10 Fast Food Cheeseburgers Under $4 Ranked Worst To Best, According To Customers - Mashed (2024)

Restaurants Fast Food

10 Fast Food Cheeseburgers Under $4 Ranked Worst To Best, According To Customers - Mashed (1)

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ByAustin Doty/

With the rising cost of seemingly everything in 2024, it's relieving to know fast food restaurants arestill offering items for a handful of dollars. A go-to cheap bite for many fast food enthusiasts has always been the cheeseburger. Patrons know burgers to be easy to eat and delicious, and can often be as affordable as $4 or less.

Looking at fast food restaurants around the United States, we've ranked the best burgers available for less than $4 (please note that prices can vary depending on location). We looked at classics from chains like McDonald's and Wendy's as well as cult favorites from chains rising in popularity likeIn-N-Out Burgerand Culver's. We made sure to cover a range of different burger configurations, too, looking at everything from double patties and added strips of bacon to sliders and junior burgers. To rank each one fairly, we considered the total value, quality of ingredients, quantity of food, and, most of all, took a look at what customers have said about each burger.

10. Wendy's Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger

10 Fast Food Cheeseburgers Under $4 Ranked Worst To Best, According To Customers - Mashed (2)

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In our locale, Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger from Wendy'sispriced at $3.09and includes a beef patty, American cheese, applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise, all served on a bun.First introduced in 1989, this item has been a go-to for Wendy's patrons for decades. It's won customers over with its high-quality meats, fresh produce, and, of course, strips of bacon.

While this burger is said to be flavorful and built with quality ingredients, it is ranked at the bottom of this list because the value just isn't there. Even with its low cost, this is one of the smaller burgers you can find for the price. The strip of bacon is nice, but quite a few reviewers would have preferred another patty in its place. As one reviewer writing onTheImpulsiveBuylaments, "The small size doesn't balance the extra meat. Felt the same way about the Son of Baconator". And anotherpatron writing on Redditclaims that the burgers "were always small but now they are just not worth buying anymore." On a list of value burgers, that's a pretty bad sign.

9. Burger King Bacon Double Cheeseburger

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Burger King is a bit like air: you always know it's around but hardly acknowledge it. Unlike air, however, Burger King isn't essential to your health. Neither is it necessarily as relevant as it once was, at least according to some disappointed reviewers of its value menu.

One Burger King item that remains popular today, despite the chain's steady decrease in patrons each year, is its Bacon Double Cheeseburger, which was available near us for the price of $3.59. This burger includes two beef patties, smoked bacon, and two layers of American cheese served on a sesame seed bun. "[It's] is the best value in fast food," says X user @kemelios. "I get two, transfer the pickles and bacon from one to the other, and give my dogs the remaining patties as a treat. Then I get a yummy burger." However, some may find the dog food comparison awkward at best.

However, even with that value, some patrons are convinced Burger King burgers aren't worth the time no matter the cost, largely due to its less than stellar ingredients. As one commenter on Quora puts it, "[Burger King] gives you great coupons and all of that but it's not even worth the effort to use these coupons because the food is so bad how do you like to eat shoe leather [and] have a couple of dabs of lettuce." Others have complained about wimpy toppings portions and subpar flavor.

8. Carl's Jr. Double Cheeseburger

When it comes to burgers that pack a punch at a low price, few have a better value to offer than Carl's Jr., known for girthy burgers built with more flavor than your typical fast food joint. That said, it's not always value and quantity that matter most to consumers.

Looking at Carl's Jr.'s Double Cheeseburger — made of two charbroiled all-beef patties, American cheese, onions, ketchup, mustard, and dill pickles on a plain bun — we unfortunately find one of the smaller value burgers on the market. That's all the worse when it barely qualifies here for the price of $3.99. Some reviewers have noted that it's also little more than a downsized double cheeseburger.

