Of all the burger chains in America, the one with arguably the biggest cult following may be In-N-Out Burger, with Shake Shack at a close second. There are 295 locations of the beloved chain nationwide, and while it may appear as if they’re all created equal, some are superior to others. We’ve found the top 10 locations of In-N-Out, ones that every devoted fan should add to their must-visit list.
The first In-N-Out opened in 1948 in Baldwin Park, Calif., a small stand with just enough room to prepare the burgers. Founders Harry and Esther Snyder had a novel idea: allow customers to drive directly up to the restaurant, order through a two-way speaker box, and be handed their meal without even getting out of their car. The original stand was demolished years ago in order to construct a freeway, but a near-exact replica was unveiled last month, complete with antique kitchen equipment, and it’s become a major tourist attraction.
In 1951, a second In-N-Out Burger opened, and by the time that Harry Snyder passed away in 1976, there were 18 locations. His sons Rich and Guy took over, each continuing to expand the chain while maintaining the strict quality and cleanliness levels that Harry implemented. Ninety-three locations were open by the time Guy passed away in 1993, and there were 140 when Rich passed away in 1999.
Today, the chain is run by Guy’s daughter, 31 year-old Lynsi Torres (née Snyder), and while she keeps a low profile for America’s youngest woman with a 10-digit net worth (about $500 million, according to Forbes) she’s doing a great job of carrying on her grandfather’s company. Her commitment to not change anything about the company has paid out in dividends, as the no-frills menu of burgers, fries, and shakes prepared with the freshest ingredients has bucked trends like breakfast, which just about every other chain is currently serving. All locations are also company-owned instead of franchised, and the need to be a truck’s drive from distribution centers means that all locations need to be west of the Mississippi, for now.
While uniformity is one of In-N-Out’s most prized assets, that doesn’t mean that every location is exactly alike, and some are superior to others. There’s the one that’s entirely outdoors, for example, and the two that also include company stores. Others boast spectacular views, and others are noteworthy just because they’re there, in a place where locals have been praying for one for years like Austin, Texas.
Read on to learn which In-N-Out Burger locations are the best.