Fast Food Bacon Burgers Ranked Worst To Best

Is there anything more satisfying than a freshly grilled burger patty topped with a few slices of crispy bacon? One of life's great pleasures is taking that first bite and tasting buttery beef mixed with the sweet smokiness of bacon. The bacon burger is a mouthwatering flavor bomb that showcases one of the best partnerships in the world of grilled meats.

Fast-food restaurants know how powerful and lucrative this deliciously magical combination is. Just about every big chain out there has some kind of bacon burger on its menu. But not all bacon burgers are created equal. There are numerous variations in flavor that depend on the quality of the meat, the crispness of the bacon, and the overall flavor profile provided by different buns, cheeses, and toppings.

When you're in the mood for a good fast food bacon burger, how do you know which ones will truly satisfy your cravings? We've taken the time to curate a list of the worst in the business along with some of the best. Here are fast-food bacon burgers ranked from worst to best.

16. White Castle: Bacon Cheese Slider

White Castle offers some of the cheapest burgers around. There, the old saying rings true: You get what you pay for. Even though you can score a bag full of White Castle bacon cheese sliders for a fraction of the cost compared to other chains, the quality leaves much to be desired. First of all, there is very little texture. Between the small portions, super squishy buns, and the steam-grilled beef, everything in this burger blends into a tasteless mush. If you're lucky, the bacon might be crispy enough to provide some crunch.

The other issue is the meat itself. Paper-thin, spongy, and practically tasteless, it's hard to imagine a burger patty that's less desirable. And we need more than miniature pieces of flabby bacon. We want quality bacon with a solid texture that's slightly charred on the edges. We want a thicker, juicier burger patty with some char and texture. The slider from White Castle offers none of these. If you're on the prowl for a bland, shrunken burger that's dirt cheap, then knock yourself out. But we don't really know why you would do that unless it's an act of desperation or because you lack alternatives. There are much better bacon burgers out there.

15. Sonic: Bacon Double Cheeseburger

Sonic has a great concept. Having your burgers and milkshakes roller-skated out to your car is pretty sweet. And Sonic also gets some cool points for the nostalgic vibes that it conjures. But what really matters here is quality and flavor. The SuperSonic Bacon Double Cheeseburger lacks both. One Redditor said it best, comparing the menu at Sonic to glorified carnival food before suggesting that people would be better off getting their fix elsewhere.

The SuperSonic Bacon Double Cheeseburger comes with all the standard ingredients: cheese, bacon, lettuce, mayo, and ketchup. Sometimes simple is good. Some of the best burgers out there are uncomplicated. What it really comes down to is the quality of the ingredients and competent execution. Sonic fails to deliver in both cases. The bacon's crispiness is inconsistent, while the beef is often dry and under-seasoned. The toppings seldom taste fresh, and the buns are usually somewhat stale. The lackluster ingredients make the entire experience very underwhelming. Maybe the quality of Sonic's food will catch up to its concept. But that day hasn't arrived yet.

14. A&W: Bacon Double Cheeseburger

Did you know that A&W has been slinging root beer for more than 100 years? Some of the allure of eating at A&W involves scoring a tall glass of fresh root beer in one of the restaurant's frosty mugs. But we're not here to talk about root beer. We're here to talk about burgers. And the burgers at A&W are less than stellar.

The bacon double cheeseburger at A&W comes with American cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, and mayo. And while all of those ingredients should add up to a decent burger, it somehow fails to deliver. We think it may have to do with the consistency of the beef, which has a coarseness that renders the entire burger unpalatable. Between the slight grittiness of the beef and buns that can be way too dry, the best thing you can do is wash away the taste with a swig of ice-cold root beer. Root beer is the real reason that we love A&W. The subpar burgers definitely won't be changing our minds.

13. McDonald's: Quarter Pounder With Cheese Bacon

No respectable quick-service burger analysis would be complete without some discussion of the world's biggest fast-food operation: McDonald's (via Investopedia). There is no question that McDonald's is massively successful, considering it has nearly 40,000 restaurants worldwide. But trying to understand the reason why it's so successful remains a bit elusive. Let's be honest. McDonald's isn't exactly the tastiest option. 