The biggest issue with this burger is that it pits itself against In-N-Out Burger's cult favorite, the vaunted Double-Double (which hit first place on our ranking of In-N-Out's menu items). Any fast food restaurant that tries to rival the legendary California burger joint is going to fall short. Certainly, disappointed customers tend to agree. "It's a pale imitation of an In-N-Out double-double," comments a Reddit user.

7. Jack in the Box Jumbo Jack Cheeseburger

When a burger joint is more known for tacos than burgers, there's a bit to unpack. At Jack in the Box, even with a burger as big and cheap as the Jumbo Jack Cheeseburger (available for $3.99 near us), former patrons claim the quality of this restaurant and this menu item in particular has gone downhill.

"I used to love Jack in the Box," says one TripAdvisor user of the burger, which consists of a jumbo beef patty, lettuce, tomato, pickles, chopped onions, mayonnaise, and ketchup on a sesame seed bun.. "The last 3 or so times I've eaten there over the last couple of years it was disgusting ... The Patties don't taste the same like they did in 2008 or so. They taste fake."

Other patrons swear by the Jumbo Jack Cheeseburger. As one X user writes: "What does it mean when you can't get hungry unless you see a picture of a drive-thru cheeseburger like Jack in the Box jumbo jack w cheese?" This burger may not be everyone's favorite Jack in the Box menu item but its value isn't lost on everybody.

6. Checkers Double Fry Lovers Burger

Another establishment known to offer a bit more flavor than the average fast food joint is Checkers. As its website states, Checkers "was born out of the idea that boring and bland have no place in the burger world." Its Double Fry Lover's Burger — available close to us for $3.99 — works hard to capitalize on this sentiment, offering two hand-seasoned beef patties, American cheese, dill pickles, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and its Famous Seasoned Fries on a sesame seed bun. Yes, Checkers already puts fries on its burgers so that we don't have to.

Some patrons are totally sold on this burger stating they allow themselves to be put in a hypothetical food-induced coma just for the joy of eating this burger. "Checkers got the Best Food Ever RT," posts X user @_RyanFoxx, "*Wakes up from coma* I just had to have that Fry Lovers Double Burger didn't I?"

But not everyone buys into this burger's hype. One Reddit user states that the burger's fries "are massively over seasoned," arguing that "a good French fry doesn't need anything more than salt." Depending on your location, this burger may also squeak above the $4 threshold, dinging its value status.

5. White Castle Slider

10 Fast Food Cheeseburgers Under $4 Ranked Worst To Best, According To Customers - Mashed (7)

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There is a simple reason White Castle's classic slider — which is simply made up of a miniature steamed beef patty, grilled diced onions, and a small bun — sits so highly on this list. That's because you can typically get one for a mere dollar. In 2024, that is nearly unheard of. While some former dollar menu items have almost tripled in cost, this slider remains a stalwart of affordable fast food. White Castle is so affordable that it can sometimes be intimidating to customers, as one X user joyfully complains, "I had White Castle yesterday it was soooooo good I ordered 20 sliders and I ate 10 I had to make myself stop."

Even though this burger remains inexpensive in 2024, some can recollect an even cheaper version of the slider. "As a kid in the early 90s, I remember deals for 10 cents per slider" recalled one commenter on the r/whitecastle subreddit. It's also not exactly well-known for its quality, as numerous reviewers have called it out for serving up greasy burgers that aren't always seasoned properly — though at least many give the chain credit for at least serving up something a bit different.

4. Whataburger Jr.

It's not always easy deciding what the best burger in the nation is. But for many Texans, the answer has to be Whataburger. Founded in 1950 in the Lone Star State, Whataburger has become a favorite for many residents of Texas and neighboring states the chain has expanded into.

When it comes to affordable bites, the Whataburger Jr. stands out as an especially desirable option. Near us, it is priced at $3.59 and is made up of a fresh (never frozen )beef patty, a white bread bun, diced onions, iceberg lettuce, mustard, three pickles, two tomato slices, and special seasoning. "They have the best burger in town," says one TripAdvisor reviewer. "I like the grilled diced white onions and crispy fries ... Burger is always hot and fresh." However, currently only 13 states have Whataburger locations, making access tricky. Other reviews were complementary to the Whataburger Jr. burger, but admitted that it was still just fast food and perhaps it wasn't the best of the best (just don't say that out loud in Texas).

