TODAY the Chester Standard’s news team starts the search for Chester’s best burger.

Although the exact origin of the hamburger will never be agreed upon, the simple combination of a beef patty served in a bun has become one of the UK’s favourite meals.

The Big Mac and the Whopper have become part of our shared culinary experience, and our language, and each has its supporters.

But the Standard team, always hungry for news, have set themselves the mission of finding out once and for all which is the best burger available in Chester.

The Fabulous Burger Boys, Steve Creswell, Mark Dowling and Matt Warner, started the quest with the newest burger joint to open in the city; Five Guys on Bridge Street.

Five Guys, established by five guys from the Murrell family in Virginia in 1986, is a recent addition to UK High Streets, with the first restaurant opening in Covent Garden on July 4, 2013.

Five Guys's self-proclaimed USP is the use of the freshest ingredients (the local farms the beef and potatoes were sourced from is displayed in the restaurants) and the almost limitless ways you can customise your burger.

On entering, the restaurant has a sense of authenticity. This could be the burger joint in your favourite American teen comedy, run by Mom and Pop, with orders brought to you by a waitress on roller skates. Except it’s not, it’s a chain and if you’ve been in one Five Guys you’ll know what to expect in all the others. And here’s what to expect:

Burger rating

Matt: The first thing that hits you is the choice. From the starting blocks of burger, cheeseburger or bacon cheeseburger, there are a whole host of vegetables, salad and sauces to make your ultimate burger. I went for a bacon cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and barbecue sauce. First impressions when the burger arrives on the counter is that it’s a beast, you can feel the weightiness wrapped in the ubiquitous silver foil. As for taste, let’s just say this is a tasty burger. The patties, cooked in peanut oil, are moist and juicy, and there is a reassuring taste of freshness as your chosen combination forms a satisfying taste sensation in your mouth. It really feels like its at least one level up from your normal franchise burger. 8/10

Steve: I'm already a fully signed-up Five Guys fan so I knew I was in for a treat. For me, a burger must be a burger. And by that I mean you must be able to eat it without deconstructing it - so no foot-high creations with a huge cocktail stick running through the middle please. Five Guys knows this and ensures you can (just about) get your mouth around it regardless of the number of toppings. I went for jalapenos, bacon, fried onions and ketchup - and it was lip-smackingly good as always. 9/10

Mark: Surprising as it may seem, I'd never sampled any Five Guys food before, burgers or otherwise, so I did not know what to expect. The number of combinations of burger toppings you could have must run into hundreds of thousands (thankfully 'hundreds of thousands' is not included as a topping on the list). I kept my cheeseburger relatively simple with a combination of lettuce, mushrooms, ketchup and mustard. The two beef patties definitely add to the weight and offer excellent taste – not too greasy, not too unhealthy, but superbly filling and a step up from the typical burger offerings elsewhere. At nearly eight pounds, it needs to be. 8/10

Five Guys cheeseburger with fries and Oreo milkshake


Matt: It might be strange to say that the fries taste like potatoes, but they really do. They aren’t some homogenised, artificially golden sticks but proper fresh cut fries. Ready salted, but not so much to overpower the overall taste, the fries come in great numbers. When I’d worked through the bag fries, I felt like I’d eaten a whole order – but I hadn’t even started the stuffed cup that came with the meal.

The shakes are also worthy of mention. So thick that your straw stands up in them and available in a staggering number of flavour blends. I went with simple strawberry, which was a refreshingly sweet accompaniment to the burger and fries. 9/10

Steve: I don't usually have fries when I visit Five Guys as I know how filling the burgers are - but I made an exception on this occasion. I ordered 'normal' size and was amazed at the size of the portion - my cup was overflowing and there were a good couple of handfuls left in the bottom of the bag too! Better than any other 'high street' fast food fries in my opinion. I also went for a vanilla and peanut butter shake, which was amazing. I couldn't finish it 'on site', so I took it back to the office to polish off at a leisurely pace throughout the afternoon. Divine. 9/10

Mark: I too was impressed by the portion of the fries – a 'regular' serving was more than enough for me given the accompanying burger I'd also had to tackle. The fries are also well cooked, not limp or soggy, and would have been perfect – if they hadn't had way too much salt placed on them. There was nothing to fault the Oreo cookies milkshake though – filling, delicious and brilliantly thick, an absolute treat. 8/10

Five Guys cheeseburger, fries and strawberry milkshake

Service and value for money

Matt: Service is simple and efficient. You make your order and are given your receipt with an order number. When your order is called, you pick up your food at the counter whether you have chosen to eat in and take away.

The one downside to Five Guys is the price. My burger, fries and shake cost £18.70. Compare this to items on the McDonald's Saver Menu and you are looking at a significantly bigger hole in your wallet. But, that said, you do get more burger for your buck. After my Five Guys at lunch I didn’t eat anything more than a biscuit for the rest of the day. 6/10

Steve: The quality of the ingredients at Five Guys is way above standard fast food, but then so is the price. You don't get much change from a £20 note if you want a burger, fries and shake. This is undeniably expensive - more in line with restaurant prices really - but I can't stress how filling it all is. I had mine for lunch at around 1pm and didn't need to eat for the rest of the day! The service in the Chester branch was great and all the staff were very friendly. Having watched too many Hollywood films I'm a sucker for the whole 'American diner' vibe too, so I'd say overall the experience and food is worth the money. 8/10

Mark: The price of the meal remains by biggest downer on the review, as the price of my meal – £7.95 for the burger, £4.50 for fries and £5.25 for a milkshake – is pretty steep, and rivals what I would pay for a pub meal. Each course is undeniably very satisfying and goes out of its way to be filling (as my tiny chicken sandwich for that evening's dinner would attest), and the service was friendly and pretty quick. Take a pound off the price of each of these courses (and a couple of grams of salt off the fries) and this would've been a perfect meal I would go out of my way to endorse to anyone within hearing distance. As it is, I'd say it's firm-ishly recommended, and I don't think that's enough for me to be quoted like the more famous people's quotes which adorn Five Guys's walls. 6/10

Five Guys' Chester Standard Burger Rating: 78.9

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