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In-N-Out vs. Whataburger?

Updated on May 13, 2011

So with all the recent news about In-N-Out finally expanding and opening some new locations in Texas yesterday, I started running across a lot of comments from people saying that Whataburger was much better than In-N-Out.

I grew up in Texas, and I never remember seeing the kinds of crowds or hearing the kind of hype about Whataburger that you hear in California about In-N-Out. I have never met anyone in California that does not like coming here or get all excited even just thinking about In-N-Out. Even vegetarians like me get excited about In-N-Out! You can order a grilled cheese, which is basically the whole burger without the meat, that comes just perfectly toasted, and loaded with tomatoes, grilled onions, lettuce, cheese, and just the right amount of secret sauce. Not to mention the animal style french fries which are freshly cut and oh-so-addictive - then come with cheese, grilled onions, and more secret sauce piled on top! Add a strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, or Neapolitan shake and you have the perfect California meal!

Everyone who has grown up or lived in Texas for a while seems to love Whataburger. Whataburger does have some advantages over In-N-Out but I think that it is more in the category of other processed-fast-food factories like McDonalds or Burger King. It may be the best of that crop, but I don't think it can compare to the freshness and perfection that is In-N-Out. Whataburger is open 24 hours a day, serves breakfast, and has much more variety on their menu. I constantly hear great things about the bacon burger.  I suppose it is slightly fresher than your average fast food place.

I know, I know. You are probably thinking that a vegetarian has no place in comparing burger joints! But read on for our actual Whataburger experience! Not to mention that even from a simple search on Google images the burger just doesn't look as large, as fresh or as appealing as In-N-Out's burgers do. The bread is very thin and looks like the same processed junk McDonald's serves, and doesn't add any special flavor to the burger.

On our most recent trip to Houston, my husband was very excited to try Whataburger because everyone kept comparing it to In-N-Out. A new Carl's Jr. had just opened in the neighborhood with long lines snaking around the building so everyone was talking about hamburgers! When we got to Whataburger however we were both very disappointed. They refused to make me any kind of grilled cheese sandwich, and my husband's burger was a cold and soggy mess. He said it was like eating a hamburger from the gas station and could not believe that people could even begin to compare it to In-N-Out. I did not find the fries to be anything special or particularly fresh and the milkshakes at In-N-Out are much richer and fresh tasting. We left very puzzled as to why the comparison even keeps coming up.

So have you tried both In-N-Out and Whataburger? What do you think?

So which is better?

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    • CraftytotheCore profile image

      CraftytotheCore 4 years ago

      My sister lives in Texas near Spring. I don't have a What-a-burger here in CT, but I have a Red Robins and Five Guys. We also have a sonic like 2 hours from here which I would love to try.

    • Chef Damien profile image

      Damien Donaldson 5 years ago from EL PASO, TX.

      I know the What-a-burger experience had to be awful........BUT give it another try. Unfortunately in the corprate-franchise world you have franchise owners riding off the hard work of other stores. The place you visited had no pride. Most shops you visit in Texas are incredible. I lived in a city where there was only two What-a-Burgers, with different owners, visited one and it was horrible (the food and service), the other store however was what I had come to expect from even late at night when the 'jones' burger jones hit, I'd drive past one to get to the other, and always woth the drive.

      I've eaaten at both, In-and-out is good, just doesn't compare to What-a-Burger.