The Ultimate McDonald’s vs. Burger King Showdown

For the record, we are NOT fast food people. We don’t frequent either of these establishments, but that’s why we believe we are actually the best to compare them head-to-head. We have no bias, and if they’re both bad, we’ll let you know. Our taste test showdown includes the following items:

Please note, there are no pictures with these taste tests, because everyone knows that real fast food ain’t pretty! Unlike the commercials which makes it look 1000 times better than it ever will be.

Click here to quick-jump:McDonald’sBurger King
FriesWorld Famous Fries®Classic Fries
BurgersBig Mac®Whopper
Chicken NuggetsMcNuggets®Nuggets
Spicy Chicken NuggetsSpicy McNuggets®Spicy Nuggets
Chicken SandwichesMcChicken®Original Chicken Sandwich
Chocolate ShakesChocolate ShakeChocolate Shake

Fries

McDonald’s World Famous Fries®

Burger King Classic Fries

Description

From McDonald’s website: Our World Famous Fries® are made with premium potatoes such as the Russet Burbank and the Shepody. With 0g of trans fat per labeled serving, these epic fries are crispy and golden on the outside and fluffy on the inside.

Burger King’s website has no description of their fries.

Price

$1.69 for Small
$2.59 for Medium
$2.99 for Large

$1.59 for Value
$1.89 for Small
$2.29 for Medium
$2.49 for Large

Calories

110 Calories for Kids
220 Calories for Small
320 Calories for Medium
490 Calories for Large

223 Calories for Value
320 Calories for Small
383 Calories for Medium
433 Calories for Large

Verdict

We went into the taste test thinking that McDonald’s fries would be superior – just from what we remembered hearing from others and from our childhood. We were surprised to find them more soggy than we remembered, and also not salty enough for our taste.

Despite their lack of representation on their fries, Burger King delivered a very pleasant fry. Not only were they salted much better than McDonald’s (but not OVER salted), they also had a nice crispy outside and a warm, fluffy inside. They were a clear winner in the fry department!

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Burgers

McDonald’s Big Mac®

Burger King Whopper

Description

From McDonald’s website: Mouthwatering perfection starts with two 100% pure beef patties and Big Mac sauce sandwiched between a sesame seed bun. It’s topped off with pickles, crisp shredded lettuce, finely chopped onion and American cheese.

From Burger King’s website: Our Whopper Sandwich is a ¼ lb of savory flame-grilled beef topped with juicy tomatoes, fresh lettuce, creamy mayonnaise, ketchup, crunchy pickles, and sliced white onions on a soft sesame seed bun.

Price

$4.99

$5.19

Calories

550 Calories

459-549 Calories

Verdict

Though it surprised us, we found the Big Mac to be very good. The extra bun in the middle made it a very substantial burger and the lettuce and pickles added just the right about of freshness to the burger. The cheese added a lot to the burger that the Whopper was missing. This was another clear winner.

It was almost unbelievable that Burger King’s signature burger does not come with cheese! Instead, they chose tomatoes (the rest of the ingredients are the same between the two burgers besides the sauce). It was a real sticking point as the burger lacked the creaminess that cheese offers.

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Chicken Nuggets

We ordered both with the respective establishment’s version of BBQ sauce, which we also rank below.

McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets®

Burger King Chicken Nuggets

Description

From McDonald’s website: Our tender, juicy Chicken McNuggets® are made with 100% white meat chicken and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. Pair them with your favorite dipping sauces.

From Burger King’s website: Made with white meat, our bite-sized Chicken Nuggets are tender and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Coated in a homestyle seasoned breading, they are perfect for dipping in any of our delicious dipping sauces.

Price

$5.49 for 20 = 27c/nugget
$4.89 for 10 = 49c/nugget
$2.00 for 6 = 33c/nugget
$2.29 for 4 = 57c/nugget

$4.99 for 20 = 25c/nugget
$2.99 for 10 = 30c/nugget
$1.00 for 8 = 13c/nugget
$1.29 for 4 = 32c/nugget

Calories

830 Calories for 20
420 Calories for 10
250 Calories for 6
170 Calories for 4
42 Calories per Nugget

45 Calories for Tangy Barbeque Sauce


911 Calories for 20
482 Calories for 10
343 Calories for 8
224 Calories for 4
43-56 Calories per Nugget

48 Calories for BBQ Dipping Sauce

Verdict

By far, the McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets were the winner here. They had a crispy outside, meaty inside, and they are less calories.

The BBQ sauce was pretty typical, nothing too exciting, not too smoky, not too sweet.

The Burger King Chicken Nuggets were terrible. Ok, we said it. They were not only lacking a crispy outside, but the interior chicken patty was so skinny. Overall, a very disappointing experience. We finished them because we didn’t want to waste food, but it was a chore.

The BBQ sauce, however, was much more interesting than the McDonald’s one. A little more smoky, definitely not just a crowd-pleaser. Folks that are bored with regular BBQ might find it better than the McDonald’s.

