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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

Okay, I know they’re both great, but there’s some extra pros and cons for each restaurant. I absolutely love both, but this is a common argument my Midwestern self has with my West Coast friends. 

Let’s break it down into a few categories: 

1. The Vibes 

                            via Yelp

Let’s be real, In-N-Out vibes out do Shake Shack’s any day. Your plane just landed in the West Coast, you finally feel the sun beaming on you for the first time in months, what better way to start your vacation than to go to one of the country’s favorite burger joints? The classic diner look is also a perfect place to have a quick photoshoot! 

2. The Fries 

                            via Fast Company

I’m sorry to those who love thin and crispy fries, but Shake Shack’s crinkle cut fries are unbeatable. For some reason every time I’ve gone to In-N-Out, the fries are extremely cold and dry, but maybe I’ve just gotten unlucky every time. I know what you’re thinking… how can regular crinkle cut fries beat animal style fries? I won’t deny it, I love animal style fries, but if we’re comparing them just plain and simple, I’m going to have to go with Shake Shack’s. 

3. The Sweets 

                            via Eater Vegas

I will eat just about anything with chocolate involved and be happy with it, so it was hard for me to narrow this one down. But, I figured out the two deciding factors: 1. In-N-Out uses ice cream, while Shake Shack uses frozen custard. 2. In-N-Out only offers shakes, but at Shake Shack, you can choose between concrete mixers, shakes, floats, or just a regular cup of custard. Personally, I will ALWAYS choose frozen custard over ice cream, but In-N-Out’s shake is a must have for me every time I travel to the West Coast. 

4. The Quality of the Burgers 

                            via Eater LA

To be honest, learning about this was shocking to me. In-N-Out makes all of their hamburger patties themselves and delivers them fresh to their stores. Not to mention, they are 100% USDA ground chuck and free of additives and preservatives. They don’t even have freezers or microwaves. They also get potatoes delivered to them from a farm and cut them individually in their stores, right before getting cooked in sunflower oil. Shake Shack’s meat is 100% all-natural angus beef and hormone and antibiotic free, and served on a non-GMO potato roll. This is honestly the only information they share about their meat, so I’m going to have to go with In-N-Out. 

5. Options 

                           via Evan Sung

Even though most people enjoy burgers, we all have that picky friend or family member. In-N-Out has a pretty basic menu; burgers, fries, and shakes. Like I mentioned earlier about the sweets, Shake Shack also has a variety of meats and entrees. In addition to their burgers, they have a crispy chicken sandwich made from 100% all-natural cage free chicken and hot dogs made with 100% all-natural Vienna beef- both with no hormones or antibiotics. If there’s someone in your group who doesn’t want beef, Shake Shack is definitely your place of choice! 


So, now that I’ve made you over-analyze a burger and fries, which do you prefer? 



Melody Benyamin

Illinois State '20

Melody Benyamin is a 20-year-old mass media management major at Illinois State University. Fashion, food, travel, and pop culture are just a few of her passions.
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