3. McDonald's McDouble

10 Fast Food Cheeseburgers Under $4 Ranked Worst To Best, According To Customers - Mashed (9)

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Clocking in at third from the top of this list is the McDouble from McDonald's. Few fast food items are as synonymous with value as the McDouble, as this girthy burger cost$1 just a decade ago. Though it has more than tripled in price since then –it now costs around $3.65, depending on your region– anyone surveying the market knows the value is still there. "I love this cheeseburger," a review fromChickAdvisorsays. "Quick lunchtime favorite. For a few bucks you get double patties with lots of fat for good energy."

While this burger does sit at the top of this list, that doesn't mean there aren't still complaints. The ingredients McDonald's uses heremaysurprise you, while patties are sometimes small compared to some of the bigger, more gourmet patties served up by the competition. As another review fromChickAdvisorsays regarding the McDouble, "I always get so disappointed with some of McDonald's burgers and this is one of those times. These burgers are small flat discs, barely a burger, with so many spices to make up for the lack of actual burgers. Buns are boring. Nothing exciting about this one!" That said, the value and nostalgia remains strong. The McDouble remains firmly in our hearts and the hearts of the millions of patrons McDonald's feeds every single day.

2. In-N-Out Burger's Double-Double

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When it comes to offering quality ingredients, few fast food restaurants do it better thanIn-N-Out Burger. The chain has been building a cult followingsince 1948and continues to win patrons over today with the Double-Double's consistent quality and simple configuration. "$4 for a burger is normal these days for a double hamburger," says one review fromTripadvisor. "A good value considering how filling it was."

This burger features two beef patties, two slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomato, onions, and In-N-Out's signature spread served on a toasted bun. You can also make many modifications to this burger thanks to some ofIn-N-Out's secret menu hacks.

What keeps this burger from reaching the top of this list? We might be splitting hairs by including it. If you add tax, as could likely apply in your state, then this burger is almost certainly going to cost you more than $4. That said, there are probably a few quarters you can dig up from the floor of your car to enjoy one of the best burgers the fast food industry has to offer.

1. Culver's ButterBurger with Cheese

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Culver's is slowly winning over the hearts of Americans coast-to-coast as it continues its expansion from the Midwest. Standing at the top of our list, its ButterBurger with cheese is one of the chain's more affordable options. Priced at $3.49, It is offered with a beef patty, cut from sirloin, chuck, and plate, as well as ketchup, mustard, red onion, pickles, and Wisconsin-made American cheese stacked on a buttered bun. This burger does a great job of showcasing Culver's fresh, high-quality ingredients and is breeding rabid burger fans. "Peter said in n outs burger was better than culvers butter burger," says @maagcity on X. "Any tips on how to break up with someone?"

With Culver's expansion and its devoted fanbase comes a lot of hype, and some fast food goers just aren't buying in. One Wisconsin transplant took to Reddit to state, "I really don't understand the love of Culver's burgers. They are super bland to me (just a mix of mayo and meh burger meat)." Yet they appear to be in the minority. Culver's affordable ButterBurger, built with high-quality ingredients, is readily finding its way into the hearts of Americans without demanding too much from their wallets.

Methodology

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In making this list, we took into consideration quality, patty size, taste, and — most importantly — what customers had to say about each burger. We considered opinions from around the internet, carefully combing through comments and reviews to find a consensus among cheap burger lovers.

We also considered the burger's history and what kind of cult following it has — for example, is the burger from a novel fast food chain you can't wait to finally access in your home state? Accessbility was also a factor — was the burger from a cornerstone restaurant that nearly all of us grew up with and enjoy eating at today?

10 Fast Food Cheeseburgers Under $4 Ranked Worst To Best, According To Customers - Mashed (2024)

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