Even though the Quarter Pounder with Cheese Bacon is marketed as featuring a 100% beef patty, the meat at McDonald's tends to have a strangely homogenous texture. Because there is practically no texture going on, every bite of beef is mushy. There are no charred bits or seared edges of concentrated, beefy flavor to enjoy. The taste of the beef also leaves a lot to be desired. It often tastes extremely salty and heavily processed. Don't get us wrong. Every great burger needs some salt. But burgers need to be cautiously salted to avoid over-seasoning. When you factor in the smoked bacon, the saltiness of this burger shoots through the roof. This burger is a good call, but only if you're willing to sacrifice quality for convenience.

12. Burger King: Bacon Whopper

Ah, the Whopper. Perhaps one of the most well-known burgers in the entire fast-food industry, Burger King's Whopper comes with a flame-grilled beef patty, tomatoes, lettuce, mayo, ketchup, pickles, and onions, on a sesame seed bun. Adding some cheese and bacon to Burger King's famous Whopper definitely adds some extra layers of flavor, but what puts Burger King a little bit ahead of the others on this list is the taste of its beef. There's no doubt that flame grilling Burger King's beef imparts a smoky, slightly-charred flavor profile that helps it surpass some of its competitors. The toppings also seem a little heartier compared to other fast-food chains.

The main issue here is consistency. While you might get a decent whopper at one location, you may get a completely different experience at another, with stale buns, dry beef, and soggy toppings. When made well, a Whopper with bacon and cheese can be pretty tasty and satisfying. But when it's haphazardly slapped together, the results are messy and disappointing. Some Redditors have chimed in and acknowledged this, lamenting the variation of quality between Burger King locations.

11. Checkers: Smoky BBQ Bacon Buford

Checkers sets itself apart from most fast-food restaurants by forgoing an indoor dining area and exclusively focusing on its drive-thru operation. Gloriously greasy and indulgent even by fast-food standards, Checkers has made a name for itself by offering consistently low prices and quick service. The classic Big Buford is the crown jewel of its menu, with two beef patties, two slices of cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, ketchup, mustard, and mayo, on a toasted bun. There are often new spins on the Buford. For example, the Smoky BBQ Bacon Buford comes with two beef patties, Swiss cheese, smoked bacon, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, red onions, sweet-and-smoky barbecue sauce, and smoky mayo.

The condiments on the BBQ Bacon Buford push this burger a little bit ahead of the others. The sauce cuts through the richness of the beef. The flavor of the creamy, smoky mayo pairs perfectly with the bacon. Sauces aside, we also love that Checkers uses red onions on its burgers. It's a small touch, but it does make a big difference that we appreciate. At the end of the day, a Bacon Buford isn't necessarily going to blow your mind. But it's still a proper, flavorful burger for the price. 

10. Whataburger: Bacon and Cheese Whataburger

Most Whataburgers are open 24 hours, which gives them some bonus points. After all, you never know when hunger will strike. With fewer than 900 stores nationwide, Whataburger doesn't have a huge presence when compared to some of its competitors (via Whataburger). Still, the chain has a devoted following and some decent offerings on its menu.

The Bacon and Cheese Whataburger comes with American cheese, three bacon slices, tomato, lettuce, pickles, diced onions, and mustard. Because the only condiment used on this bacon burger is mustard, there is a tang to this burger that works in its favor. Paired with beef and bacon, the brightness of the mustard works very well. It makes you realize that adding ketchup and mayo along with mustard can actually be overwhelming, mixing too many flavors at once. This is something other chains often do. Three slices of bacon are generous and should be the standard for any bacon burger. Our biggest gripe here is that the diced onions tend to be on the chunky side, which can overpower the rest of the burger. We know at least one Redditor who agrees. Needless to say, slicing the onions more thinly or reducing portions would do wonders for this burger.

9. Wendy's: Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger

With a long-term emphasis on its use of fresh and never-frozen beef, Wendy's has always been a little bit ahead of the game when it comes to overall quality and flavor. The difference made by fresh beef is noticeable. The burgers at Wendy's tend to be much juicier and more flavorful than those from its competitors.

The Wendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger comes with American cheese, slices of bacon, tomato, lettuce, and mayo. Despite having only five ingredients, the burger brings a lot of flavors. The bacon is crispy. The veggies offer some light freshness. The melted cheese, along with just the right amount of tangy mayo, helps everything stick together. This burger is tasty, easy to eat, and cheap. And while it might be on the smaller side, it's still a great value. This burger is a good example of how sometimes simple is best.

8. Jack in the Box: Double Jack with Bacon

There's no doubt that Jack in the Box has an impressive, versatile menu. With burgers, two different styles of french fries, breakfast croissant sandwiches, fried chicken, egg rolls, jalapeno poppers, several flavors of milkshakes, and even cheesecake, there's a good chance that just about anyone can find something they like. Since the company operates in just 20 states, it may not be familiar to some. Allow us to enlighten you.

The Double Jack comes with two beef patties, American cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and mayo. A common move by diners is to add some bacon, which gives the burger some extra crunch and smoky flavor. What places this burger a little bit ahead of its competition is the quality of the bun and ingredients. The bun is soft, yet stable enough to give the burger some integrity, the beef is juicy and flavorful, and the bacon is crispy. All in all, Jack in the Box puts together a pretty good burger. In fact, there's a lengthy discussion on Reddit about how underrated the fast-food chain is. So if you happen to have one nearby and haven't tried it before, it might be time to give it a try.

7. Johnny Rockets: Double Bacon Cheddar

With an old-fashioned aesthetic, Johnny Rockets is another fast-food burger chain that cashes in on nostalgia. With about 13 different burgers to choose from, there's no shortage of choices on the menu at Johnny Rockets. The double bacon cheddar burger at Johnny Rockets comes with two grilled beef patties, two slices of melted cheddar, applewood smoked bacon slices, lettuce, tomato, onions, and special sauce.

When assembled with care, this burger is a joy to eat. The beef has a rich flavor. The special sauce has that familiar tanginess that all special burger sauces tend to have. The bacon is standard, and the veggie toppings are usually fresh and crispy. That said, quality can be inconsistent between locations. Johnny Rockets also tends to be pricey for a quick-service burger joint. The double bacon cheddar burger at Johnny Rockets tastes great and gets high marks when it's made with love. But at the end of the day, it doesn't feel like a great value.

6. Steak 'n Shake: Western BBQ 'n Bacon Cheeseburger

Steak 'n Shake hasn't really changed much. But it's also been consistently decent. Like the old saying goes: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." As its name suggests, the restaurant's menu offers burgers and shakes. Aside from 16 flavors of milkshakes, a big part of Steak 'n Shake's appeal involves fresh cuts of ground round, sirloin, and T-bone in its patties. That puts Steak 'n Shake light years ahead of some other fast-food restaurants. Steak 'n Shake also makes its burgers "smash" style, pressing the beef down onto the grill so the exterior develops a nice crust. Smash burgers seem to be all the rage these days. But Steak 'n Shake has been doing it all along, so let's give credit where it's due.

One of its best offerings is the Western BBQ 'n Bacon Steakburger. This powerhouse comes with two patties, bacon, American cheese, crispy onions, and barbecue sauce. The subtle sweetness of the barbecue perfectly compliments the richness of the bacon. The American cheese melts nice and creamy, and the crispy onions provide some extra texture and flavor. The thin beef patties are seared until the edges are browned, adding a fantastic depth of flavor. As far as fast food goes, this is one of the most solid bacon burgers in the biz. Washing it all down with a strawberry shake is pretty close to heaven.

5. Five Guys: Bacon Burger

Now we're moving into better territory. Part of the genius at Five Guys is how simple its menu is. With just a few choices of sandwiches to choose from, customers can customize their orders, adding everything from different sauces to grilled onions or jalapenos. Rather than offering a menu full of burgers with set ingredients, Five Guys provides a basic blueprint and then invites customers to modify it. 

