Gourmet Burgers vs Classic Burgers: Most Common Differences!

Burgers have reshaped and redefined the culinary culture of not just the West but the entire world in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Places located thousands of miles away from the origin of burgers, Hamburg, now has hundreds of burger places all over the streets.

The burger scene is dominated mainly by two types of burgers, the classic burgers made by chain restaurants and local burger houses and gourmet burgers made by fancy restaurants. They have their unique styles and tastes that differentiate them.

Both classic burgers and gourmet burgers have their places in our culinary culture and to appreciate them properly, we need to understand their similarities and their differences based on their ingredients, taste, quality, affordability, etc.

Here, I will take a deep dive into the world of burgers to explain these two types of burgers in detail so that the next time you have to decide between ordering a regular burger and ordering from a fancy burger house, you can make that decision with better insight.

Gourmet Burgers vs Classic Burgers

Gourmet meals are made with a combination of rare and regular ingredients and prepared maintaining the highest culinary standards. They also stand out from other dishes because they are presented in an expressive and artsy manner.

When burgers are made like this, they are called gourmet burgers. Classic burgers on the other hand are made with cheaper ingredients quickly and served to be enjoyed instantaneously.


Classic burgers are served in most fast-food chains and regular burger chains such as McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King, etc. while gourmet burgers are usually served in fancy restaurants. More restaurants serve classic burgers than there are restaurants that serve gourmet burgers.

You can easily spot the places that serve gourmet burgers by noticing the locations. The restaurants that serve gourmet burgers have fancier indoor decorations. This is reflected in the prices of gourmet burgers.


Classic burgers are made from regular patties and sometimes these patties are frozen. Gourmet burgers on the other hand are made from fresh chuck, rib plate, brisket, filet mignon, short loin, etc.

The meat used in gourmet burgers is often of better quality than regular burgers. Gourmet burgers can also use expensive types of meat such as Kobe beef, Wagyu beef, etc. but classic burgers mostly use regular beef. 

Cooking Process

The cooking process is also quite different between gourmet burgers and classic burgers. Classic burgers are made on a large countertop or grill by employees who most of the time do not do all of the cooking but rather mostly assemble the burger. Some prepare the patties, others prepare the buns or the condiments, and so on.

Gourmet burgers on the other hand are fully made by one chef and he prepares the entire burger from scratch. He prepares all the ingredients and assembles everything to make the delicious burger. The cooking process is quite lengthy and more difficult when it comes to making a gourmet burger compared to the classic burgers.


The buns of gourmet burgers and classic burgers also have differences in them. Classic burgers mostly use brioche buns or burger buns that are mass-produced in large bakeries.

Gourmet burgers on the other hand use buns that are made from scratch by in-house bakers. This is why the gourmet burger buns feel fresh, soft, and more delicious compared to regular burger buns that become stale and do not have that nice flavor and texture.


Classic burgers use very regular toppings on their patties such as lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, mustard, onion, pickles, etc. Although these toppings are also delicious and enhance the flavor of the burgers as well, they lack flavor and complexion when compared to the fancy toppings used in gourmet burgers such as avocado, caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, etc.


Classic burgers usually have very basic sauces and other condiments in them such as mustard, mayonnaise, ketchup, etc. while gourmet burger sauces are separately made by the chefs to enhance the flavor of the burger.


Classic burgers mostly use sliced American cheese on their burgers which is delicious in its own right but gourmet burgers are made with a variety of cheese such as yellow cheddar, brie, provolone, Swiss cheese, etc.

Taste and Quality

Classic burgers are made to be enjoyed on the spot and fast, as they are considered to be the most popular fast food. This does not mean that classic burgers taste bad by any stretch of the imagination.

But rather that the classic burgers do not have the complex layers of flavors that a gourmet burger does. This is because gourmet burgers are cooked with fresher and rarer ingredients that have complexity in their flavors. 


Gourmet burgers cost a lot more than regular burgers because they are prepared with rarer ingredients that cost more and the chefs make the entire burgers, not just any fast food employee on the burger station. The cost reflects the taste and quality of the gourmet burgers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Gourmet Burgers Worth the Extra Money?

Yes, gourmet burgers have a completely different set of flavors in them that you cannot find at any regular burger stop because the gourmet burgers are made with fresher ingredients and better cooking techniques.

Do I Need Special Buns for Gourmet Burgers?

Yes, you cannot just use regular dinner rolls or store-bought burger buns to make gourmet burgers. You should bake the buns by yourselves because that would ensure that you use the best ingredients and the taste is more authentic.

Are Gourmet Burgers Worth the Extra Effort?

Yes, gourmet burgers taste unique in their own right that you cannot experience by tasting a regular burger from a fast-food chain so it is worth the extra effort to taste a gourmet burger.

What Are Some Popular Classic Burger Chains?

McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Popeye’s, White Castle, Five Guys, Hardee’s, Jack in the Box, Shake Shack, Fatburgers, and Smashburger are some of the popular classic burger chains.


Classic burgers have revolutionized the entire fast-food industry but most importantly, it has made burgers a highly popular dish. This popularity has given birth to gourmet burgers that are made from fancier ingredients and cooked with extra care and effort. 

There might be differences between them based on the taste, texture, quality, and cost but both play crucial roles in transforming our culinary space and culture.

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