The Worst Burger Chains in America

Worst Burger Chains

Cheapism / Zoel M./Diamond G./Yelp / Wilder Shaw

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Worst Burger Chains
Cheapism / Zoel M./Diamond G./Yelp / Wilder Shaw

Bad Beef

Americans eat 50 billion burgers each year. That averages out to about three per person each week, according to the USDA. Some of them are bound to be terrible. 

We shouldn't have to put up with hockey puck beef, crumbling buns, and paper-thin tomato slices, but we've all experienced them. If you want to avoid that horrible fate, it's probably best to steer clear of these national burger chains, which aren't exactly known for their high-quality offerings. (While you're at it, avoid these pizza chains, too.)

White caste sliders yelp
Diamond G. / Yelp

1. White Castle

Though the company touts itself on being America's first fast food burger chain, White Castle doesn't exactly live up to that venerated position. People joke about the chain's sliders all the time, including that they're called sliders because they slide right through you. Not sure about you, but we prefer our beef thicker than a dime and with a little color on it, not a tiny greasy sandwich packed with onions and gray slime. So when see this chain on the side of the road, we keep driving. 

Burger King bad Whopper
Molly H./Yelp

2. Burger King

We know that someone must be going to Burger King, because the chain still exists. We just don't have any idea who because absolutely no one seems to like it. Its heyday was definitely the 1990s, and it's been steadily declining even since (especially once they debuted the creepiest mascot of all time). The beef is always dry and tasteless, the grill marks look painted on, and the components are haphazardly thrown together. Paper crowns and french toast sticks are all that's keeping BK in business.

Related: 'Absolutely Abhorrent': 7 Items You Should Never Order at Burger King

Rally's cheeseburger yelp
Zoel M. / Yelp

3. Checkers

Also called Rally's in some parts of the U.S., Checkers is the most forgettable burger — let alone fast food chain — around. The Big Buford is the signature burger here, but it's more of a big letdown than anything else, with way too much bland, dry beef and three different condiments to try and make up for it. There's even a burger that they put fries on as a topping, but if your burger needs fries to make it palatable, you should have already given up.

Plain SONIC Cheeseburger
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

4. Sonic

Who doesn't like an old fashioned drive-in, right? Burgers are the main draw, so they should be top notch. But at Sonic, they're almost always terrible, and it just makes us sad. Sure, the carhop service is fun and nostalgic, but somehow the order is always wrong, so don't be surprised when your burger is missing half its toppings, or they left those onions on when you ordered it without. The idea of Sonic is fantastic, but the actual food, especially the burgers, is subpar at best.

Related: Sonic's Revived Slush May Leave a Sour Taste in Your Mouth

Jack in the Box burger yelp
Shenna W. / Yelp

5. Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box is well known for catering to the late-night munchies crowd, and well, stoners are not known for being picky. This chain survives by being one of the only places open at all hours of the night, when its audience is captive and has few other options. There's about a million things on the menu, from eggrolls to chicken fajita pitas, which never bodes well for the humble hamburger. If you're three edibles deep and absolutely need to get something here, stick to the deep fried goodies.

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Dairy queen cheeseburger yelp
Jake S. / Yelp

6. Dairy Queen

Considering the only dairy ingredient on a burger might be cheese, it's probably for the best to stick to dessert at Dairy Queen. Lots of locations don't even serve hot food at all, so it feels like an afterthought addition to the chain. The burgers are positively boring, and the only standard toppings are pickles, ketchup, and mustard. If you want anything else on there, you've got to order a deluxe with deluxe prices. Save your money and get a bigger Blizzard instead.