Because the bacon cheeseburger at Five Guys doesn't automatically come with certain toppings or condiments, we're left to comment on the quality of the meat itself and the bun. Five Guys makes their burgers somewhat smashed style, pressing them down a bit but stopping before they get too thin (via Insider). The burger patties get some texture from the imperfections of their shape, which adds to the flavor. The bacon is smoky and has just the right amount of crisp. All things considered, Five Guys hovers above mediocrity with fresh burgers that are cooked to order.

4. Smashburger: Double Bacon Smash Burger

With more than 200 restaurants in operation, Smashburger is one of the smaller chains on this list (via Scrape Hero). What it lacks in locations, it more than makes up for with an abundance of flavor. There are a number of details that make Smashburger stand out from the crowd. For example, they offer eight different varieties of black bean burgers. That's a smart move with an increasingly health-conscious clientele. The burger menu is limited but well-curated, offering interesting items like the Spicy Colorado Burger, the Avocado Club Burger, and the Bacon Smash Burger.

The Double Bacon Smash Burger comes with certified Angus beef, American cheese, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo on a toasted bun. One of the things we appreciate about this burger is that the beef patty comes gently seasoned. It doesn't taste too salty the way a lot of other bacon burgers tend to. The technique of smashing the beef into the grill renders beautifully crispy edges that give the burger an elevated texture and robust beefiness. This burger comes just the way you want it to — rich, juicy, with a balanced texture. A job well done by Smashburger.

3. BurgerFi: Swag Burger

Now we're reaching higher quality. BurgerFi focuses on offering "chef-crafted" top-notch burgers with specialty ingredients, shakes, fries, onion rings, hot dogs, and fried chicken sandwiches. The Swag Burger is truly the star of the menu, with a wagyu and brisket patty, charred jalapenos, candied ghost pepper bacon, sweet tomato relish, pepper jack cheese, and hot steak sauce.

There's so much culinary finesse going on that it's hard to know where to start. First and foremost, the sweet tomato relish is deliciously rich. Because it's spread across the whole bun, you get a burst of its fruity complexity in every bite. The candied ghost pepper bacon is sweet and fiery, complimenting the sweet tomato relish in the best possible way. The wagyu and brisket blend is luxurious. The charred jalapenos are earthy and spicy. The pepper jack cheese is creamy, with the perfect amount of bite and melt. When it comes to burger chains, there's no doubt that BurgerFi is among those at the top of the burger game.

2. Culver's: Bacon Deluxe

Culver's makes delicious burgers that are made to order, seared on the grill, and put on lightly buttered buns (via Culver's). The Bacon Deluxe comes with two strips of crispy bacon, Wisconsin cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, red onions, and mayo. This burger, along with everything else at Culver's, exemplifies perfect execution.

The bun is toasted just right. The meat has some charred bits but retains a lot of juice and flavor. The bacon is crispy, and all of the veggies taste nice and fresh. It's obvious from the first bite that Culver's really cares about the quality of its food. You can taste the difference and attention to detail. At the end of the day, Culver's Bacon Deluxe isn't breaking new ground. But it does deliver big, fresh flavors flawlessly. Beyond all that, Culver's is amazingly consistent, preparing each order with the same level of efficiency and care.

1. Shake Shack: SmokeShack Cheeseburger

Here we are. We've traversed some rough territory to get here. But that's behind us. We've conquered the mountain. Proudly perched at the top is Shake Shack's SmokeShack cheeseburger.

Shake Shack's SmokeShack comes with melted cheese, applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry peppers, and ShackSauce. The beef is perfect. It's juicy and crispy, with just the right amount of char. The bun is buttered and flawlessly toasted. The chopped cherry peppers cut through the richness of the beef with a pleasant pop. And the zesty flavor of the ShackSauce coats everything, slowly dripping into all the little nooks and crannies of the beef and melted cheese. Every bite is bursting with flavor and feels righteous. The chopped cherry peppers are a stroke of genius that takes this one over the top, blending with a harmonious symphony of flavors. With the SmokeShack, there's no doubt that Shake Shack created the best quick-service burger on the scene right now. Shake Shack, we tip our hats to you.