned dollar at In-N-Out.
Menu Options: Five Guys
Both places have a narrowly focused menu, but Five Guys adds hot dogs (and pre-meal peanuts) to the mix, so for that they are given the edge here.
Granted, you should not go to either of these fine establishments if you are looking to eat healthy - it's just not going to happen. These should probably be every once in a while meals, given they are loaded with calories, saturated fat, and sodium. That being said, In-N-Out is the healthier of the two in my very un-professional evaluation. From the nutritional info on their websites, In-N-Out burgers appear to have many fewer calories, fat, and saturated fat than Five Guys burgers. But you say, a Five Guys burger is bigger! Right you are, but even if you compare an In-N-Out double double (which is bigger, in serving grams) to a single patty Five Guys burger, you are still better off with the In-N-Out double double!
Still privately-owned, this closely-held family business includes good employee pay and benefits, tightly-controlled quality, and a longer history (founded in 1948) than that of the franchised Five Guys stores (founded 1986). The family ownership of In-N-Out allows them some freedoms, too, like placing Bible verses discreetly on various packaging. Anytime is a great time to share the Gospel, but what could be better than sharing whilst enjoying a delicious burger and/or milkshake?!
French Fries: Five Guys
No contest, Five Guys fries are ridiculously delicious. It is an added bonus that they appear to intentionally overflow your fries into the bag, which means one order of fries goes a long way. The Five Guys fries are much thicker and filled with flavor that puts In-N-Out fries to shame. It's like comparing a high school J.V. squad to a Division 1 college team.
Sorry to do this to you - feel like I'm taking the easy road here - but this is the truth. It really depends on what I'm in the mood for. If I'm on the upper end of the hunger scale, and want a big, juicy burger to fill a massive stomach void, it is Five Guys. For a more normal/reasonable amount of hunger, In-N-Out fills me up, without putting me in a food coma. Both burgers are fantastic and thoroughly enjoyable.
The Overall Winner: In-N-Out
After reviewing the results, our winner here is clear. This should not take away from the fact that Five Guys makes one great burger and the best fries this side of Chick-fil-A. Both places should hold their heads high, though In-N-Out can now puff their chest out slightly more. Well played by both teams.
Hope you enjoyed this head-to-head battle of the burgers. Invest your burger capital well!