Airing of Grievances: Five Guys Midtown is “The Worst Five Guys I’ve Ever Been To”

I try my best not to be too negative on this site, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be able to vent. Every once in awhile I’ll share some of the more angry useful emails I get in a post called “Airing of Grievances”. (If the Eater Complaints Dept. would like royalties, I’ll be happy to pay up…)

Five Guys Midtown

I’ve got a beef with the Five Guys on 55th St. (btw. 5+6th). My beef is pretty simple: It’s the worst Five Guys I’ve ever been to, and I’ve been to a lot of Five Guys (DC, Philly, two different ones in DE, the one by my apartment in Park Slope). Simply put every time I’ve been there they’ve managed screw something up.

When they were first opening my office faxed an order in and when I came to pick it up the manager claimed the fax machine wasn’t turned on. I said that wasn’t possible because our machine clearly said it went through. He agreed to go look and low and behold came back with our order. While I was then waiting to have them prepare it, someone else came in to pick up a faxed order and he told them the exact same lie he told me. Since then I’ve been there a few times and each time they find a way to screw up my order (no bacon, wrong toppings, missing 2nd patty for the regular burger!).

But wait… there’s more.

I went back yesterday (my last time ever) and ordered a little bacon cheeseburger with some toppings. A two minute walk back to my desk I open up my burger to find the entire thing is stone cold, cheese not even melted. They must be precooking patties and then just assembling the burgers as needed these days.

Midtown workers deserve a decent Five Guys and of all the locations I’ve been to this one is far from decent, it’s miserable. With the Burger Joint (on 56th btw. 7+8th) being perpetually mobbed by European tourists enjoying Midtown’s best burger, Five Guys should be a great alternative. Sadly no. — Ben

I admit I had a pretty bad service experience there once… but my last two trips have been pretty enjoyable.  It also seems like they’re more crowded towards the end of the week, than at the beginning.  Maybe that makes a difference?  I’ve never faxed in an order though… Even so, I still consider Five Guys my favorite burger in Midtown (and the closest thing to In N Out we’ve got in these parts.) Anybody else have any thoughts? 

Feel free to comment below… and if you have a complain you’d like aired, feel free to email it to


  • i hate to keep posting this in the comments, ok no i dont, but come on, has anyone tried a rare burger, or better yet a dry aged benjamins burger?

  • I certainly agree with the part about the Burger Joint. Euro/Mideast trash have ruined it for me.

  • CapnRich, theres a lady in the harbour…..
    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

    And then theres you.


  • I think the midtown Five Guys blows. I’ll take a burger from freaking Wendy’s before I go back there.

    Where’s the one in Park Slope? I’ll give them a shot at redeeming their wayward Midtown bretheren before I write off the whole chain.

  • It’s on 7th & 4th Street, across from the hospital. It’s good. I haven’t been to other Five Guys locations, but at this one they mash the patties halfway through the cooking process. It looks brutal but the patties come out pretty tasty. I’m guessing the mash is standard franchise procedure. I wonder how much better their burgers would be without it.

  • the one in whitestone rules! ;-p no problems there.

  • I hate to say it, but houston’s, on 27th and park makes the best burger I’ve had in the City in recent years…..RIP Diane’s, which was up in the 70s past Lincoln Center, but closed well over 10 yrs ago. I know, this is Shake Shack territory, but houston’s burger kicks Shake Shack’s ass handsdown….no question. And their fries and honey mustard, which they will make special if you ask, are nothing to sneeze it….

  • The problem with that place is that it doesn’t have the space or ability to have walk-in customers and fax-in customers. They can’t handle that volume. I never have problems with the actual food…but then again I don’t go there during the lunch rush anymore.

  • I live around the corner from Shake Shack aand not far from Houston’s. Yeah, Houston’s burger is very good, but it definitely does not kick the ass of Shake Shack, which I rate a bit above Burger Joint. (Plus, living nearby, I can hit the Shack with no line so I’m going solely by burgerliciousness and not the waiting hassle!) A Double Stack or Double Shack costs maybe half of a Houston’s burger, and gets a major edge right there.

