Whataburger vs. In-n-Out

On a recent trip to California, a discussion of fast food restaraunts ensued. This being only my second time in southern California, or Cali in general, I was telling these guys about Whataburger. Now my buddy who lives in Cali is from San Antonio, so he knows about Whataburger, but his best bud is from Buffalo (who actually prefers Jack-in-The-Box). They took me to an IN-N-Out, claiming that the fries were the best. They definitely were less greasy, but seemed lacking in flavor. The burger was fine. The shake, which is supposedly made of natural ingredients, was average to me. I guess that I am used to the fake emulsifier shakes. Anyway, when I go for shakes or soft serve ice cream, I go for Dairy Queen. I am generally not one to go to fast food chains, except Whataburger. The burgers are bigger than average, but mostly I go for breakfast taquitos.

Checking out the web sites, In-n-Out is all company owned, which is cool. Whataburger has many more places. It is in the top 10 of restaurant chains in the U.S., although it is only in the South, between Arizona and Florida, not getting north of Tennesee. Whataburger has places in Mexico.

I have a cultural bias, but I prefer Whataburger. Although In-n-Out has a similar loyal customer base in California.

So, what do you prefer? As long as it is not McDonalds or Burger King. Let’s keep it to burger joints. Please don’t tell me how great Subway is, because it is not.

Subway (not good) vs. Schlotsky’s vs. Quisno’s can be discussed in another thread.

I lived in Southern California from 1976-1982. I can’t say what it’s like now (I live in NJ, and neither chain exists there), but in those days there was no contest as far as anyone I knew was concerned - In-and-Out won hands down. At this point, I can’t remember any specifics, though.

Fatburger and the Hamburger Habit (both much smaller chains in S. Cal) both have better burgers than In-N-Out, but In-N-Out beats every major chain I’ve ever visited.
I like the fries there, too, but also can’t stand the shakes.


I’ve never been to a Whataburger, so I can’t compare them. I can say that I love In N Out’s fries, and that after eating their hamburgers, I no longer find hamburgers at any other fast food joint edible.

I’ve never even heard of Whataburger till now. I go to In N Out quite a bit. Order the fries well done, off the secret menu; they’re much better when crispy. I like the shakes too, especially Neopolitan (another secret menu item).

What is this secret menu? I’ve heard about it before, but find it hard to believe. I mean, wouldn’t they make more money if the menu wasn’t secret?

Whataburger, hands down.

Fuddrucker’s comes close, but Whataburger is still the best, IMNSHO. :smiley:

I’ve had In-n-Out and don’t see what the big deal about it is, but the friends in Cali swear by it. I’ll take Harveys and Licks over In-n-Out any day. Harveys hamburgers are so yummy.

Never had Whatabuger before…but I can say that In n’ out burger was pretty good the three times I’ve tasted it.

Then again, I’m not really picky when it comes to fast food burgers. I’d probably like Whataburgers as well.

In N Out’s “Secret Menu”.
Also, I’ve been to both establishments, as well as many others, and there is no contest. An animal style cheeseburger from In N Out is the best food in the world.

Durn right.

Note to the sodium-conscious: In N Out will also make your burgers and fries without salt upon request. (Perhaps other places would too; I don’t know…)

I declare IN N OUT the winner on a technicality: The name is such blatant sexual innuendo I could not resist eating there even if they served an inferior product.

Yeah, remember when people used to alter the bumper stickers to read “IN N OUT URGE” (instead of BURGER) ? :smiley:

I wonder why they don’t sell those bumper stickers anymore…I have the catalog here, and they sell a lot of stuff, but I don’t see a bumper sticker. Too bad.

I must commend them for very fast mail service: one day!

I’ve never been to an IN N OUT, but I have been to a Whataburger in McAllen, TX. It was good for a fast food burger, but nothing really noteworthy. Here in MI, we are starting to see a few Culvers show up. They have the best fat food burgers by far around here for a fast food place. They call them “Butterburgers” though I’m not sure why. They are excellent. Much better the Whataburger has.

It’s a Wisconsin thing. They butter the bun. Because, you know, fast food hamburger doesn’t have enough fat in it.

Culver’s is, indeed, very good. I make it a point to eat there at least once whenever I’m in a state that has them. Easily in the same league as In-N-Out with their burgers (although nothing beats a double charburger from the Habit), and of course frozen custard kicks all kinds of ass by itself so the entire experience is much better.


For those of you not in CA, AZ, or NV, In-N-Out has a cult following similar to White Castle or some of the smaller religions.

I think it really matters that they don’t freeze anything and make everything fresh. They don’t get fries shipped in bags, there are kids punching potaoes through a grid to make fries. They really taste more like potatoes to me than any place I’ve been.

I haven’t been to a Whataburger, but IMO Fatburger is better than In-N-Out. Also, In-N-Out’s fries are just bad. Fatburger’s fries (skinny or thick) are superior.

The In-N-Out family is famously devout in its Christianity (you HAVE seen the Bible references on the cups and fries wrappers, right?), so I’m pretty sure they were annoyed by people altering their stickers to be a Beavis-level dirty joke.

I thought they weren’t putting the verses on the bags anymore.

Another benefit of In N Out is that it’s fun to watch them do that while you’re waiting for your food.