Johnny Rockets Burgers Ranked From Worst To Best

The 1950s-style American diner known as Johnny Rockets is home to burgers, shakes, fries, and, most importantly, fun. This restaurant's locations can be found as stand-alone establishments or in mall food courts in quite a few locations across the United States. Hopefully, there's one close to you right now.

While Johnny Rockets seems as if it serves just about every American food item under the sun, we're going to focus on the main event: burgers. Of course, no burger meal is complete without a side of the frankly delicious Homestyle Chili Cheese Fries or Bacon Cheese Tots. If you're less about the cheese, the onion rings are also to die for, though it's likely that you will find something on this chain's menu that you'll like.

But what on that menu is actually worth ordering? We did a deep dive on the Johnny Rockets menu and visited our local joint to do some research. Keep reading to learn how we ranked all Johnny Rockets burgers from worst to best. The best-tasting burger may surprise you.

13. Smoke House Double

Starting off the list, we have Johnny Rocket's Smoke House Double, which contains double burger patties with applewood smoked bacon, crispy sourdough onion rings, and cheddar cheese with the chain's signature Smoke House BBQ Ranch.

While the above description sure sounds savory and delicious, the Johnny Rockets Smoke House Double landed at the very bottom of this ranking because of its incredible caloric load. We don't count calories religiously, but this burger provided significant sticker shock at 1180 calories per serving. Just how big is that? According to Calorie King, a 5'7", 144-pound woman would need to swim for a muscle-aching 95 minutes to burn off this burger. If swimming wasn't her thing, then she'd have to run for over two hours to make up the difference.

We love to preach about eating our favorite junk foods in moderation. Still, with better options awaiting us in the menu and the incredibly high calorie count on this one, you may want to consider something else.

12. Smoke House Single

As you can pretty easily guess, the Smoke House Single contains almost exactly the same ingredients as the Smoke House Double, only without the double burger patties. In this burger, you will find applewood smoked bacon, crispy sourdough onion rings, cheddar cheese, and the chain's signature Smoke House BBQ Ranch, but with only 800 calories in the burger.

Though it's better than what you get with its double cousin, 800 calories (not including sides) still does not sit well with us. But, hey, that's fast food for you. The sourdough onion rings are an excellent addition to this burger variation, while the BBQ ranch helps to bring all the flavors together. The onion rings actually remind us of breakfast burgers that come with a hash brown inside.

Overall, the slightly better nutritional profile of a single burger patty helped to push the Smoke House Single above its Smoke House Double menu counterpart. However, it's not terribly exciting and doesn't quite grab our attention as other burgers at Johnny Rockets do.

11. Route 66 Double

This next Johnny Rockets burger sends us down Route 66. Well, metaphorically, anyway. The Route 66 Double Burger contains two meat patties, Swiss cheese, grilled mushrooms, caramelized onions, and mayonnaise. There's no real shock here, as we see yet another double burger is coming in at over 1000 calories per serving — 1060 calories, to be exact.

The mushroom and caramelized onions really steal the show on this burger. Yet, the meat is actually a bit of a drawback. While many people order doubles because they're hungry or want extra protein, we feel that the additional meat here just adds bulk and ultimately takes away from the other, more interesting components of this burger.

The Route 66 Double would have ranked higher on our list if it did not contain another interesting ingredient: mayonnaise. We may get some heat for this controversial opinion, but we're ready to argue that plain old mayonnaise simply does not belong on burgers. Hey, we even have scientifically-backed evidence that it's not the best condiment out there. Can we get some aioli or even a smear of classic ketchup on this instead?

10. Route 66 Single

Our motto for this roundup should be fewer patties, fewer problems. At least that's how we feel about our next burger, the Route 66 Single. Like the previously ranked Route 66 Double, the Single contains Swiss cheese, grilled mushrooms, caramelized onions, and the dreaded mayonnaise. Without the second patty, the Route 66 Single only has 770 calories, a number we feel better about. However, after adding in a side or two and maybe a milkshake to your meal, the Route 66 Double still pushes us over the edge. It might even cause us to loosen our belts just to relieve some of the pressure.

