"Let's start with the appetizer" may not be something you'd say when dining in or ordering takeout at the Shake Shack or In-N-Out. But it's something you might consider if you can't eat a whole lot of food for whatever reason it may be—whether it's because you have a small appetite or you're trying to lose weight with the help of exercise and weight loss pills like, say, green coffee bean extract.
Anyways, it's not about how much you're eating or will eat at these two fast-food establishments but about the order. Not all orders are the same, and I may not always order the latest food trend that everyone has been ordering as of late. There's always something unique or ordinary about an order, so this list will solely be written on my opinions of these establishments. Obviously, I'm going to lean more towards one side over the other, but please don't give me a lot of unnecessary crud and just leave me a comment in the comments section. I'm just here to describe the items, then break them down with an eccentric edge for your reading pleasure.
Now, let's get to the main course and go over a debatable topic—Shake Shack vs. In-N-Out: the ultimate showdown of each of their top 10 menu items. Oh, and I just want to give you all a heads up, as you might end up craving a sweet dessert after checking out my compare-and-contrast list of items.
20 In-N-Out: Hamburger
There's nothing quite like a traditional hamburger, and In-N-Out can cook up a Hamburger when your hamburger cravings hit. In-N-Out's Hamburgers are no frills, as the single beef patty between toasted buns comes with the standard toppings: lettuce, tomato, onion, and of course, special sauce.
So if you got a little time to spare and want a fresh-cooked hamburger, you should stop by In-N-Out for a Hamburger by itself or as a part of a meal combination with fries and a drink. You can't go wrong with the classics, and In-N-Out's Hamburger can justify a classic item on a menu.
19 Shake Shack: Hamburger
Shake Shack's version of the good old Hamburger may resemble In-N-Out's Hamburger. The obvious similarity is that it's called a "Hamburger," and it, too, comes with standard toppings: lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion; plus cheese or applewood smoked bacon.
The Hamburger, however, can be ordered with one or two beef patties, depending on how much you can eat in a single sitting. There's no "hidden menu" required like In-N-Out, who should make things simple with a more extensive menu for all its customers. I believe in delicious, fresh burgers, and the Hamburger can satisfy my hunger and let me make it my own without all the frills of a sit-down restaurant.
18 In-N-Out: Cheeseburger
It's time to take things up a notch and talk about In-N-Out's Cheeseburger, which is basically a Hamburger with a slice of cheese. Like the Hamburger, the Cheeseburger can be ordered alone or with fries and a drink, but I'm fairly sure it can hit the spot when you're craving a cheeseburger for any reason from your love for cheese to just because you like the concept of a cheeseburger.
The In-N-Out Cheeseburger can also be the life of the party if you're ordering a mass order for your group of friends.
17 Shake Shack: ShackBurger
Shake Shack offers an item called the "ShackBurger" on its menu. The ShackBurger is basically a single or double cheeseburger topped with lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce. It sort of resembles In-N-Out's Double-Double, which I'll take a look at later on.
You may or may not have the nerve to eat a ShackBurger, but I can guarantee you one thing and that's the probable chance that you'll end up liking it more than you originally expected. I don't see how you could hate on the ShackBurger unless if you'd describe yourself as a vegetarian or vegan who doesn't eat red meat.
16 In-N-Out: Animal-Style Fries
You may already know you can order your burger animal style at In-N-Out, but did you know that you can order your fries animal style, too?
Like Shake Shack's cheese fries, In-N-Out's fries also come with cheese. But animal style will kick things up a notch, as the staff members will put extra sauce and grilled onions on your fries. So, if you like your fries saucy, go for this "hidden menu" option. You can thank us later if you manage to avoid the side effects of a food coma.
15 Shake Shack: Cheese Fries
Yep, Shake Shack's Cheese Fries look a little bit plain compared to In-N-Out's animal-style fries, but you should give them a chance, as they're generously topped with Shake Shack's special blend of cheddar and cheese sauce.
