This fast-food chain you’ve probably never heard of is making a killing selling $8 burgers

caption
This burger cost over $8.
source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

“Burgers shouldn’t cost $3,” the website for Super Duper Burgers proudly declares.

The San Francisco-based fast-food burger chain has garnered a cult following for its extra-juicy double-patty burgers that cost $8.50 with cheese. The company says it sources ingredients within miles of its restaurants.

Here’s what it’s like to eat at Super Duper Burgers, one of the Bay Area’s favorite fast-food chains.


You’ve probably never heard of Super Duper Burgers, but San Franciscans named the regional fast-food chain their “Tastiest Cheap Eat” in a 2016 Reader’s Choice awards.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Source: 7×7


“Cheap” is relative. On a rainy weekday afternoon, I stopped by one of the chain’s 10 locations in the Bay Area to see whether its $8 burger meets the hype.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The menu is pretty straightforward. There’s a burger (that comes in two different sizes), a chicken sandwich, a veggie burger, and fries served plain or topped with garlic and cheese.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

After placing my order, I grabbed some homemade pickles from the counter. They were a little soft for my liking, though each bite delivered a big sour taste.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

My milkshake arrived first. I got the cookies-and-cream variety, which the cashier said was the restaurant’s most popular.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Again, I was disappointed. The shake ran thin, like a souped-up glass of chocolate milk.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

About five minutes later, my food order hit the counter.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The beef at Super Duper is ground fresh daily and cooked on a chrome flat-top grill. Cooks use a sharp spatula to ensure the crusty, caramelized bits stay on the burger.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Source: QSR magazine


My teeth sank in. Two thin patties flooded my senses with a slightly metallic flavor and fragrant juices. Grease dribbled down my chin, but I didn’t care. It. Was. So. Good.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Piled under crispy lettuce and a hefty tomato slice, the cheese stood out. It tasted aged, sharp, and substantially melted — a testament to Super Duper’s slogan: “Fast food burgers … slow food values.”

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The underside of the toasted sesame-seed bun became quickly saturated with juice and Super Sauce, the restaurant’s garlicky rendition of a Thousand Island dressing.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

This photo does not do it justice, but my napkin was soaked through with juice. Some people might be put off by the grease, but it made for great flavor.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Next, I tried the chicken sandwich topped with lettuce, tomato, jack cheese, and spicy chipotle aioli. It uses free-range chicken breast and costs a cool $8.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

The chicken was tender, not overdone. The chipotle aioli delivered a smoky, mesquite flavor that I would have dunked the whole sandwich in, had it been available.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

But unlike the burger — an amalgamation of rich, fresh flavors — the chicken sandwich was underwhelming. It fell apart quickly, and the top bun was almost too toasted to eat.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

Lastly, I dug into the fries, which were topped with fresh garlic and six-month aged cheddar. (We’re not talking a sprinkling of garlic powder, but clumps of minced garlic.)

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

I ate them by the fistful. Each thin-cut fry tasted more addicting than the last. A side of fries turned around a “meh” Super Duper experience into a knockout fast-food meal.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

I ordered the Super Duper Burger with cheese, a chicken sandwich with cheese, the garlic fries, and a milkshake. My total came to $26.92.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

By comparison, a similar meal might cost about $13 from McDonald’s and about $10 from In-N-Out, the Bay Area’s other beloved burger joint.


The premium prices haven’t appeared to hurt business. Founder Adriano Paganini said last fall that the company hoped to expand to as many as 50 Bay Area locations. “Then we’ll start to consider going outside of the Bay Area,” Paganini told QSR magazine.

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider

In October, Paganini also grew his fast-casual empire to include a fried-chicken-sandwich restaurant, The Bird, based in San Francisco.

Source: QSR magazine


All in all, I’d say, worth it. Super Duper delivered fast-food convenience and premium quality — two things that don’t always go together — at a fair price. I’ll be back!

source
Melia Robinson/Business Insider