What’s better than a big, juicy burger, piled high with all the fixings? An even bigger burger. Some restaurants have taken the “bigger is better” philosophy to heart, crafting monstrous lunch options that take special spatulas to flip, multiple servers to carry, and a whole team of people to consume. Take a deep breath, and let’s dive in to some of the most infamous heavyweight burger contenders. Burger King’s so-called “Whoppers” have nothing on these.
Vegans and vegetarians, turn back now. There’s nothing here for you.
1. The T-Rex – Wendy’s
A Reddit user took a picture of a genuine menu item that was sold at a single Canadian Wendy’s franchise, consisting of nine patties sitting neatly atop each other in a stack surely too large to fit into anyone’s mouth, no matter how hard they try. The T-Rex originated as a joke, fake-advertised in an old issue of Sports Illustrated (as recreated on the menu board pictured above), which inspired customers to try their luck at ordering it in real life. A Wendy’s in Canada’s Manitoba province readily complied—until abruptly pulling the 2-pound, 4-ounce behemoth, possibly due to pressure from the corporation after the burger went viral online. The T-Rex, now extinct, will nonetheless live on in burger history.
2. The 911 – Wiener and Still Champion
Tucked away on the second page of a menu that also boasts country-fried bacon and deep-fried pickle chips, Chicago-area restaurant Wiener and Still Champion’s 911 burger is a three-pound behemoth with nine patties and eleven slices of cheese. It’s otherwise known as the “Triple Undisputed,” the largest of three “Undisputed” burgers, the smallest of which starts at a comparatively reasonable one pound—advertised as “only for the very hungry.” There’s no such suggestion for the double and triple varieties, probably because the owners couldn’t conceive of a single customer hungry enough to actually order them. Ironically, the restaurant isn’t even mainly a burger joint—as the name suggests, they’re hot dog people.
3. Mount Olympus – Clinton Station Diner
Like Wiener and Still Champion, New Jersey’s Clinton Station Diner offers a range of burger sizes to accommodate customers of varying degrees of acute starvation, starting at a not-so-petite one pound, called the “Achilles.” The mythological reference is intentional, as the names of its larger burger brethren make clear: The next size up is the 2-pound Hercules, followed by the 3-pound Atlas. Zeus is a burger meant to be shared: The restaurant challenges diners to either finish the entire 7-pound thing in three hours or less, or to bring a friend to help get it down in an hour and a half.
As if a burger roughly the weight of a healthy newborn baby weren’t enough, Clinton Station Diner’s crowning glory is Mount Olympus (shown here), which isn’t pulling any punches with its name: At an even 50 pounds before the bun and assorted toppings, the restaurant’s flagship burger would incur overweight baggage fees on most airlines. It’s so big that if a team of five with big dreams and even bigger stomachs manage to suffer through it all in under three hours, the burger is free, and the restaurant will pay them $1000 on top of that. Start training, burger-lovers.
4. Beer Barrel Belly Bruiser – Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub
Not to be confused with the 24/7 restaurant chain, Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub is home to the most outrageous burger challenges in Pennsylvania. Their burgers come in varying degrees of difficulty, from the 2-pound Pub Challenger to the 25-pound Beer Barrel Burgenator, which requires the challenge participants to call ahead at least 72 hours in advance.
Their most ambitious menu offering, however, is another thing entirely: Their website warns that the 50-pound Belly Bruiser is “not a ‘challenge,’” instructing them to consult a server for further details—and probably a liability waiver just for letting the thought cross their mind. It sounds like Denny’s owners know that so much meat can only end in tears.
5. World’s Biggest Burger – Black Bear Casino Resort
At what point is a burger no longer a burger, but simply an enormous pile of meat and bread? Apparently, no one has gotten that far yet, since the largest burger in the world currently tops out 2014 pounds and has remained uncontested since its victory in September 2012. The reigning champion was additionally topped with “60 pounds of bacon, 50 pounds of lettuce, 50 pounds of sliced onions, 40 pounds of pickles, and 40 pounds of cheese” and measured 10 feet across, from one end of the bun to the other. The burger was not only a culinary wonder, but an architectural one: the feat of flipping the immense patty required the assistance of a mechanical crane. The Guiness World Record adjudicator reported that the burger “actually taste[d] really good.”
6. Absolutely Ridiculous Burger – Mallie’s Sports Grill & Bar
It’s no one-ton burger, but hometown favorite Mallie’s in Michigan has broken the record for largest commercially available burger three times, most recently in 2012 with its 1000-pound masterpiece, created in collaboration with Tom Pizzica, host of Food Network’s Outrageous Food (above). The Absolutely Ridiculous Burger was its first successful record-holder, way back in 2008, at a relatively modest 134 pounds post-cooking. All the records Mallie’s has broken since then have been the restaurant’s own.
7. 100 x 100 – In-N-Out Burger
It’s an open secret that beloved West Coast burger chain In-N-Out will customize any order within the limits of what’s in the kitchen. A Double-Double is a standard customer order, comprised of two beef patties and two slices of cheese on a standard bun. Particularly hungry patrons can spring for a triple-triple, a quadruple-quadruple, etc. One group of friends decided that standard wasn’t going to be enough for them, and boldly ordered a 100 x 100: a full hundred beef patties with as many slices of cheese, to split between the eight of them. The In-N-Out workers on shift that night obliged, and thus the group’s stomach-churning, record-setting ordeal began.
After paying the $97.66 bill and not ordering fries with that, the burger warriors collectively tackled their enormous order. To their credit, they finished it all, but not without expressing horror at the disgusting pile of “sweaty-oily cheese” clinging to the patties. Some 19,490 total calories later, at least one member of the group said he hasn’t touched In-N-Out since. There’s such a thing as too much burger.