There's no doubt that cheese lovers across the country will fall head over heels for Shake Shack's Cheese Fries, as they certainly aren't lacking in cheese, and they can turn out to be your new addiction on the existing Shake Shack menu. Just make a quick note to remind yourself that you shouldn't eat these every day, as they're 710 calories per serving.
14 In-N-Out: Double-Double
In-N-Out's Double-Double sort of reminds me of a double ShackBurger at Shake Shack. I mean, it comes with two beef patties on toasted buns with lettuce, onions, two cheese slices, special sauce, and tomato. What's not to like or love about a plus-size burger?
Well, if you're not a heavy eater, you can eat half of the Double-Double and wrap the other half to save for dinner. You don't have to rush through the entire burger in one sitting, but you might want to give it a try if you're out and about in the West Coast. You're welcome, my friend.
13 Shake Shack: Shack Stack
If you're a burger aficionado, then you're going to appreciate the Shake Shack concept of the Shack Stack, which is a beloved combination of a Cheeseburger and a 'Shroom Burger topped with lettuce, tomato, and Shack Sauce.
The Shack Stack may be a little too huge for you, but if you're serious about your burgers, then you're likely not going to mind its large size. Why's that? Because you love burgers too much to pay attention to the little details like the toppings, flavors, and sizes. And if you're blessed with a really huge appetite, this burger will hit the spot.
12 In-N-Out: Grilled Cheese
In-N-Out's "hidden menu" isn't that hidden, so let me tell you about their Grilled Cheese, which features two slices of melted cheese, hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, spread, and your choice of onions or no onions on a freshly baked bun.
So, if you're not a big fan of beef patties, you might want to try the Grilled Cheese, which will likely work wonders for your taste buds. I mean, who wouldn't grin at the thought of melted cheese topped with fresh vegetables between a freshly baked bun? I certainly wouldn't, but then again, I'm biased when it comes to cheese.
11 Shake Shack: SmokeShack
For those of you who like classic flavors, the SmokeShack at Shake Shack will do the trick. The Smoke Shack is a single or double Cheeseburger topped with all-natural applewood smoked bacon, chopped cherry pepper, and ShackSauce. It's chock full of smoky, spicy, and creamy flavors that'd make you say something along the lines of "Oh my, Smoke Shack!"
That being said, the Smoke Shack is a culinary creation that'd make even the coldest of New Yorkers crack a smile. And the latter means a lot, considering the fun fact that it was founded and headquartered in New York City.
10 In-N-Out: Protein Style
Health-conscious Californians love to order their burgers protein style every chance they get. In-N-Out is one of the few places that can substitute the bun with hand-leafed lettuce to wrap your favorite burger in. Don't forget Red Robin's Wedgie Burger.
But let's focus on In-N-Out, a fast-food chain that can accommodate your dietary needs. Whether you're a vegetarian, vegan, a sufferer of celiac disease, or a dieter on a low-carb diet, In-N-Out can certainly work with your needs and won't judge you for an atypical alteration to an item that's been deemed as the norm in America's food culture.
9 Shake Shack: 'Shroom Burger
If you like mushrooms as much as I do, you're going to like the 'Shroom Burger at Shake Shack. The 'Shroom Burger will give you a whole new meaning to a mushroom burger. Instead of a beef patty topped with sauteed mushrooms on a bun, this burger boasts a crisp-fried portobello mushroom stuffed with melted muenster and cheddar cheese. It comes with lettuce, tomato, and Shack Sauce.
That being said, you're not going to sacrifice flavor for nutrition, as the 'Shroom Burger is the total package with its freshly cooked vegetables for their respective vitamins and minerals and its cheese slices for calcium. It's a vegetarian option that doesn't feel like a compromise at all.
8 In-N-Out: 3X3
The 3X3, also known as the "Triple Triple," at In-N-Out was built with the people with triple-sized appetites in mind.
