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5 Best Fast Food Patty Melts

Fast food generally isn’t considered healthy, but patty melts take that concept to a new level. If you’re worried about your cholesterol or calorie consumption, you might want to choose another item on the menu. 

However, while cardiologists may disagree, treating your taste buds to a delicious patty melt now and then isn’t the worst thing in the world.

Today, we’re sharing five of the best fast food patty melts you can find. So get your stretchy pants ready.

Let’s dive in!

What Is a Patty Melt?

A patty melt is an American sandwich that consists of ground beef patties, melted cheese, and caramelized onions served between two slices of bread. You’ll typically find french fries, lettuce, pickles, and tomatoes served with this mouthwatering sandwich.

The origins of patty melts are uncertain, but many cite Tiny Naylor as the sandwich’s creator sometime between 1930 and 1959. However, whether or not he created it, the Naylor family did their fair share of promoting the menu item to attract attention.

Today, the patty melt is a staple on many fast food and diner menus. Unless you’re eating at an upscale restaurant, there’s a good chance you can find it on the menu. However, they’re not the healthiest option you can choose. Your arteries and cardiologist may appreciate you eating them sparingly.

Pro Tip: We ranked the 5 Best (and 5 Worst) Fast Food Burgers. Which do you think took first place?

Patty melt
Chow down on a patty melt from a fast food restaurant.

#1 Culver’s

About Culver’s

While this Wisconsin-based fast food chain is best known for its cheese curds, they’ve also got a killer patty melt. They may have started in Sauk City, Wisconsin, in 1984, but the chain has grown to more than 850 restaurants in 26 states. Of course, they have a well-established presence throughout the midwest.

Culver’s Patty Melt

When it comes to fast food patty melts, Culver’s knows how to do it right. They offer 100% fresh, never-frozen beef patties and cover the bread slices with butter sourced from the Wisconsin-based Alcam Creamery. In addition, Culver’s sources real Wisconsin cheese to fuse the meat together.

You’ll find a variety of patty melts at Culver’s. Their Sourdough Melt, Wisconsin Swiss Melt, and Grilled Reuben Melt are all popular menu items. Your taste buds will thank you no matter which one you choose. 

#2 Five Guys

About Five Guys

The Murrell family started Five Guys in 1985 in Arlington, Virginia. Jerry and Janie Murrell had four sons, and they gave them the choice of starting a business or going to college. 

Little did they know that in setting out to establish the business, they’d be starting a burger chain loved by people across the US. There are more than 1,700 Five Guys locations worldwide and another 1,500 in development.

Five Guys’ Patty Melt

While there’s no patty melt on the Five Guys menu, it’s available on its secret menu. All you need is to know how to ask for it. Order a grilled cheese sandwich and request a burger patty or two added to it to avoid confusion. Like any Five Guys sandwich, you can customize your patty melt to your liking.

Pro Tip: Before you scarf down your patty melt, make sure you know these 5 Unwritten Rules for Eating at Five Guys.

#3 Habit Burger

About Habit Burger

Unless you’re from California, we’re going to assume you’ve never heard of Habit Burger. It’s a fast-casual burger joint that started in Santa Barbara and serves all the familiar West Coast flavors Californians enjoy. While tourists may flock to In-N-Out, Habit Burger is stealing the local customers.

Habit Burger launched in 1969 as a family-owned business. However, KarpReilly, a private equity firm, took over the lion’s share of the company in 2007. Then, in 2020, the entire company was sold to Yum! Brands. While most of the 300+ stores are in California, there are locations in 13 other states. You can also find them in Cambodia and China.

Habit Burger’s Patty Melt

Habit Burger doesn’t always offer their patty melt. However, when they do, it’s too good to pass up. It comes with two chargrilled patties, a slice each of yellow and white American cheeses, caramelized onions, and thousand island dressing. The addition of the dressing really makes the Habit patty melt unique. Seriously, it doesn’t disappoint!

#4 Sonic

About Sonic

Want delicious food brought to you while you sit comfortably in your vehicle? You can do just that at Sonic Drive-In

The company started in 1953 as Top Hat. However, they revolutionized the fast-food industry by allowing customers to order food without leaving their cars. Their slogan was “Service at the Speed of Sound,” which led to the company changing its name to Sonic Drive-In in 1959.

Sonic’s Patty Melt

Many customers rush to Sonic Drive-In for milkshakes, burgers, and other delicious treats. But they have a menu that can go toe-to-toe with almost any fast food restaurant. 

If anyone knows how to do a patty melt, it’s Sonic. Their sandwich consists of a quarter pound of 100% pure beef, grilled onions, two slices of American cheese, mayo, mustard, and two pieces of thick Texas toast. Not enough? You can upgrade to the Double Patty Melt for twice the meat.

#5 Whataburger

About Whataburger

Harmon Dobson had no idea he was creating a brand that would have a cult-like following when he started Whataburger in 1950. His goal was simply to create a delicious burger that customers exclaimed, “What a burger!” after their first bite. With nearly 1,000 locations currently across the country over 70 years later, it seems Dobson was successful in creating that burger. 

Whataburger’s Patty Melt

While Whataburger offers a variety of burger options, their patty melt is a favorite among the menu items. It consists of two mouth-watering beef patties, two slices of Monterey jack cheese, grilled onions, and creamy pepper sauce. All this deliciousness is placed between two Texas-sized pieces of toast. Like the rest of the Whataburger menu, it’s exceptional.

Get Your Taste Buds Ready

There’s a good chance no matter what fast food joint you visit, you’ll find a patty melt on the menu. However, as you can see, each restaurant puts its unique spin on it. Luckily, we’ve found five of the best fast food patty melts that knock all the others out of the park. When it comes to the popular melted sandwich, these burger joints know how to deliver.

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