  • I can’t complain about the food, but the service seems like it is incredibly overwhelmed by the lunch rush sometimes… I guess if you get good food its the price you pay… but if i sucks then… uhhh…

  • Thanks for the warning about that Five guys location, I’ll be sure to avoid it!

    I really find this shocking, I’ve been to Five Guys over in New Joyzee and I’ve always found the burger “all the way” with an order of fries to be one of the best burger/fries combination I’ve had in a long time.

  • I’ve been to all of them. Five Guys, Goodburger, Burger Joint, Pop Burger. I have to disagree that Five guys is the best for midtown workers. Goodburger is better. The food is always good. They are fast. The place feels less crowded because it’s bigger and they’re quick. And Five Guys makes a mess in your bag. They put in a burger first, then a mountain of fries. You need to dig through the bag to get to the burger. It’s bordering on gross.

  • There’s nothing gross about a mountain of fries. Five Guys has never messed up my order and I’ve been to this 55th street location at least a dozen times. Some people just have bad luck, I suppose. Burger Joint’s a better burger if you prefer burgers cooked over an open flame and to order. Otherwise, its pretty damn close. Its hard to top Five Guys grease bomb deliciousness.

    I’m with you. Houston’s burger and their fries are awesome. Houston’s is one of the best burgers Ive ever had and it NEVER disappoints. Its tough to compare it to the Shack though since they’re so different. If I had to choose one over the other though, it’s Houston’s hands down. The buttered and grilled egg bun, the griddled and grilled patty, the cabbage and schmear of smokehouse sauce on the bottom combined with their special blend ketchup (honey added) up top and the delicious Vermont cheddar. Damn, I’m getting hungry just talking about it.

    Finish it all off with the brownie sundae, also one of the best desserts I’ve ever had, and you’re in business.

    The key at Houston’s however, is the Rib/Burgers split. Bring a friend and split the burger and ribs. The ribs are pricey but they’re awesome too. Get double fries instead of cole slaw with the ribs.

    For photos of the burger/rib split you can check out my review below:

  • that’s very weird. i’ve never had a bad experience at five guys and i go there all the time!

  • An endorsement from Gay Superman is like being stalked by CockChug or getting a love letter from Hitler. And all of them are verbal diarreha sufferers. Coincidence? I think not.

  • I 100% agree .. I am fanatical about the Five Guys in Hackensack, NJ .. delish juicy burgers, and I have sent them a lot of customers who have also turned in to fans BUT the Five Guys on 55th sucks I have only been once and I had the worst driest.. crappy burger I have had in my life… horrible… it was a disgusting freeze dried flavorless hockey puck…

  • NYCFoodGuy and you endorse Five Guys? Maybe should be B&T FoodGuy.

  • I’d never heard of Five Guys until the 55th St. branch opened up (it’s down the street from my office). It’s usually very crowded at lunchtime, albeit not on the same insane level as Burger Joint. So I’ve only gone there for a late dinner or a lunch if I’m at the office on a weekend.

    . . . which makes my experiences there doubly frustrating — it takes *forever* to get a simple Little Cheeseburger and small fries. I’m talking 15+ minutes, and this is with maybe 4-6 other people waiting for orders.

    The burgers and fries have been solid, not spectacular. I have no idea how this branch compares to other Five Guys on the taste/quality front. I can’t see what the fuss is with the fries, although it should be noted that I’m not a big fan of the thick-cut, peel-on style of fry (I much prefer a thinner, crispier fry — speaking of that, what would it take to get Steak n Shake to migrate east?).

  • Love the Five Guys on 55th. My office and I order from there all the time! The trick is to go to their website:

    Print the sheet, pass it around the office, and sent it in by 11am/11:30 the latest. That way you won’t have to wait when you go pick it up or just have it delivered!!

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