Fans say this regional burger chain you’ve probably never heard of has the best food in America


If you’re a burger lover from the Pacific Northwest, you know Burgerville.

While classic chains such as McDonald’s and In-N-Out dominated Foursquare’s state-by-state analysis of the most popular fast-food chains in America, Oregon has a favourite that is unfamiliar to most of the country: Burgerville. 

The 40-unit chain is known for its fresh food and local ingredients, making it a mega hit in Oregon and Washington. However, while the better burger market seems pretty stuffed with competition, Burgerville is no newcomer — the first location opened in 1961.

The menu is filled with high-quality takes on traditional fast-food fare, with an emphasis on local foods. According to Burgerville, 72% of ingredients come from within 400 miles of headquarters in Vancouver, Washington.

The burgers’ beef is antibiotic-free, never frozen, and raised on a cooperative of family ranches in the Pacific Northwest. Dairy for milkshakes is sourced from regional farms.

The menu also has some items that you wouldn’t find at most fast-food joints, like the Wild Smoked Salmon and Hazelnut Salad and the vegetarian Anasazi Bean Burger.


Burgerville serves up a variety of seasonal sides, including fried asparagus and super-thick Walla Walla onion rings.

The chain’s commitment to sustainability goes beyond the menu. Burgerville recycles cooking oil into biodiesel and purchases wind energy credits equivalent to 100% of the power used at the corporate office and restaurants.

The one drawback of the local food model is that it creates difficulty when it comes to growing the business outside of the Pacific Northwest. As a result, the chain has focused on appealing to potential customers in Oregon or Washington — including those just travelling through the states.

Burgerville sign

When nearing the edge of Burgerville territory on highways, the chain has posted signs warning drivers that, should they continue, they will be passing the last Burgerville for more than 24,000 miles. For those travelling by plane, the chain has a different solution — Hydroflask stainless steel containers to keep milkshakes cold for up to eight hours, sold at the Portland airport location.

The regional chain has a few other quirks that make it unique. For example, it’s one of the few fast-food chains to allow bikes at drive-thrus, as well as a rare chain with unionized workers. 

These peculiarities seem to be part of what makes Burgerville lovers so passionate about the chain. 

Burgerville may not expand beyond the Pacific Northwest anytime soon. However, if you’re in the area, Oregonians believe that you can’t find a better burger anywhere else. 

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