While we still feel strongly and negatively about the presence of mayonnaise on burgers, the mushroom and caramelized onion combination deserves some recognition. YouTuber mcdsweet even describes this burger as "marvelous," a "dreamboat," and "worth every penny." We also think this burger offers some marvelous flavors, though, between the calories and that mayo, it may not be quite right for every diner.

9. Streamliner

We've touched on calories in this article, and while we assure you that this is not a nutrition piece, we think it's important to note that sort of thing while ranking these different Johnny Rockets burgers. If you're worried about this factor, then maybe the Streamliner is for you.

The Streamliner contains a soy-based Boca veggie patty with caramelized onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mustard on a wheat bun. If you want to elevate the experience, know that you can substitute the standard brioche bun on any burger for wheat or a gluten-free variety from Udi's.

If you're health conscious and ordering at Johnny Rockets, then you'll be please to learn that the Streamliner only contains 340 calories, which significantly less than the other burgers we've reviewed thus far. Given that it's free of meat, this is a good option for those leading a plant-based lifestyle. It's rumored that a black bean burger temporarily replaced the Streamliner a few years ago, but we're excited to see the confirmed vegetarian-friendly Streamliner Veggie burger on the menu today (via VegBlogger). Yet, if you're a dedicated carnivore, then this may not hit the spot when you're really looking for a beef-based burger.

8. Spicy Houston Double

Is it hot in here, or did we just order a Spicy Houston? It's both, considering you may start to sweat after a couple of bites of this burger. The Spicy Houston Double packs some serious heat between the buns, with a meal that contains spicy jalapeños, pepper Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and Johnny Rockets' signature Smokin' Chipotle Ranch. Oh, and true to its name, there are two burger patties in there, all snuggled between a flaky brioche bun.

The Spicy Houston Double contains 930 calories, which is slightly less than our other double-patty burgers. It's expected for the double burgers to be somewhat higher in calories and fat, so we can't really fault the Spicy Houston Double for its heft calorie count.

Just be warned that this burger is not for those who shy away from spice. With the jalapeños and chipotle sauce, it's safe to say that this burger packs in some heat. In addition to the spicy jalapeños, the Smokin' Chipotle Ranch adds a little extra smoke that ties the entire burger together. We like it, but if you're not a seasoned spicy food aficionado, then you may need to pass.

7. Double Bacon Cheddar

This burger is nothing short of a meat and cheese lover's dream. The Double Bacon Cheddar contains applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sliced onion with Special Sauce. That sauce includes Thousand Island dressing and Dijon mustard, which is not exactly secretive or special, at least in our opinion. We like our sauces to contain a little more spice, so the lackluster Special Sauce knocked a few points of this burger's score.

Ultimately, this burger did not wow us. It also comes with a whopping 1150 calories, which hurts our hearts and stomachs just thinking about it. Can you imagine the heartburn you might experience after chowing down this burger?

The Double Bacon Cheddar hits the spot when hunger strikes but does not provide anything special. If you want something out of the ordinary, order the Homestyle Chili Cheese Fries or Bacon Cheese Tots on the side — or just order something else.

6. Spicy Houston Single

Remove the second patty off the Spicy Houston Double and you'll have a Spicy Houston Single. Much like its double cousin, the Spicy Houston Single also contains spicy jalapeños, pepper Jack cheese, lettuce, tomato, and Smokin' Chipotle Ranch. Again, if you can't handle spice, this burger will likely not be the match for you.

Unlike its heftier counterpart, the Spicy Houston Single only contains 640 calories, which is certainly a more moderate amount for a cheeseburger with all these toppings. With added sides or a milkshake, you will consume fewer calories than if you ordered the Smoke House Double, though it still won't be health food by any stretch of the imagination.

