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California Burger Wars: Five Guys Review

By • Mar 21st, 2011 • Category: Burger Blog

The California Burger War continues with the challenger, Five Guys.

Part 1: The California Burger War
Part 2: In-N-Out-Burger Review
Part 3: Five Guys Review

Part 3: Five Guys Review

Five Guys Review

After dominating the Mid-Atlantic, Florida, and all parts in between, Five Guys has come to California to challenge the almighty In-N-Out for west coast burger supremacy.  We’ve already visited the reigning champion, so let’s now have a look at the challenger.

Five Guys has already landed two locations in the SF Bay Area with plans for more.  Today, in Sunnyvale, the layout is pretty simple.

As you can see, since their foreign to most people in these parts, Five Guys touts its victories in other parts of the country.

The menu’s pretty simple.  Regular hamburgers/cheeseburgers are actually what pass in most other joints as double burgers.  You’d have to order the little burgers for something sized normally.

The fixins for the burger are pretty standard.  If you order “All the Way”, you get the most popular ones altogether

The fries here come in cups, and either with simple seasoning (Five Guys style) or Cajun seasoning.  Even a small order is quite sizeable, and they’re fried in peanut oil. And if that wasn’t enough, crates of free peanuts line the walls of the restaurant.

As you wait, you can also partake in the crayon notecards, carrying all matter of messages from previous patrons.

So how did it measure up?  Let’s look at the tale of the tape:


Five Guys has a great patty to other ratio, with the regular cheeseburger sporting a sizeable patty.  It makes for some difficulty keeping the burger altogether like most In-N-Out burgers, but the patty was well-cooked and juicy, and the fixins were just enough.  Combine that with how the In-n-Out burger I had was a little too veggie-loaded in relation to the patty…


Five Guys cuts its fries thick, and serves a lot of them.  Frying in peanut oil also helps gives a distinctive flavor.  However, they give you a lot, even for a small size.  So as a result, the crisp tends to fade away as the meal progresses.  In-N-Out fries, however, maintain a good crisp and are appropriately portioned.


Five Guys serves a couple of other things (like hot dogs and veggie sandwiches), and the peanuts are kind of a nice touch.  In-N-Out has the secret menu and ice cream shakes, but the secret menu isn’t really a secret, and the ice cream is pumped from a machine, so hard to give them a lot of credit there.


With the crayon board and the good humor of the employees (“Guest #51, there’s a lack of motion from your general direction!” -Heard upon entering), you can see there’s a certain buzz from the people at Five Guys, and a genuine effort on their part to become a big part of the scene here.  You don’t really get that from In-N-Out as much, as they’ve been around for so long.  That can only hurt in the battle for the hearts and minds of the next generation.

So when you break it down, the challenger, Five Guys, has prevailed.  However, let’s not declare this a debate-ending victory for the eastern challengers.  What these guys may very well merely done is fire a warning shot across In-N-Out‘s face, and the response from the old boys will no doubt make this burger war one to watch for years to come.

Any why not spark the battle with a not-so-flattering comment from one to the other?

Part 1: The California Burger War
Part 2: In-N-Out-Burger Review
Part 3: Five Guys Review

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One Response to “California Burger Wars: Five Guys Review”

  1. 1
    Fiverr Buyers Gigs Requests Says:

    Good Read, Thank you for sharing this.

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