Shake Shack vs In-N-Out: Our honest review after trying them back to back

Apr 12 2023, 6:09 pm

Shake Shack vs In-N-Out… it’s been a heated argument for a long time with passionate fans on both sides.

Typically, the West Coast rides for In-N-Out and the East Coast loves to represent Shake Shack. With the recent news that Shake Shack would be opening its first location in Canada, it has us excited but also hoping In-N-Out might be next.

So it got us thinking… which one really is better?

It’ll be interesting to see where the fandom lies here in Canada, but we just had to find out for ourselves. On a recent visit to Los Angeles, we tried both fast-food joints back to back, especially since they were directly across the street from each other.

Here is what we thought of each spot and which place we believe provided the better experience.

In-N-Out

In-N-Out

Dished Calgary

At In-N-Out, we ordered the classic Double-Double with American cheese, beef patties, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and a special spread. We also had fries, regular and animal-style, and a chocolate milkshake.

As far as fast-food burgers go, it was really great. It was fresh, hot, and well-dressed. It’s easy to see why these California burgers have become such a household name. The fries, interestingly enough, were very bad. They were chalky, lukewarm, and flavourless. Getting them animal-style (topped with cheese sauce, In-N-Out secret spread, and grilled onions) is absolutely necessary.

From the uniforms to the retro decor to the secret menu to the iconic packaging, the experience didn’t let us down.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack

Dished Calgary

At Shake Shack, we had the ShackBurger (beef cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce on a toasted potato bun). It was a great comparison because it was so similar to the In-N-Out Double-Double. We have to say, this bite was so much better. The toppings were just as fresh, but the bun was bigger and better toasted. More than anything, the burger patty was seasoned and smashed to perfection, creating crispy edges.

The crinkle-cut fries are admittedly not great, but still better than you-know-where. We also had a beer for a drink because these spots are licensed.

The Verdict

Really, it depends on what you’re looking for.

If you want the classic burger joint experience from a well-known spot, then In-N-Out offers much more atmosphere. Shake Shack has less identity, but the ability to sit down and also have a drink with friends is appealing to many.

If you just want to know who has the best food… then we have to recommend Shake Shack.

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