We prefer the single Spicy Houston Single to the Double because adding a burger party on top of the jalapeños can make for an overwhelming dining experience. Frankly, we believe the extra patty is unnecessary and takes away from the experience of consuming the delicious toppings. Unless you have a large appetite, stick with the Spicy Houston Single.

5. Rocket Double

The next burger on our list remains one of the Johnny Rockets' signature burgers: the Rocket Double. This menu item includes cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sliced onion with the chain's special sauce. As we mentioned earlier, we found the special sauce to be a bit ho-hum, though you may enjoy the tang of Thousand Island dressing and Dijon mustard it contains. Nevertheless, we have yet to meet a secret sauce we do not enjoy in some respect.

The Rocket burger remains one of our favorite menu items at Johnny Rockets, but the double leaves us feeling so full that it's impossible to order sides and a shake and still finish everything on your plate. The Rocket Double contains 970 calories per serving, so it's definitely not something to order if you're watching your waistline, though it should be fine as an occasional treat. If you enjoy these toppings but can't handle the double, then it may be best to skip that extra patty and go for the single version.

4. The Original Double

Introducing the Johnny Rocket burger that started it all with the addition of an extra burger patty. The Original Double contains two meaty patties with lettuce, tomato, chopped onion, relish, pickles, mustard, and mayo. It offers all the standard toppings you can imagine on a burger. If you're looking for a classic experience with some extra protein, then this may be just the thing.

This double burger surprised us when it came to the nutrition information. The Johnny Rocket Original Double only contains 890 calories, which is much less than the other double patty offerings.

We like the original because it offers a spread of quality flavors without overdoing it with certain sauces or strange toppings, though some diners may find it a bit too streamlined for their tastes. If you're looking for some pairing suggestions, our favorite additions to this burger order include a side of Cheese Fries and an Oreo Cookies & Cream milkshake.

3. Single Bacon Cheddar

What's better than a Double Bacon Cheddar? Well, its single patty counterpart. We love the Single Bacon Cheddar for its simplicity. That includes aplewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sliced onion. It also comes with a serving of the ever-present Johnny Rockets Special Sauce.

We do not expect a low-calorie and low-fat dish with bacon and cheese, but this burger was a bit of a shock, as it only contains 770 calories. Not too bad for something with such heavy ingredients.

If you're relatively hungry and want an extra serving of meat with the heaviness of an extra burger patty, then this Single Bacon Cheddar burger might be the order for you. We must admit that it's a pretty salty burger, so you'll probably want to wash it down with a milkshake. The Hershey's chocolate flavor would balance this burger quite nicely, in our opinion.

2. The Original Single

This burger's name says it all. The Original Single contains one meat patty topped with lettuce, tomato, chopped onion, relish, pickles, mustard, and mayo. We prefer it to the double as we like a more balanced, less gut-busting meal. All told, we feel like this burger only needs one meat patty to get the job done.

The Original Single only contains 680 calories compared to the 890 calories in the Original Double. Those extra 200 calories could leave you room for a side of fries. Of course, if calorie counting and fast food numbers do not concern you all that much, then feel free to eat the whole shebang. You only live once, after all.

Overall, we love the classic flavors of this burger. Well, we've already made it clear that we don't exactly love mayonnaise when it's on a burger, but we can let it slide just this once when a burger is this good.

1. Rocket Single

Let's refer to this burger as the Johnny Rockets American hero, shall we? We think that it's a Johnny Rockets signature burger for a reason, as the Rocket Single claims the number one slot in our Johnny Rockets burger ranking. The Rocket Single includes one beef patty with cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, and sliced onion, as well as the ever-present special sauce. As we've said before, the sauce isn't terribly unique, but its flavors really help to balance things out nicely in this burger.

This burger only contains 680 calories per serving which helps us feel better about the inevitable side of fries and a milkshake we plan on ordering. And that's a necessary order in our opinion, as this Johnny Rockets trifecta encompasses nothing less than the foodie American dream.

All told, the Rocket Single provides delicious flavor without overpowering toppings or patties. We order this burger every time we visit Johnny Rockets and we suggest you do the same.