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Best Burgers in the USA?

If you have ever had In-N-Out’s burgers, you may have found them quite delicious. There has been ongoing, raging debates on whether the hype is worth it and which burger chains are better, and admittedly: the first time I ate one, I was not impressed. Fast-forward a decade later, and the fast food chain has become one of my favorites. Their proven formula has remained unchanged:

  • Tasty food
  • Minimal menu items
  • Low prices
  • Fresh, quality ingredients from local sources
  • Employees treated and paid well, especially managers
  • Food and drinks made to order

Many celebrities are big fans of the burger chain, including Bill Gates, the late Anthony Bourdain, Gordon Ramsay, and Hollywood actors. Whether you agree or disagree about the popularity of the Irvine, California-based company that was founded in 1948, there is no denying that it has enjoyed a large, cult following.

Secret Menu

Double-Double Burger /In-N-Out

In-N-Out, despite their simple, minimalist menu choices, has an extensive, secret menu available, each with official names that most employees know and can select from the ordering database. Unfortunately, there is no official list available, and ordering an item that does not exist can be a bit embarrassing. In this article, I attempted to put together the ones my friends, family, coworkers, and I had tried. In-N-Out self-published a subset of its secret menu on its website.

Burgers

M×C (Meat x Cheese)

A burger with the specified number of meat patties and cheese slices. A “2 x 3” would contain 2 beef and 3 cheese (a “Double-Double” would thus be a “2 x 2”) and can go as high as “4 x 4”.

  • “3 x 3” = “Triple-Triple
  • “4 x 4” = “Quad-Quad

My cousin once had a monstrous “25 x 25” for his 25th birthday, but the company has limited it to just a “4 x 4” since 2005 so nobody can once again order a “100 x 100“. As you could likely imagine, this held up the line for other, hungry customers.

Double/Triple/Quad Meat

A burger with the specified number of meat patties and no cheese.

Flying Dutchman

A “Double-Double” with cheese sandwiched in-between both meat patties and no vegetables, bun, or sauce.

Grilled Cheese

A burger with 2 cheese slices and no meat.

Cheesy Wiki

A burger with 4 cheese slices and no meat.

Protein Style

Wrap the burger in lettuce instead of buns. As strange as that may sound, I feel each bite to be much more refreshing than a standard burger, and usually ask for extra lettuce, tomatoes, and grilled onions.

Veggie Burger

A burger with no meat or cheese. “Wish Burger” is another name for it, although not all employees know about it.

Wish Burger

Same as the “Veggie Burger”, though not always known by the employees. Any carnivore eating a sandwich without meat or cheese must be wishing they could.

Burger Options

Animal Style

A mix of grilled onions, pickle, and extra Thousand Island-like spread added to a meat patty grilled with mustard on both sides. This messy, delicious option is perhaps the most famous of the entire, secret menu and can be added to any burger.

You can also ask for a bag of Spread to take home.

Mustard-Grilled

Just like with “Animal Style”, meat is grilled with mustard on both sides.

Medium-Rare

State law permitting, meat cooked medium rare.

Extra-Toasted

Buns are grilled longer for more crispiness.

Chopped Chilies

Addition of chopped, spicy-sweet, yellow chili peppers.

Cut In Half

Split the burger in two for the children to share.

Extra… X, Y, Z

You can order anything extra at no additional cost: lettuce, tomatoes, onions.

Onion Options

A whole, sliced onion (“Whole“) is normally cooked on top of the meat and cheese, but can also be ordered “Chopped“. You may also ask it to be prepared grilled or raw:

  • Grilled = Grilled and caramelized until golden brown
    • Default: Chopped. Ask for Grilled Whole, otherwise
  • Raw = Uncooked
    • Default: Whole slice. Ask for Chopped, otherwise

Credit: In-N-Out

French Fries

Animal Style

A mix of grilled onions, pickle, and extra sauce added to fries.

Cheese Fries

Fries topped with cheese.

Fries – Light

Fries cooked shorter than normal, leaving them softer.

Fries – Well-Done

Fries cooked longer than usual for a bit more crisp.

Fries – Extra Well-Done

Extra crispy fries. My wife loves these. I do not.

Chopped Chilies

Addition of chopped, spicy-sweet, yellow chili peppers.

Drinks

Lemon Up

Lemonade mixed with 7-Up or Sprite.

Neapolitan Shake

All 3 flavors are put in the same cup, but because they are so thick, they do not mix entirely, leaving you with the option of tasting each flavor individually or fully mixed.

You can also order a combination of any two flavors.

Root Beer Float

A Vanilla Shake with root beer.

Credit: In-N-Out

Did You Know?

  • “Monkey Style” is not a real menu option (confirmed with an In-N-Out manager friend)
  • Almost every In-N-Out location has two, crossed palm trees that form an “X” as homage to being a treasure spot

Know of any other, verified secret menu items? Let us know in the comments!