The Worst Burger in Town

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There are probably a few dives and badly-run mom and pops out there who cook a cheaper, more tasteless product than Five Guys, but for sheer, over-hyped, under-seasoned and un-melted blandness, nothing beats this bastard:

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So devoid of beef or burger taste was it, that ELV and the Food GalĀ® immediately high-tailed it across the street to Smashburger:

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….which follows the same smash-grilling template as FG (originally popularized by Steak ‘N Shake, btw), but grinds and grills a hamburger that at least seems to share some DNA with real beef.

We wouldn’t be heaping all this opprobrium on a paltry burger if Five Guys hadn’t ridden into town a few years ago haling itself as the second coming of the cheeseburger. But two recent trips there (yes, we are gluttons for punishment in the name of keeping our burger street cred), confirmed that it is popular for the same reason waste dumps like Firefly are: price. Five bucks gets you two patties of burger-like protein, and that’s enough to satisfy the hoi polloi.

Its fans may be many, but its flavors are few, and if you keep your eyes wide shut while you’re chewing one, ELV guarantees you will not be able to distinguish a single wisp of even the vaguest steak flavor. Go ahead, we dare you….

On second thought, just like its owners, don’t give the taste of Five Guys a second thought. And why waste a dime here?

Instead, if you’re in the Lake Mead and Buffalo area, cruise on over to Marche Bacchus for this pantheon of protein:

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…or traipse a few miles south to Hualapai and Charleston, where a Poshburger pretty awaits your mastication.

But if all you care about is cost*, then we suggest some frozen sliders from White Castle.

Anything but Five Guys.


2620 Regatta Drive.

Las Vegas, NV89128



9921 West Charleston Blvd.

Las Vegas, NV 89506




(You’re on your own, sucker**.)


* In all the world there is nothing that some man cannot make a little worse and sell a little cheaper, and those who consider price alone are this man’s lawful prey. – John Ruskin

** see above

15 thoughts on “The Worst Burger in Town

  1. I never expected the 5 Guys quality to change since the first time I at there [and you reviewed them a few weeks later].
    AND it hasn’t.

  2. Do you know the name and has anyone tried the burger joint next to the gas station next to Boot Barn on LV BLVD?

  3. Since that time we met at BLT for lunch, I’ve always considered you a “burger buddy”…I can’t believe you hit up three burger joints within a stone’s throw of us and didn’t call us to join you…we are overdue for a meal!

  4. I tried Five Guys once about two years ago (maybe three) and once was plenty. I was sick to my stomach for two days after that garbage. I’ll stick with In-N-Out when I’m looking for a quick, cheap burger in town.

  5. I think with the chains it goes by the franchise and who operates it. The FG in my area is good, while the Smashburger is enedible. But the Black Label burger that I had at Minetta Tavern in NY a few days ago is the gold standard against which all should be measured.

  6. I spoke to the burger maven and he disagrees with you. Sorry.
    Is Fatburger better than either of those two Chains? Yes.
    But that does not mean that five guys is terrible.

  7. Since The Staff hales from the original home of 5 Guys, I have to weigh in here.

    First, that just looks like bad quality control. We were worried in the D.C. area when 5 guys expanded locally, but apparently their expansion nationally was even more thin with an obvious lack of quality.

    I can only eat there seasonally (read: 4x a year max) because I want to be alive until my kids finish college, but I’ve never seen a burger from them that sloppy. Here they are juicy, the cheese melts in, and they all look you’d expect an above average burger to look.

    They aren’t the greatest burgers, but better than the mass fast food fare. Sorry you all out west aren’t getting the best they have to offer. But you have In ‘n’ Out (which I get every time I travel out west), so things could be worse.

  8. Boy, doesn’t that limp slice of Kraft American Cheese look good. Rachael Ray saysFive Guys Burgers are “Yummo.”

  9. I first tried Five Guys several years back when visiting family on the east coast. And I have to say, it was a damn tasty burger. Not compared to a good, restaurant gourmet burger, but for fast food, it was very good. So I was excited when they started popping up out here on the west coast. But… I’ve been disappointed every time I’ve tried them out here. It is like they forgot to bring along the flavor when they moved across the country.

  10. Five guys suck….quit frankly so does In n out.

    i have eaten at 3 FG in Vegas, and in Alberta Canada. All 3 times at the insistence of a friend who loves them. They have no taste!!! If you go to the market and get regular ground beef and make a patty with nothing added it has more taste than this. WFT is the deal, no salt…. nothing, devoid of taste.

    Ended up at In n out one early morning after spending the evening at the strip with friends from out of town. Stopped in for some “soakage” (lots of bourbon on board)
    Had a double cheese and could not taste one….not one bit of beef. Tasted of tomato, lettuce mustard but no beef. My wife says we will never go back.

    Smashburger is our spot. In a strip mall by Albertson’s on the corner of Sahara and Ft Apache, just a few blocks from the house. Beefy and tasty. When I get the large burger and there is some nicely cooked beef hanging out of the bun it actually has a great smell to it. That tallowy beefy smell. They use some seasoning and the beef they grind must have some fat in it to give it this great taste.

    On a bad hangover morning which seems to happen often at a vacation home nothing like their Vegas special with a soft fried egg to get me out of my funk. Of course, rinsed down with a PBR. Because you can’t be drunk all day unless you start in the morning.

    Marche’s is outstanding John…PJ Clarks has served me a couple of great burgers as well.


  11. I was invited to the pre-opening of the Smashburger here. I asked the regional manager about the meat. He said they used a mix of 75% chuck and 25% shank in the beef. Even if that’s not exact, it’s a mix of cuts designed to create real flavor. I wonder how much of 5 guys is “lean finely textured beef”. It sure doesn’t have flavor.

  12. And they have NO MILKSHAKES! How Anti-American to sell a burger without the availability of a milkshake, even a crappy one would suffice to go along with their crappy burger and even worse fries.

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