Five Guys Burgers and Fries has been rated best burger by the readers of Washingtonian Magazine for the past seven years and was named "Best Hamburger" by The Pitt News in 2007. The East Coast's chain has a cult-like following similar to that of the West Coast's In-N-Out burger.
What's so good about Five Guys? The menu focuses on "regular" burgers (two beef patties) and "little" burgers (one patty), offered with an extensive selection of free toppings: mayo, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, fried onions, sautéed mushrooms, ketchup, mustard, and green peppers. A-1, barbecue, and hot sauces are available by request, and American cheese and bacon cost extra.
"So what?" you ask. The key here is the beef blend. The Virginia-based chain uses beef with 20 percent fat, resulting in juicier burgers. The buns are "softer, richer... if you toast it and add butter, it's almost like you're eating a croissant," Molly Catalano, Five Guys' spokeswoman, told the Chicago Tribune.
The menu also includes kosher hot dogs, veggie sandwiches, and grilled cheese sandwiches. The famous fries are hand-cut (skin-on), fried in pure peanut oil, and served in regular "Five Guys style" or with Cajun seasoning.
Two locations will be opening in the Chicago area in the next couple months. Five Guys will begin serving burgers in Oak Park in early November and in Lincoln Park by December. If recent openings in New York are any indication, the lines will be ridiculous.