So yeah, the 3x3 or Triple Triple features three 100% beef patties, hand-leafed lettuce, tomato, spread, and three slices of cheese stacked high on a freshly baked bun. Onions are an optional topping, so when you order in the front, just tell the cashier that you want or don't want onions on your 3X3, Triple Triple, or whatever you want to call it. Hey, we won't judge, as everyone has their likes and dislikes, including all of us at TheRecipe!
7 Shake Shack: Chick'n Shack
Flock over to Shake Shack if you're craving a crispy chicken sandwich! I'm darn sure that you'll enjoy the sandwich and the experience of the establishment.
I mean, you can't go wrong with crispy chicken in any given entree, and the Chick'n Shack is yet another example of crispy chicken done just right! The Chick'n Shack boasts a crispy chicken breast with lettuce, pickles, and buttermilk herb mayo on a bun. It's fun in a bun, and it might be so good that it'll cause you to cluck like a chicken. Just kidding. But I'm pretty sure that you'll grin after the first bite.
6 In-N-Out: 4X4
The 4X4, also known as the "Quad Quad," is the biggest of the biggest burgers sold in In-N-Out. It was specifically created with the quadruple-sized appetites in mind. So, if you're looking to go the distance, order this burger the next time you're making a food run at In-N-Out.
The 4X4 or Quad Quad features four 100% beef patties, hand-leafed lettuce,tomato, spread, and four slices of cheese stacked high on a freshly baked bun. Onions are optional, so have no fear. You're not going to cry tears when you bite into this burger. You might have to eat it slowly, though.
5 Shake Shack: Flat-Top Dogs
I've talked so much about burgers that I almost forgot to start the hot dog talk. But it's better late than never, right?
Anyways, Shake Shack started out in one of the most humble ways possible: as a hot dog cart! Yes, a hot dog cart! Its roots grew in Madison Square Park in New York City and turned into one of the biggest burger chains in the world. Since the inception of Shake Shack in 2004, countless staff members have served up burgers, shakes, and much more to their beloved customers. Please put the Shake Shack on your bucket list of foodie finds.
4 In-N-Out: Shakes
In-N-Out is better known for their burgers, but don't forget about their shakes if you're looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth!
In-N-Out Shakes are made with real ice cream and come in three flavors: chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla. Of course, you can order a Neopolitan Shake off the "hidden menu" if that's more your thing, but I'm going to stick with the good old Vanilla Shake because, well, vanilla is my favorite flavor, and that'd be my first choice if I'm going to order some sweet ice cream for dessert after eating a delicious meal at the establishment.
3 Shake Shack: Frozen Custard
Look out, In-N-Out Shakes! The Shack Shack offers Frozen Custard on its menu, which is an alternative to the typical ice cream or soft serve served in fast-food restaurants.
On their website, the Shake Shack described their Frozen Custard as their dense, rich, and creamy frozen custard that's the real deal–spun fresh daily at the Shack! Their vanilla and chocolate recipes use only real sugar, no corn syrup, and milk from dairy farmers who pledge not to use artificial growth hormones. Their fudge sauce and caramel sauce have zero shelf-life lengtheners. They also dared you not to like it.
Need I say more?
2 In-N-Out: Root Beer Floats
In-N-Out's Root Beer Floats are yet another "hidden menu" item that you should be aware of. The delicious combination of root beer and vanilla soft serve ice cream has withstood the test of time, which is a good sign.
Moreover, the Root Beer Floats are likely to give you goosebumps in a good way, as it'll feel like you're a kid again. Ah, the good old days when you didn't have to be worried about the real world. The nostalgic feeling won't last forever, but at least you'll be in your own little world for a little bit. That's better than adulting all the time.
1 Shake Shack: Concretes
Don't worry—Shake Shack's Concretes don't actually have concrete in them. Now, you can breathe a sigh of relief.
The Concretes are for the Frozen Custard lovers who want a little something extra than just Frozen Custard. Concretes are a dense frozen custard blended at a high speed with mix-ins that you can choose yourself or off a selection of signature combinations. They come in single and double sizes, so there's absolutely no need for you to worry about whether or not you can finish the entire dessert in one setting after finishing up your go-to order at the establishment.