8 Best Chain Burgers for Less Than $8
When looking to eat out on a budget, it can be tough. Finding a meal that tastes good but doesn’t cost too much can drive you to things like chicken nuggets. That’s just sad.
Instead, go with another American staple: The burger. There are quite a few burger chains that have developed their own signature burgers that will allow you to pay with a $10 bill and receive change … or add fries to your order. Some are sit-down restaurants with a waiter, while others have drive-thrus if you’re in a hurry.
Either way, you can find a great burger for a relatively low price. Here’s our list of the 8 best chain burgers for less than $8, listed in alphabetical order. (Keep in mind that restaurant chains have different price points in different locations, so these burgers may cost more than $8 in your home city. We took our pricing information from Fast Food Menu Prices.)
BurgerFi’s burgers are really close to our $8 limit, but most of the chain’s menu fits inside our price range. BurgerFi brands each bun, which is a little odd but does give the burger a unique look. If you don’t like the branded bun, you can order the burgers Green Style, where lettuce takes the place of the bun.
The BurgerFi burgers offer all of the standard toppings (pickles, lettuce, tomato, and onion), as well as cheese and bacon. They also have a Breakfast All Day Burger, which includes a fried egg, hash browns, and maple syrup. (Admittedly, this one might not be for everyone.)
Culver’s creates its own branded ButterBurger, available as a single or a double. You can order them with cheese or bacon or both. And the Culver’s Mushroom & Swiss ButterBurger is a great change of pace.
The kitchen butters and toasts the buns, giving them a bit of a crunch, which isn’t always found in a sub-$8 burger. Toppings include the basics, and they’re always fresh. And if you like frozen custard with mix-ins, Culver’s is one of the best places for that too.
Beyond the fun name, Fatburger has a couple of burgers that live up to what you’d expect, including the Double XL and the Triple XL. (They have a Skinnyburger too, but that’s not quite as fun for a chain named Fatburger.)
Fatburger offers all of the standard toppings for burgers for no extra cost, including lettuce, tomato, pickles, and onions. You’ll then pay $1 extra for cheese, bacon, a fried egg, chili, or onion rings as toppings.
There’s nothing exactly noteworthy about the Fatburger buns, but the whole collection is tasty.
If you’re concerned with the appearance of your burger, we’d suggest skipping Five Guys. This burger chain is all about taste … looks be damned. A Five Guys burger is a messy, gooey, delicious bundle of burger, available in both regular (which is a double patty) and little (which is a single patty) sizes on a potato roll bun.
It’s also a simple menu, as you choose bacon, cheese, or both for the burger to set the price. Then you can pick from more than a dozen free toppings, including lettuce, tomato, onion, steak sauce, hot sauce, barbecue sauce, mushrooms, relish, jalapenos, and green peppers.
If you want a thick burger patty like you’d cook on the outdoor grill at home, Fuddruckers outperforms most of the best burgers for under $8 that you’ll find. You can pick how you want the burger to be cooked, which doesn’t happen often in these types of burger restaurants. Burgers are available in 1/3-, 1/2-, and 2/3-pound sizes.
Fuddruckers bakes its own buns every day, which is a nice touch. You’ll be able to add whatever toppings you want for the burger yourself at the toppings bar. Or if you prefer to have Fuddruckers staff create a specialty burger for you, there are individual burgers with blue cheese, fried egg, guacamole, and mushrooms. (No, we wouldn’t recommend trying all those specialty toppings on one burger.)
We debated this entry on our eight best chain burgers for less than $8, more so than any other entry. Some people can’t stand In-N-Out Burger. But those who love this chain really love this chain.
In-N-Out burgers are simple, the menu is simple, and you can buy two Double-Double Burgers for less than $8, so the price is definitely right. The buns are simple too; lightly toasted with no sesame seeds.
In-N-Out burgers are available with standard toppings as well as the restaurant’s special Spread. Don’t expect to find any other toppings or fancy specialty burgers here. In-N-Out Burger’s specialty is its simplicity.
If you want your burger to have a cool factor to it, Smashburger’s collection of burgers fits the bill. The company’s marketing is not like that of most mid-range burger places, giving it a unique brand.
Smashburger offers regular burgers with bacon and cheese and standard toppings. But you’ll also find specialty burgers with avocado, barbecue sauce, goat cheese, and jalapenos.
The egg buns at Smashburger offer just the right texture. And the restaurant even offers locally developed burger recipes, giving each region in the chain its own signature burger.
Steak ‘N Shake
Steak ‘N Shake’s burgers are made from round, sirloin, and t-bones, giving the restaurant its name and its claim of premium burgers. In the early days of the restaurant, the owner would grind the hamburger from the steaks in front of the patrons.
Steak ‘N Stake offers a variety of original burgers, as well as specialty burgers. Beyond the standard toppings plus cheese and bacon on the original burgers, the specialty burgers include Cajun flavoring, jalapeno, and guacamole. All of the buns are toasted.
Conclusion (With Extra Pickles)
Everyone certainly has his or her favorite burger, and we may not have hit your favorite here. (If so, let us know about your favorite in the comments section.) For example, Shake Shack, Umami Burger, and Red Robin have great burgers, but their average price point is closer to $9 to $13 than our cut off at $8.
And some people really love McDonald’s, Burger King, and the other huge chains. Some people also love local burger restaurants above all others.
Regardless of whether one of your favorites made our list, consider using our list as a chance to try something new. That’s what makes the world go around, after all … that and a cheeseburger with extra pickles and mustard, no onion.
A couple of our best chain burgers for less than $8 restaurants have “secret” menus that you can order from, if you know about them.
At Five Guys, you can order the double grilled cheeseburger, which uses two grilled cheese sandwiches as the buns for a double burger. The secret menu also has a patty melt.
At In-N-Out, you can order a 3×3 or 4×4 with three or four slices of cheese and three or four burger patties. There’s also the Protein Style, which substitutes lettuce for the bun on any burger, and Animal Style, which adds pickle, extra Spread, and grilled onions to any burger.