Hamburger vs Cheeseburger: Which is the King of Burgers?

A hamburger is a sandwich that consists of a patty made of ground beef, typically served on a sesame seed bun with toppings such as lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, and condiments such as ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.

A cheeseburger is a type of hamburger that includes a slice of cheese on top of the patty. The cheese can be any type, such as cheddar, Swiss, or American, and is melted onto the patty during cooking.

This article aims to compare the two popular American fast food staples, hamburgers and cheeseburgers, and determine which one is the better option. The comparison will cover the history of both burgers, their nutritional value, popularity, taste, versatility, and cost.

History of Hamburger

Origin of hamburger

The exact origin of the hamburger is unknown, but there are several theories. One theory is that the hamburger was invented in Hamburg, Germany, and brought to the United States by German immigrants. Another theory is that it was created in the United States by Charles and Frank Menches, who ran a food booth at the Erie County Fair in Hamburg, New York in 1885.

Evolution of hamburger over time

The hamburger has been a staple of American fast food for over a century and has evolved over time. In the 1920s, the first fast food chains specializing in hamburgers emerged, such as White Castle and Krystal. In the 1950s, drive-in restaurants became popular, and the hamburger became an iconic symbol of American culture. Today, hamburgers are sold by thousands of fast food chains, sit-down restaurants, and food trucks.

History of Cheeseburger

Origin of a cheeseburger

The origin of the cheeseburger is also a matter of debate. Some claim that it was first created in the 1920s by Lionel Sternberger, a 16-year-old cook at his father’s sandwich shop in Pasadena, California. Others say that it was created by a cook at a burger stand in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1930s.

Evolution of cheeseburgers over time

The cheeseburger has become increasingly popular since its creation and is now a staple of American fast food. Today, there are hundreds of variations of cheeseburgers, including different types of cheese, toppings, and sauces. The cheeseburger has also become a staple of sit-down restaurants and is a common menu item at diners and pubs.

Comparison of Hamburgers and Cheeseburgers

Nutritional value

Hamburgers and cheeseburgers can be high in calories, fat, and sodium, making them unhealthy if consumed in excess. A single hamburger can contain anywhere from 300 to 600 calories, depending on the size and toppings. A single cheeseburger can contain anywhere from 400 to 800 calories.

However, it is possible to make a healthier version of either burger by using lean beef, and whole grain buns, and adding fresh vegetables as toppings. Grilling the burgers instead of frying them can also reduce the amount of fat and calories.


Both hamburgers and cheeseburgers are very popular in the United States and are considered iconic American food. According to a 2019 survey, about 80% of Americans have eaten a hamburger in the past month, and about 75% have eaten a cheeseburger.


The taste of a hamburger or cheeseburger depends on personal preference. Some people prefer the simple taste of a hamburger, with its juicy beef patty and toppings, while others enjoy the added flavor of melted cheese on a cheeseburger.


Hamburgers and cheeseburgers can both be customized with a variety of toppings and condiments, making them versatile food options. For example, a hamburger can be topped with bacon, avocado, or a fried egg, while a cheeseburger can be topped with different types of cheese, such as cheddar, Swiss, or blue cheese. This allows for endless variations and combinations to suit individual tastes.


The cost of a hamburger or cheeseburger can vary depending on the restaurant or fast food chain, as well as the size and toppings. On average, a fast-food hamburger can cost anywhere from $1 to $5, while a sit-down restaurant hamburger can cost anywhere from $7 to $15. A fast-food cheeseburger can cost anywhere from $2 to $6, while a sit-down restaurant cheeseburger can cost anywhere from $8 to $18.


In conclusion, both hamburgers and cheeseburgers have their own unique history and characteristics. Hamburgers are simple and straightforward, while cheeseburgers offer added flavor with melted cheese. Both burgers can be high in calories and unhealthy if consumed in excess, but can also be made healthier with lean beef, whole grain buns, and fresh vegetables.

In terms of taste and versatility, it ultimately comes down to personal preference. However, for those looking for a healthier option, a grilled hamburger or cheeseburger made with lean beef and whole grain buns, topped with fresh vegetables, is the best choice.

Hamburgers and cheeseburgers have been a staple of American fast food for over a century, and will likely continue to be popular in the future. Whether you prefer the simple taste of a hamburger or the added flavor of a cheeseburger, both offer endless variations and combinations to suit individual tastes.

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