Consumer Reports takes no advertising. So the McDonald’s billion dollar plus advertising budget couldn’t sway the magazine’s judgment when it came time to award its Best Burger in America prize. The winner? Little known burger franchise The Habit Burger Grill, available only west of the Mississippi–for now.
Begun in California in 1969, Habit Burger was beefed up in 2007 by KarpReilly LLC, a private equity group that has a pretty tasty portfolio including brands like Patxi’s Pizza, Cafe Zupas and Sprinkles Cupcakes. (And Hooters, too, though not so tasty.) Consumer Reports surveyed readers who had eaten “96,208 meals at 65 chains” in order to determine its rankings. There are 20 franchises on the best burger list between The Habit Burger, at number one, and McDonald’s.