Burger places are popping up all over Tucson - some gourmet, some casual.
The following are my picks for the top five in the fast food category.
I think Five Guys wins for best fast-food burger hands-down. The patties are juicy, the toppings are abundant, and the staff is cheerful and fast. My only beef (pun intended!) with Five Guys is that the fries are kind of boring, and they don't have a kids' meal option. But, they make up for their lack of sides with the fun soda dispensers, baskets of free peanuts, and the paper and crayons they hand to kids to keep them occupied.
Average burger price: about $6
Six locations in Tucson - most open 11am - 10pm every day.
Smashburger is my favorite fast food burger restaurant because of its many options. There are the delicious burgers (with scads of topping options!), chicken, hot dogs, and several vegetarian options including veggie burgers and salads. Where Smashburger really shines is in its sides: the smash fries, haystack onions, and veggie frites are all yummy. And you can't beat the delectable Haagen-Dazs milkshakes they have available for dessert (my favorite is the Oreo!). If you join the Smashclub, they periodically email you coupons.
Average burger price: about $6.
Three locations in Tucson - both open 10am - 10pm daily.
Serial Grillers is a food truck that serves delicious cheesesteaks, burgers, and grilled cheese. Their food titles include nods to famous serial killers, like the Boston Strangler Ribeye Cheesesteak, the Leatherface Angus Burger, and the Jason Veggie Sandwich. Their sides are "to die for" too: the fries are perfectly salted and the onion rings are crunchy and sweet. My only complaint is that the burgers can be a little heavy on the black pepper; but the service is fast, the guys are friendly, and the prices are cheap.
Average burger price: about $7.
Usually located at 22nd/Pantano - 7889 E. 22nd Street
Monday-Friday from 11am-7pm
Monkey Burger is a little pricier than some of the other options, but its casual vibe is similar to that of Smashburger. They pile on the toppings on their gourmet burgers so high that it has to be held together with a skewer; and they serve generous portions of yummy waffle fries on the side. In addition to a wide range of burgers, they offer salads, kid options, and a few vegetarian choices.
Average burger price: about $9
Located at 5350 East Broadway Blvd., Suite 128
Monday through Thursday - 11am to 8pm
Friday & Saturday - 11am to 9pm
Sunday - 12pm to 7pm
Best known as a taqueria, Papa Loco's offers amazing caramelos, delicious fish tacos, and huge breakfast burritos. But, they also produce several tasty burgers. The burgers are juicy and greasy, served on a big bun. And their service is really fast - if you call for carry-out they say things like, "We'll have that ready in about six minutes." The fries aren't great though - so pick a Mexican side to go with your burger next time!
Average burger price: about $5
Located at 8201 S. Rita Rd.
Open 8am - 8pm most days, later on weekends
What is your vote for the best fast food burger in Tucson?