In 'N Out Burger or Fatburger?

Maybe this is a question for the West Coast dopers - I am not sure if either In 'N Out Burger or Fatburger chains are in Midwest or on the East Coast.

For those who know of both:

Which is the best?
And which one has the most chance of kicking MacDonald’s and Burger King’s butts once they go nationwide?

  1. In and Out has stated they will never franchise out of a certain range. They have suppliers that have done them from the 40’s and do not want to exceed their quality standards in the need for my outlets. For once, its quality over quantity. The furthest I have seen one is the one in Las Vegas and I think thats the only one outside the state of California.

Fatburger, I believe, is in the same boat, and will probably remain a West coast only staple. Kinda like White Castles on the East Coast

2)IMHO, I like In and Out better than Fatburger but both are good for entirely different reasons. Fatburger likes using sweet relish on their burgers and their chili fries are tasty, but a double double with grilled onions and loads of cheese is damn good.

In-n-out vs. Fatburger.

Ah, the eternal question.

The answer is: Both!

Though it’s better if you alternate days. Doing both in one lunch is a quick route to cardiac arrest.

Oh, they’re real? I thought this was one of those “Krustyburger or Goodburger?” threads.

Carry on.

My opinion:

In-N-Out Animal Style.

I never saw the big deal with Fatburger.


Is that a hamburger or a porno flick? I’ve never seen either chain.

In-N-Out hands down. Don’t like their fries though.

However, I do love a turkey burger from Fatburger.

I come from Pasadena (home of In N Out, as well as Trader Joe’s), so I have to vote:

  1. In N Out Animal Style is the only way to go.
  2. The fries aren’t all that good, but if you eat them fast, they’ll do.
    2.1) An INO burger more than 10 minutes old is still great, but that’s the limit for the fries.

History: *In and Out has stated they will never franchise out of a certain range. *

It’s my understanding that that was the case for years. You would only find INO within a certain number of miles from Pasadena (on the road to San Diego was the southernmost point, IIRC. The theory was that kept the meat and veggies fresh). But then the founder (or whoever was keeping that policy going) died. Suddenly, POW! They’re in San Francisco and other places with transplanted Angelinos who have spread the word and will happily wait in line to get some. (Go where your profit is.) Though they have yet to arrive on the East Coast, I don’t see why they wouldn’t. There’s a huge built-in market for them. (I’d go!). The first Trader Joe’s outside of California was Boston.

FatBurger, absolutely. It’s ALL good…

lurkernomore, I can understand your confusion. In-N-Out afficionados have their own language.

Animal style- everything on it plus grilled onions

Double-double- double meat, double cheese

Triple-triple or three by three- triple meat, triple cheese

Protein style- instead of the grilled buns, the burger is served wrapped in hand-leafed iceberg lettuce. Don’t rush to judgement, it tastes great and fits into those no-carb diets.

So, if you hear someone craving a “three-by-three animal style, protein style” it’s only a burger, not a criminal offence!
The In-N-Out Burger concept is so simple, it’s scary- burgers, fries and drinks. That’s it. And it’s the most reasonably-priced lunch out there.

PS- howzabout moving this over to IMHO?

In-N-Out Animal Style uses special sauce (1000 island dressing)instead of regular ketchup and mustard…They have their own lingo with certain burgers

Double Decker - a Quad beef patty

Valley style or Da Vegan - No burger…just all the the filling

etc etc.

For those that don’t know, In and Out is a gem of a place where, if you have the gumption, you can become a manager/ part-owner of one and make serious money (like 60-80K a year!). Even employees there make above average wages, have things like medical and 401k plans, and are generally regarded as people and not slave wagers (The company itself has a stable of guys that started out in high school summer jobs that pursued it to become careers)
They are all still privately owned by the original family (The Snyder family) and have about 140 locations in California, Nevada, and Arizona.

Check out their webpage at

(Oh and the pictures of the burgers they have on the site under menu…yes they actually look that good)

I agree, In-N-Out is the way to go. However it has been about 10 years since I’ve had either one :frowning:


in and out would be the platonic ideal of fast food burger joints if only their fries were edible.

i only get to go once in a while, and i order fries almost every time because i cant really understand how they can render fresh cut fries so tasteless, so, as an optimist, i gotta give them one more try. im stupid like that.

but animal style is the ne plus ultra of fast food burgers. word.

One more vote for In-and-Out Burger (“Double Entendre burger” as I call it). But I wish they would do something, at the very least, about their fries. I know they’re the way they are because they’re fresh-cut and the have to be ultra-thin so they can be fried fast. Maybe they just have to re-think their fast-food ethos or something.

Best Fatburger outlet, though: on the Strip in Vegas!

As to the “Animal Style”

I had heard about this before actually going to the restaurant. I was so afraid to order this, thinking someone had set me up in a big joke.

But when I ordered, the cashier didn’t even blink. I heaved a sigh of relief.

I’d never heard of the valley style before. I might try that sometime when I’m not up for meat. (in fact, I dislike pretty much all hamburgers out there EXCEPT In-N-Out)


And I don’t like their fries either. And I hate that, since they’re using fresh spuds. It disturbs me that I like Mickey D’s fries, and that’s probably because they’re so overprocessed!

Shouldn’t this go in Great Debates? :slight_smile:

I’m sure I will get gang-tackled for this, but I like Fatburger WAY better. Something about eating a discus-sized burger at 3am trumps the much tinier In-N-Out burger. And In-N-Out isn’t open at 3am. (At least in the Bay Area I have yet to find one).

Plus, the wait isn’t as brutal at Fatburger.

We used to think it was oh so clever to snip off the B and the R from the corners of their ubiquitous bumberstickers so they advertised for “In-n-Out Urge.”

So sue me. I was stoned a lot back then.

Have to agree with the majority here-- In-n-Out it is. I must also agree about the fries. I once made the mistake of not having any salt or anything with them. Ugh.
I just love the nice thick slab of fresh onion.

I’ve been there! Great food! :smiley:

(I was staying in the Polo Lounge, behind the MGM Grand, and it was within walking distance. Burger heaven!)

I’ve also been to the Vegas In-'N-Out Burger. Again, great! :smiley: Reminded me of a movie line from The Big Lebowski: “That’s a good burger, Dude.” -Donny.

Yep, I went there with Big Lebowski quotes running in my head.


In-'N-Out Burger is a fine example of the Unix Philosophy: Do one thing and do it well. INO is simply a burger joint. It makes fries. It sells cups for self-serve soda (the only way to sell soda, IMHO). That’s it. Simple menu, simple concept, great food. It’s worked since 1947 and, in this age of McDonald’s and Hardee’s and Burger King, it’s all the more important to preserve good fast food. (BTW, I love INO fries. The freshness gives them a much better taste.)

Fatburger is a more Lou’s Diner-type fast food joint. (Yes, it is a ‘joint’. It deserves that appeallation. :)) What wowed me, besides the fucking great milkshakes and the magnificent burgers, was the music. They played blues! They played rhythm! They played Motown! Dining bliss! Ambiance was perfect for 10 PM on the Strip! :smiley: Nothing tastes better with real R&B than a messy hamburger and greasy fries (greasy in a very good way :)) and a chocolate shake richer than Bill Freaking Gates.

Final analysis: Don’t make me choose! Please! I wish I lived closer to the west coast, as INO and Fatburger are both completely unknown where I am.

Damn. I’m glad I live in a nation where such restaurants can exist and thrive.

At least one person of influence at Top Secret Recipes thinks In-N-Out are the greatest hamburgers in the world.

Here is their take on it and a glossary of the secret language.