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Spicy Chicken Nuggets

We ordered both with the respective establishment’s version of Buffalo sauce, which we also rank below.

McDonald’s Spicy Chicken McNuggets®

Burger King Spicy Chicken Nuggets

Description

From McDonald’s website: What could be better than Chicken McNuggets®? McDonald’s new Spicy Chicken McNuggets. Breaded in a light and crispy batter that’s boldly flavored with cayenne and chili peppers, these Spicy Chicken McNuggets deliver the heat along with the flavor you love. And for the flavor-thrill seekers, we proudly offer our new Mighty Hot Sauce.
McDonald’s Spicy Buffalo Sauce is a peppery sauce with vinegar and butter flavor. With a building heat, this McDonald’s dipping sauce has the perfect amount of spice to complement your McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets!

From Burger King’s website: Made with white meat, our bite-sized Chicken Nuggets are tender and juicy on the inside and crispy on the outside. Coated in a homestyle spicy seasoned breading, they are perfect for dipping in any of our delicious dipping sauces.

Price

$5.49 for 20
$4.89 for 10
$2.00 for 6

$4.99 for 20
$2.99 for 10
$1.29 for 4

Calories

840 Calories for 20
420 Calories for 10
250 Calories for 6
42 Calories per Nugget

30 Calories for Spicy Buffalo Sauce

1,052 Calories for 20
526 Calories for 10
210 Calories for 4
53 Calories per Nugget

82 Calories for Buffalo Dipping Sauce

Verdict

We all saw this coming, right? The original Chicken McNuggets were so much better than the Burger King ones that there really was no hope for the Spicy Chicken Nuggets from Burger King to win this one. We both wished the Spicy McNuggets were more spicy, but overall they were not bad – a pretty comparable experience to the original nuggets.

The McDonald’s Buffalo sauce was very much like straight Frank’s Red Hot in taste, though thicker and more creamy-looking. It was pretty one-note unfortunately.

In terms of the nuggets, Burger King gets our prize for “most improved”, but even their Spicy Chicken Nuggets aren’t as good as McDonald’s original McNuggets. The same skinny patty of meat, still lacking crisp, and not very spicy, though slightly spicier than the McDonald’s Spicy Chicken McNuggets. Plus, they are more calories.

Burger King brought their A game for their Buffalo sauce, which much more interesting than McDonald’s. It had a little more nuance to the flavor and wasn’t as one-note.

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Chicken Sandwiches

McDonald’s McChicken®

Burger King Original Chicken Sandwich

Description

From McDonald’s website: The McChicken® is a delightfully crispy chicken sandwich with a crispy chicken fillet topped with mayonnaise, shredded iceberg lettuce, and served on a perfectly toasty bun.

From Burger King’s website: Our Original Chicken Sandwich is made with white meat chicken, lightly breaded and topped with a simple combination of shredded lettuce and creamy mayonnaise on a sesame seed bun.

Price

$1.79

$4.69

Calories

400 Calories

449 Calories

Verdict

If you’re craving a chicken sandwich, neither of these sandwiches are going to satisfy you. They severely lack in the crispy department and neither have enough flavor to make it a positive experience. We would not order either of these sandwiches again. However, if all you’ve got access to is a drive-thru:

The McChicken is a very sad looking, sad tasting sandwich. The patty is very thin, lacks flavor, and the bun just mushes into the chicken patty with very bite you take. The lettuce doesn’t add the freshness you would want nor expect, and the mayo adds creaminess that is just too much without that fresh element. It would be a better sandwich if they used their Chicken McNuggets as opposed to the limp chicken patty they use for the McChicken. You’re better off making a frozen chicken patty at home if all you have access to is a McDonald’s.

Despite The Original Chicken Sandwich being quite a bit more costly, it is sizeable meal. The bun really holds its ground against the thick chicken patty. The lettuce adds a bright note and the mayo adds creaminess that everyone wants with a chicken sandwich.

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Chocolate Shakes

McDonald’s Chocolate Shake

Burger King Chocolate Shake

Description

From McDonald’s website: McDonald’s Chocolate Shake is a delicious chocolate dessert made with our creamy vanilla soft serve and chocolate syrup, topped with whipped topping.

Burger King’s website has no description of their shakes.

Price

$3.19 for a Small
$3.79 for a Medium
$3.99 for a Large

$3.09 – one size

Calories

520 Calories for a Small
620 Calories for a Medium
830 Calories for a Large

761 Calories – one size

Verdict

We’re going to be honest, both of these chocolate shakes were terrible. They are both so obviously made with fake chocolate syrup. However, the McDonald’s one is slightly less sweet, meaning it was actually drinkable.

The Burger King Chocolate Shake was SO SICKENLY SWEET that it was almost undrinkable. Very fake chocolate taste and just not pleasant.

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