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Culvers vs. In-N-Out

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    Culvers vs. In-N-Out

    Apparently I need to try Culvers the next time I'm in a state that has them and now that our southern neighbours are FINALLY opening their border next month, it is far more likely that I may be in one of those states. 😊 Any of you have any direct experience? If they are truly better than In-N-Out then they are a must try.
    Forget it, In-N-Out Burger fans, Culver's is way better (thetakeout.com)
    Last edited by pkadare; October 17, 2021, 05:28 AM.

    I have eaten at a Culvers when in MN, I think they called their burgers butter burgers, it was a good burger. I am glad to be retired and I no longer travel.


      In-N-Out is the best simple reasonably priced burger out there. Simple menu, good beef and taters, great shakes. That's it.

      Culvers is more like Sonic with smashburgers, their burgers are good but there's just so much going on. If it's any fresher than McDonalds I couldn't tell you because there's so much sauce and seasoning on everything. It's great fast food, I just don't know that the comparison here is fair. I did love their cheese curds though.


        Might be an unpopular opinion: Every time we eat at an In-n-Out, we always leave disappointed -- not because the food is bad, but because of the over-hype saying how amazing the food happens to be.

        In In-n-Out's favor, we're told that they don't start cooking your order until you order it. So their food is going to be super-fresh, hot off the grill. There's bonus points for this. All things being equal (cost, amount of time needed to order/eat, location travel, etc), we may still choose In-n-Out over the Big Burger Chains. But if its not convenient to get to or otherwise fit our schedule, we will go elsewhere.

        Have eaten at Culver's once. It was a flavorful burger, and the custard is nice -- but the calorie count is off the charts. It's definitely not an every day lunch stop for us. Would we visit again? Sure, but not regularly. (Same goes for any of the butterburger places)

        In terms of "fast food (or relatively quick)" burger? We've had better takeout burgers from non-chain counter-service restaurants than we have from a chain location. For us, we eat at those places more for convenience rather than as a destination.


        • tbob4
          tbob4 commented
          Editing a comment
          I agree. Due to the lines here (in Chico), you are lucky to get a meal in 45 minutes. While I like the burgers, I am not like my son and daughter. I won't wait that long in a car to get the burgers. Due to the lines in take out, you really can't even get into the parking lot for getting inside.

        I live in WI so being where Culver's was founded they are everywhere and I eat there fairly often. Best fast food burger around these parts. But I lived in CA for a while and visited CA often for work purposes. Therefore ate at In-n-Out many times as well. I really think the burgers are different enough, and both very good to call it a draw. Maybe a cop out, but that's my feeling anyway.


          I've eaten at In-n-Out. Didn't like the burger either time. The wife likes Culver's, so we've eaten there many times. I've learned to order something other than a burger there. I find the fish fry edible. Culver's will substitute a Concrete Mixer for a soft drink in its meal combos. Concrete Mixers are basically the same as Dairy Queen's Blizzards, but made with real custard. For that reason, I give a chilly nod to Culver's.


            I will agree with @Jfrosty.
            We live South of Kansas City, and have a Culver's about 6 blocks from the house that is absolutely our choice for burgers. Their Butter Burgers are hard to beat.
            The employees are high school kids that are always extremely well mannered. The drive thru is full every night, and you are actually greeted at the entrance to the parking lot by an employee who directs traffic into the lot to keep the line into the street from getting out of control. When you dine in 99 percent of the time you are greeted with the doors being opened for you. You walk into a restaurant that is absolutely spotless. Order at the counter, and take a number plaque and your food is brought to the table. A good part of the time when you finish your meal and get up to leave there will be an employee who will ask you how your meal was, and clean your table for you. One again when you leave the door will be opened and you will be wished a good evening and invited back.
            Our local Culver's seems to be unique though as we have eaten in others in the KC area and not been served like that in the rest of them. We always remark on the service from this location which seems unique. The management has it absolutely figured out and it remain consistent. My Husband calls the employees the Leave it to Beaver kids because of their clean cut looks and manners.
            Bonus is there is also a Freddy's right next door that is also very good if Culver's is too full.


              As a SoCal native, I've eaten at Inn-N-Out a bunch. And the article nails it as far as I am concerned; the fries there s**k. A Double-Double Animal Style (extra sauce) is very good, very fresh, but those fries are limp, tasteless wastes of good potatoes. Yes, they are made fresh in each location. I mean, they trim and cut the potatoes there, no pre-cut or frozen stuff. But the frying in vegetable oil from fresh makes for a poor French fry in IMHO.

              Never been to a Culvers, so I guess this doesn't answer the OP's question about which is the better burger. However, the article link is really about the fries from what I can discern as it gives kudos to the burgers at both.


              • tdimond
                tdimond commented
                Editing a comment
                I was recently advised to ask for the In-N-Out fries cooked well, and that may help. I haven't tried yet.

              • latenight71
                latenight71 commented
                Editing a comment
                +1 on order fries well. you can also add cheese or do Animal-style fries. I like to add chopped chiles to my animal-style Double-Doubles to add some kick.

              I think once the IPO is done the real question will be Portillo’s or In-N-Out. I love In-N-Out and like it more than Culvers. But I really like Culver’s too.


              • Greasy
                Greasy commented
                Editing a comment
                Burger joints can't compete with a fully dipped Italian beef sammy!!

              Culvers is good. I wouldn't say better than in and out, very different style burger, but definitely worth trying out. Culvers is one of the better fast food burgers for sure, IMO.


                Culver's is like a good smash burger you make at home. I remember In-N-Out burgers being above average, nothing really special, but I love the efficiency of that place. Limited menu and super-quick service. It's an apples and oranges comparison, really.


                  Never had a Culvers burger but as a Southern Californian I've enjoyed In-n-Out burgers many time. That being said, The Habit Burger Grill is my choice for a great burger. Easy to find out west but locations are rare east of the Rockies.


                  • ItsAllGoneToTheDogs
                    ItsAllGoneToTheDogs commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I had never had Habit until a few years ago, they do make a good burger and had other good options, but it's not worth driving the 1.5 hours where it was at. I would drive 1.5 hours to go to an In-N-Out at least once a year.

                  • TripleB
                    TripleB commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I agree, the Habit Burger is very good. I prefer it over In-n-Out.

                  A WI native here so I’m biased and I’ve never been to an In and Out so I really can’t compare, but I will say that Culver’s is the best fast food burger around. We don’t go there often but I’ve settled on the Double Deluxe and a side of curds is my usual order. It’s a wonderfully greasy, salty and flavorful combo. It’s definitely not a healthy choice but let’s face it, if you’re going to a fast food place and ordering a burger you kind of know what you’re getting in to.


                    I have eaten at both places many many times. In & Out burgers and fries are simply outstanding for the price point, though I agree their fries are just okay. Using the Secret menu does help in terms of adding more flavor. However, Culvers is miles ahead in terms of flavor and richness. Easily by far some of the best restaurant burgers around. We even like them more than 5 Guys as 5 Guys tends to more greasier at least with our locations.


                    • IFindZeroBadCooks
                      IFindZeroBadCooks commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Jfrosty27 Both the Five Guys and Culvers locations do well and have been here for years. You know what failed though? Smash Burger.

                    • Debra
                      Debra commented
                      Editing a comment
                      It has been a while since we've eaten Smash Burger but if I remember correctly they were premium priced,

                    • Bkhuna
                      Bkhuna commented
                      Editing a comment
                      The shine has gone of of Five Guys around here. The price is ridiculous.

                      I've always found their fries to be limp. One time I asked the guy at the counter if he would fry them about 30 seconds longer. Should be no problem since they fry to order. He went into some shpeel that he learned in post-graduate courses at Hamburger U about how they couldn't do that and yada, yada, yada. I just cancelled my order and walked out. Haven't been back.

                    I have had both and The Habit and Portillo’s and 5 Guys.
                    Fries - Portillo’s hands down; In-and-Out fries are really bad. Made from a quality potato, but when you do fresh fries (not from frozen) you have to employ the double fry method. SoCal friends…. Think Island’s Fries.
                    Burger - can’t decide. I like each one for one little thing. But if I were forced to choose, I would do Portillo’s

                    All that said…. It’s all about where you grew up. Here, In-and-Out is an institution. The Habit has dug in it’s heels, I will say that. Whenever I visit my sister in Dallas, I insist we get to Culver’s at least once.

                    Also, I believe Smash Burger is just a marketing term. Diners, long time fast food joints and char-broilers have been “smashing” burgers since God was a boy.


                    • SheilaAnn
                      SheilaAnn commented
                      Editing a comment
                      I know there is… I remember being in NYC several years ago with my sister. The line was at least 50 deep. I was, like, hell nah! I have them once. Meh.

                    • smokin fool
                      smokin fool commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Whenever I go to 5 Guys I stuff myself with peanuts and don't finish my meal.

                    • Murdy
                      Murdy commented
                      Editing a comment
                      We had a Smash Burger too, it was pretty good, but it closed down. They served beer as I recall, which would be enough for me to give the nod to them.


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